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Plugins implement actions for release steps

Actions that should be performed for each release step are implemented through configurable plugins, and a number of them are installed by default. This allows for support of different commit message formats, release note generators and publishing platforms.

A plugin is a npm module (for instance @semantic-release/github or semantic-release-docker) that can implement one or more of the following steps through their step hooks:

Step hook Required Description
verifyConditions No Responsible for verifying conditions necessary to proceed with the release: configuration is correct, authentication token are valid, etc...
analyzeCommits Yes Responsible for determining the type of the next release (major, minor or patch). If multiple plugins with a analyzeCommits step are defined, the release type will be the highest one among plugins output.
Note: If no plugin with an analyzeCommits step is defined, then @semantic-release/commit-analyzer will be used.
verifyRelease No Responsible for verifying the parameters (version, type, dist-tag etc...) of the release that is about to be published.
generateNotes No Responsible for generating the content of the release note. If multiple plugins with a generateNotes step are defined, the release notes will be the result of the concatenation of each plugin output.
prepare No Responsible for preparing the release, for example creating or updating files such as package.json,, documentation or compiled assets and pushing a commit.
publish No Responsible for publishing the release.
success No Responsible for notifying of a new release.
fail No Responsible for notifying of a failed release.

Plugins installation

Plugins installed by default

These five plugins are already part of semantic-release and don't have to be installed separately:


Installing additional plugins

Additional plugins have to be installed via npm:

$ npm install @semantic-release/git @semantic-release/changelog -D

Plugins declaration and execution order

Each plugin (which is an npm module) must be declared using the plugins option. If the plugins option is defined, then the default is overriden (rather than merge with the option's default).

For example:

  "plugins": [

For each release step the plugins that implement that step will be executed in the order in which they are declared.

Hence, with this configuration above, semantic-release will:

  • execute the verifyConditions implementation of @semantic-release/npm then @semantic-release/git
  • execute the analyzeCommits implementation of @semantic-release/commit-analyzer
  • execute the prepare implementation of @semantic-release/npm then @semantic-release/git
  • execute the generateNotes implementation of @semantic-release/release-notes-generator
  • execute the publish implementation of @semantic-release/npm

Plugins configuration options

A plugin configuration options can specified by wrapping the name and an options object in an array. Options configured this way will be passed only to that specific plugin.

Global plugin options can defined at the root of the semantic-release configuration object. Options configured this way will be passed to all plugins.

  "plugins": [
    ["@semantic-release/github", {
      "assets": ["dist/**"]
  "preset": "angular"

With this configuration:

  • All plugins will receive the preset option, which will be used by both @semantic-release/commit-analyzer and @semantic-release/release-notes-generator (and ignored by @semantic-release/github and @semantic-release/git)
  • The @semantic-release/github plugin will receive the assets options (@semantic-release/git will not receive it and therefore will use it's default value for that option)
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