Release Notes

What are release notes?

Release notes are important for change management within manila. Since manila follows a release cycle with milestones, release notes provide a way for the community and users to quickly grasp what changes occurred within a development milestone. To the OpenStack release management and documentation teams, release notes are a way to compile changes per milestone. These notes are published on the OpenStack Releases website. Automated tooling is built around releasenotes and they get appropriately handled per release milestone, including any back-ports to stable releases.

What needs a release note?

  • Changes that impact an upgrade, most importantly, those that require a deployer to take some action while upgrading

  • A new feature is implemented

  • An existing feature is deprecated

  • An existing feature is removed

  • Behavior of an existing feature has changed in a discernible way to an end user or administrator

  • A security bug is fixed

  • New configuration option is added

What does not need a release note?

  • A code change that doesn’t change the general behavior of any feature such as code refactor or logging changes. One case of this could be the removal of the python 2.x compatibility layer, i.e., the “six” library from code.

  • Functional or unit test coverage enhancement

  • Any change submitted with a justified TrivialFix flag added in the commit message

  • Adding or changing documentation within in-tree documentation guides

How do I add a release note?

We use Reno to create and manage release notes. The new subcommand combines a random suffix with a “slug” value to make the new file with a unique name that is easy to identify again later. To create a release note for your change, use:

$ reno new slug-goes-here

If reno is not installed globally on your system, you can use a tox environment in manila:

$ tox -e newnote -- slug-goes-here


When you are adding a bug-fix reno, name your file using the template: “bug-<launchpad-bug-id>-slug-goes-here”.

Then add the notes in yaml format in the file created. Pay attention to the type of section. The following are general sections to use:


General comments about the change. The prelude from all notes in a release are combined, in note order, to produce a single prelude introducing the release.


New features introduced


A list of known issues with respect to the change being introduced. For example, if the new feature in the change is experimental or known to not work in some cases, it should be mentioned here.


A list of upgrade notes in the release. Any removals that affect upgrades are to be noted here.


Any features, APIs, configuration options that the change has deprecated. Deprecations are not removals. Deprecations suggest that there will be support for a certain timeline. Deprecation should allow time for users to make necessary changes for the removal to happen in a future release. It is important to note the timeline of deprecation in this section.


A list of fixed critical bugs (descriptions only).


A list of fixed security issues (descriptions only).


A list of other fixed bugs (descriptions only).


Other notes that are important but do not fall into any of the given categories.

prelude: >
    Replace this text with content to appear at the
    top of the section for this change.
  - List new features here, or remove this section.
  - List known issues here, or remove this section.
  - List upgrade notes here, or remove this section.
  - List deprecation notes here, or remove this section
  - Add critical notes here, or remove this section.
  - Add security notes here, or remove this section.
  - Add normal bug fixes here, or remove this section.
  - Add other notes here, or remove this section.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Release notes need to be succinct. Short and unambiguous descriptions are preferred

  • Write in past tense, unless you are writing an imperative statement

  • Do not have blank sections in the file

  • Do not include code or links

  • Avoid special rst formatting unless absolutely necessary

  • Always prefer including a release note in the same patch

  • Release notes are not a replacement for developer/user/admin documentation

  • Release notes are not a way of conveying behavior of any features or usage of any APIs

  • Limit a release note to fewer than 2-3 lines per change per section

  • OpenStack prefers atomic changes. So remember that your change may need the fewest sections possible

  • General writing guidelines can be found here

  • Proofread your note. Pretend you are a user or a deployer who is reading the note after a milestone or a release has been cut