The Provisioner has multiple active branches open at any one time. Due to its versioning system, each branch can conduct a release independently. These branches are usually at different stages of the software life cycle. Once a release is made, it is then distributed through SourceForge's file release system for the public to download.
Project's configuration manager will embody the release authority for all project's open branches.
Provisioner uses a versioning scheme consisting of four integers arranged in the following pattern: major.minor.revision.build ; where the major number is increased when there are significant changes in functionality, the minor number is incremented when only minor features or fixes have been added, and the revision number is incremented when minor bugs are fixed. The build number is incremented each time a build is performed and released by the configuration manager, whether it is a release candidate or a final official release.
Rather than performing extensive testing on a release, the Provisioner release model relies upon its user community to test a release before it is made official. Release candidates are denoted with a -pre tag appended to its version number. After the release candidate is distributed, through SourceForge's file release system, feedback is solicited from the user community as to the stability of this release.
Since the release manager has total authority over the release, the Provisioner release process does not require approval by the community. However, Provisioner's project team rely upon an issue tracking system , so, all issues that are slated to be fixed in a release milestone must be closed before the corresponding release can be done.
Releases, both official and candidates, will be made available via SourceForge's file release system which has a mirroring system that is spread across the globe. Also, incremental patches versus the last release are made available. In order to ensure the integrity of the downloads, the releases are digitally signed by the release manager. An MD5 hash of each file is also provided. This allows the end users to verify that the download was received correctly without tampering. Release manager public key is provided in the KEYS.txt file. After a release has been approved and made available, an email is sent to the users mailing list as well as the developers mailing list . Also a notice is published at SourceForge's project news section . A list of changes from the previous release are included in these notifications. The list of changes can also be found here .
A Provisioner release is accompanied by a compressed gzip tar file and a zip file corresponding to the source and binaries for a particular release. Additionally an OpenPGP compatible ASCII armored detached signature and another file containing an MD5 checksum is provided for each release's file. The names of these files are formed by adding the suffix .asc to the name of the signed artifact and the suffix .md5 for its checksum.