Release Checklist Edit

This page describes the list of activities that developers must perform to produce a new release of WP-CLI.

Major/minor releases Major/minor releases

Writing the release post Writing the release post

See prior release posts for a format to follow.

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Regenerate command and internal API docs Regenerate command and internal API docs

Command and internal API docs need to be regenerated before every major release, because they’re meant to correlate with the release.

To regenerate:

git clone
cd handbook
wp handbook gen-all

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Verify automated tests Verify automated tests

Make sure the automated test suite is running correctly and passed. This represents the final build quality sanity check.

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Updating WP-CLI Updating WP-CLI

Create a branch called release-x-x-x on wp-cli/wp-cli-bundle to prepare the release PR.

Make sure that the contents of VERSION in wp-cli/wp-cli are changed to latest.

Also update the WP-CLI version mention in wp-cli/wp-cli‘s (ref).

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Locking php-cli-tools version Locking php-cli-tools version

php-cli-tools is sometimes set to dev-master during the development cycle. During the WP-CLI release process, composer.json should be locked to a specific version. php-cli-tools may need a new version tagged as well.

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Locking the framework Locking the framework

The version constraint of the wp-cli/wp-cli framework requirement is usually set to "dev-master". Set it to the stable tagged release that represents the version to be published.

As an example, if releasing version 2.1.0 of WP-CLI, the wp-cli/wp-cli-bundle should require "wp-cli/wp-cli": "^2.1.0".

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Updating the contributor list Updating the contributor list

From within the wp-cli/wp-cli-dev project repo, use wp maintenance contrib-list to generate a list of release contributors:

GITHUB_TOKEN=<token> wp maintenance contrib-list --format=markdown

This script identifies pull request creators from wp-cli/wp-cli-bundle, wp-cli/wp-cli, wp-cli/handbook, and all bundled WP-CLI commands (e.g. wp-cli/*-command).

For wp-cli/wp-cli-bundle, wp-cli/wp-cli and wp-cli/handbook, the script uses the currently open release milestone.

For all bundled WP-CLI commands, the script uses all closed milestones since the last WP-CLI release (as identified by the version present in the composer.lock file). If a command was newly bundled since last release, contributors to that command will need to be manually added to the list.

The script will also produce a total contributor and pull request count you can use in the release post.

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Updating the Phar build Updating the Phar build

1) Create a PR from the release-x-x-x branch in wp-cli/wp-cli-bundle and merge it. This will trigger the wp-cli-release.* builds.

2) Create a git tag and push it.

3) Create a stable Phar build:

cd wp-cli/builds/phar
cp wp-cli-release.phar wp-cli.phar
md5 -q wp-cli.phar > wp-cli.phar.md5
shasum -a 512 wp-cli.phar | cut -d ' ' -f 1 > wp-cli.phar.sha512

4) Sign the release with GPG (see

gpg --output wp-cli.phar.gpg --default-key --sign wp-cli.phar
gpg --output wp-cli.phar.asc --default-key --detach-sig --armor wp-cli.phar

Note: The GPG key for has to be shared amongst maintainers.

5) Perform one last sanity check on the Phar by ensuring it displays its information

php wp-cli.phar --info

6) Commit the Phar and its hashes to the builds repo

git status
git add .
git commit -m "Update stable to v1.x.0"

7) Create a release on Github: Make sure to upload the Phar from the builds directory.

cp wp-cli.phar wp-cli-1.x.0.phar
cp wp-cli.phar.gpg wp-cli-1.x.0.phar.gpg
cp wp-cli.phar.asc wp-cli-1.x.0.phar.asc
cp wp-cli.phar.md5 wp-cli-1.x.0.phar.md5
cp wp-cli.phar.sha512 wp-cli-1.x.0.phar.sha512

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Verify Phar release artifact Verify Phar release artifact

Using some existing WP-CLI install, update to the latest release to verify the Phar release artifact works as expected.

$ wp cli update
You have version 1.4.0-alpha-88450b8. Would you like to update to 1.4.0? [y/n] y
Downloading from
md5 hash verified: 179fc8dacbfe3ebc2d00ba57a333c982
New version works. Proceeding to replace.
Success: Updated WP-CLI to 1.4.0.
$ wp @daniel option get home

This represents a final sanity check that the Phar isn’t corrupt in some way.

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Updating the Debian and RPM builds Updating the Debian and RPM builds

Both builds are produced by automated systems:

In either case, a script is run on Travis to produce the build, then the build artifact is pushed to the wp-cli/builds repo.

To generate a new build, trigger a Travis build on the repo (either by restarting an existing build or making some non-functional change).

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Updating the Homebrew formula Updating the Homebrew formula

WP-CLI’s Homebrew formula is automatically updated with the Homebrew updater application. See Homebrew/homebrew-php/pull/4195#issuecomment-305442172.

If the updater application doesn’t work for some reason, a pull request must be submitted to the Homebrew repo. This involves:

  • Updating the url and sha256 here:
  • Making the commit with format “wp-cli 1.x.0”

To generate the sha256 (replace x with the minor version):

shasum -a 256 v1.x.0.tar.gz

See and for background.

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Updating the website Updating the website


The current WP-CLI version will also need to be updated on the roadmap.

Please also tag a release of the website, so it’s easy to correlate versions of the website.

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Announcing Announcing

In addition to publishing the release post, a new release is announced in a few different ways:

  • WP-CLI Twitter account (with some scheduled follow-up tweets).
  • /announce slash command in the #cli Slack room.

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Bumping WP-CLI version again Bumping WP-CLI version again

After all of the release steps are complete, make sure to bump VERSION in wp-cli/wp-cli again.

For instance, if the release version was 0.24.0, the version should be bumped to 0.25.0-alpha. Doing so ensure wp cli update --nightly works as expected.

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Hooking the bundle back up to the latest framework again Hooking the bundle back up to the latest framework again

Change the version constraint on "wp-cli/wp-cli" in wp-cli/wp-cli-bundle‘s composer.json file back to "dev-master".

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Patch releases Patch releases

Creating a patch release (e.g. 1.4.x) is bit different of a process than creating a major or minor release. At a high-level, here are the steps involved:

1) Create a new release branch from the last tagged patch release:

$ git checkout v1.4.0
Note: checking out 'v1.4.0'
You are in 'detached HEAD' state. You can look around, make experimental
changes and commit them, and you can discard any commits you make in this
state without impacting any branches by performing another checkout.
$ git checkout -b release-1-4-1
Switched to a new branch 'release-1-4-1'

2) Cherry-pick existing commits and package versions to the new release branch.

Because patch releases should just be used for bug fixes, you should first fix the bug on master, and then cherry-pick the fix to the release branch. It’s up to your discretion as to whether you cherry-pick the commits directly to the release branch or create a feature branch and pull request against the release branch.

If the bug existed in a package, you’ll need to create a point release above the last bundled version for the package and update composer.lock to load that point release.

3) Update VERSION on the release branch to the new release version.

4) Travis deploys release-* branches to the wp-cli/builds repo. Move the generated wp-cli-release.phar* files (Phar plus hashes) to wp-cli.phar*.

5) Follow all of the other relevant major/minor release steps.