Workflow for the Release Point announcements

This page describe the current workflow and best practices for the creation and publication of announcements of release points.

This task has to be run by Publicity delegates and/or webmasters because you need permissions to stop cron jobs, build the website, and push to mirrors.

1. On $expected-release-date we need to publish the announcement in the website, and update most of the website to reflect the point releases we are going to offer from now on. To avoid presenting an updated info in some places while the CD images are not ready yet, or while other parts of the website still didn't get updated, we would need to stop the cron jobs that build the website automatically, and thus update and build ourselves, and push to mirrors, as it is needed.

1.1 Open an ssh session in


1.2 Stop the cron jobs that build the website:

   sudo -u debwww crontab -e

2. The release team will probably have written a draft (or two if there is release point for stable and oldstable) in the publicity announcements git repository under en/$year/YYYYMMDD.wml and have sent a mail to (adding in CC and asking for reviews and translations, so check the folders of other languages (or commit log of the repository).

2.1. Publish the announcement in the website: you just need to add it to the webwml git repository at webwml/english/News/$year with the namescheme YYYYMMDD.wml). Add and commit the English version first. Then, take note of the hash of the commit of the English file (you can do "git log english/News/$year/YYYYMMDD.wml" and copy the hash of the most recent commit). Then copy the translations to their corresponding folders (adding Makefiles if needed), and then edit them to add the hash in the "translation-check" header.

For example, let's say that the French translation file has a first line like this:

#use wml::debian::translation-check translation="      " maintainer="Jean-Pierre Giraud"

Then you have to paste the hash so it looks like something like this:

#use wml::debian::translation-check translation="0788aa9ab387393e2e9236d36df0630ae1c038c6" maintainer="Jean-Pierre Giraud"

Save the files, and then add and commit the translations (and makefiles if any) You can add and commit all the files at the same time.

2.2. Run a partial rebuild of the website:

   ssh -tt sudo -u debwww /srv/ News

(this step usually takes more than 10 minutes).

If you want to update the homepage so the news is listed there too, run:

   ssh -tt sudo -u debwww NOSUBDIRS=1 /srv/ index

2.3. Now you're ready for creating the mail: the script to create it is the publicity dpn repo under scripts/ Please note that the script is not perfect: a check and a couple of adjustments by hand are usually required (and a patch to improve it, as well!)

IMPORTANT: Please run the script in a Debian stretch box until #950972 is fixed

./scripts/ -t news -i $year/$date

2.4. Send the mail to

2.5. Follow the instructions in to send a microblogging that will be mirrored in and other social networks.

3. For stable/oldstable point releases, almost the whole website needs to be rebuilt but the push to mirrors cannot be made until the installation images are ready (keep an eye on #debian-cd and #debian-release). We will update the website manually, without pushing to mirrors.

3.1. We need to stop any job of website build that is running to avoid automatic push to mirrors. You can see the processes by typing (in www-master):

   sudo -u debwww pstree -p debwww

and stop it with

   sudo -u debwww kill PID

3.2 The files english/releases/codename/errata.wml and english/template/debian/release_info.wml need to be updated with the version number of the point release. In some cases, we also need to update english/releases/codename/index.wml and english/releases/codename/ (see below for the details).

<define-tag jessie-images-url></define-tag>
<define-tag jessie-cd-release-filename>8.11.0</define-tag>

Commit the changes (in your local copy, no in

3.3. In, build the relevant parts of the website, using the script:

sudo -u debwww NOMIRROR=1 /srv/ CD

(Repeat the command changing CD for each one of the folders that use the release_info tags. At least: CD, distrib, ports, releases). This step usually takes more than 10 minutes. Each folder takes some minutes to update.

3.4. Build the homepage and files in the main folder with:

sudo -u debwww NOSUBDIRS=1 NOMIRROR=1 /srv/ index

This step should take some minutes, not much.

3.5 If the images are not ready yet, you can build the other folders of the website with the same command of step 3.3. Don't build the "security" folder because that one takes too long. "Bugs" and "events" are also folders that take a while to build).

3.6. You can review the output of all the website builds in /srv/ (or via web in ).

4. Once the installation images are ready, you can repeat step 2.2 (update-part News) so the last translations of the announcement get published, and the folders that we built in the step 3 are pushed to mirrors (and the website looks updated and with links to the updated images).

This step may take more than 30 minutes.

5. And finally, undo the changes in crontab so the next website build runs as usual:

sudo -u debwww crontab -e

(the next rebuild will automatically rebuild the /security and other folders, if needed)

6. You may want to follow again the instructions in to send a microblogging about the installation images of the new point release(s) ready to download from the Debian website (not needed if not much time passed between the announcement itself and this moment).

7. Remove the announcement from the publicity announcements git repository once it has been published.

8. Finally, update the debian-timeline with this event.