Chart Versioning

Major Releases

Major releases will be for breaking changes and significant milestones in the chart or GitLab release. We will start at 0, and bump it to 1 for our GA release of the charts.

We will bump it for:

  • significant additions/changes (let’s say we add pages by default, or we drop NGINX completely)
  • breaking changes in GitLab or in the charts (requiring manual interaction to your existing install to upgrade)
  • Major updates in the GitLab image. (the release of 12.0.0)

Minor Releases

Minor releases will iterate with GitLab image minor releases, and at our own discretion for changes here in the chart.

We will bump it for:

  • all minor version updates of GitLab
  • changes to our default values in the charts that may increase resource usage (addition of subcharts/pods, additional services or ingresses added)
  • Other functionality changes that we feel warrants more visibility.

Patch Releases

Patch releases for changes that are considered to be very stable updates to the previous release. This includes patch release of the GitLab image.

We will bump it for:

  • Patch releases of the GitLab image
  • Any collection of changes that doesn’t cause us to bump the minor or major versions.

Example release scenarios

Chart Version GitLab Version Release Scenario
0.2.0 11.0.0 GitLab 11 release, and Chart beta
0.2.1 11.0.1 GitLab patch release
0.2.2 11.0.1 Chart changes released
0.2.3 11.0.2 GitLab patch release, with some accompanying chart changes
0.3.0 11.1.0 GitLab minor release, along with new chart changes
0.4.0 11.1.0 Chart change that we feel makes sense to include as a minor version bump
0.2.4 11.0.3 Security release
0.3.1 11.1.1 Security release (1)
0.4.1 11.1.1 Security release (1)
1.0.0 11.x.0 GitLab minor release, along with Chart GA
2.0.0 11.x.x Introduced some breaking change to the chart
3.0.0 12.0.0 GitLab 12 release
  • (1): If we have two chart versions that both would need to be upgraded to the same image version for a security release, we will just update the newer one. Otherwise automating release logic will be overly complicated. Users can workaround if needed by manually specifying the image version, or upgrading their chart.

Future iteration

While we considered just using the GitLab version as our own, we are not yet in lockstep with GitLab releases to the point where we would make a breaking change here in the chart, and require GitLab to bump the version number to 12 for instance. For now we will move forward with a chart specific version scheme, until we get to the point where we have the charts stable enough that we are comfortable with sharing the same version, and a chart update being a reasonable reason to bump GitLab’s core version.

Branches and Tags

For this chart, we propose to follow the same branching strategy as the other main GitLab components.

  • A master branch,
  • x-x-stable branches that we create from master per minor release.
  • x.x.x tags from those stable branches.

The difference between our branch names, and the other GitLab components, is that we will be using the chart’s version in the branch name, rather than the GitLab version.

In general, changes will be merged to master, then cherry-picked into the appropriate branch before release. GitLab image updates will happen as commits in the branches, not in master, as master will follow the latest daily images.

Example timeline of release actions

Related to releasing using the proposed branching strategy

Branch Tag Action Details
0-2-stable   Branch Branch created from master
    Image update GitLab 11.0.0-rcX image used
    Pick Additional changes from master picked into branch
    Image update GitLab 11.0.0 image used
  0.2.0 Tag Chart 0.2.0 released
    Pick Fixes from master picked into branch
    Image update GitLab 11.0.1 image used
  0.2.1 Tag Chart 0.2.1 released
0-3-stable   Branch Branch created from master
    Image update GitLab 11.1.0-rc1 image used
0-2-stable   Image update GitLab 11.0.2 image used
  0.2.2 Tag Chart 0.2.2 released
0-3-stable   Pick Fixes from master picked into branch
    Image update GitLab 11.1.0 image used
  0.3.0 Tag Chart 0.3.0 released

Releasing the chart

Releasing a new version of the chart is handled by the Helm release tasks in the release tools repo

By default, this task will be automatically run from CI when a new release image is tagged in the CNG image repo

Currently the helm-release-tools branch from the release tools repo is used to release the chart

Manually releasing the chart

Before manually releasing the chart, ensure all the chart changes you want from master have been picked into the stable branch for the version you will release.

For example, if you want to release version 0.2.1 of the charts, the changes will need to be in 0-2-stable

A chatops command exists to tag a release. Run the following command in the relevant release Slack channel (eg: #f_release_12_4)

/chatops run helm tag <charts version> <GitLab version>

You can also do it manually, without using the chatops command as follows:

  1. checkout and setup the release tools repo.

    git clone
    bundle install
  2. Then run the appropriate Helm release task:

    • When you want to release without changing the GitLab app version, call the release task with the new chart version (eg 0.2.1)
      • bundle exec rake helm:tag_chart[0.2.1]
    • When you want to release and change both the chart version and the app version (eg 0.2.1 with GitLab 11.0.1)
      • bundle exec rake helm:tag_chart[0.2.1,11.0.1]

    You can run the script in dry-run mode which prevents pushes by setting TEST=true in your environment