Release process checklist for librsvg

Feel free to print this document or copy it to a text editor to check off items while making a release.

  • ☐ Refresh your memory with

  • ☐ Increase the package version number in (it may already be increased but not released; double-check it).

  • ☐ Copy version number to Cargo.toml.

  • ☐ Copy version number to doc/librsvg.toml.

  • cargo update - needed because you tweaked Cargo.toml, and also to get new dependencies.

  • ☐ Tweak the library version number in if the API changed; follow the steps there.

  • ☐ Update NEWS, see below for the preferred format.

  • ☐ Commit the changes above.

  • ☐ Make a tarball with ./ --enable-vala && make distcheck DESTDIR=/tmp/foo - fix things until it passes.

  • ☐ Create a signed tag - git tag -s x.y.z with the version number.

  • git push to the appropriate branch to

  • git push the signed tag to

  • scp librsvg-x.y.z.tar.xz

  • ssh and then ftpadmin install librsvg-x.y.z.tar.xz

  • ☐ Create a release in Gitlab.

For x.y.0 releases, do the following:

  • Notify the release team on whether to use this librsvg-x.y.0 for the next GNOME version via an issue on their GNOME/releng project.

  • cargo-audit audit and ensure we don’t have vulnerable dependencies.

Gitlab release

  • ☐ Go to and click the New release button.

  • ☐ Select the tag x.y.z you created as part of the release steps.

  • ☐ If there is an associated milestone, select it too.

  • ☐ Fill in the release title - x.y.z.

  • ☐ Copy the release notes from NEWS.

  • ☐ Add a release asset link to and call it librsvg-x.y.z.tar.xz - release tarball.

  • ☐ Add a release asset link to and call it librsvg-x.y.z.sha256sum - release tarball       sha256sum.

Version numbers and release schedule and Cargo.toml must have the same package version number - this is the number that users of the library see. is where the library version is defined; this is what gets encoded in the SONAME of

Librsvg follows GNOME’s release versioning as of 2022/September. (Note that it used an even/odd numbering scheme before librsvg 2.55.x)

Librsvg follows GNOME’s six-month release schedule.

The release-team needs to be notified when a new series comes about, so they can adjust their tooling for the stable GNOME releases. File an issue in their repository to indicate that the new librsvg-x.y.0 is a stable series.

Minimum supported Rust version (MSRV)

While it may seem desirable to always require the latest released version of the Rust toolchain, to get new language features and such, this is really inconvenient for distributors of librsvg which do not update Rust all the time. So, we make a compromise.

The script defines MININUM_RUST_MAJOR and MINIMUM_RUST_MINOR variables with librsvg’s minimum supported Rust version (MSRV). These ensure that distros will get an early failure during a build, at the configure step, if they have a version of Rust that is too old — instead of getting an obscure error message from rustc in the middle of the build when it finds an unsupported language construct.

Please update both of these when increasing the MSRV:


  • The rust-version value in Cargo.toml.

Sometimes librsvg’s dependencies update their MSRV and librsvg may need to increase it as well. Please consider the following before doing this:

  • Absolutely do not require a nightly snapshot of the compiler, or crates that only build on nightly.

  • Distributions with rolling releases usually keep their Rust toolchains fairly well updated, maybe not always at the latest, but within two or three releases earlier than the latest. If the MSRV you want is within about six months of the latest, things are probably safe.

  • Enterprise distributions update more slowly. It is useful to watch for the MSRV that Firefox requires, although sometimes Firefox updates Rust very slowly as well. Now that distributions are shipping packages other than Firefox that require Rust, they will probably start updating more frequently.

Generally — two or three releases earlier than the latest stable Rust is OK for rolling distros, probably perilous for enterprise distros. Releases within a year of an enterprise distro’s shipping date are probably OK.

If you are not sure, ask on the forum for GNOME distributors about their plans! (That is, posts on with the distributor tag.)

Format for release notes in NEWS

The NEWS file contains the release notes. Please use something close to this format; it is not mandatory, but makes the formatting consistent, and is what tooling expects elsewhere - also by writing Markdown, you can just cut&paste it into a Gitlab release. You can skim bits of the NEWS file for examples on style and content.

New entries go at the top of the file.

Version x.y.z

Commentary on the release; put anything here that you want to
highlight.  Note changes in the build process, if any, or any other
things that may trip up distributors.

## Description of a special feature

You can include headings with `##` in Markdown syntax.

Blah blah blah.

Next is a list of features added and issues fixed; use gitlab's issue
numbers. I tend to use this order: first security bugs, then new
features and user-visible changes, finally regular bugs.  The
rationale is that if people stop reading early, at least they will
have seen the most important stuff first.

## Changes:

- #123 - title of the issue, or short summary if it warrants more
  discussion than just the title.

- #456 - fix blah blah (Contributor's Name).

## Special thanks for this release:

- Any people that you want to highlight.  Feel free to omit this
  section if the release is otherwise unremarkable.

Making a tarball

make distcheck DESTDIR=/tmp/foo

The DESTDIR is a quirk, required because otherwise the gdk-pixbuf loader will try to install itself into the system’s location for pixbuf loaders, and it won’t work. The DESTDIR is what Linux distribution packaging scripts use to make install the compiled artifacts to a temporary location before building a system package.

Copying the tarball to

If you don’t have a maintainer account there, ask to do it or ask the release team to do it by filing an issue on their GNOME/releng project.

Rust dependencies

Librsvg’s Cargo.lock is checked into git because the resolved versions of crates that it mentions are the ones that were actually used to run the test suite automatically in CI, and are “known good”. In other words: keep the results of dependency resolution in version control, and update those results manually.

It is important to keep these dependencies updated; you can do that regularly with the cargo update step listed in the checklist above.

cargo-audit is very useful to scan the list of dependencies for registered vulnerabilities in the RustSec vulnerability database. Run it especially before making a new x.y.0 release.

Sometimes cargo-audit will report crates that are not vulnerable, but that are unmaintained. Keep an eye of those; you may want to file bugs upstream to see if the crates are really unmaintained or if they should be substituted for something else.

Creating a stable release branch

  • Create a branch named librsvg-xx.yy, e.g. librsvg-2.54

  • Make the BASE_TAG in ci/container-builds.yml refer to the new librsvg-xx.yy branch instead of main.

  • Push that branch to origin.

  • (Branches with that naming scheme are already automatically protected in gitlab’s Settings/Repository/Protected branches.)

  • Edit the badge for the stable branch so it points to the new branch: Settings/General/Badges, find the existing badge for the stable branch, click on the edit button that looks like a pencil. Change the Link and Badge image URL; usually it is enough to just change the version number in both.