Release process

This document describes the process for making a Bodhi release.


Bodhi follows semantic versioning, and so backwards incompatible changes get a major release, releases with new features get a minor release, and releases that only contain bug fixes get a patch release.

To aid in maintaining this scheme, Bodhi uses branches named with the scheme major.minor to keep track of feature releases. Once a major.minor branch is created and a release is tagged, only bugfixes should be added to that branch.

When you wish to make a patch release, simply cherry pick (described below) the patches you wish to include in the release to the appropriate major.minor branch.

If you wish to make a minor release, you will need to create a new major.minor branch. Typically we would do this by branching from a desired commit on the develop branch, unless there are backwards incompatible changes in develop. If develop has backwards incompatible commits that we don’t want to release with, you should branch from the most recent major.minor branch, and then cherry pick the desired commits from develop.

Of course, if you want to make a new major release, simply create a major.minor branch from the desired commit on develop.

Backporting Patches with Mergify

To simplify the release process, almost all patches are sent to the develop branch. Once they are reviewed and merged, they can be cherry picked to a major.minor branch if desired. To aid in this process, we use Mergify’s patch backporting feature. For each actively maintained release there should be a backporting action in the Mergify config and an associated GitHub label. For example, as of the time of this writing we have active 3.12 and 3.13 branches, so we have GitHub labels called 3.12-backports and 3.13-backports. Any pull requests tagged with either of these tags will cause Mergify to backport the associated patch to the relevant branch via a new pull request.


The backporting feature is configured in .mergify.yml.

Deploying a development snapshot to Staging

On the Fedora Infrastructure, the Bodhi Staging instance is used to test out Bodhi in an enviroment as close to production as possible.

To run this procedure, you will need the ability to run playbooks on batcave, and your Fedora Account on needs to be a member the sysadmin-bodhi group on both accounts staging and accounts production

To deploy to staging:

  1. Merge the changes into the staging branch.

  2. After the changes are pushed,the Build Staging snapshot in Koji github action generates SRPMs, and submits them to build in koji. Once successfully built, The packages (bodhi-server, bodhi-client, and bodhi messages) are then automatically tagged into the f34-infra-stg koji tag.

    Note that each snapshot package will have the following version format appended to the current version: ^<YYYYMMDDHHMM>git<githash>. For example:

    • bodhi-client-5.7.5^202203102341gite878e73-1.fc34

    • bodhi-server-5.7.5^202203102341gite878e73-1.fc34

    • bodhi-messages-5.7.5^202203102341gite878e73-1.fc34

  3. Sometimes it takes a couple of minutes for the builds to appear in the f34-infra koji repo, so check that the newly built packages are available to the bodhi-backend01 machine with:

    [bodhi-backend01 ~][STG]$ dnf list bodhi-server bodhi-client --refresh --all
    Installed Packages
    bodhi-client.noarch                 5.7.5^202202010001gitabcdefg-1.fc34                  @infrastructure-tags-stg
    bodhi-server.noarch                 5.7.5^202202010001gitabcdefg-1.fc34                  @infrastructure-tags-stg
    Available Packages
    bodhi-client.noarch                 5.7.5^202203102341gite878e73-1.fc34                 @infrastructure-tags-stg
    bodhi-server.noarch                 5.7.5^202203102341gite878e73-1.fc34                 @infrastructure-tags-stg

    The packages listed in available packages should be the ones just built in koji after pushing to the staging branch

  4. With the packages available, run the following four playbooks on batcave01:

    # Run the bodhi-backend playbook to ensure everything is up to date
    $ sudo rbac-playbook -l staging groups/bodhi-backend.yml
    # Synchronize the database from production to staging
    $ sudo rbac-playbook manual/staging-sync/bodhi.yml -l staging
    # Upgrade the Bodhi backend on staging
    $ sudo rbac-playbook manual/upgrade/bodhi.yml -l staging
    # Upgrade the Bodhi frontend on staging
    $ sudo rbac-playbook openshift-apps/bodhi.yml -l staging
  5. The final playbook in that run will cause the openshift images for bodhi to rebuild and redeploy. In a few minutes the new version of bodhi will appear on

    You can check the status of the openshift image builds and deployment on

How to make a release


If you are making a new major or new minor release:

  1. Prepare the .mergify.yml file for the new major.minor branch as described above.

  2. Raise the version to the appropriate value in bodhi-*/pyproject.toml and in the spec files in bodhi-*/*.spec.

  3. Add missing authors to the release notes fragments by changing to the news directory and running the script, but check for duplicates and errors

  4. Generate the release notes by running towncrier build --version VERSION. Be aware that any commits that were cherry picked to a previous release branch will show up again, and we wouldn’t want to mark those commits as being new

  5. Add a note to all the associated issues and pull requests to let them know they will be included in this release.

  6. Push those changes to the upstream repository (via a PR or not)

  7. Create the branch protection rule in GitHub’s UI and tick the following boxes:

    • Require pull request reviews before merging

    • Require status checks to pass before merging

    • Require branches to be up to date before merging

    • DCO

    • fXX-diff-cover, fXXdocs, fXX-integration, and fXX-unit where XX is the Fedora version that this Bodhi release is going to run on.

  8. Create the new major.minor branch in the repository, and switch to that branch.

  9. Adjust diff-cover to use the new major.minor branch for comparison in devel/ci/bodhi-ci. You can find the spot to edit by searching for the --compare-branch flag being passed to diff-cover. This change should remain in that release branch only.

  10. In .github/workflows/tests.yml, add the new major.minor branch in the list of branches on which CI is run.

  11. Push that new branch to the upstream repository

Build a beta

Bodhi uses the Fedora Rawhide spec file to build production RPMs for the Fedora Infrastructure repositories. As upstream Bodhi does not have any infrastructure of its own for beta testing, we use Fedora’s staging instance of Bodhi to do our beta testing. Thus, in order to build and test the beta using these instructions, you will need administrative access to the staging Bodhi deployment and you will need access to build in the staging infrastructure repository.

To build the beta, follow these steps:

  1. Clone the Bodhi spec file repository:

    $ fedpkg clone bodhi
  2. Alter the spec file to build the commit you want to test rather than a tagged release. Use a value less than one for the release field on betas (for example the first might be 0.0, the second might be 0.1, and so on). For example, to test e0ca5bc5d36e8cca5bd126879a036006356645e6 (which is a 3.13 beta), a patch like this will work:

    $ git diff
    diff --git a/bodhi.spec b/bodhi.spec
    index eaf3415..d3684be 100644
    --- a/bodhi.spec
    +++ b/bodhi.spec
    @@ -1,16 +1,21 @@
     %global bashcompdir     %(pkg-config --variable=completionsdir bash-completion 2>/dev/null)
     %global bashcomproot    %(dirname %{bashcompdir} 2>/dev/null)
    +%global commit e0ca5bc5d36e8cca5bd126879a036006356645e6
    +%global commit_short %(c=%{commit}; echo ${c:0:7})
     Name:           bodhi
    -Version:        3.12.0
    -Release:        100%{?dist}
    +Version:        3.13.0
    +Release:        0.0.beta.%{commit_short}%{?dist}
     BuildArch:      noarch
     License:        GPLv2+
     Summary:        A modular framework that facilitates publishing software updates
     Group:          Applications/Internet
    -Source0:        %{url}/archive/%{version}/%{name}-%{version}.tar.gz
    +Source0:        %{url}/archive/%{commit}/%{name}-%{commit}.tar.gz
    +Patch0:         0000-Set-the-version-to-beta-0.patch
     BuildRequires: %{py2_dist click}
     BuildRequires: %{py2_dist iniparse}
    @@ -241,7 +248,7 @@ updates for a software distribution.
    -%autosetup -p1 -n bodhi-%{version}
    +%autosetup -p1 -n bodhi-%{commit}
     # Kill some dev deps
     sed -i '/pyramid_debugtoolbar/d'
    @@ -270,7 +277,7 @@ make %{?_smp_mflags} -C docs man
     # Let's remove all the server stuff since we don't ship Python 2 version of the server anymore.
    -rm -rf %{buildroot}/%{python2_sitelib}/%{name}_server-%{version}-py%{python2_version}.egg-info
    +rm -rf %{buildroot}/%{python2_sitelib}/%{name}_server-%{version}b0-py%{python2_version}.egg-info
     rm -rf %{buildroot}/%{python2_sitelib}/%{name}/server
    @@ -346,7 +353,7 @@ rm .coveragerc
     %doc README.rst
     %dir %{python2_sitelib}/%{name}/
     %files -n python3-bodhi
    @@ -355,21 +362,21 @@ rm .coveragerc
     %dir %{python3_sitelib}/%{name}/
     %files -n python2-bodhi-client
     %license COPYING
     %doc README.rst
     %files -n python3-bodhi-client
     %license COPYING
     %doc README.rst
     %files server
    @@ -392,7 +400,7 @@ rm .coveragerc
     %config(noreplace) %{_sysconfdir}/fedmsg.d/*
     %dir %{_sysconfdir}/bodhi/
     %attr(-,bodhi,root) %{_datadir}/%{name}
    @@ -406,6 +414,10 @@ rm .coveragerc
    +* Fri Jan 11 2019 Randy Barlow <> - 3.13.0-0.0.beta.e0ca5bc
    +- Update to 3.13.0.
     * Mon Dec 17 2018 Randy Barlow <> - 3.12.0-100
     - Upgrade to 3.12.0.
    $ cat 0000-Set-the-version-to-beta-0.patch
    From 77f54fee023fcbfb06f7e72b3b993d39f7678efa Mon Sep 17 00:00:00 2001
    From: Randy Barlow <>
    Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 09:19:47 -0500
    Subject: [PATCH] Set the version to beta 0.
    Signed-off-by: Randy Barlow <>
     docs/ | 2 +-     | 2 +-
     2 files changed, 2 insertions(+), 2 deletions(-)
    diff --git a/docs/ b/docs/
    index 59edc0a8..1ba87387 100644
    --- a/docs/
    +++ b/docs/
    @@ -63,7 +63,7 @@ copyright = u'2007-{}, Red Hat, Inc.'.format(datetime.datetime.utcnow().year)
     # The short X.Y version.
     version = '3.13'
     # The full version, including alpha/beta/rc tags.
    -release = '3.13.0'
    +release = '3.13.0b0'
     # The language for content autogenerated by Sphinx. Refer to documentation
     # for a list of supported languages.
    diff --git a/ b/
    index 44566ff5..74297bb5 100644
    --- a/
    +++ b/
    @@ -42,7 +42,7 @@ def get_requirements(requirements_file='requirements.txt'):
     here = os.path.abspath(os.path.dirname(__file__))
     README = open(os.path.join(here, 'README.rst')).read()
    -VERSION = '3.13.0'
    +VERSION = '3.13.0b0'
     # Possible options are at
        'Development Status :: 5 - Production/Stable',
  3. Perform any other spec file alterations that might be needed for this release (such as adding or removing dependencies).

  4. Build the beta for Fedora Infrastructure’s staging repository. At the time of writing, Bodhi runs on Fedora 29, so here’s an example of building for the f29-infra-stg repository:

    $ rpmbuild --define "dist .fc29.infra" -bs bodhi.spec
    Wrote: /home/bowlofeggs/rpmbuild/SRPMS/bodhi-3.13.0-0.0.beta.e0ca5bc.fc29.src.rpm
    $ koji build f29-infra /home/bowlofeggs/rpmbuild/SRPMS/bodhi-3.13.0-0.0.beta.e0ca5bc.fc29.src.rpm
  5. Build the beta for bowlofegg’s bodhi-pre-release Copr repository:

    $ copr build bowlofeggs/bodhi-pre-release /home/bowlofeggs/rpmbuild/SRPMS/bodhi-3.13.0-0.0.beta.e0ca5bc.fc29.src.rpm
  6. It’s a good idea to also do a scratch build against Fedora Rawhide just to make sure things build there:

    $ koji build --scratch rawhide /home/bowlofeggs/rpmbuild/SRPMS/bodhi-3.13.0-0.0.beta.e0ca5bc.fc29.src.rpm

Deploy the beta to staging

To deploy to beta to staging, read the Fedora Infrastructure Bodhi SOP.

Notify people that the beta has been deployed so they can test and provide feedback. You can notify the tickets that are referenced in the release notes, Fedora IRC channels ( #bodhi, #fedora-admin, #fedora-apps, #fedora-devel, #fedora-releng, and #fedora-qa), and the Fedora infrastructure mailing list.

Test the beta

Testing beta builds in staging can be a bit tricky. One problem you may encounter is that the staging Koji instance doesn’t have all the data from production, and its database most likely wasn’t synchronized with production data at the same time that Bodhi’s database was. The latter means that Bodhi may reference some data that isn’t in the staging Koji database. To overcome this problem, I’ve found it to be best to make a fresh build of a package in the staging Koji database so I can be sure that Koji has the RPM and that Bodhi can be synchronized with Koji about the resulting update.

I personally update with a small package that I have ACLs on called python-rpdb. I usually just bump the release on it and make another build, being careful to do this in the staging git repository and not production. Then I make an update in staging Bodhi with that build and do my testing from there. I don’t do extremely extensive testing, since that is what our unit and integration tests are for.

One test I recommend, however, is to run a compose with the newly minted update. At the time of this writing, our integration test suite does not test integration with Koji or Pungi, and this is a critical function of Bodhi. To do this, you will need to mark the build as being signed using bodhi-shell because we don’t sign builds in staging. Then run bodhi-push on As an example, if I had built a test update for python-rpdb-2.3-3.fc29 and I wanted to sign and then compose it, I would run this:

$ sudo -u apache bodhi-shell
>>> b = m.Build.query.filter_by(nvr='python-rpdb-2.3-3.fc29').one()
>>> b.signed = True
>>> m.Session().commit()
$ sudo -u apache bodhi-push --builds python-rpdb-2.3-3.fc29


We limit to just the build we built for testing here, because a full compose will fail due to the issues described earlier between staging and production Koji.


If there are existing composes in the database due to the production to staging database sync, you will not be able to create a new compose as described above. bodhi-push will force you to resume the existing composes. Unfortunately, they will also fail due to referencing builds from production Koji that are not in the staging Koji. You will need to use bodhi-shell to clear our these composes:

$ sudo -u apache bodhi-shell
>>> for u in m.Update.query.filter_by(locked=True):
...     u.locked = False
>>> m.Session().commit()

Now you should be able to resume the composes, and bodhi-push will see that there’s nothing to do in any of them and will remove them.

Of course, if you find issues during testing you should fix those issues upstream and produce a new beta and test again.

Release Bodhi upstream

Once you are satisfied with the quality of the beta and the beta has been in staging for a while (a week is typical) to give people time to test and provide feedback, it is time to make a release.

We start by checking out the branch we want to make a release on, and we use git tag to create a tag. Be sure to use the -s flag to sign the commit with your GPG key:

$ git tag -s 3.13.0

Your $EDITOR will be opened for you to write the release notes into the tag. You can copy the release notes into there, and I typically change the format from RST to markdown for this because it’s a little easier to read in plain text, and we will also paste the release notes into GitHub in a bit and it’ll be useful to have a markdown version anyway. You don’t need to use markdown if you prefer not to, it’s just a suggestion.


If you do use markdown in the git tag notes, don’t use the # character to specify headings because git will interpret those lines as comments.

Push the tag up to GitHub:

$ git push origin --tags

Now go to the releases page in GitHub, click the tags submenu, find the tag you just made, click the “…“‘s next to it, and choose “Create release”. I usually just make the title along the lines of “Bodhi 3.13.0 released”. It’d be nice if GitHub used the tag message you just wrote in git, but it does not. Fortunately, you might have just formatting it with markdown anyway and can copy and paste it into the GitHub release notes:

$ git show 3.13.0

The next step is to release Bodhi to PyPI. To do this, we will make a source build:

$ python3 sdist

This will drop source tarballs into the dist/ folder for the various bodhi packages. Now you can use twine to sign the builds and upload them to PyPI, substituting your GPG key ID where mine is below:

$ twine upload -s -i 3BDD2462 dist/*

Release Bodhi downstream

Next it is time to release Bodhi downstream. Don’t forget to remove the patch you made earlier to set its version to a beta, and all the code that used commit hashes instead of versions.

  1. Build the release for all targeted Fedora versions.


    Be sure to consider whether the version you are releasing would be backwards incompatible for the various stable releases of Bodhi. Major releases should only go to Rawhide.

  2. Build the release for bowlofegg’s bodhi Copr repository:

    $ copr build bowlofeggs/bodhi /home/bowlofeggs/rpmbuild/SRPMS/bodhi-3.13.0-1.fc29.src.rpm

Deploy the beta to staging and production

As before, read the Fedora Infrastructure Bodhi SOP for details on how we deploy Bodhi in Fedora Infrastructure.

It is wise to deploy the real release to staging as a sanity check before deploying to production.


Notify people that the release and deployment are done. You can notify the tickets that are referenced in the release notes, Fedora IRC channels (#bodhi, #fedora-admin, #fedora-apps, #fedora-devel, #fedora-releng, and #fedora-qa), and the Fedora infrastructure mailing list.