GitLab Documentation

GitLab Runner release process

To handle the growth of this project, in v1.6 we've introduced a release process correlated with GitLab's CE/EE release process.

Release roadmap

Starting with v1.4, GitLab Runner is released on the 22nd day of each month - together with GitLab CE and GitLab EE projects.

Stable release timeline

Supported releases

Due to a fast development and release cycle - we release a new version each 22nd day of a month! - we need to prepare a strict policy of releases' supporting.

With this release process description, we're starting the last three releases support policy. That means when we'll release a v1.6 version we will still support v1.5.x and v1.4.x versions. But only them.

After releasing v1.7 we'll support v1.5.x and v1.6.x and so on.

Each support requests for previous versions will be closed with a ~wontfix label.

What is supported?

By the release support we understand:

Proposals for new features or improvements are welcome, but will be not prepared for supported releases. Instead - if we decide to implement them - they will be planned for one of the upcoming releases.

Release planning

For release planning we use the milestones feature.

If a merge request is to be picked into more than one release it will need one Pick into X.Y label per release where the merge request should be back-ported to.

After releasing a version, the vX.Y milestone will be still used to assign issues and merge requests related to support process (bugs, security fixes, etc.).

We will plan only one version ahead. However, we still want to have a way to mark issues or merge requests that we decided to include in upcoming releases even if we don't know when we'll have time for it. For this purpose we've prepared the %Backlog milestone.

Workflow, merging and tagging strategy

Stable release

For a particular change:

For a whole release please follow the Stable release timeline.

Patch releases

For a particular change:

For each X-Y-stable branch - if the release should be published:

Branch naming

While we don't enforce any strict branch naming strategy, we recommend following these guidelines:

  1. Choose descriptive names for branches.

    For example don't name the branch patch-1 or test1 (which tells nothing about its content nor its purpose) when it could be named remove-unused-method-from-docker-executor.

  2. Use name prefixes:

    • if the branch adds/updates documentation, start its name with docs/,
    • if the branch adds a new feature, start its name with feature/,
    • if the branch adds a new improvement, start its name with improvement/,
    • if the branch fixes a bug, start its name with fix/ or bugfix/.
  3. Including issues number in branch name is neither recommended nor discouraged. However, if you want to link the changes with an issue, it's better to create the MR from this branch as soon as possible (you can use the WIP: prefix in the title to prevent any unexpected merges) and link all relevant issues in its description.

    Use Fixes #123, #456 or Closes #123, #345 or mix of them if it's reasonable. Thanks to this issue closing pattern, the issue will be closed along with merging the MR.


Some documentation tips:

  1. Create documentation as early as possible and before the change is added into the master/X-Y-stable branch (before the MR is merged).

  2. Properly mark features that need modifications in both Runner and GitLab CE/EE.

    When we introduce new features we mostly mark them in the documentation with the following:

    > Introduced in GitLab Runner v1.6.0

    Most of the times that's enough, but sometimes we introduce a change that needs to be released in both GitLab Runner and GitLab CE/EE to work, e.g., support for artifacts expiration.

    In that case, it should be properly marked in documentation, so it's clear to all what exactly is required for the feature to work.

    We can mark it like:

    > Introduced in GitLab Runner v1.6.0 but it needs at least GitLab 8.12 to work.

    On GitLab CE/EE side (e.g., in API documentation) we would then mark it like:

    > This endpoint was introduced in GitLab 8.12 but it needs at least GitLab
      Runner v1.6.0 to work.

    If the changes are not released at the same time, it would be good to mark which version is not released yet:

    This endpoint was introduced in GitLab 8.12 but it will need at least GitLab Runner v1.7.0 (not released yet) to work.