Fedora Release Infrastructure SOP

This SOP contains all of the steps required by the Fedora Infrastructure team in order to get a release out. Much of this work overlaps with the Release Engineering team (and at present share many of the same members). Some work may get done by releng, some may get done by Infrastructure, as long as it gets done, it doesn’t matter.

Contact Information


Fedora Infrastructure Team, Fedora Release Engineering Team


#fedora-admin, #fedora-releng, sysadmin-main, sysadmin-releng






Releasing a new version of Fedora


Before a release ships, the following items need to be completed.

  1. New website from the websites team (typically hosted at https://getfedora.org/_/)

  2. Verify mirror space (for all test releases as well)

  3. Verify with rel-eng permissions on content are right on the mirrors. Don’t leak.

  4. Communication with Red Hat IS (Give at least 2 months notice, then reminders as the time comes near) (final release only)

  5. Infrastructure change freeze

  6. Modify Template:FedoraVersion to reference new version. (Final release only)

  7. Move old releases to archive (post final release only)

  8. Switch release from development/N to normal releases/N/ tree in mirror manager (post final release only)

Change Freeze

The rules are simple:

  • Hosts with the ansible variable "freezes" "True" are frozen.

  • You may make changes as normal on hosts that are not frozen. (For example, staging is never frozen)

  • Changes to frozen hosts requires a freeze break request sent to the fedora infrastructure list, containing a description of the problem or issue, actions to be taken and (if possible) patches to ansible that will be applied. These freeze breaks must then get two approvals from sysadmin-main or sysadmin-releng group members before being applied.

  • Changes to recover from outages are acceptable to frozen hosts if needed.

Change freezes will be sent to the fedora-infrastructure-list and begin 3 weeks before each release and the final release. The freeze will end one day after the release. Note, if the release slips during a change freeze, the freeze just extends until the day after a release ships.

You can get a list of frozen/non-frozen hosts by:

git clone https://pagure.io/fedora-infra/ansible.git
scripts/freezelist -i inventory

Notes about release day

Release day is always an interesting and unique event. After the final sprint from test to the final release a lot of the developers will be looking forward to a bit of time away, as well as some sleep. Once Release Engineering has built the final tree, and synced it to the mirrors it is our job to make sure everything else (except the bit flip) gets done as painlessly and easily as possible.

All communication is typically done in #fedora-admin. Typically these channels are laid back and staying on topic isn’t strictly enforced. On release day this is not true. We encourage people to come, stay in the room and be quiet unless they have a specific task or question releated to release day. Its nothing personal, but release day can get out of hand quick.

During normal load, our websites function as normal. This is especially true since we’ve moved the wiki to mod_fcgi. On release day our load spikes a great deal. During the Fedora 6 launch many services were offline for hours. Some (like the docs) were off for days. A large part of this outage was due to the wiki not being able to handle the load, part was a lack of planning by the Infrastructure team, and part is still a mystery. There are questions as to whether or not all of the traffic was legit or a DDoS.

The Fedora 7 release went much better. Some services were offline for minutes at a time but very little of it was out longer then that. The wiki crashed, as it always does. We had made sure to make the fedoraproject.org landing page static though. This helped a great deal though we did see load on the proxy boxes as spiky.

Recent releases have been quite smooth due to a number of changes: we have a good deal more bandwith on master mirrors, more cpus and memory, as well as prerelease versions are much easier to come by for those interested before release day.

Day Prior to Release Day

Step 1 (Torrent)

Setup the torrent. All files can be synced with the torrent box but just not published to the world. Verify with sha1sum. Follow the instructions on the torrentrelease.txt sop up to and including step 4.

Step 2 (Website)

Verify the website design / content has been finalized with the websites team. Update the Fedora version number wiki template if this is a final release. It will need to be changed in https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Template:CurrentFedoraVersion

Additionally, there are redirects in the ansible playbooks/include/proxies-redirects.yml file for Cloud Images. These should be pushed as soon as the content is available. See: https://pagure.io/fedora-infrastructure/issue/3866 for example

Step 3 (Mirrors)

Verify enough mirrors are setup and have Fedora ready for release. If for some reason something is broken it needs to be fixed. Many of the mirrors are running a check-in script. This lets us know who has Fedora without having to scan everyone. Hide the Alpha, Beta, and Preview releases from the publiclist page.

You can check this by looking at:

wget "http://mirrors.fedoraproject.org/mirrorlist?path=pub/fedora/linux/releases/test/28-Beta&country=global"

(replace 28 and Beta with the version and release.)

Release day

Step 1 (Prep and wait)

Verify the mirrors are ready and that the torrent has valid copies of its files (use sha1sum)

Do not move on to step two until the Release Engineering team has given the ok for the release. It is the releng team’s decision as to whether or not we release and they may pull the plug at any moment.

Step 2 (Torrent)

Once given the ok to release, the Infrastructure team should publish the torrent and encourage people to seed. Complete the steps on the Torrent Releases Infrastructure SOP after step 4.

Step 3 (Bit flip)

The mirrors sit and wait for a single permissions bit to be altered so that they show up to their services. The bit flip (done by the releng team) will replicate out to the mirrors. Verify that the mirrors have received the change by seeing if it is actually available, just use a spot check. Once that is complete move on.

Step 4 (Website)

Once all of the distribution pieces are verified (mirrors and torrent), all that is left is to publish the website. At present this is done by making sure the master branch of fedora-web is pulled by the syncStatic.sh script in ansible. It will sync in an hour normally but on release day people don’t like to wait that long so do the following on sundries01

sudo -u apache /usr/local/bin/lock-wrapper syncStatic 'sh -x /usr/local/bin/syncStatic'

Once that completes, on batcave01:

sudo -i ansible proxy\* "/usr/bin/rsync --delete -a --no-owner --no-group bapp02::getfedora.org/ /srv/web/getfedora.org/"

Verify http://getfedora.org/ is working.

Step 5 (Docs)

Just as with the website, the docs site needs to be published. Just as above follow the following steps:


Step 6 (Monitor)

Once the website is live, keep an eye on various news sites for the release announcement. Closely watch the load on all of the boxes, proxy, application and otherwise. If something is getting overloaded, see suggestions on this page in the "Juggling Resources" section.

Step 7 (Badges) (final release only)

We have some badge rules that are dependent on which release of Fedora we’re on. As you have time, please performs the following on your local box:

$ git clone ssh://git@pagure.io/fedora-badges.git
$ cd badges

Edit rules/tester-it-still-works.yml and update the release tag to match the now old but stable release. For instance, if we just released fc21, then the tag in that badge rule should be fc20.

Edit rules/tester-you-can-pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-hands.yml and update the release tag to match the release that is about to reach EOL. For instance, if we just released f28, then the tag in that badge rule should be f26. Commit the changes:

$ git commit -a -m 'Updated tester badge rule for f28 release.'
$ git push origin master

Then, on batcave, perform the following:

$ sudo -i ansible-playbook $(pwd)/playbooks/manual/push-badges.yml

Step 8 (Done)

Just chill, keep an eye on everything and make changes as needed. If you can’t keep a service up, try to redirect randomly to some of the mirrors.


Priorities of during release day (In order):

  1. Website

    Anything related to a user landing at fedoraproject.org, and clicking through to a mirror or torrent to download something must be kept up. This is distribution, and without it we can potentially lose many users.

  2. Linked addresses

    We do not have direct control over what Hacker News, Phoronix or anyone else links to. If they link to something on the wiki and it is going down or link to any other site we control a rewrite should be put in place to direct them to http://fedoraproject.org/get-fedora.

  3. Torrent

    The torrent server has never had problems during a release. Make sure it is up.

  4. Release Notes

    Typically grouped with the docs site, the release notes are often linked to (this is fine, no need to redirect) but keep an eye on the logs and ensure that where we’ve said the release notes are, that they can be found there. In previous releases we sometimes had to make this available in more than one spot.

  5. docs.fedoraproject.org

    People will want to see whats new in Fedora and get further documentation about it. Much of this is in the release notes.

  6. wiki

    Because it is so resource heavy, and because it is so developer oriented we have no choice but to give the wiki a lower priority.

  7. Everything else.

Juggling Resources

In our environment we’re running different things on many different servers. Using Xen we can easily give machines more or less ram, processors. We can take down builders and bring up application servers. The trick is to be smart and make sure you understand what is causing the problem. These are some tips to keep in mind:

  • IPTables based bandwidth and connection limiting (successful in the past)

  • Altering the weight on the proxy balancers

  • Create static pages out of otherwise dynamic content

  • Redirect pages to a mirror

  • Add a server / remove un-needed servers



  • Announce infrastructure freeze 3 weeks before Beta

  • Change /topic in #fedora-admin

  • mail infrastucture list a reminder.

  • File all tickets

  • new website

  • check mirror permissions, mirrormanager, check mirror sizes, release day ticket.

After release is a "go":

  • Make sure torrents are setup and ready to go.

  • fedora-web needs a branch for fN-beta. In it:

    • Beta used on get-prerelease

    • get-prerelease doesn’t direct to release

    • verify is updated with Beta info

    • releases.txt gets a branched entry for pre-upgrade

  • bfo gets updated to have a Beta entry.

After release:

  • Update /topic in #fedora-admin

  • post to infrastructure list that freeze is over.


  • Announce infrastructure freeze 2 weeks before Final

  • Change /topic in #fedora-admin

  • mail infrastucture list a reminder.

  • File all tickets

  • new website, check mirror permissions, mirrormanager, check

  • mirror sizes, release day ticket.

After release is a "go":

  • Make sure torrents are setup and ready to go.

  • fedora-web needs a branch for fN-alpha. In it:

    • get-prerelease does direct to release

    • verify is updated with Final info

  • bfo gets updated to have a Final entry.

  • update wiki version numbers and names.

After release:

  • Update /topic in #fedora-admin

  • post to infrastructure list that freeze is over.

  • Move MirrorManager repository tags from the development/$version/ Directory objects, to the releases/$version/ Directory objects. This is done using the move-devel-to-release --version=$version command on bapp02. This is usually done now a week or two after release.