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Increment (bump) git version numbers for a project.

Project description


Supported versions: Python 2.6, 2.7, 3.5, 3.6.


mister_bump is a Python-based tool for handling version numbering in Git projects. It can be used from within Python via import, or via the command line.

The idea is to automate the creation of version numbers within Git projects. This can be done by using the tool in a projects’ CI/CD build pipeline.

In order for the tool to work correctly you should use the versioning approach suggested below.


Installation can be done via pip.

pip install mister_bump

Basic Usage

Once installed via pip, you can use the command line interface get-git-version, or mister-bump.

If you have downloaded the project source, you can call using the same syntax.

Note: You must call the script from inside the root directory of the Git project you want the version for.

Basic call with no arguments:

[08:18:39 user@localhost mister-bump]$ get-git-version

In the above call, the next version to be created will be 1.0.0rc1. So if the Git project was pushed to master and the CI pipeline ran, the version used in CI would be 1.0.0rc1.

The style can be changed to use .dev for development release (typically used as a post release version).

[08:19:16 user@localhost mister-bump]$ get-git-version --style .dev

It is possible to tell the script to not increment the detected version number. This can be used for different versioning schemes. For example, you may want to create post release versions, rather than pre-release versions.

[08:19:24 user@localhost mister-bump]$ get-git-version --style .dev --no-increment

In this example the last version in Git is 0.3.0, and the “deviation” (distance in commits) is 1 - meaning that there has been one additional commit since that version.

Verbose output can be obtained by passing the --verbose argument.

[08:19:31 user@localhost mister-bump]$ get-git-version --style rc --verbose
08:19:40 [mister_bump:308][DEBUG] Fetching all candidate upstream versions
08:19:40 [mister_bump:31][DEBUG] Getting current git version
08:19:40 [mister_bump:38][DEBUG] Command: git describe --match=release-* --abbrev=4
08:19:40 [mister_bump:312][DEBUG] Candidate versions: release-0.3.0-final-1-gc68c
08:19:40 [mister_bump:322][DEBUG] Comparing candidate release-0.3.0-final-1-gc68c
08:19:40 [mister_bump:141][DEBUG] Version type = final
08:19:40 [mister_bump:141][DEBUG] Version major = 0
08:19:40 [mister_bump:141][DEBUG] Version minor = 3
08:19:40 [mister_bump:141][DEBUG] Version bugfix = 0
08:19:40 [mister_bump:141][DEBUG] Version deviation = 1
08:19:40 [mister_bump:141][DEBUG] Version hash =
08:19:40 [mister_bump:60][DEBUG] Current git branch is master
08:19:40 [mister_bump:86][DEBUG] Current branch is bugfix? False
08:19:40 [mister_bump:337][DEBUG] Version detected as "release-0.3.0-final-1-gc68c"
08:19:40 [mister_bump:267][DEBUG] Incrementing with MAJOR version increment.
08:19:40 [mister_bump:193][DEBUG] Formatted version is "1.0.0rc1"

Help can be obtained using the --help argument.

[08:14:40 user@localhost mister-bump]$ get-git-version --help
usage: get-git-version [-h] [-v] [-s {rc,.dev}] [-n] [override]

Get appropriate project version number based on Git status.

positional arguments:
  override              Override version number. Must be in the format

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --verbose         Enable verbose output.
  -s {rc,.dev}, --style {rc,.dev}
                        Style of suffix.
  -n, --no-increment    Do not increment version number.

A Suggested Versioning Approach

This is one way to do versioning, and it is the way that this tool was designed to work with. If you have a different versioning approach this tool may not work as expected.

Pipeline Setup

Make sure the mister_bump package is installed where your CI pipeline will run. This could be a case of installing on a server, adding the package to a Docker image, or simply pip installing it within the CI pipeline.

Normally you add versioning because you want to deploy something as part of your CI pipeline. Set your pipeline up to perform deployment from the master branch (for release candidates), and release-* branches (for releases). You can optionally add deployment for bugfix-* branches for bugfix release candidates. Do not perform deployment on release-*-final branches (more on that later), so add an exclusion for that too.

If your pipeline is running in GitLab CI then you can add this to your .gitlab-ci.yml:

  - /^release-.*$/
  - master
  - /^bugfix-.*$/
  - /^release-.*-final$/

In your CI script you can get the version number into an environment variable using:

export VERSION=$(get-git-version --style rc)

Use the $VERSION environment variable when creating artifacts.

Starting out

When you first start version numbering on a project, there will be no tags, so the script won’t detect a “current” version. In this instance it will always return 0.1.0rc1.

You can either leave it like this, and accept that all release candidates will be created with the same version number up until the first release, or you can create a new release-0.0.0 tag on the project, which will mean each commit will result in a new version number:

  • 0.1.0rc1
  • 0.1.0rc2
  • 0.1.0rc3

If you set your CI pipeline to deploy on master updates then you will have new project artifacts generated and deployed with each update to master.

Note that the ``N`` in ``rc<N>`` indicates a distance (in commits)from the last release tag, so if you merge multiple commits into master at the same time this will only result in one CI pipeline running, and there will be gaps in the release candidate numbers

  • Create tag release-0.0.0
  • Create dev branch X
    • Commit 1 (distance of 1 commit)
    • Commit 2 (distance of 2 commits)
    • Commit 3 (distance of 3 commits)
  • Merge branch X into master
    • Master CI pipeline will create version 0.1.0rc3 (no rc1 or rc2)

Releasing a version

TL;DR - Create tag release-X.Y.Z pointing to master

Each master branch update will be a release candidate for the next release, so 0.1.0rc3 is a candidate for the 0.1.0 release. When you decide you are ready to cut a release simply create a new tag on the project.

Assuming the last release candidate was 0.1.0rc3, you would create a new tag called release-0.1.0.

In GitLab you can do this through the web UI by clicking Repository > Tags, then click the green New tag button, type in release-0.1.0, and make sure master is selected as the source branch.

Once the tag has been created, a new CI pipeline should run, and generate the artifacts for your new release, with a version number of 0.1.0.

All subsequent commits to master will now be tagged as 0.2.0rc<N>, as they are contributing towards the next release.

NOTE: The tag names are key to how ``mister_bump`` works, so make sure you use the correct format (``release-<major>.<minor>.<bugfix>``)


TL;DR - To fix X.Y.Z release create branch bugfix-X.Y.Z pointing to master,
make changes, create tag release-X.Y.Z+1. Cherry-pick fixes to master.

This section explains how to fix a bug in a previous release. In the examples we will assume we have released 0.2.0 (i.e. there is a release-0.2.0 tag).

In this instance we will be working to produce a 0.2.1 bugfix release. You should think of 0.2.1 as a bugfix for 0.2.0.

  1. Create a branch called bugfix-<release-you-want-to-fix>. In our example this is bugfix-0.2.0.
  2. Develop your fix by committing to the bugfix branch. As you go, each commit will result in a 0.2.1rc<N> version if your CI is setup to deploy on bugfix branch.
  3. Once your bugfix is ready to release create a tag for release-0.2.1, and base it on the bugfix branch. This will cause a new 0.2.1 version to be created in CI.
  4. Finally make sure all your fixes are also applied to master (either manually or via cherry-picking)

You should now have something that looks like this:

  • Tag release-0.2.0
  • Branch bugfix-0.2.0
    • Commit 1 (distance of 1 commit) - version = 0.2.1rc1
    • Commit 2 (distance of 2 commits) - version = 0.2.1rc2
    • Commit 3 (distance of 3 commits) - version = 0.2.1rc3
    • Tag bugfix branch as release-0.2.1 - version = 0.2.1
  • Cherry-pick commit 1 onto master
  • Cherry-pick commit 2 onto master
  • Cherry-pick commit 3 onto master

Breaking change / Major release

TL;DR - To close release X.Y.Z and move to X+1.0.0 create tag release-X.Y.Z-final pointing to release-X.Y.Z.

Major release numbers are typically reserved for breaking changes. When you need to make a breaking change, or just want to switch to a new major release (maybe due to a significant change) you need to “finalise” the current major version, so you can move onto the next.

Consider the following example:

Lets assume we have the following released versions.

  • 0.1.0rc1
  • 0.1.0rc2
  • 0.1.0rc3
  • 0.1.0 (tag release-0.1.0)
  • 0.2.0rc1
  • 0.2.0rc2
  • 0.2.0rc3
  • 0.2.0 (tag release-0.2.0)

If we carry on as normal, and start committing changes to master, the next versions would be 0.3.0rc1, 0.3.0rc2, 0.3.0rc3, etc.

Lets say we want to make a breaking change, and want to start work on 1.0.0. We need to “close off” the 0 major release number, and move onto major version 1.

To do this we need to create a final tag called release-0.2.0-final, pointing at release-0.2.0.

This final tag shouldn’t be used to cut a release, since it should be pointing to the same thing as the release-0.2.0 tag. It’s just used to tell mister_bump that we have finished with 0.X.X, and we’re ready to start 1.0.0.

Continuing our earlier example, we would expect to see:

  • 0.1.0rc1
  • 0.1.0rc2
  • 0.1.0rc3
  • 0.1.0 (tag release-0.1.0)
  • 0.2.0rc1
  • 0.2.0rc2
  • 0.2.0rc3
  • 0.2.0 (tag release-0.2.0)
  • Now we want to make a breaking change
  • Tag release-0.2.0-final
  • 1.0.0.rc1
  • 1.0.0.rc2
  • 1.0.0.rc3
  • 1.0.0 (tag release-1.0.0)
  • 1.1.0rc1
  • 1.1.0rc2
  • 1.1.0rc3
  • 1.1.0 (tag release-1.1.0)

Version numbers for Python packages

If you are using mister-bump to version a Python package, you can call the package directly from your

from setuptools import setup
import mister_bump

    description='<Your package description.>',

Multiple version numbers in one project

In rare instances you may want to manage version numbers for multiple deliverables within one project, and you may want them to be versioned independently. This is supported in mister-bump using the --prefix option.

Lets imagine you have two packages within your project: fred and barney. You could configure your CI pipeline to build and deploy those packages independently, based on the branch / tag names. For example, fred could be deployed from CI pipelines on tags starting with fred/ (e.g. fred/release-1.2.3), and barney could be deployed from pipelines on branches starting with barney/.

When running mister-bump, you can pass --prefix='fred/', and mister-bump will fetch the latest version for fred/, increment the version number (according to the documentation above), and return the new version number.

Some things to note:

  • If there is a / separating the prefix from the remainder of the tag, then you need to include the trailing /.
  • The version number returned by mister-bump will not include the prefix. It will just be X.Y.ZrcN

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