Release checklist

Here’s a checklist for the release process.

Leading Up To The Release

  1. Talk to team about whether there are any changes which MUST go in this release which may cause delay.
  2. Look through outstanding issues, to identify any problems that might be necessary to fixup before the release. Good candidates are reports of the project not building on different architectures or crashes.
  3. Identify a good lead for each outstanding issue, and ask them about a fix timeline.
  4. Create a milestone for the next release on Github, and go though open issues and PRs and mark accordingly.
  5. Ask (via email) the most significant contributor who has not already named a release to name the release (use devtools/credit to find this contributor). CC previous namers and team.

Preparing for -rc1

  1. Check that CHANGELOG.md is well formatted, ordered in areas, covers all signficant changes, and sub-ordered approximately by user impact & coolness.
  2. Use devtools/changelog.py to collect the changelog entries from pull request commit messages and merge them into the manually maintained CHANGELOG.md.
  3. Update the CHANGELOG.md with [Unreleased] changed to v-rc1. Note that you should exactly copy the date and name format from a previous release, as the build-release.sh script relies on this.
  4. Create a PR with the above.

Releasing -rc1

  1. Merge the above PR.
  2. Tag it git pull && git tag -s v<VERSION>rc1. Note that you should get a prompt to give this tag a ‘message’. Make sure you fill this in.
  3. Confirm that the tag will show up for builds with git describe
  4. Push the tag to remote git push --tags.
  5. Update the /topic on #c-lightning on Freenode.
  6. Prepare draft release notes (see devtools/credit), and share with team for editing.
  7. Upgrade your personal nodes to the rc1, to help testing.
  8. Test tools/build-release.sh to build the non-reprodicible images and reproducible zipfile.
  9. Use the zipfile to produce a reproducible build.

Releasing -rc2, etc

  1. Change rc1 to rc2 in CHANGELOG.md.
  2. Add a PR with the rc2.
  3. Tag it git pull && git tag -s v<VERSION>rc2 && git push --tags
  4. Update the /topic on #c-lightning on Freenode.
  5. Upgrade your personal nodes to the rc2.

Tagging the Release

  1. Update the CHANGELOG.md; remove -rcN in both places, update the date, and add an [Unreleased] footnote URL from this new version to HEAD.
  2. Add a PR with that release.
  3. Merge the PR, then git pull && git tag -s v<VERSION> && git push --tags.
  4. Run tools/build-release.sh to build the non-reprodicible images and reproducible zipfile.
  5. Use the zipfile to produce a reproducible build.
  6. Create the checksums for signing: sha256sum release/* > release/SHA256SUMS
  7. Create the first signature with gpg -sb --armor release/SHA256SUMS
  8. Upload the files resulting files to github and save as a draft. (https://github.com/ElementsProject/lightning/releases/)
  9. Ping the rest of the team to check the SHA256SUMS file and have them send their gpg -sb --armor SHA256SUMS.
  10. Append the signatures into a file called SHA256SUMS.asc, verify with gpg --verify SHA256SUMS.asc and include the file in the draft release.

Performing the Release

  1. Edit the GitHub draft and include the SHA256SUMS.asc file.
  2. Publish the release as not a draft.
  3. Update the /topic on #c-lightning on Freenode.
  4. Send a mail to c-lightning and lightning-dev mailing lists, using the same wording as the Release Notes in github.

Post-release

  1. Add a new ‘[Unreleased]’ section to the CHANGELOG.md with empty headers.
  2. Look through PRs which were delayed for release and merge them.
  3. Close out the Milestone for the now-shipped release.
  4. Update this file with any missing or changed instructions.