Release Tools

A collection of scripts to help with creating releases for publishing libraries and dart packages.

build Coverage Status Pub


  • release_tools update_version - Update the version number of pubspec.yaml
  • release_tools next_version - Get the next version based on commits.
  • release_tools should_release - Check if we can create a release based on commits that follow the Conventional Commit spec.
  • release_tools changelog - Update changelog based on commits that follow the Conventional Commit spec.
  • release_tools update_year - For syncing years on license files.
  • release_tools remote_tag_id - Get the commit id of a remote tag.
  • release_tools current_version - Get the current version of this package.
  • release_tools prepare_release - Complete release prep logic using the tools previously mentioned.

Notes Before Using

To be effective, release_tools makes a few assumptions about a project:

If your project needs are typical, you probably only need prepare_release. However, if you need more fine-grained control, use the other scripts as you see fit.


I recommend installing release_tools globally so that it won't interfere with your project's own dependecies. Constrain it to a specific version to limit supply-chain exploits.

$ pub global activate release_tools 0.2.5



The following command will update the version on pubspec.yaml to version 1.0.1

$ release_tools update_version 1.0.1


If you leave out the version to increment from, it will attempt to obtain the version from pubspec.yaml

$ release_tools next_version

The following command will incremeent the commands based on the commit logs that follow the conventional commit spec.

$ release_tools next_version 1.0.1
# 1.1.0

For example, if the commit logs contain a commit with the following message:

feat: something new

BREAKING-CHANGE: this changes everything

... then it will output a new major version:


By default it considers all the logs from the beginning but you can also specify a starting range:

$ release_tools next_version --from=abcde1234 1.0.1

...where --from should point to a commit id.


The following will print 'yes' to stdout if there are releasable commits, or 'no' if there are none.

$ release_tools should_release
$ release_tools should_release --from=abcde1234


The following will update the changelog based on the commit logs that follow the Conventional Commit spec.

$ release_tools changelog 2.0.1
$ release_tools changelog --from=3682c64 2.0.1

A sample changelog would be the following:

# 1.0.0 (2021-02-09)

## Bug Fixes

- eat healthy ([#3](issues/3)) ([cf60800](commit/cf60800))

## Features

- **movement:** it jumps ([#1](issues/1)) ([925fcd3](commit/925fcd3))
- **movement:** it pounces ([#2](issues/2)) ([a25fcd3](commit/a25fcd3))
- **communication:** it talks ([#4](issues/4)) ([a25fcd3](commit/a25fcd3))
- **communication:** it sends sms ([#5](issues/5)) ([b25fcd3](commit/b25fcd3))


- null-safety ([#6](issues/6)) ([43cf9b7](commit/43cf9b7))


A simple tool for updating the year on LICENSE files. Note that the logic is really simple. It simply updates the first 4-digit number to the current year which may or may not be enough for your needs.

$ release_tools update_year
$ release_tools update_year --license=MY_LICENSE_FILE


Use this to retrieve the commit id of a tag on the git repository's remote.

$ release_tools remote_tag_id 0.2.2
# 3ed81541a61c7502b658c027f6d5ec87c129c1a9

Underneath, it simply runs the following git command:

git ls-remote -q --tags origin 0.2.2

You can specify the remote repository instead of the default 'origin' if needed:

$ release_tools remote_tag_id --remote=source 0.2.2


Use this if you need to retrieve the current version on pubspec.yaml

$ release_tools current_version
# 1.0.2


Complete release preparation logic with the following steps:

  1. Get the current version
  2. Get the commits from the last tag or, if a tag is not available for the last release, from the beginning of commit history
  3. Check if a release is appropriate and if so...
  4. Update version on pubspec
  5. Create summary changelog from the commits
$ release_tools prepare_release

If there are no releasable commits, it will print the following:

There are no releasable commits

Otherwise, it will print something like the following:

Version bumped to: 0.2.5


# 0.2.5 (2021-05-03)

## Bug Fixes

- **changelog:** performance section in changelogs ([063e07d](commit/063e07d))

## Features

- prepare_release command ([877d63e](commit/877d63e))

If you need a summary of the result of the script run, you can pass -w to write some summary files like in the following:

$ release_tools prepare_release -w

This will create two files, VERSION.txt and RELEASE_SUMMARY.txt which will contain just the version for release and the summary of changes, respectively.

Similar Tools

  • pub_release - A much more mature release tool. I wanted to use this tool on my projects but found I didn't need a lot of its features. Still awesome!
  • melos - This one is geared towards monorepos.