Release Guide

This guide details the process of performing a GeoTools release.

Before you start

Notify developer list

It is good practice to notify the GeoTools developer list of the intention to make the release a few days in advance, even though the release date has been agreed upon before hand.


The following are necessary to perform a GeoTools release:

  1. Commit access to the GeoTools Git repository

  2. Build access to Jenkins

  3. Edit access to the GeoTools Blog

  4. Administration rights to GeoTools JIRA

  5. Release/file management privileges in SourceForge

Versions and revisions

When performing a release we don’t require a “code freeze” in which no developers can commit to the repository. Instead we release from a revision that is known to pass all tests, including unit/integration tests on the GeoServer side. These instructions are valid in case you are making a release in combination with GeoServer, if you are making a stand alone release it’s up to you to choose the proper GIT revision number for the GeoTools released to be picked from.

To obtain the GeoServer and GeoTools revisions that have passed testing, navigate to and download a “binary” nightly build. From the download check the VERSION.txt file. For example:

version = 2.17-SNAPSHOT
git revision = 1ee183d9af205080f1543dc94616bbe3b3e4f890
git branch = origin/2.17.x
build date = 19-Jul-2020 04:41
geotools version = 23-SNAPSHOT
geotools revision = 3bde6940610d228e01aec9de7c222823a2638664
geowebcache version = 1.17-SNAPSHOT
geowebcache revision = 27eec3fb31b8b4064ce8cc0894fa84d0ff97be61/27eec
hudson build = -1

Since we don’t make any release from main, ensure you select the right nightly download page to obtain the right revision.

To obtain information about the current environment:

ant -f build/build.xml info
[echo] version: '27-SNAPSHOT'
[echo] date: 'September 10 2021'
[echo] series: 'latest' (used for url references)
[echo] The `release` target requires next release version:
[echo]   ant release -Drelease='27.0'
[echo] The `latest` target requires next snapshot version:
[echo]   ant latest -Drelease='28-SNAPSHOT'

Release in JIRA

  1. Navigate to the GeoTools project page in JIRA.

  2. Add a new version for the next version to be released after the current release. For example, if you are releasing GeoTools 17.5, create version 17.6.

  3. Click in the Actions column for the version you are releasing and select Release. Enter the release date when prompted. If there are still unsolved issues remaining in this release, you will be prompted to move them to an unreleased version. If so, choose the new version you created in step

If you are cutting the first RC of a series, create the stable branch


The RC is the first release of a series, released prior to the .0 release.

When creating the first release candidate of a series, there are some extra steps to create the new stable branch and update the version on main.

  • Checkout the main branch and make sure it is up to date and that there are no changes in your local workspace:

    git checkout main
    git pull
    git status
  • Create the new stable branch and push it to GitHub; for example, if main is 27-SNAPSHOT and the remote for the official GeoTools is called upstream:

    git checkout -b 27.x
    git push upstream 27.x
  • GitHub branch protection uses wild cards to protect the new branch (so no further configuration is required).

  • Checkout the main branch and use branch.xml to update the version in all pom.xml files and a few miscellaneous files; for example, if changing main from 27-SNAPSHOT to 28-SNAPSHOT:

    git checkout main
    ant -f build/build.xml latest -Drelease=28-SNAPSHOT
  • Commit the changes and push to the main branch on GitHub:

    git commit -am "Update version to 28-SNAPSHOT"
    git push geotools main
  • Create the new release candidate version in JIRA for issues on main; for example, if main branch is now 28-SNAPSHOT, create a Jira version 28-RC1 for the first release of the 28.x series

  • Create the new GeoTools $VER Releases (e.g. GeoTools 27 Releases) folder in SourceForge

  • Update the jobs on

    • Disable the previous maintenance jobs, and remove them from the geotools view

    • For the new stable branch create new jobs, duplicate from the existing main jobs, editing branch specifier to the new branch (e.g. 27.x)

    • Special care is needed when setting up java11 build which uses A, B and C groups.

      For example if the next group in the rotation is group A:

      • Carefully set Multi-Project Throttle Category to the next available groups

        Build A

      • Adjust custom workspace (used as a shared workspace and local maven repo location) to match the throttle category groups


  • Announce on the developer mailing list that the new stable branch has been created.

  • This is the time to update the, README.html and documentation links

    For the new stable branch:

    git checkout 26.x
    git pull
    ant -f build/build.xml latest
    git add .
    git commit -m "Change 26.x to stable branch"
    git push geotools 26.x

    For the new maintenance branch:

    git checkout 25.x
    git pull
    ant -f build/build.xml maintenance
    git add .
    git commit -m "Change 25.x to stable branch"
    git push geotools 25.x

    This change will update the pom.xml series used to determine where documentation from the branch is published.

Build the Release

Run the geotools-release job in Jenkins. The job takes the following parameters:


The branch to release from, “8.x”, “9.x”, etc… This must be a stable branch. Releases are not performed from main.


The Git revision number to release from. eg, “24ae10fe662c….”. If left blank the latest revision (i.e. HEAD) on the BRANCH being released is used.


The version/name of the release to build, “8.5”, “9.1”, etc…


The Git username to use for the release.


The Git email to use for the release.

This job will checkout the specified branch/revision and build the GeoTools release artifacts. When successfully complete all release artifacts will be uploaded to the following location:<JOB-NO>

There is also a link at the top of the completed job page.

Test the Artifacts

Download and try out some of the artifacts from the above location and do a quick smoke test that there are no issues. Engage other developers to help test on the developer list.

Check the artifacts by:

  • Unpacking the sources

  • Checking the README.html links go to the correct stable or maintenance user guide

The Jenkins job will perform a build of the source artifacts on an empty Maven repository to make sure any random user out there can do the same. If you want you can still manually test the artifacts by:

  • Temporarily moving the $HOME/.m2/repository to a different location, so that Maven will be forced to build from an empty repo.

  • Do a full build using mvn install -Dall -T1C

  • On a successful build, delete $HOME/.m2/repository and restore the old maven repository backed up at the beginning

  • If you don’t want to fiddle with your main repo just use mvn -Dmaven.repo.local=/tmp/m2 install -Dall -T1C where it points to any empty directory.

Download the user guide:

  • Check the eclipse quickstart section on geotools.version, should reference the correct release tag and snapshot tag.

Publish the Release

Run the geotools-release-publish in Jenkins. The job takes the following parameters:


The version being released. The same value specified for VERSION when running the geotools-release job.


The branch being released from. The same value specified for BRANCH when running the geotools-release job.


The Git username to use for the release.


The Git email to use for the release.

This job will rsync all the artifacts located at:<RELEASE>

to the SourceForge FRS server, and also deploy the artifacts to the public geotools maven repository.

  1. Navigate to Sourceforge and verify that the artifacts have been uploaded properly.

  2. If this is the latest stable release, make its the default download for all platforms (use the “i” button).

Announce the Release

Announce on GeoTools Blog

  1. Navigate to Blogger and sign in:

  2. Select the GeoTools blog from the list (if not listed, get someone to add you)

  3. Create a new blog post anouncing your release; copy and paste a previous blog post preserving series information unless this is the first of a new series

  4. You will need to correct the following information:

    • Update the Sourceforge links above to reflect the release

    • Update the Release Notes by choosing the the correct version from JIRA changelogs

    • For a new stable series, be sure to thank those involved with the release (testing, completed proposals, docs, and so on)

  5. The public entry point will be here:

Tell the World

After the list has had a chance to try things out - make an announcement.

Cut and paste from the blog post to the following:



    Let the user list know:

  3. Open Source Geospatial Foundation

    Only to be used for “significant” releases (Major release only, not for milestone or point releases)

  4. Post a message to the osgeo news email list (you are subscribed right?)