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This page is a work in progress.

Manual Release Process Notes

Documenting the steps taken todo a release manually, in hopes that it can be automated.




Cherry picking, using the -xs flags, automatically adds a cross reference, for example

commit bc21cf1f9ca25dd3efcbc9806cee4f6c1726a905
Author: Marcus Müller <>
Date:   Sun Aug 15 18:54:10 2021 +0200

   audio/jack: to_string is no longer part of boost:: NS, instead use std::
   Signed-off-by: Marcus Müller <>
   (cherry picked from commit 883315208853121a8dfa68ae9c2f74400acd5ac5)
   Signed-off-by: Jeff Long <>

For other commits, add cross references to Git commits only, not to PRs. The git repo should stand on its own. At the very least, explain how a commit relates to any work on the master branch.

Backported PRs should reference the original PRs like this

Backport #1234

at the bottom of the description.

Change freeze

About 2-3 weeks before release. This is informal. Accept only critical or very low risk changes at this point.


Mention on the Development and General Chat channels on Matrix. At this point, the mailing list is more for communicating with users than with core developers, so announcements there would not be useful, and could result in solicitation of extra PRs exactly when we are not going to consider them.

Slow down changes

RC plan

About 1 week before release.



Sync/deconflict with other branches

Author credits




Version change for release


Date and version

Release commit

  • Generate .zenodo.json
  • Change CMakeLists.txt to MAJOR.API.ABI.PATCH. If a release candidate, PATCH `0-rc1` format to help with sort order. For final version, PATCH is `0`
  • Create PR with this change, title formatted like "Release v3.8.3.0-rc1" (*)
  • Merge release PR (*)
  • Sync local checkout for later comparison step

(*) These steps can be replaced by directly pushing to the maint-X.Y branch without a PR (but with extra care required).

Version change for continuation

Skip if this is a RC version. The branch will stay linear until the final version is released.


Change CMakeLists.txt to MAJOR.API.ABI.git


Unreleased version number?

Github release

Sign tag

Tagging is done against a git clone of Recommend keeping this in a separate directory, to avoid inadvertent pushes directly to the gnuradio repo.

git checkout <branch_name>
git tag -u <tag_name> -m '<tag_name>'
git tag -v <tag_name>
git push origin <tag_name>

This will use the latest signing key associated with


  • In Github, go to code, branch, and then release list (or tags, then hit releases)
  • Draft a new release
  • Select branch and enter release version from commit as a tag
  • Title same as commit: "Release v..."
  • Publish
  • Github creates a tar.gz and a zip
  • Download these files immediately
  • For 3.8, create variants with a -with-volk-X.Y.Z suffix
    • Check out volk using git submodule update --init
    • Create tar.gz and zip files
    • Volk versions
      • Previous to, it was included in all releases
      • -with-volk variant includes v2.0.0
      • and later include both v2.0.0 and latest-stable variants
    • Fedora requested we continue to include Volk for 3.8 to keep packaging consistent

Software signing

Verify or create valid signing key

The GPG key includes a signing subkey, which is used to sign releases. The master key is used only for certifying subkeys.

Currently, the signing subkey expiration date is extended a year at a time, as long as there are no personnel changes and the key remains secure.

Download tar.gz and zip

If not done in release step

Verify archives

  • Unpack each archive
  • Diff against existing git checkout to verify, e.g., with meld. Expect minor differences due to git ignored files (e.g., `__pycache__`, `.vscode`)
  • Keep the tar and zip files locally for a little while in case something comes up

Sign archives

  • Create detacted signatures: `gpg --detach-sign --armor -u filename`
  • Verify signatures: `gpg --verify filename.asc`
  • Keep the signatures locally for a little while in case something comes up

Upload signatures and public key

  • On Github release page, edit release
  • Click "attach binaries" or drag/drop files
    • ...tar.gz.asc
    • gnuradio-software-signing-key.asc
  • Note that the signing key should also be somewhere else where people can verify it



Takes care of itself.


Point to releases page, changelog page, ask for problem reports via email or issue tracker.



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