How to release
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This page describes how to make a release of Apache Bigtop (incubating). Most of the content is shamelessly stolen from the the Whirr release process – thanks Whirr team!

0. Before you begin.

Apache Bigtop (incubating) is following a predictable "train model" of releases popularized by the Ubuntu Linux. Currently releases happen every quarter. A release of Bigtop is a culmination of a quarter of development activities and also a testament to the particular state of the Hadoop ecosystem at the time. IOW, what are the most cutting edge versions of the components that still work together as an integrated system.

All release activities are coordinated by a volunteer release manager (RM) who is chosen during the release planning. If you happen to be a first time RM here's what you need to do in order to be able to carry out the mechnics of the release

  1. Generate PGP code signing keys. It's a good idea to generate RSA-based key (see the Binary Package Deployment section below)
  2. Ensure that your PGP signing keys are available in: More details can be found here.
  3. Copy the new KEYS file to the release folder /www/ on

If you are not already a member of the Web Of Trust (WOT) it would be a good idea to do so. (contact one of the prior release managers, e.g. Rvs, Cos, etc...). You can read more about key signing here.

Ensure that you have setup your ssh keys on, otherwise you'll have to enter your login password a number of times (best use ssh-agent for this as well). A good overview of this process can be found here (ssh-copy-id and ssh-agent in particular)

Configure scm-publish plugin

Please make sure that you have correct configuration for scm-plugin SVN Provider condifuration. Create $user.home/.scm/svn-settings.xml with the following content

set the permissions on the directory and the file to 700 as it contains your clean-text password (DANGER!)

See how to change your scm:svn: url and provide a password.


Done with the above? Proceed with the rest of the steps:

1. Scrubbing the JIRA.

3-4 weeks before a committed release date a release manager (RM) for a given release is supposed to start a process of scrubbing the JIRAs. This involves:

  1. taking care of all the patch available issues for a given release
  2. send an email to the bigtop-dev mailing list reminding the community of the upcoming release and asking them to spend 2-3 days raising the priority of the "must fix" issues for a given release to a "Blocker" status AND making sure that Fix Versions field is set to an upcoming release. Of course, it goes without saying that people have to volunteer to work on this issues – this is not an exercise of assigning work to others. Typically everybody has their own favorite issues that they would like to see fixed in the upcoming release, however do encourage folks to also take a look at the Unscheduled issues since those tend to accumulate lurkers. Also 'git grep' for the 'FIXME/WORKAROUD' prefix in the source code as to identify anything that doesn't need to be worked around anymore
  3. after waiting for 2-3 days for community to respond and for the Blockers to settle down – make sure that the resulting list looks reasonable and that there is a general expectation that the release can happen given the state of the source base.
  4. create the version tag for the next milestone release: navigate to the and add the tag there of the form 0.X.Z
  5. move all the non-blocker issues assigned to the current release to the next one by navigating to (make sure to replace 0.X.Y with your actual version number):!executeAdvanced.jspa?jqlQuery=project+%3D+BIGTOP+AND+resolution+%3D+Unresolved+AND+fixVersion+%3D+%220.X.Y%22+and+priority+%21%3D+blocker and then select 'bulk update' from the tools menu (WARNING: MAKE SURE TO UNCHECK the 'Send mail for this update' toggle at the very bottom of the edit screen!!!)

2. Create a Release Series Branch

This only needs doing if this is the first release in a series (X.Y.0).

  • Update CHANGES.txt in trunk to replace Trunk (unreleased changes) with Release X.Y.0 - YYYY-MM-DD. Commit:

    git commit -m "Preparing for release X.Y.Z"
  • Create a branch for the release series:

    git checkout -b branch-X.Y.Z origin/master
  • Add back Trunk (unreleased changes) to CHANGES.txt in trunk.
  • Bump the version number in the master branch:

    for file in $(find . -name pom.xml); do
      sed -i -e "s/X.Y.Z-SNAPSHOT/A.B.C-SNAPSHOT/" $file;
  • Commit these changes to the master and push.
  • Checkout the release branch

    git checkout branch-X.Y.Z
  • Update the release branch's version information: the version number in the release branch ends in -SNAPSHOT, but we need to remove this for the release. For example, 0.8.0-SNAPSHOT needs to be changed to 0.8.0.

    for file in $(find . -name pom.xml); do
      sed -e "s/X.Y.X-SNAPSHOT/X.Y.Z/" $file;
  • Commit these changes to the release branch

    git commit -m "Changing version to X.Y.Z-incubating"

3. Generate the Release Notes

JIRA has the ability to generate release notes automatically (this is why it is so important to keep the fix version number accurate).

Manually check this list for accuracy! I've repeatedly seen closed bugs that were not fixed (i.e., duplicate) marked with a fix version, so that they incorrectly show up in this list. Find those, edit them to remove the fix release (only actually fixed bugs should have a fix release) and re-run the report.

Select the correct version. Ask for both plain text and HTML formats.

Paste the plain text notes to the top of CHANGES.txt. Paste the HTML version into src/site/xdoc/release-notes.xml. Check this into trunk and the branch.

Wrap the title ("Release Notes - Bigtop - Version X.Y.Z") inside an <h3> element.

4. Commit and Tag

Commit changes to subversion, and tag:

git commit -m "Preparing for release X.Y.Z"
git tag release-x.y.z -m "Bigtop X.Y.Z release."
git push --tags 

5. Build and run Package and Smoke Tests


6. Build and Deploy Artifacts

Create a maven settings file ~/.m2/settings.xml with the following content:


Build the artifacts:

mvn site
mvn -Prelease package assembly:assembly

The following command deploys the binary release artifacts for iTest, tests and other helper files, checksums, and signatures (you will need to enter a GPG passphrase) to the Apache Staging repo.

Until BIGTOP-1463 is fixed you need to manually exclude assembly and rat-check plugins from the top-level pom while doing the following three steps

mvn deploy -Prelease -f bigtop-test-framework/pom.xml
mvn deploy -Prelease -f bigtop-tests/test-artifacts/pom.xml
mvn deploy -Prelease -f bigtop-tests/test-execution/pom.xml

If this step fails with an Access denied error check that you have the required permissions on Nexus.

The following command deploys the artifacts, checksums, and signatures (you might need to enter a GPG passphrase again) to the Apache Staging repo.

mvn deploy -Prelease

If this step fails with an Access denied error check that you have the required permissions on Nexus.

Login to using your Apache SVN credentials. Click on Staging on the left. Then click on orgapachebigtop in the list of repositories. In the panel below you should see an open repository that is linked to your username and IP. Select this repository and click Close. This will close the repository from future deployments and make it available for others to view.

BIGTOP-1463 is open to track the improvements of the release process.

7. Copy Release Artifacts

The artifacts that end up in the distribution directory are the source distributions (along with their checksums and signatures), so they need to be copied from the Maven repo to the release directory on so folks can vote on them:

mkdir ~/public_html/bigtop-$VERSION-RC0
cd ~/public_html/bigtop-$VERSION-RC0
for ext in "" .asc .md5 .sha1; do
  wget --no-check-certificate[YOUR REPOSITORY ID]/org/apache/bigtop/bigtop/$VERSION/bigtop-$VERSION-project.tar.gz$ext

8. Sanity Check


  • Check the MD5 checksums

9. Run the Vote

Run the vote on the

Here is an example email:

To: "Bigtop Developers List" <>
Subject: [VOTE] Release Bigtop version X.Y.Z

This is the vote for release 0.8.0 of Apache Bigtop.

It fixes the following issues:

The vote will be going for at least 72 hours and will be closed on Wednesday,
October 1st, 2014 at noon PDT.  Please download, test and vote with

[ ] +1, accept RC0 as the official 0.8.0 release of Apache Bigtop
[ ] +0, I don't care either way,
[ ] -1, do not accept RC0 as the official 0.8.0 release of Apache Bigtop, because...

Source and binary files:[YOUR USERID]/bigtop-0.8.0-RC0

Maven staging repo:[YOUR REPOSITORY ID]

The git tag to be voted upon is release-X.Y.Z

Bigtop's KEYS file containing PGP keys we use to sign the release:

The release needs 3 +1 votes from the PMC.

10. Roll Out

Assuming the vote passes, the release can be rolled out as follows:

Move Artifacts into Place

This step makes the artifacts available on the mirrors.

svn co
cd bigtop
cp -r ~/public_html/bigtop-$VERSION-RC$CANDIDATE bigtop-$VERSION
svn add bigtop-$VERSION
rm stable
ln -s bigtop-$VERSION stable
svn commit

The last line is to remove the previous version, since only the most recent version on a particular branch should be in the dist directory (older versions are archived automatically, see and

Log in to, click on Staging on the left. Select the repository that you closed earlier, and click Release, using a description like "Apache Bigtop X.Y.Z artifacts". This will make the artifacts publicly available.

Deploy binary packages to permanent location (TO-DO)

  • Sign packages
    • On Debian systems create the signature for the top-level Release fil

    • On RPM-bases distros create ~/.rpmmacors files (dude to a bug, RPM can not use DSA keys longer than 1024 bytes, so you better use a buggy RSA for that)

    • Sync signed packages to (ask a previous release manager about the details and credentials)

Wait 24 Hours

It takes up to 24 hours for all the mirrors to sync, so don't announce the new release just yet.

Build and Deploy Site

Full version of this procedure is described and maintained in Deploying Bigtop's Apache Website

mvn site-deploy

This will deploy the generated website to /www/ on You can SSH there to check that things look OK.Once the deployment is done you need to publish new website via login and click(warning) "Publish bigtop site" link. Otherwise the content won't get propagated.

It will take an hour or so for the website to become live, but you can inspect the website by temporarily setting your browser proxy to see the new, unmirrored content (I used FoxyProxy in Firefox) as described in

11. Announce the Release

TODO: Add a news section to the website.

Send an email to (the from: address must be E.g.

Subject: [ANNOUNCE] Apache Bigtop X.Y.Z released

The Apache Bigtop (incubating) team is pleased to announce the release of Bigtop X.Y.Z.

The release is available here:

The full change log is available here:

We welcome your help and feedback. For more information on how to
report problems, and to get involved, visit the project website at

The Apache Bigtop Team

12. Add the Next Release to JIRA

Add the next version number (e.g. 0.2.0 after 0.1.0) to JIRA using this

In JIRA mark the released version as "released" on the "manage versions" page. Be sure to fill in a date if not already specified.

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