Skip to content

Release Checklist

This document is intended for Nautobot maintainers and covers the steps to perform when releasing new versions.

Minor Version Bumps

Update Requirements

Required Python packages are maintained in two files: pyproject.toml and poetry.lock.

The pyproject.toml file

Python packages are defined inside of pyproject.toml. The [tool.poetry.dependencies] section of this file contains a list of all the packages required by Nautobot.

Where possible, we use tilde requirements to specify a minimal version with some ability to update, for example:

# REST API framework
djangorestframework = "~3.12.2"

This would allow Poetry to install djangorestframework versions >=3.12.2 but <3.13.0.

The poetry.lock file

The other file is poetry.lock, which is managed by Poetry and contains package names, versions, and other metadata.

Each of the required packages pinned to its current stable version. When Nautobot is installed, this file is used to resolve and install all dependencies listed in pyproject.toml, but Poetry will use the exact versions found in poetry.lock to ensure that a new release of a dependency doesn't break Nautobot.


You must never directly edit this file. You will use poetry update commands to manage it.

Run poetry update

Every minor version release should refresh poetry.lock, so that it lists the most recent stable release of each package. To do this:

  1. Review each requirement's release notes for any breaking or otherwise noteworthy changes.
  2. Run poetry update <package> to update the package versions in poetry.lock as appropriate.
  3. If a required package requires updating to a new release not covered in the version constraints for a package as defined in pyproject.toml, (e.g. Django ~3.1.7 would never install Django >=4.0.0), update it manually in pyproject.toml.
  4. Run poetry install to install the refreshed versions of all required packages.
  5. Run all tests and check that the UI and API function as expected.


You may use poetry update --dry-run to have Poetry automatically tell you what package updates are available and the versions it would upgrade.

Update Static Libraries

Update the following static libraries to their most recent stable release:

Add the release notes (docs/release-notes/ to the table of contents within mkdocs.yml, and point to the new file.

Verify and Revise the Install Documentation

Follow the install instructions to perform a new production installation of Nautobot.

The goal of this step is to walk through the entire install process as documented to make sure nothing there needs to be changed or updated, to catch any errors or omissions in the documentation, and to ensure that it is current with each release.


Fire up mkdocs serve in your development environment to start the documentation server! This allows you to view the documentation locally and automatically rebuilds the documents as you make changes.

Commit any necessary changes to the documentation before proceeding with the release.

Close the Release Milestone

Close the release milestone on GitHub after ensuring there are no remaining open issues associated with it.

All Releases

Verify CI Build Status

Ensure that continuous integration testing on the develop branch is completing successfully.

Bump the Version

Update the package version using invoke version. This command shows the current version of the project or bumps the version of the project and writes the new version back to pyproject.toml (for the Nautobot Python package) if a valid bump rule is provided.

The new version should ideally be a valid semver string or a valid bump rule: patch, minor, major, prepatch, preminor, premajor, prerelease. Always try to use a bump rule when you can.

Display the current version with no arguments:

invoke version

Example output:


Bump pre-release versions using prerelease:

invoke version -v prerelease

Example output:


For major versions, use major:

invoke version -v major

Example output:


For patch versions, use minor:

invoke version minor

Example output:


And lastly, for patch versions, you guessed it, use patch:

invoke version patch

Example output:


The invoke version [<version>] command internally runs the poetry version command to handle the versioning process. However, there might be cases where you need to manually configure the version. Here's how you can do that:

  • Poetry Version: If you want to manually set the version for the Python dependencies managed by Poetry, you can refer to the Poetry documentation on version for detailed instructions. It provides information on how to set the version directly in the pyproject.toml file or update it using the poetry version command.

Update the Changelog

Create a release branch off of develop (git checkout -b release/1.4.3 develop)

Generate release notes with towncrier build --version 1.4.3 and answer yes to the prompt Is it okay if I remove those files? [Y/n]:. This will update the release notes in nautobot/docs/release-notes/, stage that file in git, and git rm all of the fragments that have now been incorporated into the release notes.

Run invoke markdownlint to make sure the generated release notes pass the linter checks.

Check the git diff to verify the changes are correct (git diff --cached).

Commit and push the staged changes.


The changelog must adhere to the Keep a Changelog style guide.

Submit Pull Request

Submit a pull request titled "Release vX.Y.Z" to merge your release branch into main. Copy the documented release notes into the pull request's body.

Once CI has completed on the PR, merge it.


Do not squash merge this branch into main. Make sure to select Create a merge commit when merging in GitHub.

Create a New Release Tag

You need to create a release tag locally so that you can use it later when you draft the new release for nautobot, for example, v1.4.3. To create the tag locally:

$ git tag v1.4.3

To list all the tags to see if it is created successfully:

$ git tag

To push the tag upstream:

$ git push origin v1.4.3

Create a New Release

Draft a new release with the following parameters.

  • Tag: Current version (e.g. v1.0.0)


You will need to create a new release tag locally before you draft the new release. To create a new release tag, follow the steps outlined here.

  • Target: main
  • Title: Version and date (e.g. v1.0.0 - 2021-06-01)
  • Release Notes: Follow the steps below

  • Click on Generate release notes button and you should see some release notes auto-generated by GitHub.

  • Copy and paste the changelog entries newly generated by towncrier in nautobot/docs/release-notes/ from your previous pull request to the auto-generated release notes on top of the What's Changed section.
  • Change the heading What's Changed to Contributors.
  • Change the entries under the heading to only the usernames of the contributors. e.g. * Updated dockerfile by @nautobot_user in -> * @nautobot_user
  • Make sure there is no redundant username in the Contributors list.
  • Leave the New Contributors list as it is.

Publish to PyPI

Now that there is a tagged release, the final step is to upload the package to the Python Package Index.

First, you'll need to render the documentation.

poetry run mkdocs build --no-directory-urls --strict

Second, you'll need to build the Python package distributions (which will include the rendered documentation):

poetry build

Finally, publish to PyPI using the username __token__ and the Nautobot PyPI API token as the password. The API token can be found in the Nautobot maintainers vault (if you're a maintainer, you'll have access to this vault):

poetry publish --username __token__ --password <api_token>

Publish Docker Images

Build the images locally:

for ver in 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11; do
  invoke buildx --target final --tag networktocode/nautobot-py${INVOKE_NAUTOBOT_PYTHON_VER}:local
  invoke buildx --target final-dev --tag networktocode/nautobot-dev-py${INVOKE_NAUTOBOT_PYTHON_VER}:local

Test the images locally - to do this you need to set the following in your invoke.yml:

    - "docker-compose.yml"
    - "docker-compose.postgres.yml"
    - ""


You should not include in this test scenario!

for ver in 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11; do
  invoke stop
  invoke integration-tests

Push the images to GitHub Container Registry and Docker Hub

docker login
docker login
for ver in 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11; do
  invoke docker-push main

Bump the Development Version

Create a new branch off of main and use poetry version prepatch to bump the version to the next release. Then open a pull request to the develop branch to update the version and sync the release notes and changelog fragment updates from main.

For example, if you just released v1.1.0:

poetry version prepatch

Example output:

Bumping version from 1.1.0 to 1.1.1-alpha.0


Do not squash merge this branch into develop. Make sure to select Create a merge commit when merging in GitHub.

Redeploy Sandbox Environment

Afer you publish the release, you need to blow away the current demo environment and redeploy it for The documentation on how to build a demo environment is available in the nautobot/sandboxes repository.