Generic Release Process

This process applies to all releases other than feature releases, this includes:

  • Stable releases

If you intent to release a new feature release, see the Feature Release Process section instead.


The following commands have been validated when ran in the VM used in the Cilium development process. See Development Setup for detailed instructions about setting up said VM.

GitHub template process

  1. File a new release issue on GitHub, updating the title to reflect the version that will be released.
  2. Follow the steps in the issue template to prepare the release.

Reference steps for the template

  1. Ensure that the necessary backports have been completed and merged. See Backporting process.

    1. Update GitHub project and create vX.Y.Z+1 project if applicable.
    2. Update PRs / issues that were added to the vX.Y.Z project, but didn’t make it into this release into the vX.Y.Z+1 project.
  2. Create a new project named “X.Y.Z+1” to automatically track the backports for that particular release. Direct Link:

  3. Checkout the desired stable branch and pull it:

    git checkout v1.0; git pull
  4. Run the release preparation script:



Check to see if the AUTHORS file has any formatting errors (for instance, indentation mismatches) as well as duplicate contributor names, and correct them accordingly.

  1. Update the cilium_version and cilium_tag variables in examples/getting-started/Vagrantfile

  2. Add all modified files using git add and create a commit with the title Prepare for release v1.0.3.

  3. Prepare a pull request for the changes:

  4. Follow standard procedures to get the aforementioned PR merged into the desired stable branch. See Submitting a pull request for more information about this process.

  5. Checkout out the stable branch and pull your merged changes:

    git checkout v1.0; git pull
  6. Create and push release tags to GitHub:



    There are two tags that correspond to the same release because GitHub recommends using vx.y.z for release version formatting, and ReadTheDocs, which hosts the Cilium documentation, requires the version to be in format x.y.z For more information about how ReadTheDocs does versioning, you can read their Versions Documentation.

  7. Wait for DockerHub to prepare all docker images.

  8. Publish a GitHub release:

    Following the steps above, the release draft will already be prepared. Preview the description and then publish the release.

  9. Prepare Helm changes for the release using the Cilium Helm Charts Repository and push the changes into that repository (not the main cilium repository):

    ./ /path/to/cilium/repository/checked/out/to/release/commit
    git push
  10. Prepare Helm changes for the dev version of the branch using the Cilium Helm Charts Repository for the vX.Y helm charts, and push the changes into that repository (not the main cilium repository):

    In the cilium/cilium repository:

    1. git checkout vx.y -b vx.z-dev
    2. Change the VERSION file to x.y-dev
    3. Run make -C install/kubernetes

    In the cilium/charts repository:

    ./ /path/to/cilium/repository/checked/out/to/release/commit
    git push

    After pushing you can revert all the changes made in the local branch x.y-dev from cilium/cilium.

  11. Announce the release in the #general channel on Slack. Sample text:

    :cilium-new: **Announcement:** Cilium vX.Y.Z has been released :tada:
    <If security release or major bugfix, short summary of fix here>
    For more details, see the release notes:
  12. Create a new git branch based on the master branch to update README.rst:

    git checkout -b pr/bump-readme-vX.Y.Z origin/master
    # (Commit changes & submit PR)
  13. Bump the version of Cilium used in the Cilium upgrade tests to use the new release

    Please reach out on the #development channel on Slack for assistance with this task.

  14. Update the stable tags for cilium, cilium-operator, cilium-operator-aws, cilium-operator-azure, cilium-operator-generic, cilium-docker-plugin and hubble-relay on DockerHub, for the latest version of Cilium. For example, if the latest version is 1.8, then for all patch releases on the 1.8 line, this step should be performed. Once 1.9 is out for example, then this is no longer required for 1.8.

    Note, the DockerHub UI will not allow you to modify the stable tag directly. You will need to delete it, and then create a new, updated one.

  15. Update the following external tools and guides to point to the released Cilium version. This step is only required on a new minor release like going from 1.8 to 1.9.