Release Procedure

This page describes the source release procedure, for creating the official source tarballs for Sources. For the package release procedure (e.g. for Fedora/EPEL RPMs), see Package Release Procedure


Set up Accounts

Get the Source

Bump the Version and Tag the Source

Official Release

Pre-Release (alpha, rc, other pre-rel)

For 389-ds-base (ds), the active tree (master branch) should always be in the pre-release state - anyone pulling the tree using the tag HEAD or git fetch/pull should always see a pre-release tree. The only way to get an officially released source code tree is to pull from an official release tag. Other branches will be in the pre-release state until an official release.

To move to the next pre-release:

Commit the Version Changes

Tag the Release

Note that with git a tag is just an “alias” for a commit - you can easily view the commit associated with the tag, including the timestamp, so there is no need to create timestamped tags.

Push the Changes and Tag

NOTE: If you are doing this in conjunction with a package release, you should review Package Release Procedure before you push your commits and tags - once you push a tag, you cannot “unpush” the tag, so you should make sure the package builds properly in all of your operating systems first, in case you need to change the source in order to fix the build problems. Otherwise, you will have to bump the version and go through the entire process again.

Create the source tarball

Start from a TAG (PACKAGE-VERSION) which was created using the above tagging procedure.

Generate a Changelog

The changelog is useful for updating the Release Notes and for the %changelog in the Package Release Procedure.

Push the Source Tarball to Source

This requires getting in touch with the owner of and requesting scp/ssh access.

Once the source tarball is available from here, update the Source page with the URL, tag, and sha1sum of the source tarball.

Update Release Notes

Note: If you are doing a package release Package Release Procedure you may want to wait until the packages have been pushed to Testing.

You can usually just copy/paste/edit a previous release notes, updating the date, version, new features, bugs, any notes, etc.

Update the Main Page

Add a note about the release to the Main Page - can usually just copy/paste the previous one, and edit the date/version/text.

Update the History and/or Roadmap

This is similar to the Release_Notes - basically a list of features with a short description and a link to the wiki page with more details. If this is a work in progress it might be more appropriate for Roadmap. At some point in the release cycle, it makes sense to move a release from Roadmap to History.

Update the #389 IRC Banner

Let #389 users know about the new release.

/msg nickserv identify yourpassword
/msg chanserv op #389 youruserid

Then change the /topic of the #389 channel

E-Mail 389 Mail Lists

Send email to and

Update the wikipedia page,,, and any other sites that track new software releases.


Some background on version numbering is available here -


A full version name will be PACKAGENAME - VERSIONNUMBER e.g. 389-ds-base- The PACKAGENAME part will be the name typically given to the binary package. This name will also be used in the source. For packages that use autoconf for building, this will be the PACKAGE_TARNAME setting. The goal is that the full version name and number used in the source tarball name is the same as the SCM tag name of the tag used to produce that source tarball, and is the same as the name of the binary package. For autoconf packages, this also means the same source tarball name as produced by a make dist.

NAME=<name of package>
VERSION=<version number>
git tag $TAG
git archive --prefix=$TAG/ $TAG | bzip2 > $SRCNAME.tar.bz2
make dist -> $SRCNAME.tar.bz2
rpmbuild $NAME.spec -> $NAME-$VERSION.<dist>.<platform>.rpm # for RPM platforms

There are a couple of important exceptions to this:

Source Version

The source version is the version number/string assigned to the source code and the SCM tag. It is comprised of several parts. In general, the version numbers look like this:





1.2.3 # an official release
1.2.3.a1 # alpha 1 pre-release of 1.2.3
1.2.3.a4.git283abc3 # alpha 4 pre-release of 1.2.3 from a git commit with short commit hash 283abc3
1.2.3.rc1 # release candidate 1 of 1.2.3 # patch release 1 for 1.2.3

The PRE-RELEASE part (explained below) is optional, and indicates software that has not been officially released, in alpha, in testing, or a release candidate. The fields in the version number are explained below:

Tag Version

The version number part of a tag name will be exactly the same as the Source Version described above. This will allow us to go from a source tarball name to a git tag (and therefore a complete git tree). In git, tags are cheap and don’t have the restrictions that plague CVS tagging, so we should use tags as much as possible.

Package Version

In general, we follow the Fedora Packaging Guidelines - - However, this means that the source/tag will not be identical to the package name-version-release. This will involve some complication in the RPM spec file for pre-release builds and snapshot builds. Fedora uses VERSION - RELEASE (e.g. 1.2.3-1) for the full version numbering and package naming. The VERSION is the dotted triplet of integers corresponding to the MAJOR.MINOR.MAINTENANCE. For official, blessed releases, the RELEASE is just a single integer that increments each time the spec is changed. For pre-releases, the RELEASE will begin with a 0., followed by the regular monotonically increasing release number, followed by the PRE-RELEASE part of the source/tag version. Here are some examples.

Source Spec V-R Comment
1.2.3.a1 1.2.3-0.1.a1 first alpha pre-release of 1.2.3
1.2.3.a2 1.2.3-0.2.a2 second alpha pre-release of 1.2.3
1.2.3.a3.git83fad321 1.2.3-0.3.a3.git83fad321 third alpha pre-release with git commit hash appended
1.2.3.rc1 1.2.3-0.4.rc1 first release candidate pre-release
1.2.3.rc2 1.2.3-0.5.rc2 second release candidate pre-release first official 1.2.3 release 1.2.3 rebuild - release number is bumped (e.g. spec file changed but not source) patch release - release number is reset to 1 (e.g. spec file changed but not source)

Notice that for pre-releases, the release field changes each time, and does not necessarily correspond to the number associated with the a or the rc. For example, a1 -> 0.1, a2 -> 0.2, a3 -> 0.3, but rc1 -> 0.4. The RELEASE field behaves for pre-releases exactly the same way it behaves for regular releases, except that for pre-releases, it begins with a 0..

This means, however, that the spec file cannot use the Version: field for both the package version and the source version. The spec file will need some special handling to account for this and for pre-releases.

# since this is a pre-release, define the prerel field - comment out for official release
%define prerel .a4
# also need the relprefix field for a pre-release
%ifdef prerel
%define relprefix 0.
Name: 389-ds-base
Version: 1.2.3 # note - same as source version
# if this is an official release, prerel will be commented out and both prerel
# and relprefix will therefore not be defined, so %{?relprefix} and %{?prerel}
# will expand to nothing giving us a V-R of 1.2.3-1
# if prerel and relprefix are defined, we will have a V-R like 1.2.3-0.4.rc1
# if version or prerel changes, reset to %{?relprefix}1%{?prerel}%{?dist}
Release: %{?relprefix}1%{prerel}%{?dist}
%setup -q -n %{srcname}-%{version}%{prerel}

Doing the numbering this way preserves RPMs ability to do upgrades, since X.Y.Z-1 > X.Y.Z-0.1.something

Changing the Version

Large packages that will have many version changes, such as the core directory server and admin server, will use a file called that holds the version and other fields used to name the package. This will allow us to change the version without having to edit, run, etc. Packages that don’t change very often will just use the version field of AC_INIT in, and will have to perform This shouldn’t be a big deal for packages that do not change very often.

Last modified on 7 August 2014