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

npm install release-it
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Release It!

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

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 It! v0.0.1

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                                                                          
  -v, --version          Print version number                                                                    
  -V, --verbose          Verbose output

Default Settings

    "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,
    "distStageDir": ".stage",
    "distBase": "dist",
    "distFiles": ["**/*"],
    "publish": false

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).

What it does

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 the commitMessage.
  3. This commit is tagged with tagName (and tagAnnotation). The %s will be replaced with the updated version.
  4. The commit plus the tag are pushed.
  5. If no distRepo is configured, the package is published.

Additionally, if a distribution repository is configured:

  1. The plugin will create the distribution build using the distBuildTask Grunt task.
  2. The distStageDir is where the plugin will clone the distRepo.
  3. The distFiles are copied here (normalized by removing the distBase from the target path).
  4. Steps 1-4 above are executed for the distribution repository.
  5. The package is published.


Make a "patch" release (increments the 0.0.x):


Make a patch, minor, major or specific version release with e.g.:

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 shows 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


This tool uses ShellJS and Inquirer.js, two awesome projects that you need to check out anyway.

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.
  • Feature releasing to a separate distribution repository.
  • Should be as quiet or verbose as you need it.




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