PMD Release Process Walkthrough

This page describes the current status of the release process.


Make sure code is up to date and everything is committed and pushed with git:

$ mvn clean
$ git pull
$ git status

Ensure all the new rules are listed in a src/main/resources/rulesets/releases/<version>.xml file.

Update the "download" and "what's new" link in site.pre.xml.

Update version/release info in etc/changelog.txt.

$ mvn verify post-site    #(order of targets DOES matter)

Unzip and test manually (just to be on the safe side of the road):

./bin/ pmd ~/tmp/ xml java-unusedcode
./bin/ pmd ~/tmp/ html rulesets/java/unusedcode.xml

Check in all (version) changes to branch master:

$ git commit -a -m "pmd: Prepare pmd release <version>"

Release Branch

Let maven create a release branch (note - this is of course not needed if you are already on a release/maintenance branch). Maven will automatically increase the version in branch master. In case you create a alpha/preview release and you want to stay with the current version in master, use these additional properties: -DupdateBranchVersions=true -DupdateWorkingCopyVersions=false

$ mvn release:branch -DbranchName=pmd/<version>.x

Note: The property pushChanges is set to false, so that we can manually push all changes done during the release at the end, when we are sure, that everything is fine.

Create a release

Now checkout the created branch.

$ git checkout pmd/<version>.x

Now let maven create a release tag.

$ mvn release:clean
$ mvn release:prepare

Note: For the tag/label name we currently use this naming pattern: pmd_releases/<major-version>.<minor-version>.<micro-version>

The next command will checkout PMD from the tag just created and will build and deploy it to sonatype OSS repositories:

$ mvn release:perform

Push your local changes

If everything is fine, you can push your local changes.

$ git push origin master
$ git push origin pmd/<version>.x
$ git push origin tag pmd_releases/<version>



If you see a bug and fix it, you can rollback the release (see

$ mvn release:rollback

You probably need to delete the release tag manually using the following command (and then start again with release:clean release:prepare):

$ git tag -d pmd_releases/<version>

Publish artifacts

Finally, in order to publish the release to Maven central, you need to release PMD via Sonatype Nexus:

  • Login to
  • Go to Staging Repositories page
  • Select a staging repository
  • Click the close button
  • Now you can download the artifacts again and verify they are working.
  • Once you are sure they are working, click "Release" and the artifacts are eventually available through maven central.

Publish the release on sourceforge:

  • Go to Files, to folder "pmd", create a new subfolder for the new version
  • Add the pmd-<version> file
  • Add the pmd-<version> file
  • Add the file etc/changelog.txt as ReadMe.txt file

Upload command below will create and upload the maven artifacts to sourceforge. Login info for 'pmd-repo' and 'pmd-site' must be defined in ~/.m2/settings.xml (see the file available in maven-plugin-pmd-build/config/m2.settings.xml):

$ ssh your_sf_login, create
$ mvn deploy -Psf-release

(In order to be able to upload the artifacts and the site to sourceforge, you need to have a interactive shell opened before)

Site Upload

Upload the site:

$ mvn site-deploy -Psf-release

Shutdown the sourceforge shell:

$ ssh "shutdown"

Social side of release

  1. Submit news to SF on the PMD Project News page.
  2. Go to freecode (former
  3. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Xing (add whatever you feel is missing here...)