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Creating proper Github releases

Step-by-step instructions for creating Github Releases like the pros.


  • A master branch
  • A more-or-less stable dev branch ready to be merged into master
  • A VERSION.txt file holding release version

Pro Tip: keep release cycles short, release often!

Creating the release

  1. Create VERSION.txt in your dev branch and fill it with the release number (e.g. 1.0-alpha1)
  2. Merge the master branch into dev
  3. Merge the dev branch back into master
  4. Go to the Github page holding your project and:
    • Select releases
    • Select Draft a new release
    • Fill in 1.0-alpha1 as the Tag version
    • Target the master branch
    • Doublecheck before pressing the "Publish release" button

That's all there's too it, your first release.

Note: to prevent future merge conflicts caused by e.g. bugfixes... regularly merge master into dev!

Starting work on the next release

Now that the release is out, it's time to start work on the next one

  1. Update VERSION.txt in the dev branch with the next release number (e.g. 1.0-alpha2)
  2. Commit and push change to dev
  3. Add features to your dev branch

Once you are ready to publish a new release... simply restart Creating the release but skip step 1.