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    1.0.4 • Public • Published


    npm node Dependencies npm

    Build and tag package release on a separate branch

    A whole lot of front-end packages keep their dist files directly in the master branch. This is required for package managers that rely on tags (e.g. Bower).

    Are you tired of this pollution? Then this tool is for you!

    Carl and Rick about storing dist in master

    How does it work?

    It uses special releases branch and keep all the built files there and tag it as well. It looks like this:

    • check if current version (from package.json) was not tagged (released)
    • git checkout -B releases
    • git merge master (this merge won't produce any conflicts as on master branch you change only src files and on releases only dist files are changed)
    • Building dist files: npm run build-dist
    • git add dist -f
    • git commit -m "Release <version>"
    • git tag <version>
    • git push --follow-tags
    • git checkout master


    Requirements: Node v4+

    Local installation:

    npm install branch-release --save-dev

    Global installation (not recommended):

    npm install branch-release -g


    This tool requires npm script that build dist files (by default script build-dist will be used)

    In case of global installation you can use this tool via command-line:

    $ branch-release

    But I recommend local installation and using it via npm scripts (npm bin directory is automatically added to PATH for scripts):

      "release-to-branch": "branch-release"

    and then:

    npm run release-to-branch

    All you need to do is change version field in package.json, commit it and run this tool (ideally it should be run by TravisCI)


    You can configure this tool via both command-line options or environment variables:

    • -b <RELEASES_BRANCH> or BR_RELEASES_BRANCH env variable: specifies branch to be used to publish releases. Default: releases
    • -t <GH_TOKEN> or GH_TOKEN env variable: specifies GitHub access token. NOTE: GH_TOKEN won't be output to the public logs. It will be replaced with xxGH_TOKENxx
    • -d <DIST_DIR> or BR_DIST_DIR env variable: specifies dir to be used to store dist files. Default: dist
    • -s <BUILD_SCRIPT> or BR_BUILD_SCRIPT env variable: specifies npm script to be run for building dist files. Default: build-dist
    • -m <COMMIT_MESSAGE> or BR_COMMIT_MESSAGE env variable: specifies commit message. You can use %ver% placeholder which will be replaced with actual package version from package.json. Default: 'Release v%ver%'

    Using with TravisCI

    This tool works best with TravisCI. The sample repo that uses this tool with TravisCI: branch-release-demo

    Here is the example configuration:


        "test": "./test",
        "build-dist": "./build",
        "release-to-branch": "branch-release"

    ./test and ./build are here just for example. Use your actual routines.


    language: node_js
    - '4.0'
      - GIT_AUTHOR_NAME: MyRepoTravisBot
      - GH_TOKEN: <your github token>
      skip_cleanup: true
      provider: script
      script: npm run release-to-branch
        branch: master

    WARNING: don't specify GH_TOKEN in cleartext, use travis encrypted keys instead.

    If you omit skip_cleanup field you should do npm install before run branch-release:

    script: npm install && npm run release-to-branch

    I recommend to use machine user account to push commits from TravisCI to Github. It is totally OK according to Github guides

    Publish npm package

    You can publish npm package automatically as well. For that you need to setup TravisCI deploy to npm and bind it to git tags:

      - skip_cleanup: true
        provider: script
        script: npm run branch-release
          branch: master
      - provider: npm
        skip_cleanup: true
        api_key: <your api key>
          tags: true

    WARNING: don't specify api_key in cleartext, use travis encrypted keys instead. You can check out this real-life example of this approach for more details.


    Special thanks goes to @IvanGoncharov for the idea and motivation 😄


    npm i branch-release

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    • romanhotsiy