A week(ish) before

  • Ask folks to stop merging changes (so there's a non-moving target against which to test the expected popular patches, and time to rebase them if needed)
  • Prepare draft release notes

A few days before

  • Merge something trivial to make sure autobuilds are green (if it's been too long since we merged anything)


  • 3 people
    • 1 with a working PGP key and passphrase and a clean git checkout
    • 2 reviewers so release PRs can be merged immediately (currently these people)
  • 15 minutes for the autobuilds to run green

Shortly after

1. Submit a PR for the version-bump changes

  • Sync release notes with
    • If we are still trying to manage change entries in two places
  • Add new version to, e.g. using this gmake(1) syntax:
    • sed -i "1i - $(shell date +%Y%m%d) version: notqmail $(RELEASE_VERSION)"
    • git commit -S -m "notqmail $(RELEASE_VERSION)"
    • etc. (this will be automated in Makefile by Dakon)
  • COPYRIGHT with an updated claim (or lack thereof)
  • Add any new specific -Werror classes of warning that we've eradicated to all the autobuilds, if we haven't done so already (better to do it at the time)

2. Have the version-bump PR merged

  • Requires 2 reviewers (as any PR)

3. Create the release tag

  • Not from the release notes GUI, from the command line (in order to PGP-sign)
git tag -s notqmail-1.09

The first line of the tag description is the release name without the dash, i.e. notqmail 1.09.

The rest of that description are the bullet points from the wiki page. It does not include the intermediate headlines and other comments.

4. Trivially re-rebase our patch branches

  • On top of the new tag

5. Put release notes in GitHub


Use the tag, copy all the text, click edit release, paste the text. Add spaces around the dashes at the beginning of each line so that they will show up as real bullet points when shown. Upload the 4 files (2 tarballs, 2 signatures). Publish release.

("paste the text" needs to be Markdown that GitHub can parse -- so commit release notes to ikiwiki, then convert the generated HTML to Markdown, such as with html2text. Also make sure lines are not hard-wrapped, make sure they're long)

6. Create, PGP-sign, and upload tarballs to GitHub

git archive --prefix=notqmail-${RELEASE}/ -o notqmail-${RELEASE}.tar notqmail-${RELEASE}
gzip --best --keep notqmail-${RELEASE}.tar
xz --best notqmail-${RELEASE}.tar
gpg --detach-sign -a -o notqmail-${RELEASE}.tar.xz.sig notqmail-${RELEASE}.tar.xz
gpg --detach-sign -a -o notqmail-${RELEASE}.tar.gz.sig notqmail-${RELEASE}.tar.gz

Web-upload them here again

Maybe self-host copies of the release tarballs?

7. Push release notes to the website

Merge the local (or prod) branch to main.

8. Update packages we control

  1. Open Build Service
    • RPM builds: notqmail.spec (bump version number)
    • Debian builds: notqmail.dsc (bump version number)
    • for the .tar.gz link: _service (update tarball link)
  2. Gentoo (DerDakon)
  3. pkgsrc (schmonz)

12. Post everywhere about the new release

  1. Mailing lists:
    • the qmail list
    • maybe a new users@ list at
  2. Discussion forums:
  3. Social media

13. Review and adjust the roadmap

  • Remember where we thought we wanted to go from here
  • Add/change/defer/remove as needed