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release_guide.pod - guide to Rakudo Star releases

Rakudo Star releases are based on Rakudo compiler releases. Since some time is often needed for module updates and testing after each Rakudo compiler release, the timing of Star releases varies from one release to the next.

Also, while the Rakudo compiler issues monthly releases; Star releases are free to choose a longer release cycle. Star releases are also free to choose older releases of the compiler, NQP, and/or MoarVM. The goal is to balance end-user stability needs with progress being made on the compiler, modules, and other runtime components. Currently Star is on a monthly release cycle; we expect to slow down to quarterly releases again sometime in the future.

Steps to create a release

If this is your first time releasing, read the whole guide before starting. That way you can ask questions and clear up and confusions before you're in the thick of it.

If you have done this before, you might want to check for and read any changes to this release guide since your last run.

Any time this guide tells you to commit changes, you may also push them if you wish to do so. Step 8 will make sure you do this regardless.


Make sure you have working perl6 binary in your $PATH. Refer to for how to do that. The exact version isn't very important at the moment, it just shouldn't be a year out of date.


Clone the repository.

  $ git clone

If you already have clone of rakudo/star, make sure it is in sync with github:

  $ git checkout master
  $ git pull origin master
  $ git submodule sync
  $ git submodule update --init --recursive

Verify that

  $ git status

reports a clean repository.


Change to the star repository directory, and edit the first three lines of tools/star/Makefile to indicate the desired releases of Rakudo, NQP and MoarVM to use.

Usually that means the last Rakudo release, the NQP version that is in the released Rakudo's tools/build/NQP_REVISION file, the MoarVM version that is in the tools/build/MOAR_REVISION file that is included in the NQP release.

  $ cd star
  $ vi tools/star/Makefile

Run "make -f tools/star/Makefile" to populate the star directory with the needed tarballs and module repositories for building Rakudo Star:

  $ make -f tools/star/Makefile

You may at times be prompted for your SSH key/pass combo.

Assuming the Makefile ran successfully, you should now commit your changes.

  $ git commit tools

If there are any new modules to be added, use "git submodule" to add its repo to the modules/ directory. Also add the module directory name to the modules/MODULES.txt file.

  $ git submodule add modules/acme-example
  $ echo acme-example >>modules/MODULES.txt
  $ git commit . -m "Added acme-example to installed modules."

Verify that all of the git submodules are at the desired commit for the Star release. To bring all modules up to the current 'master' branch, one can do:

  # pull master in each submodule dir
  $ git submodule foreach git pull origin master

Create a temporary file as a basis for module changelog to be included in release announcement below:

  $ git diff --submodule=log > /tmp/mod.txt

Then you may commit your update of the submodules:

  # commit submodules state to star repo
  $ git commit modules

If one doesn't already exist, create a release announcement in docs/announce/ . You can often use the previous release's file as a starting point, updating the release number, version information, name, etc. as appropriate. Be sure to pay attention to any changes listed in Rakudo's ChangeLog.

  $ vi docs/announce/
  $ git add docs/announce/
  $ git commit docs

The module changelog temporary file above can be used to help with the corresponding section in the announcement.

At this point it is strongly advised that you push your changes so far, to get feedback on your announcement while you do other steps.

  $ git push

Update the release number in the README and files.

  $ vi README tools/build/
  $ git commit README tools/build/

Make sure any locally modified files have been pushed back to github.

  $ git status
  $ git push

Create a candidate release tarball:

  $ make -f tools/star/Makefile release VERSION=2012.08

This will create a tarball rakudo-star-2012.08.tar.gz in the current directory.


Unpack the tarball somewhere else, and do a test build/install:

  $ mkdir work
  $ cd work
  $ tar xvfz ../rakudo-star-2012.08.tar.gz
  $ cd rakudo-star-2012.08
  $ perl --gen-moar
  $ make install
  $ make rakudo-test
  $ make rakudo-spectest
  $ make modules-test

If there are failures in any of rakudo-test, rakudo-spectest, or modules-test, then do your best to fix them and return to step 8.

STOP THE RELEASE PROCESS (i.e., do not issue a release) if there are any errors that you're unable to fix. File issue tickets ( for failing tests and report them to #perl6.


Tag the release by its release month ("YYYY.MM").

  $ git tag -s -a -m"tag release YYYY.MM" YYYY.MM    # e.g. 2012.08
  $ git push --tags

The -s tells git to sign the release with your PGP/GPG key, so it will likely ask you for the passphrase of your secrect key.

If you have no PGP key, you might need to create one first. Should that prove impossible, you can omit the -s from the command line.


Upload the release tarball to

 $ scp rakudo-star-2012.08.tar.gz

If you don't have permission to do this step, please ask one(pmichaud, jnthn, masak, PerlJam/perlpilot, tadzik, moritz) on #perl6 to do it for you.


Publicize the release in the appropriate places. These include:

Actively ask others to advertise the release as well. This includes their social media accounts and blogs. Notable places include:


Add this release and your name to the list of releases at the end of this document (tools/star/release-guide.pod).

    $ vim tools/star/release-guide.pod
    $ git add tools/star/release-guide.pod
    $ git commit -m 'note YYYY.MM release in release-guide.pod

You're done! Celebrate with the appropriate amount of fun.

List of Planned Releases and Release Managers

    Release         Release manager
    =======         ===============

List of Previous Star Releases

    Release         Release Manager
    =======         ===============

    2010.07         pmichaud
    2010.08         pmichaud
    2010.09         pmichaud
    2010.10         pmichaud
    2010.11         pmichaud
    2010.12         pmichaud

    2011.01         pmichaud
    2011.04         pmichaud
    2011.07         pmichaud

    2012.01         jnthn
    2012.02         jnthn
    2012.04         moritz
    2012.05         moritz
    2012.06         moritz
    2012.07         pmichaud
    2012.08         pmichaud
    2012.09         pmichaud
    2012.10         jnthn
    2012.11         moritz
    2012.12         moritz

    2013.01         moritz
    2013.02         moritz
    2013.05         pmichaud
    2013.08         moritz
    2013.09         moritz
    2013.10         lue
    2013.11         moritz
    2013.12         lue

    2014.01         tadzik
    2014.03         FROGGS
    2014.04         jnthn
    2014.08         FROGGS
    2014.09         FROGGS
    2014.12         moritz

    2015.01         moritz
    2015.02         moritz
    2015.03         moritz
    2015.06         FROGGS
    2015.07         moritz
    2015.09         moritz
    2015.11         moritz

    2016.01         FROGGS
    2016.04         stmuk
    2016.07         stmuk
    2016.10         stmuk
    2016.11         stmuk