Release Checklist

This release checklist specifies a series of checks that anyone engaged in releasing a version of Tahoe should follow.

Any contributor can do the first part of the release preparation. Only certain contributors can perform other parts. These are the two main sections of this checklist (and could be done by different people).

A final section describes how to announce the release.

This checklist is based on the original instructions (in old revisions in the file docs/

Any Contributor

Anyone who can create normal PRs should be able to complete this portion of the release process.

Prepare for the Release

The master branch should always be releasable.

It may be worth asking (on IRC or mailing-ist) if anything will be merged imminently (for example, “I will prepare a release this coming Tuesday if you want to get anything in”).

  • Create a ticket for the release in Trac

  • Ticket number needed in next section

  • Making first release? See GPG Setup Instructions to make sure you can sign releases. [One time setup]

Get a clean checkout

The release proccess involves compressing source files and putting them in formats suitable for distribution such as .tar.gz and zip. That said, it’s neccesary to the release process begins with a clean checkout to avoid making a release with previously generated files.

  • Inside the tahoe root dir run git clone . ../tahoe-release-x.x.x where (x.x.x is the release number such as 1.16.0).


The above command would create a new directory at the same level as your original clone named tahoe-release-x.x.x. You can name this folder however you want but it would be a good practice to give it the release name. You MAY also discard this directory once the release process is complete.

Get into the release directory and install dependencies by running

  • cd ../tahoe-release-x.x.x (assuming you are still in your original clone)

  • python -m venv venv

  • ./venv/bin/pip install –editable .[test]

Create Branch and Apply Updates

  • Create a branch for the release/candidate (e.g. XXXX.release-1.16.0)

  • run tox -e news to produce a new NEWS.txt file (this does a commit)

  • create the news for the release

    • newsfragments/<ticket number>.minor

    • commit it

  • manually fix NEWS.txt

    • proper title for latest release (“Release 1.16.0” instead of “Release …post1432”)

    • double-check date (maybe release will be in the future)

    • spot-check the release notes (these come from the newsfragments files though so don’t do heavy editing)

    • commit these changes

  • update “relnotes.txt”

    • update all mentions of 1.16.0 to new and higher release version for example 1.16.1

    • update “previous release” statement and date

    • summarize major changes

    • commit it

  • update “nix/tahoe-lafs.nix”

    • change the value given for version from OLD.post1 to NEW.post1

  • update “docs/known_issues.rst” if appropriate

  • Push the branch to github

  • Create a (draft) PR; this should trigger CI (note that github doesn’t let you create a PR without some changes on the branch so running + committing the NEWS.txt file achieves that without changing any code)

  • Confirm CI runs successfully on all platforms

Create Release Candidate

Before “officially” tagging any release, we will make a release-candidate available. So there will be at least 1.15.0rc0 (for example). If there are any problems, an rc1 or rc2 etc may also be released. Anyone can sign these releases (ideally they’d be signed “officially” as well, but it’s better to get them out than to wait for that).

Typically expert users will be the ones testing release candidates and they will need to evaluate which contributors’ signatures they trust.

  • (all steps above are completed)

  • sign the release

    • git tag -s -u 0xE34E62D06D0E69CFCA4179FFBDE0D31D68666A7A -m “release Tahoe-LAFS-1.16.0rc0” tahoe-lafs-1.16.0rc0


  • Replace the key-id above with your own, which can simply be your email if it’s attached to your fingerprint.

  • Don’t forget to put the correct tag message and name. In this example, the tag message is “release Tahoe-LAFS-1.16.0rc0” and the tag name is tahoe-lafs-1.16.0rc0

  • build all code locally

    • these should all pass:

      • tox -e py37,codechecks,docs,integration

    • these can fail (ideally they should not of course):

      • tox -e deprecations,upcoming-deprecations

  • clone to a clean, local checkout (to avoid extra files being included in the release)

    • cd /tmp

    • git clone /home/meejah/src/tahoe-lafs

  • build tarballs

    • tox -e tarballs

    • Confirm that release tarballs exist by runnig:

      • ls dist/ | grep 1.16.0rc0

  • inspect and test the tarballs

    • install each in a fresh virtualenv

    • run tahoe command

  • when satisfied, sign the tarballs:

    • gpg –pinentry=loopback –armor -u 0xE34E62D06D0E69CFCA4179FFBDE0D31D68666A7A –detach-sign dist/tahoe_lafs-1.16.0rc0-py2.py3-none-any.whl

    • gpg –pinentry=loopback –armor –detach-sign dist/tahoe_lafs-1.16.0rc0.tar.gz

Privileged Contributor

Steps in this portion require special access to keys or infrastructure. For example, access to to upload binaries or edit HTML.

Hack Tahoe-LAFS

Did anyone contribute a hack since the last release? If so, then needs to be updated.

Sign Git Tag

  • git tag -s -u 0xE34E62D06D0E69CFCA4179FFBDE0D31D68666A7A -m “release Tahoe-LAFS-X.Y.Z” tahoe-lafs-X.Y.Z

Upload Artifacts

Any release-candidate or actual release plus signature (.asc file) need to be uploaded to in ~source/downloads

  • secure-copy all release artifacts to the download area on the host machine. ~source/downloads on there maps to on the Web:

  • the following developers have access to do this:

    • exarkun

    • meejah

    • warner

Push the signed tag to the main repository:

  • git push origin tahoe-lafs-1.17.1

For the actual release, the tarball and signature files need to be uploaded to PyPI as well.

  • ls dist/1.19.0

  • twine upload –username __token__ –password cat SECRET-pypi-tahoe-publish-token dist/1.19.0

The following developers have access to do this:

  • warner

  • meejah

  • exarkun (partial?)

Announcing the Release Candidate

The release-candidate should be announced by posting to the mailing-list ( For example:

Is The Release Done Yet?

If anyone reports a problem with a release-candidate then a new release-candidate should be made once a fix has been merged to master. Repeat the above instructions with rc1 or rc2 or whatever is appropriate.

Once a release-candidate has marinated for some time then it can be made into a the actual release.

The actual release follows the same steps as above, with some differences:

  • there is no “-rcX” on the end of release names

  • the release is uploaded to PyPI (using Twine)

  • the version is tagged in Git (ideally using “the tahoe release key” but can be done with any of the authorized core developers’ personal key)

  • the release-candidate branches must be merged back to master after the release is official (e.g. causing newsfragments to be deleted on master, etc)

Announcing the Release


A new Tahoe release is traditionally announced on our mailing-list ( The former version of these instructions also announced the release on the following other lists:


Edit the “News” section of the front page of with a link to the mailing-list archive of the announcement message.