Release Management Tool: a handy tool to help releasing new version of your software

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1.7.4 2024-01-12 15:47 UTC


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RMT is a handy tool to help releasing new versions of your software. You can define the type of version generator you want to use (e.g. semantic versioning), where you want to store the version (e.g. in a changelog file or as a VCS tag) and a list of actions that should be executed before or after the release of a new version.


Option 1: As a development dependency of your project

In order to use RMT in your project you should use Composer to install it as a dev-dependency. Just go to your project's root directory and execute:

composer require --dev liip/rmt

Then you must initialize RMT by running the following command:

php vendor/liip/rmt/command.php init

This command will create a .rmt.yml config file and a RMT executable script in your project's root folder. You can now start using RMT by executing:


Once there, your best option is to pick one of the configuration examples below and adapt it to your needs.

If you are using a versioning tool, we recommend to add both Composer files (composer.json and composer.lock), the RMT configuration file(.rmt.yml) and the RMT executable script to it. The vendor directory should be ignored as it is populated when running composer install.

Option 2: As a global Composer installation

You can add RMT to your global composer.json and have it available globally for all your projects. Therefor just run the following command:

composer global require liip/rmt

Make sure you have ~/.composer/vendor/bin/ in your $PATH.

Option 3: As a Phar file

RMT can be installed through phar-composer, which needs to be installed therefor. This useful tool allows you to create runnable Phar files from Composer packages.

If you have phar-composer installed, you can run:

sudo phar-composer install liip/RMT

and have phar-composer build and install the Phar file to your $PATH, which then allows you to run it simply as rmt from the command line or you can run

phar-composer build liip/RMT

and copy the resulting Phar file manually to where you need it (either make the Phar file executable via chmod +x rmt.phar and execute it directly ./rmt.phar or run it by invoking it through PHP via php rmt.phar.

For the usage substitute RMT with whatever variant you have decided to use.

Option 4: As Drifter role

If your are using for your project, you just need three step

  • Activate the rmt role
  • Re-run the provisionning vagrant provision
  • Init RMT for your project php /home/vagrant/.config/composer/vendor/liip/rmt/RMT


Using RMT is very straightforward, just run the command:

./RMT release

RMT will then execute the following tasks:

  1. Execute the prerequisites checks
  2. Ask the user to answers potentials questions
  3. Execute the pre-release actions
  4. Release
    • Generate a new version number
    • Persist the new version number
  5. Execute the post-release actions

Here is an example output:


Additional commands

The release command provides the main behavior of the tool, additional some extra commands are available:

  • current will show your project current version number (alias version)
  • changes display the changes that will be incorporated in the next release
  • config display the current config (already merged)
  • init create (or reset) the .rmt.yml config file


All RMT configurations have to be done in .rmt.yml. The file is divided in six root elements:

  • vcs: The type of VCS you are using, can be git, svn or none
    • For git VCS you can use the two following options sign-tag and sign-commit if you want to GPG sign your release
  • prerequisites: A list [] of prerequisites that must be matched before starting the release process
  • pre-release-actions: A list [] of actions that will be executed before the release process
  • version-generator: The generator to use to create a new version (mandatory)
  • version-persister: The persister to use to store the versions (mandatory)
  • post-release-actions: A list [] of actions that will be executed after the release

All entries of this config work the same. You have to specify the class you want to handle the action. Example:

version-generator: "simple"`
       tag-prefix: "v_"

RMT also support JSON configs, but we recommend using YAML.

Branch specific config

Sometimes you want to use a different release strategy according to the VCS branch, e.g. you want to add CHANGELOG entries only in the master branch. To do so, you have to place your default config into a root element named _default, then you can override parts of this default config for the branch master. Example:

    version-generator: "simple"
    version-persister: "vcs-tag"
    pre-release-actions: [changelog-update]

You can use the command RMT config to see the merge result between _default and your current branch.

Version generator

Build-in version number generation strategies.

  • simple: This generator is doing a simple increment (1,2,3...)

  • semantic: A generator which implements Semantic versioning

    • Option allow-label (boolean): To allow adding a label on a version (such as -beta, -rcXX) (default: false)
    • Option type: to force the version type
    • Option label: to force the label

    The two forced option could be very useful if you decide that a given branch is dedicated to the next beta of a given version. So just force the label to beta and all release are going to be beta increments.

Version persister

Class in charge of saving/retrieving the version number.

  • vcs-tag: Save the version as a VCS tag

    • Option tag-pattern: Allow to provide a regex that all tag must match. This allow for example to release a version 1.X.X in a specific branch and to release a 2.X.X in a separate branch
    • Option tag-prefix: Allow to prefix all VCS tag with a string. You can have a numeric versionning but generation tags such as v_2.3.4. As a bonus you can use a specific placeholder: {branch-name} that will automatically inject the current branch name in the tag. So use, simple generation and tag-prefix: "{branch-name}_" and it will generate tag like featureXY_1, featureXY_2, etc...
  • changelog: Save the version in the changelog file

    • Option location: Changelog file name an location (default: CHANGELOG)

Prerequisite actions

Prerequisite actions are executed before the interactive part.

  • working-copy-check: check that you don't have any VCS local changes
    • Option allow-ignore: allow the user to skip the check when doing a release with --ignore-check
  • display-last-changes: display your last changes
  • tests-check: run the project test suite
    • Option command: command to run (default: phpunit)
    • Option timeout: the number of seconds after which the command times out (default: 60.0)
    • Option expected_exit_code: expected return code (default: 0)
  • composer-json-check: run a validate on the composer.json
    • Option composer: how to run composer (default: php composer.phar)
  • composer-stability-check: will check if the composer.json is set to the right minimum-stability
    • Option stability: the stability that should be set in the minimum-stability field (default: stable)
  • composer-security-check: run the composer.lock against to check for known vulnerabilities in the dependencies. ⚠️ The local-php-security-checker binary must be installed globally.
  • composer-dependency-stability-check: test if only allowed dependencies are using development versions
    • Option ignore-require and ignore-require-dev: don't check dependencies in require or require-dev section
    • Option whitelist: allow specific dependencies to use development version
  • command: Execute a system command
    • Option cmd The command to execute
    • Option live_output boolean, do we display the command output? (default: true)
    • Option timeout integer, limits the time for the command. (default: 600)
    • Option stop_on_error boolean, do we break the release process on error? (default: true)


Actions can be used for pre or post release parts.

  • changelog-update: Update a changelog file. This action is further configured to use a specific formatter.
    • Option format: simple, semantic, markdown or addTop (default: simple)
    • Option file: path from .rmt.yml to changelog file (default: CHANGELOG)
    • Option dump-commits: write all commit messages since the last release into the changelog file (default: false)
    • Option insert-at: only for addTop formatter: Number of lines to skip from the top of the changelog file before adding the release number (default: 0)
    • Option exclude-merge-commits: Exclude merge commits from the changelog (default: false)
  • vcs-commit: commit all files of the working copy (only use it with the working-copy-check prerequisite)
    • Option commit-message: specify a custom commit message. %version% will be replaced by the current / next version strings.
  • vcs-tag: Tag the last commit
  • vcs-publish: Publish the changes (commits and tags)
  • composer-update: Update the version number in a composer file (note that when using, it is recommended to not have a tag in composer.json as the version is handle by version control tags)
  • files-update: Update the version in one or multiple files. For each file to update, please provide an array with
    • Option file: path to the file to update
    • Option pattern: optional, use to specify the string replacement pattern in your file. For example: const VERSION = '%version%';
  • build-phar-package: Builds a Phar package of the current project whose filename depends on the 'package-name' option and the deployed version: [package-name]-[version].phar
    • Option package-name: the name of the generate package
    • Option destination: the destination directory to build the package into. If prefixed with a slash, is considered absolute, otherwise relative to the project root.
    • Option excluded-paths: a regex of excluded paths, directly passed to the Phar::buildFromDirectory method. Ex: /^(?!.*cookbooks|.*\.vagrant|.*\.idea).*$/im
    • Option metadata: an array of metadata describing the package. Ex author, project. Note: the release version is added by default but can be overridden here.
    • Option default-stub-cli: the default stub for CLI usage of the package.
    • Option default-stub-web: the default stub for web application usage of the package.
  • command: Execute a system command
    • Option cmd The command to execute
    • Option live_output boolean, do we display the command output? (default: true)
    • Option timeout integer, limits the time for the command. (default: 600)
    • Option stop_on_error boolean, do we break the release process on error? (default: true)
  • update-version-class: Update the version constant in a class file. DEPRECATED, use files-update instead
    • Option class: path to class to be updated, or fully qualified class name of the class containing the version constant
    • Option pattern: optional, use to specify the string replacement pattern in your version class. %version% will be replaced by the current / next version strings. For example you could use const VERSION = '%version%';. If you do not specify this option, every occurrence of the version string in the file will be replaced.

Extend it

RMT is providing some existing actions, generators, and persisters. If needed you can add your own by creating a PHP script in your project, and referencing it in the configuration via it's relative path:

version-generator: "bin/myOwnGenerator.php"

Example with injected parameters:

    name: "bin/myOwnGenerator.php"
    parameter1: value1

As an example, you can look at the script /bin/UpdateApplicationVersionCurrentVersion.php configured here.

WARNING: As the key name is used to define the name of the object, you cannot have a parameter named name.

Configuration examples

Most of the time, it will be easier for you to pick up an example below and adapt it to your needs.

No VCS, changelog updater only

version-generator: semantic
version-persister: changelog

Using Git tags, simple versioning and prerequisites

vcs: git
version-generator: simple
version-persister: vcs-tag
prerequisites: [working-copy-check, display-last-changes]

Using Git tags, simple versioning and composer-prerequisites

vcs: git
version-generator: simple
version-persister: vcs-tag
    - composer-json-check
    - composer-stability-check:
        stability: beta
    - composer-dependency-stability-check:
            - [symfony/console]
            - [phpunit/phpunit, require-dev]

Using Git tags, simple versioning and prerequisites, and gpg sign commit and tags

  name: git
  sign-tag: true
  sign-commit: true
version-generator: simple
version-persister: vcs-tag
prerequisites: [working-copy-check, display-last-changes]

Using Git tags with prefix, semantic versioning, updating two files and pushing automatically

vcs: git
version-generator: semantic
    name: vcs-tag
    tag-prefix : "v_"
        - [config.yml]
        - [app.ini, 'dynamic-version: %version%']
post-release-actions: [vcs-publish]

Using semantic versioning on master and simple versioning on topic branches, markdown formatting for changelog

    vcs: git
    prerequisites: [working-copy-check]
    version-generator: simple
        name: vcs-tag
        tag-prefix: "{branch-name}_"
    post-release-actions: [vcs-publish]

# This entry allow to override some parameters for the master branch
    prerequisites: [working-copy-check, display-last-changes]
            format: markdown
            dump-commits: true
            class: Doctrine\ODM\PHPCR\Version
            pattern: const VERSION = '%version%';
        vcs-commit: ~
    version-generator: semantic
    version-persister: vcs-tag


If you would like to help, by submitting one of your action scripts, generators, or persisters. Or just by reporting a bug just go to the project page

If you provide a PR, try to associate it some unit or functional tests. See next section



To be able to run the tests locally, you need:

  • phpunit
  • git
  • mercurial

You can install all of them with Brew:

> brew install phpunit git hg

The tests are also testing the creation of the RMT phar. So you have to allow this in your php.ini, by uncommenting this line:

phar.readonly = Off

Finally, to run the tests, just launch PHPUnit

> phpunit

Functional tests

The functional tests are fully functional temporary RMT setup. Each time you run functional test, it creates a temporary folder with a RMT project. Then the test suite is running RMT commands on it, and check the results. That's why you need to have Git and Mercurial installed.


To debug RMT functional tests, the best is to go into this temporary folder and manually explore the project. To do so, just add a small $this->manualDebug(); into the test suite. This will break the test with the following output:

> cd /private/var/folders/hl/gnj5dcj55gbc93pcgrjxbb0w0000gn/T/ceN2Mf

Then you just have to go into the mentioned folder and start debugging



RMT is licensed under the MIT License. See the LICENSE file for details.