Release checklist

This is a guide to what needs to be done before a release can be made.

General steps

  • Pick a release date
  • Pick a candidate release version
  • Pick someone to be a release manager

Source code updates

  • Create data/version_number

MESA release versions will have a human-readable version number instead of the auto-generated git commit id. Immediately before release, this file should be created and commited. Because this file is normally ignored (via .gitignore), it must be explicitly added via git add -f.

  • Update version number in docs/source/

The variables release and version in the Project information section should be set.

  • Remove files that shouldn’t be shipped

Any files that should not be part of the final release should be added to the .gitattributes file. This will prevent the file(s) or folders from appearing in the zip archive.


  • The Changelog should be updated


At a minimum this should mention options that are removed/replaced and how to convert from a previous version to the newest version.


  • TestHub should report all tests pass for both Linux and macOS on multiple machines and with different OS versions
  • The previous SDK version should be tested.


If the previous SDK does not pass we can decide whether to bump the minimum SDK version or fix the issues.

  • A non-SDK machine should test the test_suite.
  • At least one Windows machine should get tested.
  • Recalibrate test suite cases (things like simplex_solar_calibration and example_astero)

Additional Testing

Additional checks that are not essential but should be done if there is time.

  • Check the Brunt is smooth.
  • Check test_memory runs and reports no memory leaks.
  • Check MESA compiles with SHARED_LIBS=True
  • Run with FPE checking on.
  • Distribute the candidate version to several beta testers for science verification.

Release steps

  • Upload release to Zenodo
  • Send email to mesa-users