Interactive release tool for Git repositories. Increment version, commit, tag, push, build, publish to npm. Supports to build and release to a distribution/component repository.

Release It!

Interactive release tool for Git repositories. Publish to npm. Optionally build and release to a distribution/component repository.

Automatically increments version in package.json, commit, tag, push, publish, done.

Obviously, Release It has released itself. Cool, heh?! There's also a Grunt plugin.

npm install release-it -g

Personally, I prefer to alias it to release:

alias release="release-it"

The examples below assume this alias to be defined.

Release It can do a lot out-of-the-box, but has plenty of options to configure it.

$ release --help
Release It! v0.0.9
Usage: release <increment> [options]
Use e.g. "release minor" directly as shorthand for "release --increment=minor".
  -c, --config           Path to local configuration options [default: ".release.json"]                          
  -d, --dry-run          Do not touch or write anything, but show the commands and interactivity                 
  -e, --debug            Output exceptions                                                                       
  -f, --force            Force tagging with Git                                                                  
  -h, --help             Print help                                                                              
  -i, --increment        Incrementing "major", "minor", or "patch" version; or specify version [default: "patch"]
  -n, --non-interactive  No interaction (assume default answers to questions)                                    
  -p, --publish          Publish to npm (only in --non-interactive mode)                                         
  -v, --version          Print version number                                                                    
  -V, --verbose          Verbose output
    "non-interactive": false,
    "dry-run": false,
    "verbose": false,
    "force": false,
    "pkgFiles": ["package.json"],
    "increment": "patch",
    "commitMessage": "Release %s",
    "tagName": "%s",
    "tagAnnotation": "Release %s",
    "buildCommand": false,
    "distRepo": false,
    "distPkgFiles": undefined, /* Defaults to pkgFiles */
    "distStageDir": ".stage",
    "distBase": "dist",
    "distFiles": ["**/*"],
    "private": false,
    "publish": false,
    "publishPath": ".",
    "githubTokenRef": "GITHUB_TOKEN",
    "githubRelease": false,
    "githubReleaseName": "Release %s",
    "githubReleaseBodyCommand": "git log --pretty=format:'* %s (%h)' [REV_RANGE]"

If you also want to release to "distribution repo", you'll need to set distRepo to a git endpoint (e.g. '').

Place a .release.json file and Release It will use it to overwrite default settings. You can use --config if you want to use another filename/location. Most options can be set on the command-line (these will have highest priority).

The tool assumes you've configured your SSH keys and remotes correctly. In case you need to configure things, the following pages might be of help.

To create GitHub releases, you'll need to set githubRelease to true, get a GitHub access token, and make this available as the environment variable defined with githubTokenRef. With the default settings, you could set it like this:

export GITHUB_TOKEN="f941e0..."

Many steps need your confirmation before execution.

By default, with the current repository:

  1. The version in each of the pkgFiles will be incremented.
  2. This change will be committed with commitMessage.
  3. This commit is tagged with tagName (and tagAnnotation). The %s is replaced with the incremented version.
  4. Both the commit and tag are pushed.
  5. The version can be released on GitHub (with githubReleaseName and output of githubReleaseBodyCommand).
  6. Without a configured distRepo, the package can be published directly to npm.

Additionally, if a distribution repository is configured:

  1. The plugin will create the distribution build using the distBuildTask shell command.
  2. The distRepo is cloned in distStageDir.
  3. The distFiles are copied here (normalized by removing the distBase from the target path).
  4. Steps 1-5 above are executed for the distribution repository.
  5. The distribution package can be published to npm.

If present, your "private": true setting in package.json will be respected and you will not be bothered with the question to publish to npm.

Release a "patch" update (increments the x in 0.0.x by one):


Release a patch, minor, major, or specific version:

release minor
release 0.8.3
release 2.0.0-rc.3

You can also do a dry run, which won't write/touch anything, but does output the commands it would execute, and show the interactivity:

release --dry-run

If you don't like questions and trust the tool, you can use the non-interactive mode:

release --non-interactive

Provide a custom name for the GitHub release:

release --githubReleaseName="Awesome Ants"

Major dependencies:

The following Grunt plugins have been a source of inspiration:

Why did I need to create yet another "release" tool/plugin? I think it..

  • Should be a stand-alone CLI tool.
  • Should be simple to release the current project you're working at.
  • Should allow to release a separate distribution repository.
  • Should be as quiet or verbose as you want it to be.