GitLab Docs monthly release process
When a new GitLab version is released on the 22nd, we need to create the respective single Docker image, and update some files so that the dropdown works correctly.
1. Add the chart version
Since the charts use a different version number than all the other GitLab products, we need to add a version mapping:
The charts stable branch is not created automatically like the other products. There's an issue to track this. It is usually created on the 21st or the 22nd.
To add a new charts version:
- Make sure you're in the root path of the
content/_data/chart_versions.yamland add the new stable branch version using the version mapping. Note that only the
major.minorversion is needed.
- Create a new merge request and merge it.
TIP: Tip: It can be handy to create the future mappings since they are pretty much known. In that case, when a new GitLab version is released, you don't have to repeat this first step.
2. Create an image for a single version
The single docs version must be created before the release merge request, but this needs to happen when the stable branches for all products have been created.
Make sure you're in the root path of the
Run the Rake task to create the single version:
Dockerfile.12.0should have been created and
.gitlab-ci.ymlshould have the branches variables updated into a new branch. They will be automatically committed.
Push the newly created branch, but don't create a merge request. Once you push, the
image:docker-singejob will create a new Docker image tagged with the branch name you created in the first step. In the end, the image will be uploaded in the Container Registry and it will be listed under the
registryenvironment folder at
https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-docs/-/environments/folders/registry(must have developer access).
Optionally, you can test locally by building the image and running it:
docker build -t docs:12.0 -f Dockerfile.12.0 . docker run -it --rm -p 4000:4000 docs:12.0
http://localhost:4000/12.0/ to see if everything works correctly.
3. Create the release merge request
NOTE: Note: To be automated.
Now it's time to create the monthly release merge request that adds the new version and rotates the old one:
Make sure you're in the root path of the
Create a branch
git checkout master git checkout -b release-12-0
Rotate the online and offline versions:
At any given time, there are 4 browsable online versions: one pulled from the upstream master branches (docs for GitLab.com) and the three latest stable versions.
content/_data/versions.yamland rotate the versions to reflect the new changes:
online: The 3 latest stable versions.
offline: All the previous versions offered as an offline archive.
The following two Dockerfiles need to be updated:
dockerfiles/Dockerfile.archives- Add the latest version at the top of the list.
Dockerfile.master- Rotate the versions (oldest gets removed and latest is added at the top of the list).
In the end, there should be four files in total that have changed. Commit and push to create the merge request using the "Release" template:
git add content/ Dockerfile.master dockerfiles/Dockerfile.archives git commit -m "Release 12.0" git push origin release-12-0
4. Update the dropdown for all online versions
The versions dropdown is in a way "hardcoded". When the site is built, it looks
at the contents of
content/_data/versions.yaml and based on that, the dropdown
is populated. So, older branches will have different content, which means the
dropdown will list one or more releases behind. Remember that the new changes of
the dropdown are included in the unmerged
The content of
content/_data/versions.yaml needs to change for all online
versions (stable branches
X.Y of the
Run the Rake task that will create all the respective merge requests needed to update the dropdowns and will be set to automatically be merged when their pipelines succeed:
NOTE: Note: The
release-X-Ybranch needs to be present locally, and you need to have switched to it, otherwise the Rake task will fail.
git checkout release-X-Y ./bin/rake release:dropdowns
Visit the merge requests page to check that their pipelines pass, and once all are merged, proceed to the following and final step.
TIP: Tip: In case a pipeline fails, see troubleshooting.
5. Merge the release merge request
The dropdown merge requests should have now been merged into their respective
X.Y branch), which will trigger another pipeline. At this point,
you need to only babysit the pipelines and make sure they don't fail:
- Check the pipelines page and make sure all stable branches have green pipelines.
- After all the pipelines of the online versions succeed, merge the release merge request.
- Finally, run the
Build docker images weeklypipeline that will build the
Once the scheduled pipeline succeeds, the docs site will be deployed with all new versions online.
Releasing a new version is a long process that involves many moving parts.
test_internal_links_and_anchors failing on dropdown merge requests
We now pin versions in the
.gitlab-ci.yml of the respective branch,
so the steps below are deprecated.
When updating the dropdown for the stable versions, there may be cases where some links might fail. The process of how the dropdown MRs are created have a caveat, and that is that the tests run by pulling the master branches of all products, instead of the respective stable ones.
This happened because there has been a rename of a product (
and the old name was still referenced in the 12.2 docs. If the respective stable
branches for 12.2 were used, this wouldn't have failed, but as we can see from
master branches were pulled.
To fix this, re-run the pipeline (
update-12-2-for-release-12-4 branch, by including the following environment variables:
This should make the MR pass.