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gradle-release plugin

Build Status Gradle Plugin page


The gradle-release plugin is designed to work similar to the Maven release plugin. The gradle release task defines the following as the default release process:

  • The plugin checks for any un-committed files (Added, modified, removed, or un-versioned).
  • Checks for any incoming or outgoing changes.
  • Checkout to the release branch and merge from the working branch (optional, for GIT only, with pushReleaseVersionBranch)
  • Removes the SNAPSHOT flag on your project's version (If used)
  • Prompts you for the release version.
  • Checks if your project is using any SNAPSHOT dependencies
  • Will build your project.
  • Commits the project if SNAPSHOT was being used.
  • Creates a release tag with the current version.
  • Checkout to the working branch (optional, for GIT only, with pushReleaseVersionBranch)
  • Prompts you for the next version.
  • Commits the project with the new version.

Current SCM support: Bazaar, Git (1.7.2 or newer), Mercurial, and Subversion


The gradle-release plugin will work with Gradle 6.0 and beyond

Legacy plugin application

buildscript {
  repositories {
    maven {
      url ''
  dependencies {
    classpath 'net.researchgate:gradle-release:3.0.2'

apply plugin: 'net.researchgate.release'

Plugin DSL

plugins {
  id 'net.researchgate.release' version '3.0.2'

Please refer to the Gradle DSL PluginDependenciesSpec to understand the behavior and limitations when using the new syntax to declare plugin dependencies.


After you have your build.gradle file configured, simply run: gradle release and follow the on-screen instructions.


As described above, the plugin will check for un-committed files and SNAPSHOT dependencies. By default the plugin will fail when any un-committed, or SNAPSHOT dependencies are found.

Below are some properties of the Release Plugin Convention that can be used to make your release process more lenient

Name Default value Description
failOnCommitNeeded true Fail the release process when there are un-committed changes. Will commit files automatically if set to false.
failOnPublishNeeded true Fail when there are local commits that haven't been published upstream (DVCS support)
failOnSnapshotDependencies true Fail when the project has dependencies on SNAPSHOT versions unless those SNAPSHOT dependencies have been defined as 'ignoredSnapshotDependencies' using the syntax '$group:$name'
failOnUnversionedFiles true Fail when files are found that are not under version control
failOnUpdateNeeded true Fail when the source needs to be updated, or there are changes available upstream that haven't been pulled
revertOnFail true When a failure occurs should the plugin revert it's changes to
pushReleaseVersionBranch null (GIT only) If set to the name of a branch, the `release` task will commit the release on this branch, and the next version on the working branch.

Below are some properties of the Release Plugin Convention that can be used to customize the build

Name Default value Description
tagTemplate $version The string template which is used to generate the tag name. Possible variables are $version and $name. Example: '$name-$version' will result in "myproject-1.1.0". (Always ensure to use single-quotes, otherwise `$` is interpreted already in your build script)
preCommitText This will be prepended to all commits done by the plugin. A good place for code review, or ticket numbers
preTagCommitMessage [Gradle Release Plugin] - pre tag commit: The commit message used to commit the non-SNAPSHOT version if SNAPSHOT was used
tagCommitMessage [Gradle Release Plugin] - creating tag: The commit message used when creating the tag. Not used with BZR projects
newVersionCommitMessage [Gradle Release Plugin] - new version commit: The commit message used when committing the next version
snapshotSuffix -SNAPSHOT The version suffix used by the project's version (If used)

Below are some properties of the Release Plugin Convention that are specific to version control.

VCS Name Default value Description
Git requireBranch main Defines the branch which releases must be done off of. Eg. set to `release` to require releases are done on the `release` branch (or use a regular expression to allow releases from multiple branches, e.g. `/release|main/`). Set to empty string "" to ignore.
Git commitOptions {empty} Defines an array of options to add to the git adapter during a commit. Example `commitOptions = ["-s"]`
Git pushOptions {empty} Defines an array of options to add to the git adapter during a push. This could be useful to have the vc hooks skipped during a release. Example `pushOptions = ["--no-verify"]`
Git signTag false Adds `-s` parameter to the tag command

To set any of these properties to false, add a "release" configuration to your project's build.gradle file. Eg. To ignore un-versioned files, you would add the following to your build.gradle file:

release {
  failOnUnversionedFiles = false

Eg. To ignore upstream changes, change 'failOnUpdateNeeded' to false:

release {
  failOnUpdateNeeded = false

This are all possible configuration options and its default values:

release {
    failOnCommitNeeded = true
    failOnPublishNeeded = true
    failOnSnapshotDependencies = true
    failOnUnversionedFiles = true
    failOnUpdateNeeded = true
    revertOnFail = true
    preCommitText = ''
    preTagCommitMessage = '[Gradle Release Plugin] - pre tag commit: '
    tagCommitMessage = '[Gradle Release Plugin] - creating tag: '
    newVersionCommitMessage = '[Gradle Release Plugin] - new version commit: '
    tagTemplate = '${version}'
    versionPropertyFile = ''
    versionProperties = []
    snapshotSuffix = '-SNAPSHOT'
    buildTasks = []
    ignoredSnapshotDependencies = []
    versionPatterns = [
        /(\d+)([^\d]*$)/: { Matcher m, Project p -> m.replaceAll("${(m[0][1] as int) + 1}${m[0][2]}") }
    pushReleaseVersionBranch = null
    scmAdapters = [

    git {

    svn {
        pinExternals.set(false)   // allows to pin the externals when tagging, requires subversion client >= 1.9.0

Kotlin DSL Example

import net.researchgate.release.ReleaseExtension
repositories {
    maven {
      url ''
  dependencies {
    classpath 'net.researchgate:gradle-release:3.0.2'

apply(plugin = "base")
apply(plugin = "net.researchgate.release")

configure<ReleaseExtension> {
    with(git) {
        // to disable branch verification: requireBranch.set(null as String?)

Custom release steps

To add a step to the release process is very easy. Gradle provides a very nice mechanism for manipulating existing tasks. There are two available hooks provided: beforeReleaseBuild which runs before build and afterReleaseBuild which runs afterwards.

For example, if we wanted to make sure uploadArchives is called and succeeds after the build with the release version has finished, we would just add the uploadArchives task as a dependency of the afterReleaseBuild task:

afterReleaseBuild.dependsOn uploadArchives

Multi-Project Builds

Support for multi-project builds isn't complete, but will work given some assumptions. The gradle-release plugin assumes and expects that only one version control system is used by both root and sub projects.

Apply the plugin separately to each subproject that you wish to release. Release using a qualified task name, e.g.:

./gradlew :sub:release # release a subproject named "sub"
./gradlew :release # release the root project

Working in Continuous Integration

In a continuous integration environment like Jenkins or Hudson, you don't want to have an interactive release process. To avoid having to enter any information manually during the process, you can tell the plugin to automatically set and update the version number.

You can do this by setting the release.useAutomaticVersion property on the command line, or in Jenkins when you execute gradle. The version to release and the next version can be optionally defined using the properties release.releaseVersion and release.newVersion.

gradle release -Prelease.useAutomaticVersion=true -Prelease.releaseVersion=1.0.0 -Prelease.newVersion=1.1.0-SNAPSHOT

Getting Help

To ask questions please use stackoverflow or github issues.

To report bugs, please use the GitHub project.