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From time to time, Impala creates releases. These are tarballs of the Impala source that follow the rules below.

Decisions about releases are made by three groups:

  1. A Release Manager, who must be a committer, does the work of creating the release, signing it, counting votes, and so on.
  2. The community, who share in the discussion of whether it is the right time to create a release and what that release should contain. The community can also cast non-binding votes on the release.
  3. The PMC, who cast binding votes on the release.

This page describes the procedures that the release manager and voting PMC members take during release time.

How to Manage a Release

Release managers are self-selected from among the set of committers. Release management must happen partially on "hardware owned and controlled by the committer". In particular, release managers are not permitted to store code signing keys on hardware they do not own or control.

  1. If you have not done so yet, set up your email address.
  2. Make a code signing key if you don't have one yet. This must be done on "hardware owned and controlled by the committer".
    1. Publish your key if you haven't done so yet
  3. Optional but reccomended: if you haven't done so yet, add yourself to the Apache Web-of-Trust by meeting face-to-face with a person so they can sign your key
    1. Publish your signed key
  4. If you haven't done so before, add your key to the KEYS file in the release staging area and the release distribution area using SVN.
    1. The staging area is
    2. The release area is If you are not a PMC member, you will need to ask a PMC member to edit the file for you.
  5. Pick a commit in the "master" branch you want to release from and test it.
  6. Test the licencing using Apache RAT; follow the instructions in bin/
  7. Propose a release on the dev@ list. It should start with the string "[DISCUSS]". Explain that this is not a "[VOTE]", and that anyone may participate.
  8. Make a new branch off of your commit called "branch-x.y.z", where x.y.z is the version you want to release. If you are not on the PMC, ask a PMC member to do this:
    1. In this branch (but not in master) update the version number in bin/ to x.y.z-RELEASE
  9. Continue testing. If you find bugs, file them. When they are fixed, cherry-pick the fixes from master to your branch that you want to include in the release
    1. At that time, tag the tree at the release candidate

  10. Make a release tarball:
    1. Make the tarball using git archive. Name it apache-impala-x.y.z.tar.gz.

    2. Make signature, as well as md5 and sha512 checksums. This must be done on "hardware owned and controlled by the committer".

  11. Before uploading your release candidate, follow the procedure in the section below on how to vote on a release. Don't upload until you could vote +1.

  12. Get commitments from at least five PMC members to vote on the artifact in the time frame for the upcoming vote. The list of PMC members is available at
  13. Upload the artifacts. The location is Upload all four artifacts. Do not overwrite old release candidates.

  14. Prepare a patch to the downloads.html page (on the asf-site branch of the git repo) to point to the latest downloads and to remove the links to any downloads that are subsumed by this release. Do not submit the patch yet.
  15. Prepare a patch to include the changelog for the latest release on the docs site. More help on this here.
    1. Access the IMPALA Versions page
    2. Select the proper release version. They are not all in a sanely sorted order.
    3. On the top right, select "Release Notes".
    4. Select "Configure Release Notes". Ensure HTML and the proper version are set.
    5. Click Create
    6. Scroll down to find a TEXTAREA containing the HTML release notes. Copy the contents and save it to a file.
    7. Add HTML tags to make this a standalone page. For example:

    8. Reorder the sections so that the issueType groupings show the more interesting groups, like New Feature, Epic, and Improvement, before less interesting groups like Sub-tasks.
    9. Provide a link to the changelog on the docs main page.
    10. Full example of this is here.
    11. If the full docs are not yet ready for the release, it's OK to leave the link to the previous release's HTML documentation so that a link to HTML documentation always exists.
  16. Take a vote on dev@. Your vote email should:
    1. Have a subject that starts with "[VOTE]"
    2. Explain what the vote is about
    3. Explain how to find the artifacts for testing, and include the tag and git tree hash (not release hash!) they correspond to. The tree hash can be viewed with git log --pretty="%T %s".
    4. Explain what each type of vote means
    5. Explain the conditions for the vote passing, including how long the vote will remain open for.
    6. Include a link to this wiki page so voters can read the instructions in it on how to test, verify, and vote. 
    7. Explain how you tested it.
    8. At your discretion, discuss what dependencies or tools you used to compile or run it, like gcc, hadoop, impala-lzo, and so on.
    9. Be consistent with the Impala bylaws. For instance, at the moment I am writing this wiki page, votes stay open for 72 hours (not counting weekends), and only PMC members have binding votes.
  17. When the vote closes, tally up the votes (who votes what) in a thread with the same title as the vote thread, but with "[RESULT] " prepended. Link to the vote thread form The email should include a list of every vote, and reasons for the -1s ala:

    +1 (binding):
    Alice Bobopolis
    Carol Davestein
    -1 (non-binding):
    Emily Frankfurt (Build failed)
  18. If that vote passes, tag the git tree at the release:

  19. Publish the release. The location is Upload all four artifacts. If you are not a PMC member, you will need a PMC member to do the upload fo you.

  20. Wait 24 hours for mirrors to catch up.
  21. Push your downloads.html and changelog patches.
  22. Announce the release to,, and The email must come from your email address.
    1. If you are not already subscribed from your address, subscribe to dev@ and user@ by mailing dev-subscribe@ and user-subscribe@.
    2. Give your email a subject like "[ANNOUNCE] Apache Impala x.y.z release", and include in the body:

      The Apache Impala team is pleased to announce the release of Impala x.y.z.
      Impala is a high-performance distributed SQL engine.
      The release is available at:
      The Apache Impala team

  23. Announce the release on the community links listed on
  24. Send a patch review to the master branch to update its version number to "p.q.r-SNAPSHOT" (where p.q.r is greater than x.y.z)
  25. In the issue tracker, change the target version for open tickets targeted at x.y.z to p.q.r. You may need to create a version p.q.r if it does not already exist.
  26. In the issue tracker, "Release" the version on this screen:
  27. In the SVN repo where you put the final release artifacts, delete the previous release, assuming that branch is no longer being actively worked on. If there is more than one active branch, leave the latest release from each branch up. If you are not a PMC member, you will need a PMC member do that for you.

How to Vote on a Release Candidate

  1. Download the tarball. Check the signature and the checksums, and check that the tarball matches the upstream tag. The script below shows how to do each of those steps. To use it, set your environment variables VERSION, RELEASE_CANDIDATE, TREE_HASH, and RELEASE_MANAGER like:

    You can get the RELEASE_MANAGER username from the KEYS file here. The rest of the fields should be evident from the Vote thread.

    Committers can run this (along with the pre-commit tests) via the experimental "release-test" job on Impala's Jenkins server.

  2. Test the release quality, possibly using bin/ The ASF requires in its "Release Policy" that: "Before voting +1 PMC members are required to download the signed source code package, compile it as provided, and test the resulting executable on their own platform, along with also verifying that the package meets the requirements of the ASF policy on releases." The ASF interprets "own platform" in this sentence to not require that you own and physically control the machine you are testing on, unlike the procedure for signing a release.

  3. Check compliance with ASF release policy. Use Apache RAT and follow the instructions in bin/ to check licence compliance.

  4. If it is an official "[VOTE]" thread, vote +1 or -1. If you are a PMC member, add "(binding)" after your vote; otherwise, add "(non-binding)". If you vote -1, explain why.


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