Publishing pre-releases
This recipe will walk you through a simple example that uses pre-releases to publish beta versions while working on a future major release and then make only one release on the default distribution.
This example uses the semantic-release default configuration:
  • branches: ['+([0-9])?(.{+([0-9]),x}).x', 'master', 'next', 'next-major', {name: 'beta', prerelease: true}, {name: 'alpha', prerelease: true}]
  • plugins: ['@semantic-release/commit-analyzer', '@semantic-release/release-notes-generator', '@semantic-release/npm', '@semantic-release/github']

Initial release

We'll start by making the first commit of the project, with the code for the initial release and the message feat: initial commit. When pushing that commit, on master semantic-release will release the version 1.0.0 and make it available on the default distribution channel which is the dist-tag @latest for npm.
The Git history of the repository is:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
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Working on a future release

We now decide to work on a future major release, which will be composed of multiple features, some of them being breaking changes. We want to publish our package for each new feature developed for test purpose, however we do not want to increment our package version or make it available to our users until all the features are developed and tested.
To implement that workflow we can create the branch beta and commit our first feature there. When pushing that commit, semantic-release will publish the pre-release version 2.0.0-beta.1 on the dist-tag @beta. That allow us to run integration tests by installing our module with npm install [email protected]. Other users installing with npm install example-module will still receive the version 1.0.0.
The Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
Copied!
We can continue to work on our future release by committing and pushing other features or bug fixes on the beta branch. With each push, semantic-release will publish a new pre-release on the dist-tag @beta, which allow us to run our integration tests.
With another feature, the Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
4
| * feat: second feature # => v2.0.0-beta.2 on @beta
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Releasing a bug fix on the default distribution channel

In the meantime we can also continue to commit changes and release updates to our users.
For example, we can commit a bug fix with the message fix: a fix to master. When pushing that commit, semantic-release will release the version 1.0.1 on the dist-tag @latest.
The Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
4
| * feat: second feature # => v2.0.0-beta.2 on @beta
5
* | fix: a fix # => v1.0.1 on @latest
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Working on another future release

We now decide to work on another future major release, in parallel of the beta one, which will also be composed of multiple features, some of them being breaking changes.
To implement that workflow we can create the branch alpha from the branch beta and commit our first feature there. When pushing that commit, semantic-release will publish the pre-release version 3.0.0-alpha.1 on the dist-tag @alpha. That allow us to run integration tests by installing our module with npm install [email protected]. Other users installing with npm install example-module will still receive the version 1.0.0.
The Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
4
| * feat: second feature # => v2.0.0-beta.2 on @beta
5
* | fix: a fix # => v1.0.1 on @latest
6
| | \
7
| | * feat: first feature of other release \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v3.0.0-alpha.1 on @alpha
Copied!
We can continue to work on our future release by committing and pushing other features or bug fixes on the alpha branch. With each push, semantic-release will publish a new pre-release on the dist-tag @alpha, which allow us to run our integration tests.
With another feature, the Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
4
| * feat: second feature # => v2.0.0-beta.2 on @beta
5
* | fix: a fix # => v1.0.1 on @latest
6
| | \
7
| | * feat: first feature of other release \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v3.0.0-alpha.1 on @alpha
8
| | * feat: second feature of other release # => v3.0.0-alpha.2 on @alpha
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Publishing the 2.0.0 beta release to the default distribution channel

Once we've developed and pushed all the feature we want to include in the future version 2.0.0 in the beta branch and all our tests are successful we can release it to our users.
To do so we need to merge our changes made on beta into master. As beta and master branches have diverged, this merge might require to resolve conflicts.
Once the conflicts are resolved and the merge commit is pushed to master, semantic-release will release the version 2.0.0 on the dist-tag @latest.
The Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
4
| * feat: second feature # => v2.0.0-beta.2 on @beta
5
* | fix: a fix # => v1.0.1 on @latest
6
| | \
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| | * feat: first feature of other release \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v3.0.0-alpha.1 on @alpha
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| | * feat: second feature of other release # => v3.0.0-alpha.2 on @alpha
9
| /| |
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* | | Merge branch beta into master # => v2.0.0 on @latest
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Publishing the 3.0.0 alpha release to the beta distribution channel

Now that we published our the version 2.0.0 that was previously in beta, we decide to promote the version 3.0.0 in alpha to beta.
To do so we need to merge our changes made on alpha into beta. There should be no conflict as alpha is strictly ahead of master.
Once the merge commit is pushed to beta, semantic-release will publish the pre-release version 3.0.0-beta.1 on the dist-tag @beta, which allow us to run our integration tests.
The Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
4
| * feat: second feature # => v2.0.0-beta.2 on @beta
5
* | fix: a fix # => v1.0.1 on @latest
6
| | \
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| | * feat: first feature of other release \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v3.0.0-alpha.1 on @alpha
8
| | * feat: second feature of other release # => v3.0.0-alpha.2 on @alpha
9
| /| |
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* | | Merge branch beta into master # => v2.0.0 on @latest
11
| | /|
12
| * | Merge branch alpha into beta # => v3.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
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Publishing the 3.0.0 beta release to the default distribution channel

Once we've developed and pushed all the feature we want to include in the future version 3.0.0 in the beta branch and all our tests are successful we can release it to our users.
To do so we need to merge our changes made on beta into master. As beta and master branches have diverged, this merge might require to resolve conflicts.
Once the conflicts are resolved and the merge commit is pushed to master, semantic-release will release the version 3.0.0 on the dist-tag @latest.
The Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
4
| * feat: second feature # => v2.0.0-beta.2 on @beta
5
* | fix: a fix # => v1.0.1 on @latest
6
| | \
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| | * feat: first feature of other release \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v3.0.0-alpha.1 on @alpha
8
| | * feat: second feature of other release # => v3.0.0-alpha.2 on @alpha
9
| /| |
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* | | Merge branch beta into master # => v2.0.0 on @latest
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| | /|
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| * | Merge branch alpha into beta # => v3.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
13
| /| |
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* | | Merge branch beta into master # => v3.0.0 on @latest
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Working on a third future release

We can now start to work on a new future major release, version 4.0.0, on the @beta distribution channel.
To do so we first need to update the beta branch with all the changes from master (the commits fix: a fix). As beta and master branches have diverged, this merge might require to resolve conflicts.
We can now commit our new feature on beta. When pushing that commit, semantic-release will publish the pre-release version 3.1.0-beta.1 on the dist-tag @beta. That allow us to run integration tests by installing our module with npm install [email protected]. Other users installing with npm install example-module will still receive the version 3.0.0.
The Git history of the repository is now:
1
* feat: initial commit # => v1.0.0 on @latest
2
| \
3
| * feat: first feature \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v2.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
4
| * feat: second feature # => v2.0.0-beta.2 on @beta
5
* | fix: a fix # => v1.0.1 on @latest
6
| | \
7
| | * feat: first feature of other release \n\n BREAKING CHANGE: it breaks something # => v3.0.0-alpha.1 on @alpha
8
| | * feat: second feature of other release # => v3.0.0-alpha.2 on @alpha
9
| /| |
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* | | Merge branch beta into master # => v2.0.0 on @latest
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| | /|
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| * | Merge branch alpha into beta # => v3.0.0-beta.1 on @beta
13
| /| |
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* | | Merge branch beta into master # => v3.0.0 on @latest
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| \| |
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| * | Merge branch master into beta
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| * | feat: new feature # => v3.1.0-beta.1 on @beta
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Last modified 21d ago