Release management


Holonix defines a simple, language agnostic release workflow.

It assumes a develop and master branch.

It assumes a changelog.

The release.version.current is read from ./config.nix to create a tag v${release.version.current for the release.

The workflow runs in three stages:

  1. Preflight
  2. Version
  3. Publish

Each stage runs the hooks (bash scripts) defined in ./config.nix with the same names:

  • release.hook.preflight
  • release.hook.version
  • release.hook.publish
graph TB; preflight-hook[preflight hook] --> preflight-pass{error code?} preflight-pass -->|Yes| exit-noop[exit with no-op] preflight-pass -->|No| release-branch[create release branch] release-branch --> changelog[release changelog] changelog --> version-hook[version hook] version-hook --> github-push[push to github] github-push --> github-tag[tag and release on github] github-tag --> publish-hook[publish hook] style preflight-hook fill:white,stroke:red,stroke-width:3px style version-hook fill:white,stroke:red,stroke-width:3px style publish-hook fill:white,stroke:red,stroke-width:3px


A hook is simply a string in ./config.nix that will be run as a bash script.

Some standard hooks are offered by holonix.
New standard hooks are added from time to time.

See the holochain-rust repository’s ./config.nix file for an example of a mix of standard holonix hook scripts and repo-specific scripts.


Preflight hooks are sanity checks that must pass before the release is attempted.

Return an exit code other than 0 to cancel the release.

Standard preflight hooks:

  • hn-release-hook-preflight-manual: prompts the user to type Y to confirm the release


Version hooks are responsible for modifying files in place to move from release.version.previous to release.version.current.

Holonix always copies and resets the contents of to the top of before version hooks run.

Holonix creates a new git commit after running the version hook and pushes this to github in the release branch.

Standard version hooks:

  • hn-release-hook-version-rust: updates version key in all Cargo.toml files for rust crates to release.version.current
  • hn-release-hook-version-readme: updates all instances of release.version.previous to release.version.current in all files named (case insensitive)


Publish hooks are responsible for any actions required to distribute release artifacts downstream.

For example the lib3h public hook pushes crates to in dependency order.

Holonix pushes the release branch to github, merges it into both master and develop and tags the HEAD of the release branch with the v${release.version.current}.

Holonix always creates a release on github using the release.github.template markdown template.

The {{ changelog }} placeholder in the release markdown template will be replaced with the changelog notes for this release.

Standard publish hooks:

  • {{ coming soon }}

how to do a release


Before attempting a release ensure the following:

  • a develop branch
  • a master branch
  • a reference to holonix 0.0.30 or higher
  • a github oath token added to git config locally

    git config --global hub.oauthtoken "xxxyourtokenxxx"
    git config --global hub.username "your-github-username"
  • a commit ready to release from the develop branch pulled and checked out locally

  • cd into the repository and do not enter the nix shell


Check all the above requirements are met.

Review the file if it exists (it will be created during the release if not).

Update ./config.nix so that release.commit is the commit hash to be released.

The current commit hash can be found by running:

git rev-parse HEAD

Update ./config.nix so that release.version.previous is the old release.version.current value and release.version.current is now the new release version.

Unlock your ssh key for convenience.


Commit everything so the repository is clean.

git add .
git commit -am'release prep'

Run the release command.

nix-shell --run hn-release-cut