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14 KiB

Release Process

Before every release candidate:

Before every minor and major release:

  • Update to account for changes since the last release.
  • Update version in sources (see below)
  • Write release notes (see below)
  • Update src/chainparams.cpp nMinimumChainWork with information from the getblockchaininfo rpc.
  • Update src/chainparams.cpp defaultAssumeValid with information from the getblockhash rpc.
    • The selected value must not be orphaned so it may be useful to set the value two blocks back from the tip.
    • Testnet should be set some tens of thousands back from the tip due to reorgs there.
    • This update should be reviewed with a reindex-chainstate with assumevalid=0 to catch any defect that causes rejection of blocks in the past history.

Before every major release:

First time / New builders

If you're using the automated script (found in contrib/, then at this point you should run it with the "--setup" command. Otherwise ignore this.

Check out the source code in the following directory hierarchy.

cd /path/to/your/toplevel/build
git clone
git clone
git clone
git clone

Bitcoin maintainers/release engineers, update version in sources

Update the following:

    • Don't forget to set _CLIENT_VERSION_IS_RELEASE to true
  • src/clientversion.h: (this mirrors - see issue #3539)
    • Don't forget to set CLIENT_VERSION_IS_RELEASE to true
  • doc/ and doc/README_windows.txt
  • doc/Doxyfile: PROJECT_NUMBER contains the full version
  • contrib/gitian-descriptors/*.yml: usually one'd want to do this on master after branching off the release - but be sure to at least do it before a new major release

Write release notes. git shortlog helps a lot, for example:

git shortlog --no-merges v(current version, e.g. 0.7.2)..v(new version, e.g. 0.8.0)

(or ping @wumpus on IRC, he has specific tooling to generate the list of merged pulls and sort them into categories based on labels)

Generate list of authors:

git log --format='%aN' "$*" | sort -ui | sed -e 's/^/- /'

Tag version (or release candidate) in git

git tag -s v(new version, e.g. 0.8.0)

Setup and perform Gitian builds

If you're using the automated script (found in contrib/, then at this point you should run it with the "--build" command. Otherwise ignore this.

Setup Gitian descriptors:

pushd ./bitcoin
export SIGNER=(your Gitian key, ie bluematt, sipa, etc)
export VERSION=(new version, e.g. 0.8.0)
git fetch
git checkout v${VERSION}

Ensure your gitian.sigs are up-to-date if you wish to gverify your builds against other Gitian signatures.

pushd ./gitian.sigs
git pull

Ensure gitian-builder is up-to-date:

pushd ./gitian-builder
git pull

Fetch and create inputs: (first time, or when dependency versions change)

pushd ./gitian-builder
mkdir -p inputs
wget -P inputs
wget -P inputs

Create the OS X SDK tarball, see the OS X readme for details, and copy it into the inputs directory.

Optional: Seed the Gitian sources cache and offline git repositories

By default, Gitian will fetch source files as needed. To cache them ahead of time:

pushd ./gitian-builder
make -C ../bitcoin/depends download SOURCES_PATH=`pwd`/cache/common

Only missing files will be fetched, so this is safe to re-run for each build.

NOTE: Offline builds must use the --url flag to ensure Gitian fetches only from local URLs. For example:

pushd ./gitian-builder
./bin/gbuild --url bitcoin=/path/to/bitcoin,signature=/path/to/sigs {rest of arguments}

The gbuild invocations below DO NOT DO THIS by default.

Build and sign Bitcoin Core for Linux, Windows, and OS X:

pushd ./gitian-builder
./bin/gbuild --memory 3000 --commit bitcoin=v${VERSION} ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-linux.yml
./bin/gsign --signer $SIGNER --release ${VERSION}-linux --destination ../gitian.sigs/ ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-linux.yml
mv build/out/bitcoin-*.tar.gz build/out/src/bitcoin-*.tar.gz ../

./bin/gbuild --memory 3000 --commit bitcoin=v${VERSION} ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-win.yml
./bin/gsign --signer $SIGNER --release ${VERSION}-win-unsigned --destination ../gitian.sigs/ ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-win.yml
mv build/out/bitcoin-*-win-unsigned.tar.gz inputs/bitcoin-win-unsigned.tar.gz
mv build/out/bitcoin-*.zip build/out/bitcoin-*.exe ../

./bin/gbuild --memory 3000 --commit bitcoin=v${VERSION} ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-osx.yml
./bin/gsign --signer $SIGNER --release ${VERSION}-osx-unsigned --destination ../gitian.sigs/ ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-osx.yml
mv build/out/bitcoin-*-osx-unsigned.tar.gz inputs/bitcoin-osx-unsigned.tar.gz
mv build/out/bitcoin-*.tar.gz build/out/bitcoin-*.dmg ../

Build output expected:

  1. source tarball (bitcoin-${VERSION}.tar.gz)
  2. linux 32-bit and 64-bit dist tarballs (bitcoin-${VERSION}-linux[32|64].tar.gz)
  3. windows 32-bit and 64-bit unsigned installers and dist zips (bitcoin-${VERSION}-win[32|64]-setup-unsigned.exe, bitcoin-${VERSION}-win[32|64].zip)
  4. OS X unsigned installer and dist tarball (bitcoin-${VERSION}-osx-unsigned.dmg, bitcoin-${VERSION}-osx64.tar.gz)
  5. Gitian signatures (in gitian.sigs/${VERSION}-<linux|{win,osx}-unsigned>/(your Gitian key)/)

Verify other gitian builders signatures to your own. (Optional)

Add other gitian builders keys to your gpg keyring, and/or refresh keys.

gpg --import bitcoin/contrib/gitian-keys/*.pgp
gpg --refresh-keys

Verify the signatures

pushd ./gitian-builder
./bin/gverify -v -d ../gitian.sigs/ -r ${VERSION}-linux ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-linux.yml
./bin/gverify -v -d ../gitian.sigs/ -r ${VERSION}-win-unsigned ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-win.yml
./bin/gverify -v -d ../gitian.sigs/ -r ${VERSION}-osx-unsigned ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-osx.yml

Next steps:

Commit your signature to gitian.sigs:

pushd gitian.sigs
git add ${VERSION}-linux/${SIGNER}
git add ${VERSION}-win-unsigned/${SIGNER}
git add ${VERSION}-osx-unsigned/${SIGNER}
git commit -a
git push  # Assuming you can push to the gitian.sigs tree

Codesigner only: Create Windows/OS X detached signatures:

  • Only one person handles codesigning. Everyone else should skip to the next step.
  • Only once the Windows/OS X builds each have 3 matching signatures may they be signed with their respective release keys.

Codesigner only: Sign the osx binary:

transfer bitcoin-osx-unsigned.tar.gz to osx for signing
tar xf bitcoin-osx-unsigned.tar.gz
./ -s "Key ID"
Enter the keychain password and authorize the signature
Move signature-osx.tar.gz back to the gitian host

Codesigner only: Sign the windows binaries:

tar xf bitcoin-win-unsigned.tar.gz
./ -key /path/to/codesign.key
Enter the passphrase for the key when prompted
signature-win.tar.gz will be created

Codesigner only: Commit the detached codesign payloads:

cd ~/bitcoin-detached-sigs
checkout the appropriate branch for this release series
rm -rf *
tar xf signature-osx.tar.gz
tar xf signature-win.tar.gz
git add -a
git commit -m "point to ${VERSION}"
git tag -s v${VERSION} HEAD
git push the current branch and new tag

Non-codesigners: wait for Windows/OS X detached signatures:

  • Once the Windows/OS X builds each have 3 matching signatures, they will be signed with their respective release keys.
  • Detached signatures will then be committed to the bitcoin-detached-sigs repository, which can be combined with the unsigned apps to create signed binaries.

Create (and optionally verify) the signed OS X binary:

pushd ./gitian-builder
./bin/gbuild -i --commit signature=v${VERSION} ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-osx-signer.yml
./bin/gsign --signer $SIGNER --release ${VERSION}-osx-signed --destination ../gitian.sigs/ ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-osx-signer.yml
./bin/gverify -v -d ../gitian.sigs/ -r ${VERSION}-osx-signed ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-osx-signer.yml
mv build/out/bitcoin-osx-signed.dmg ../bitcoin-${VERSION}-osx.dmg

Create (and optionally verify) the signed Windows binaries:

pushd ./gitian-builder
./bin/gbuild -i --commit signature=v${VERSION} ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-win-signer.yml
./bin/gsign --signer $SIGNER --release ${VERSION}-win-signed --destination ../gitian.sigs/ ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-win-signer.yml
./bin/gverify -v -d ../gitian.sigs/ -r ${VERSION}-win-signed ../bitcoin/contrib/gitian-descriptors/gitian-win-signer.yml
mv build/out/bitcoin-*win64-setup.exe ../bitcoin-${VERSION}-win64-setup.exe
mv build/out/bitcoin-*win32-setup.exe ../bitcoin-${VERSION}-win32-setup.exe

Commit your signature for the signed OS X/Windows binaries:

pushd gitian.sigs
git add ${VERSION}-osx-signed/${SIGNER}
git add ${VERSION}-win-signed/${SIGNER}
git commit -a
git push  # Assuming you can push to the gitian.sigs tree

After 3 or more people have gitian-built and their results match:

  • Create SHA256SUMS.asc for the builds, and GPG-sign it:
sha256sum * > SHA256SUMS

The list of files should be:


The *-debug* files generated by the gitian build contain debug symbols for troubleshooting by developers. It is assumed that anyone that is interested in debugging can run gitian to generate the files for themselves. To avoid end-user confusion about which file to pick, as well as save storage space do not upload these to the server, nor put them in the torrent.

  • GPG-sign it, delete the unsigned file:
gpg --digest-algo sha256 --clearsign SHA256SUMS # outputs SHA256SUMS.asc

(the digest algorithm is forced to sha256 to avoid confusion of the Hash: header that GPG adds with the SHA256 used for the files) Note: check that SHA256SUMS itself doesn't end up in SHA256SUMS, which is a spurious/nonsensical entry.

  • Upload zips and installers, as well as SHA256SUMS.asc from last step, to the server into /var/www/bin/bitcoin-core-${VERSION}

  • A .torrent will appear in the directory after a few minutes. Optionally help seed this torrent. To get the magnet: URI use:

transmission-show -m <torrent file>

Insert the magnet URI into the announcement sent to mailing lists. This permits people without access to to download the binary distribution. Also put it into the optional_magnetlink: slot in the YAML file for (see below for update instructions).

  • Update version

    • First, check to see if the maintainers have prepared a release:

      • If they have, it will have previously failed their Travis CI checks because the final release files weren't uploaded. Trigger a Travis CI rebuild---if it passes, merge.
    • If they have not prepared a release, follow the release instructions:

    • After the pull request is merged, the website will automatically show the newest version within 15 minutes, as well as update the OS download links. Ping @saivann/@harding (saivann/harding on Freenode) in case anything goes wrong

  • Announce the release:

    • bitcoin-dev and bitcoin-core-dev mailing list

    • Bitcoin Core announcements list

    • blog post

    • Update title of #bitcoin on Freenode IRC

    • Optionally twitter, reddit /r/Bitcoin, ... but this will usually sort out itself

    • Notify BlueMatt so that he can start building the PPAs

    • Archive release notes for the new version to doc/release-notes/ (branch master and branch of the release)

    • Create a new GitHub release with a link to the archived release notes.

    • Celebrate