Backport changes

Most of the time changes will be made to branch main and backported.

When creating a PR, it is possible to add the Releases in the commit message (as done in the core):

Releases: main, 11.5

However, this is not enforced and not always done. In any case, it is up to the user merging a PR to decide how far the changes are to be backported.

Here are some tips and conventions:

Community user: What should I do if I found an error in the documentation that applies to several versions?

Apply your changes to the latest version you have verified your change to work with. If it is possible, apply your changed to the branch main.

Leave a hint about which versions you have tested, for example:

Verified this on 11.5 and 10.4, I suspect it will also still be the case on main. Could
someone verify this please?

Releases: main, 11.5, 10.4

The backporting itself will be done by the maintainers of the documentation team. Sometimes automatic backporting is not possible due to changes in the documentation structure. In such a case you will be asked if you would like to provide a pull request for the back versions.


Only bugs will be backported more then one version. Improvements etc can only be backported to the latest LTS release.

Merger: The pull request needs to be backported, what should I do?

When the PR needs to be backported, add labels for all needed versions to the PR.

Example: If the PR needs to be backported to version 11.5 and 10.4, add the corresponding labels backport 11.5 and backport 10.4. The labels will trigger an automatic backport once the current PR is merged or the label is added to an already merged PR

How do automatic backports work

The CI runner will create a separate PR for each version that has been labeled - if, and only if, it can do the cherry picking into the branch without conflicts.

If the automatic backport is successful a new PR will be created for the backport. This PR can be approved and merged manually.

If the backport fails a comment will be added to the original PR, the label backport failed will be added to the original PR and manual cherry picking is required.

Up to which version?

Convention: We backport to the newest LTS version unless the changes only apply to the main version. Major errors and bug

There may be reasons to do this differently:

  • Decisions about which versions to backport to are at the discretion of this user doing the merging.

  • Sometimes too many changes are necessary because of merge conflicts. Sometimes, the structure has changed. In this case, decide if it is worth the effort.

How to merge?

Using the second option in the green "Merge pull request" button Squash and merge has proven useful for a number of reasons:

  1. This merges everything into one commit which makes it easier to cherry pick

  2. This automatically adds the PR number into the commit message which adds a reference to the original PR when merging or cherry-picking this to another branch. That way the backport process is visible in the pull request.

If there are more than 1 contributor who committed changes, a text about additional authors is automatically added to the commit.

How to backport manually?

If you cherry-pick a commit locally, you can (optionally) use -x to automatically insert information that this is a cherry-pick and the original commit id.

This makes the history clearer. Sometimes minor changes have to be done while backporting to fix merge conflicts.

git cherry-pick -x <commit-id>

This is how the commit might look like:

Author: Author <email>
Date:   Fri Jun 26 15:50:08 2020 +0200

   [TASK] Subject

   (cherry picked from commit 609493dd8893cbac7ad78aa38a23e02d011bb0c2)