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Deprecated: ember-cli-release is deprecated. We recommend using release-it instead. If you would like to automate changelog generation as well, you might want to consider rwjblue's setup script. The script automates the setup of release-it with lerna-changelog integration.

Ember CLI addon that defines a release command for bumping the version of your app or addon. It's a streamlined alternative to the npm version command, with a number of additional advantages:

  • Non-SemVer tagging strategies
  • Config file for:
    • Custom defaults
    • Promise-friendly hooks
  • bower.json version replacement
  • Annotated tag support

Introduction to ember-cli-release at Global Ember Meetup


$ ember install ember-cli-release

This will also generate the config file config/release.js which can be used to provide default options (see below).


This addon revolves around git tags, and so relies heavily on shelling out to run git commands (unlike the wonderful git-repo-info).

When invoked with no options:

$ ember release

It will:

  1. Assume that the project uses the SemVer versioning scheme
  2. Find the latest tag that is SemVer compliant and increment its PATCH version
  3. Replace the version property of package.json and bower.json with the new version
  4. Commit all changes to the working tree
  5. Create a lightweight git tag with the new version
  6. Push the branch and the new tag to origin

See the examples section for more ways to use the command.


Options can be specified on the command line or in config/release.js unless marked with an asterisk (*). Options specified on the command line always take precedence over options in the config file. Run ember help to see CLI aliases.

  • local

    Default: false

    Whether to only create the git tag locally or not.

  • remote

    Default: 'origin'

    The git remote to push new tags to, ignored if local is true.

  • tag*

    Default: null

    Optional name of the tag to create, overrides versioning strategies.

  • annotation

    Default: null

    Message to add when creating a tag, indicates that the tag should be annotated, where %@ is replaced with tag name.

  • message

    Default: 'Released %@'

    Message to use when committing changes to the working tree (including changes to package.json and bower.json), where %@ is replaced with tag name.

  • manifest

    Default: [ 'package.json', 'bower.json' ]

    A set of JSON manifest files to replace the top-level version key in with the new tag name.

  • publish

    Default: false

    Whether to publish the package to NPM after tagging or not. Uses the currently logged in NPM user and the registry as defined in the project's package.json.

  • yes*

    Default: false

    Whether to skip confirmation prompts or not (answer 'yes' to all questions).

  • strategy

    Default: 'semver'

    The versioning strategy to use, either semver or date.

  • major*

    Default: false

    Increment the major SemVer version, takes precedence over minor. Only used when the strategy option is 'semver'.

  • minor*

    Default: false

    Increment the minor SemVer version, if both major and minor are false, patch is incremented. Only used when the strategy option is 'semver'.

  • premajor*

    Default: ''

    Increment the major SemVer version, and add given prerelease identifier with version of 0. Only used when the strategy option is 'semver', and ignored if major or minor are specified.

  • preminor*

    Default: ''

    Increment the minor SemVer version, and add given prerelease identifier with version of 0. Only used when the strategy option is 'semver', and ignored if major, minor, or premajor are specified.

  • prerelease*

    Default: false

    When using SemVer, has multiple behaviors:

    • Latest version contains a prerelease identifier
      • If value is omitted or a string that matches the current identifier, increment the prerelease version.
      • If value is a string that differs from the current identifier, change the identifier to the one given and reset the prerelease version to 0.
    • Latest version does not contain a prerelease identifier
      • Increment the patch version and append the given prerelease identifier (the value must be a string).

    Only used when the strategy option is 'semver', and ignored if major, minor, premajor, or preminor are specified.

  • format

    Default: 'YYYY.MM.DD'

    The format string used when creating a tag based on the current date using moment().format(). Only used when the strategy option is 'date'.

  • timezone

    Default: 'UTC'

    The timezone to consider the current date in. Only used when the strategy option is 'date'.


A set of lifecycle hooks exists as a means to inject additional behavior into the release process. Lifecycle hooks can be specified in config/release.js. All hooks can return a thenable that will be resolved before continuing the release process. Throwing from a hook or rejecting a promise returned by a hook will halt the release process and print the error.

Hooks are passed two arguments:

  • project - a reference to the current ember-cli project
  • tags - an object containing tag information, which will always have a next property and depending on the strategy you are using, may also have a latest property. Note that these values will be the exact values used for the tag, which by default includes a v prefix.

There are three lifecycle hooks available:

  • init

    Called after the new version has been computed but before any changes are made to the filesystem or repository. Use this hook if you need to verify that the local environment is setup for releasing, and abort if not.

    Example Usage


    // config/release.js
    module.exports = {
      init: function() {
        if (!process.env.SUPER_SECRET_KEY) {
          throw 'Super secret key missing!';
  • beforeCommit

    Called after the new version has been replaced in manifest files but before the changes have been committed. Use this hook if you need to update the version number in additional files, or build the project to update dist files. Note that this hook runs regardless of whether a commit will be made.

    Example Usage

    Version replacement:

    // config/release.js
    var path = require('path');
    var xmlpoke = require('xmlpoke');
    module.exports = {
      beforeCommit: function(project, tags) {
        xmlpoke(path.join(project.root, 'cordova/config.xml'), function(xml) {
          xml.addNamespace('w', '');


    // config/release.js
    var BuildTask = require('ember-cli/lib/tasks/build');
    module.exports = {
      // Build the project in the production environment, outputting to dist/
      beforeCommit: function(project) {
        var task = new BuildTask({
          project: project,
          ui: project.ui,
          environment: 'production',
          outputPath: 'dist/'
  • afterPush

    Called after successfully pushing all changes to the specified remote, but before exiting. Use this hook for post-release tasks like cleanup or sending notifications from your CI server.

    Example Usage


    // config/release.js
    var Slack = require('node-slack');
    // Look for slack configuration in the CI environment
    var isCI = process.env.CI;
    var hookURL = process.env.SLACK_HOOK_URL;
    module.exports = {
      // Notify the #dev channel when a new release is created
      afterPush: function(project, tags) {
        if (isCI && hookURL) {
          var slack = new Slack(hookURL);
          return slack.send({
            text: 'ZOMG, ' + + ' ' + + ' RELEASED!!1!',
            channel: '#dev',
            username: 'Mr. CI'
  • afterPublish

    Called after successfully publishing the package to NPM, but before exiting. Use this hook exactly as afterPush is used when performing a publish. Note that this hook is not run when --publish option is not set.

Custom Tagging Strategy

If your app does not use SemVer or date-based tags, you may specify a custom method for generating the next tag by making the strategy property a function in config/release.js. The function takes three arguments: the project instance, an array of existing git tags, and an options hash with all option values. It must return a non-empty string specifying the next tag, or a promise that resolves with the tag name. For example:

// config/release.js
module.exports = {
  // Emulate Subversion-style build numbers
  strategy: function(project, tags, options) {
    var builds = tags
      .map(function(tag) { return +tag; })
      .filter(function(build) { return !isNaN(build); })

    return builds[0] + 1;

Alternatively, if the custom strategy requires additional CLI options, an object can be specified with availableOptions, getLatestTag, and getNextTag properties:

// config/release.js
module.exports = {
  strategy: {
    availableOptions: [
        name: 'channel',
        type: String,
        default: 'stable',
        description: "the release's channel"

    getLatestTag: function(project, tags, options) {
      // Find the latest tag in the `tags` array
      var latest = '...';

      return latest;

    getNextTag: function(project, tags, options) {
      // Generate an identifier
      var next = '...';

      // Prepend the specified channel
      return + '-' + next;


These are the steps that take place when running the release command:

  1. Abort if HEAD is already at a tag
  2. Abort if publish option is true and no NPM user is logged in or strategy is not 'semver'
  3. Calculate new version
  4. Use tag option if present
  5. Invoke custom tagging strategy if specified
  6. Otherwise, generate new version using strategy option (default: 'semver') - SemVer
    1. Look for latest tag using node-semver ordering
    2. Increment based on major, minor, or patch (default: patch) - Date
    3. Create tag name based on current date and format option (default: YYYY.MM.DD)
    4. Look for existing tag of same name, append .X where X is an incrementing integer
  7. Print new version name
  8. Invoke the init hook
  9. If working tree is dirty, prompt user that their changes will be included in release commit
  10. Replace version property of files specified by the manifest option (default: package.json/bower.json)
  11. Invoke the beforeCommit hook
  12. Commit changes
  13. Skip if working tree is unmodified
  14. Stage all changes and commit with message option as the commit message
  15. Create tag
  16. Prompt to continue with new tag name
  17. Tag the latest commit with new version using the annotation option if specified
  18. Push to remote
  19. Skip if local option is true (default: false)
  20. Push current branch and tags to remote specified by remote option
  21. Invoke the afterPush hook
  22. Publish package to NPM using current credentials if publish option is true (default: false)
  23. Invoke the afterPublish hook


To create a new tag based on the date in east cost time with a custom format:

> ember release --strategy=date --format="YYYY-MM-DD" --timezone="America/New_York"

Or to create a specific tag (no versioning strategy) with annotation, locally only:

> ember release --local --tag="what_am_i_doing" --annotation="First version wooooo!"

To create a series of SemVer prereleases, use the --premajor (or --preminor) option followed by any number of --prereleases, and finally --major (or --minor):

# v1.3.2
> ember release --premajor alpha
# v2.0.0-alpha.0
> ember release --prerelease
# v2.0.0-alpha.1
> ember release --prerelease beta
# v2.0.0-beta.0
> ember release --prerelease
# v2.0.0-beta.1
> ember release --major
# v2.0.0


Pull requests welcome, but they must be fully tested (and pass all existing tests) to be considered. Discussion issues also welcome.

Running Tests

$ npm test


Ember CLI addon for versioned release management






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