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Fleet documentation

Welcome to the documentation for Fleet, an open-source osquery management server.

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Releasing Fleet

Release process

This section outlines the release process at Fleet.

The current release cadence is once every three weeks and concentrates around Wednesdays.

Release freeze period

To make sure we build quality releases, Fleet has a freeze period for testing prior to each release. Effective at the start of the freeze period, we will not merge new feature work.

Release blocking bugs are exempt from the freeze period and are defined by the same rules as patch releases, which include:

  1. Regressions
  2. Security concerns
  3. Issues with features targeted for the current release

Non-release blocking bugs may include known issues that were not targeted for the current release or newly documented behaviors that reproduce in older stable versions. These may be addressed during a release period by mutual agreement between the Product and Engineering teams.

What to do?

Note: Please prefix versions with fleet-v (e.g., fleet-v4.0.0) in git tags, Helm charts, and NPM configs.

  1. Update the CHANGELOG with the changes you made since the last Fleet release. Use make changelog to pull the changes files into, then manually edit. When editing, order the most relevant/important changes at the time and try to make the tone and syntax of the written language match throughout the document. make changelog will stage all changes file entries for deletion with the commit.

    Add a "Performance" section below the list of changes. This section should summarize the number of hosts that the Fleet server can handle, call out if this number has changed since the last release, and list the infrastructure used in the load testing environment.

    Update version numbers in the relevant files:

    Commit these changes via Pull Request and pull the changes on the main branch locally. Check that HEAD of the main branch points to the commit with these changes.

  2. Tag and push the new release in Git:

    git tag fleet-v<VERSION>
    git push origin fleet-v<VERSION>

    Note that origin may be upstream depending on your git remote configuration. The intent here is to push the new tag to the repository.

    Afte the tag is pushed, GitHub Actions will automatically begin building the new release.

    Wait while GitHub Actions creates and uploads the artifacts.

    When the Actions Workflow has been completed:

  3. Edit the draft release on the GitHub releases page. Use the version number as the release title. Use the below template for the release description (replace items in <> with the appropriate values):

    ### Changes
    ### Upgrading
    Please visit our [update guide]( for upgrade instructions.
    ### Documentation
    Documentation for Fleet is available at [](
    ### Binary Checksum
    <COPY FROM checksums.txt>

    When editing is complete, publish the release.

  4. Publish the new version of fleetctl on NPM. Run npm publish in the fleetctl-npm directory. Note that NPM does not allow replacing a package without creating a new version number. Take care to get things correct before running npm publish!

An icon indicating that this section has important information

If releasing a "prerelease" of Fleet, run npm publish --tag prerelease. This way, you can publish a prerelease of fleetctl while the most recent fleetctl npm package, available for public download, is still the latest official release.

  1. Announce the release in the #fleet channel of osquery Slack and update the channel's topic with the link to this release. Using @here requires admin permissions, so typically this announcement will be done by @zwass.

    Announce the release via blog post (on Medium) and Twitter (linking to blog post).

Patch releases

Generally, a patch should be released when bugs or performance issues are identified that prevent users from getting their job done with Fleet.


The easy way

If all commits on main are acceptable for a patch (no high-risk changes, new features, etc.), then the process is easy. Just follow the regular release process as described above, incrementing only the patch (major.minor.patch) of the version number. In this scenario, there is no need to perform any of the steps below.

The hard way

When only some of the newer changes in main are acceptable for release, a separate patch branch must be created and relevant changes cherry-picked onto that branch:

  1. Create the new branch, starting from the git tag of the prior release. Patch branches should be prefixed with patch-. In this example we are creating 4.3.1:

    git checkout fleet-v4.3.0
    git checkout --branch patch-fleet-v4.3.1
  2. Cherry pick the necessary commits into the new branch:

    git cherry-pick d34db33f
  3. Push the branch to

    git push origin patch-fleet-v4.3.1

    When a patch-* branch is pushed, the Docker publish Action will be invoked to push a container image for QA with fleetctl preview (eg. fleetctl preview --tag patch-fleet-v4.3.1).

  4. Check in the GitHub UI that Actions ran successfully for this branch and perform QA smoke testing.

  5. Follow the standard release instructions at the top of this document. Be sure that modifications to the changelog and config files are commited on the patch-* branch. When the patch has been released, return to finish the following steps.

  6. Cherry-pick the commit containing the changelog updates into a new branch, and merge that commit into main through a Pull Request.

  7. Important! Manually check the database migrations. Any migrations that are not cherry-picked in a patch must have a higher timestamp than migrations that were cherry-picked. If there are new migrations that were not cherry-picked, verify that those migrations have higher timestamps. If they do not, submit a new Pull Request to increase the timestamps and ensure that migrations are run in the appropriate order.

    TODO #2850: Improve docs/tooling for this.

Did we miss anything?

If you notice something we've missed or could be improved on, please follow this link and submit a pull request to the Fleet repo.