Updated 11 days ago

📦🚀 semantic-release

Fully automated version management and package publishing

semantic-release automates the whole package release workflow including: determining the next version number, generating the release notes and publishing the package.

This removes the immediate connection between human emotions and version numbers, strictly following the Semantic Versioning specification.

Trust us, this will change your workflow for the better. –


How does it work?

Commit message format

semantic-release uses the commit messages to determine the type of changes in the codebase. Following formalized conventions for commit messages, semantic-release automatically determines the next semantic version number, generates a changelog and publishes the release.

By default semantic-release uses Angular Commit Message Conventions. The commit message format can be changed with the preset or config options of the @semantic-release/commit-analyzer and @semantic-release/release-notes-generator plugins.

Tools such as commitizen, commitlint or semantic-git-commit-cli can be used to help contributors and enforce valid commit messages.

Here is an example of the release type that will be done based on a commit messages:

Commit message Release type
fix(pencil): stop graphite breaking when too much pressure applied Patch Release
feat(pencil): add 'graphiteWidth' option Minor Feature Release
perf(pencil): remove graphiteWidth option

BREAKING CHANGE: The graphiteWidth option has been removed.
The default graphite width of 10mm is always used for performance reasons.
Major Breaking Release

Automation with CI

semantic-release is meant to be executed on the CI environment after every successful build on the release branch. This way no human is directly involved in the release process and the releases are guaranteed to be unromantic and unsentimental.

Triggering a release

When pushing new commits to the release branch (i.e. master) with git push or by merging a pull request or merging from another branch, a CI build is triggered and runs the semantic-release command to make a release if there are relevant codebase changes since the last release.

By default a release will be done for each push to the release branch that contains relevant code changes. If you need more control over the timing of releases you have a couple of options:

  • Publish releases on a distribution channel (for example npm’s dist-tags). This way you can keep control over what your users end up using by default, and you can decide when to make an automatically released version available to the stable channel, and promote it.
  • Develop on a dev branch and merge it to the release branch (i.e. master) once you are ready to publish. semantic-release will run only on pushes to the release branch.

Release steps

After running the tests the command semantic-release will execute the following steps:

Step Description
Verify Conditions Verify all the conditions to proceed with the release with the verify conditions plugins.
Get last release Obtain the commit corresponding to the last release by analyzing Git tags.
Analyze commits Determine the type of release with the analyze commits plugin based on the commits added since the last release.
Verify release Verify the release conformity with the verify release plugins.
Generate notes Generate release notes with the generate notes plugin for the commits added since the last release.
Create Git tag Create a Git tag corresponding to the new release version
Prepare Prepare the release with the prepare plugins.
Publish Publish the release with the publish plugins.
Notify Notify of new releases or errors with the success and fail plugins.


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Stephan Bönnemann Rolf Erik Lekang Johannes Jörg Schmidt Gregor Martynus Finn Pauls Pierre Vanduynslager Christoph Witzko