Open source

Backport changes

The grafana/grafana repository has multiple long-lived branches. The main branch has the most recent code and documentation. Releases use long-lived branches that include the major and minor versions of the release. For example, the v9.0.x long-lived release branch contains code and documentation for all patched versions of the major version 9 and minor version 0 of Grafana.

Backporting takes a change from the main branch, and ports it back to an existing long-lived release branch. During every pull request, each change to the grafana/grafana repository requires a decision about whether or not to backport it.

Backport a change

To backport a change, use the appropriate backport v<MAJOR>.<MINOR>.x label. You can backport to more than one branch by using multiple labels.

After the pull request is merged, the GitHub bot grafanabot creates a follow-up pull request for each of the backport v<MAJOR>.<MINOR>.x labels. If grafanabot is unable to automatically backport the changes, it comments on the first pull request with instructions about how to backport the change manually.

In repositories such as grafana/grafana, engineers sometimes create a new branch for a release well before the release has shipped. If you intend to publish content against an imminent release, check for the existence of a backport label for the upcoming version when filing, and also before merging, and apply the label if it exists or has been added to ensure the content is automatically backported to the upcoming version’s documentation.

If you decide to not backport a change, use the no-backport GitHub label.

When to backport

To decide whether to backport a pull request, use the following decision tree:

flowchart TD

D1{Is the change documenting a new feature?}
D2{Is the feature going to be released in<br>a future version of Grafana that<br>doesn't yet have a release branch?}
D3{Is the change a fix for a typo?}
D4{Is the change a documentation refactoring?}
T1[Add the `no-backport` label.]
T2[Add a backport label for each affected release version.]
T3[Update this flowchart as the decision making process is incomplete.]
T4[Backport the change to release branch for the next version of Grafana.]
D1 -- Yes --> D2
D1 -- No -->  D3
D2 -- Yes --> T1
D2 -- No -->  T4
D3 -- Yes --> T2
D3 -- No -->  D4
D4 -- Yes --> T4
D4 -- No -->  T3

Backporting tutorials

Depending on the location from which tutorials are mounted, you might need to backport changes to them.

For grafana/grafana, tutorials are mounted from the “latest” docs, so if you want your changes to be published immediately, backport to the branch that corresponds with the “latest” version of the docs on the website. If there’s an upcoming release, but main is targeting the release after that, backport to the upcoming release version as well.

For example:

  • The “latest” docs are version 10.0
  • main is targeting 10.2

Backport to 10.0 and 10.1 to publish your changes immediately and ensure your changes are present in the upcoming release.