Releasing Process


This document uses the convention X.Y.Z for the release number with X.Y being the stable branch name.

Mesa provides feature and bugfix releases. Former use zero as patch version (Z), while the latter have a non-zero one.

For example:

Mesa 10.1.0 - 10.1 branch, feature
Mesa 10.1.4 - 10.1 branch, bugfix
Mesa 12.0.0 - 12.0 branch, feature
Mesa 12.0.2 - 12.0 branch, bugfix

Release schedule

Releases should happen on Wednesdays. Delays can occur although those should be kept to a minimum.

See our calendar for information about how the release schedule is planned, and the date and other details for individual releases.

Feature releases

  • Available approximately every three months.

  • Feature releases are branched on or around the second Wednesday of January, April, July, and October.

  • Initial time plan available 2-4 weeks before the planned branchpoint (rc1) on the mesa-announce@ mailing list.

  • Typically, the final release will happen after 4 candidates. Additional ones may be needed in order to resolve blocking regressions, though.

Stable releases

  • Normally available once every two weeks.

  • Only the latest branch has releases. See note below.


There is one or two releases overlap when changing branches. For example:

The final release from the 12.0 series Mesa 12.0.5 will be out around the same time (or shortly after) 13.0.1 is out.

This also involves that, as a final release may be delayed due to the need of additional candidates to solve some blocking regression(s), the release manager might have to update the calendar with additional bug fix releases of the current stable branch.

Cherry-picking and testing

Commits nominated for the active branch are picked as based on the criteria as described in the same section.

Nominations happen via special tags in the commit messages, and via GitLab merge requests against the staging branches. There are special scripts used to read the tags.

The maintainer should watch or be in contact with the Intel CI team, as well as watch the GitLab CI for regressions.

Cherry picking should be done with the ‘-x’ switch (to automatically add “cherry picked from …” to the commit message):

git cherry-pick -x abcdef12345667890

Developers can request, as an exception, patches to be applied up-to the last one hour before the actual release. This is made only with explicit permission/request, and the patch must be very well contained. Thus it cannot affect more than one driver/subsystem.

Following developers have requested permanent exception

  • Ilia Mirkin

  • AMD team

The GitLab CI must pass.

For Windows related changes, the main contact point is Brian Paul. Jose Fonseca can also help as a fallback contact.

For Android related changes, the main contact is Tapani Pälli. Mauro Rossi is collaborating with Android-x86 and may provide feedback about the build status in that project.

For MacOSX related changes, Jeremy Huddleston Sequoia is currently a good contact point.


If a patch in the current queue needs any additional fix(es), then they should be squashed together. The commit messages and the “cherry picked from”-tags must be preserved.

git show b10859ec41d09c57663a258f43fe57c12332698e

commit b10859ec41d09c57663a258f43fe57c12332698e
Author: Jonas Pfeil <>
Date:   Wed Mar 1 18:11:10 2017 +0100

   ralloc: Make sure ralloc() allocations match malloc()'s alignment.

   The header of ralloc needs to be aligned, because the compiler assumes

   (cherry picked from commit cd2b55e536dc806f9358f71db438dd9c246cdb14)

   Squashed with commit:

   ralloc: don't leave out the alignment factor

   Experimentation shows that without alignment factor GCC and Clang choose

   (cherry picked from commit ff494fe999510ea40e3ed5827e7818550b6de126)

Regression/functionality testing

  • no regressions should be observed for Piglit/dEQP/CTS/Vulkan on Intel platforms

  • no regressions should be observed for Piglit using the Softpipe and LLVMpipe drivers

Staging branch

A live branch, which contains the currently merge/rejected patches is available in the main repository under staging/X.Y. For example:

staging/18.1 - WIP branch for the 18.1 series
staging/18.2 - WIP branch for the 18.2 series


  • People are encouraged to test the staging branch and report regressions.

  • The branch history is not stable and it will be rebased,

Making a branchpoint

A branchpoint is made such that new development can continue in parallel to stabilization and bugfixing.


Before doing a branch ensure that basic build and meson test testing is done and there are little to-no issues. Ideally all of those should be tackled already.

Setup the branchpoint:

# Make sure main can carry on at the new version
$EDITOR VERSION # bump the version number, keeping in mind the wrap around at the end of the year
git commit -asm 'VERSION: bump to X.(Y+1)'
truncate -s0 docs/relnotes/new_features.txt
git commit -asm 'docs: reset new_features.txt'
git push YOUR_FORK

Make a merge request with what you just pushed, and assign it straight to @Marge-bot. Keep an eye on it, as you’ll need to wait for it to be merged.

Once it has been merged, note the last commit before your “VERSION: bump to X.Y” as this is the branchpoint. This is $LAST_COMMIT in the command below:


git tag -s $VERSION-branchpoint -m "Mesa $VERSION branchpoint" $LAST_COMMIT

# Double-check that you tagged the correct commit
git show $VERSION-branchpoint

Now that we have an official branchpoint, let’s push the tag and create the branches:

git push origin $VERSION-branchpoint
git checkout $VERSION-branchpoint
git push origin HEAD:refs/heads/$VERSION
git push origin HEAD:refs/heads/staging/$VERSION
git checkout staging/$VERSION

You are now on the staging branch, where you will be doing your release maintainer work. This branch can be rebased and altered in way necessary, with the caveat that anything pushed to the X.Y branch must not be altered anymore. A convenient command to perform an interactive rebase over everything since the last release is:

git rebase -i mesa-$(cat VERSION)

Now go to GitLab and add the new Mesa version X.Y.

Check that there are no distribution breaking changes and revert them if needed. For example: files being overwritten on install, etc. Happens extremely rarely - we had only one case so far (see commit 2ced8eb136528914e1bf4e000dea06a9d53c7e04).

Making a new release

These are the instructions for making a new Mesa release.

Get latest source files

Ensure the latest code is available - both in your local main and the relevant branch.

Perform basic testing

Most of the testing should already be done during the cherry-pick So we do a quick ‘touch test’

  • meson dist

  • the produced binaries work

Here is one solution:

__glxgears_cmd='glxgears 2>&1 | grep -v "configuration file"'
__es2info_cmd='es2_info 2>&1 | egrep "GL_VERSION|GL_RENDERER|.*dri\.so"'
__es2gears_cmd='es2gears_x11 2>&1 | grep -v "configuration file"'
test "x$LD_LIBRARY_PATH" != 'x' && __old_ld="$LD_LIBRARY_PATH"
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=`pwd`/test/usr/local/lib/:"${__old_ld}"
export LIBGL_DRIVERS_PATH=`pwd`/test/usr/local/lib/dri/
export LIBGL_DEBUG=verbose
eval $__glxinfo_cmd
eval $__glxgears_cmd
eval $__es2info_cmd
eval $__es2gears_cmd
eval $__glxinfo_cmd
eval $__glxgears_cmd
eval $__es2info_cmd
eval $__es2gears_cmd
export GALLIUM_DRIVER=softpipe
eval $__glxinfo_cmd
eval $__glxgears_cmd
eval $__es2info_cmd
eval $__es2gears_cmd
# Smoke test DOTA2
test "x$__old_ld" != 'x' && export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$__old_ld" && unset __old_ld
export VK_DRIVER_FILES=`pwd`/test/usr/local/share/vulkan/icd.d/intel_icd.x86_64.json
steam steam://rungameid/570  -vconsole -vulkan

Create release notes for the new release

The release notes are completely generated by the bin/ script. Simply run this script before bumping the version. You’ll need to come back to this file once the tarball is generated to add its SHA256 checksum.

Increment the version contained in the file VERSION at Mesa’s top-level, then commit this change and push the branch (if you forget to do this, below will fail).

Use the script from X.Org util-modular

Start the release process.

../relative/path/to/ . # append --dist if you've already done distcheck above

Pay close attention to the prompts as you might be required to enter your GPG and SSH passphrase(s) to sign and upload the files, respectively.

Ensure that you do sign the tarballs, that your key is mentioned in the release notes, and is published in release-maintainers-keys.asc.

Add the SHA256 checksums to the release notes

Edit docs/relnotes/X.Y.Z.rst to add the SHA256 checksums as available in the mesa-X.Y.Z.announce template. Commit this change.

Don’t forget to push the commits to both the staging/X.Y branch and the X.Y branch:

git push origin HEAD:staging/X.Y
git push origin HEAD:X.Y

Back on mesa main, add the new release notes into the tree

Something like the following steps will do the trick:

git cherry-pick -x X.Y~1
git cherry-pick -x X.Y

Then run the

./bin/ X.Y.Z

, where X.Y.Z is the version you just made. This will update docs/relnotes.rst and docs/release-calendar.csv. It will then generate a Git commit automatically. Check that everything looks correct and push:

git push origin main X.Y

Announce the release

Use the generated template during the releasing process.

Again, pay attention to add a note to warn about a final release in a series, if that is the case.

Update GitLab issues

Parse through the bug reports as listed in the docs/relnotes/X.Y.Z.rst document. If there’s outstanding action, close the bug referencing the commit ID which addresses the bug and mention the Mesa version that has the fix.