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by Florida Reilly

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Node module to create a release or a changelog from a tag and uses issues or commits to creating the release notes.


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gren πŸ€–

Github release notes and changelog generator

npm version Build Status Join the chat at https://gitter.im/github-release-notes/Lobby Codecov npm downloads Automated Release Notes by gren

All Contributors

OK, what can gren do for me?

gren is a small helpful robot that will do for you just create a release from a tag and compile the release notes using issues or commits.

It also can generate a CHANGELOG.md file based on the release notes (or generate a brand new).

The Motivation and Concept

Everyone loves neat, transparent, informative release notes. Everyone would also rather avoid maintaining them. What a hassle to have to evaluate what issues have been solved between two points in project's timeline, what types of problems they were, are they important to inform the users about, what issues solved them, etc.

Wouldn't it be great to get fantastic release notes compiled for you automatically based on all the hard work you put into your GitHub issues and pull requests?

The main motivation for bringing gren to life was the need for auto-generating release notes for every tag in a project. The process, as explained here, requires the tagger to go to your project's releases page in GitHub, draft that tag as a new release and manually add what has changed.

Let gren take care of that for you. It automates this process and also writes release notes for you, creating something like this:

v0.6.0 (14/03/2017)

Framework Enhancements:

  • #32 Unwrap github-api promises
  • #26 Use external config file
  • #23 Introduce templates for the issues
  • #19 Add an "ignore label" flag
  • #12 Add the chance to rebuild the history of release notes

Bug Fixes:

  • #29 Remove escaping character on regex
  • #24 The changelog action doesn't compile latest release

(yes, this is one of πŸ€– 's actual releases)

Feed gren πŸ€–

Where is the data coming from? There are two options:

issues (⭐)

If you manage your project with issues, that's where all the information about a change are. Issue labels increase the level of depth of what the release notes should show, helping gren to group the notes.

e.g. if you see the example above, the issues are grouped by the two labels enhancement and bug, then customised via a config file.

gren generates those notes by collecting all the issues closed between a tag (defaults to latest) and the tag before it (or a tag that you specify). If you want to be more accurate on the issues that belong to a release, you can group them in milestones and use only the issues that belong to that Milestone.

The output above is a result of release notes built from issues.

Help πŸ€– to write wonderful stuff (issues)

In order to have splendidly generated release notes, we recommend to follow these conventions:

  1. Start the title with a verb (e.g. Change header styles)
  2. Use the imperative mood in the title (e.g. Fix, not Fixed or Fixes header styles)
  3. Use labels wisely and assign one label per issue. gren has the option to ignore issues that have one of the specified labels.


The simplest way of getting data is from the commits you write. Even though it doesn't require a machine-readable commit, it is still better to have them in a nice format.

The output then uses commit messages (title + description) to look something like:

v0.9.0 (17/05/2017)

  • Filter milestones (#75)
    • Create milestones data-source option
    • Add documentation for the milestones option
  • Support GitHub enterprise (#73)
    • Support GitHub enterprise
    • Add api-url to options documentation
  • Update CHANGELOG.md

Help πŸ€– to write wonderful stuff (commits)

In order to have splendidly generated release notes, we recommend to follow these conventions:

  1. Start the subject line with a verb (e.g. Change header styles)
  2. Use the imperative mood in the subject line (e.g. Fix, not Fixed or Fixes header styles)
  3. Limit the subject line to about 50 characters
  4. Do not end the subject line with a period
  5. Separate subject from body with a blank line
  6. Wrap the body at 72 characters
  7. Use the body to explain what and why not how


Install github-release-notes via npm:

npm install github-release-notes -g


First, generate a GitHub token, with repo scope, at this link. Then add this line to ~/.bash_profile (or ~/.zshrc):

export GREN_GITHUB_TOKEN=your_token_here

Show the internet that you use gren for automating your release notes -> Automated Release Notes by gren

[![Automated Release Notes by gren](https://img.shields.io/badge/%F0%9F%A4%96-release%20notes-00B2EE.svg)](https://github-tools.github.io/github-release-notes/)

Basic Usage

gren gets the repo information directly from the folder where git is initialised.

# Navigate to your project directory
cd ~/Path/to/repo
# Run the task (see below)
gren release

Otherwise, you can run it anywhere passing the repo information:

gren release --username=[username] --repo=[repo name]

If you don't want to save the token, you can specify one as an option:

gren release --token=[your token]

See all the options here


There are two main commands that can be ran with πŸ€–:

gren release

gren will look for the latest tag, draft a new release using the issues closed between when that tag and the one before were created and publish that release in your release panel in your GitHub repo. (@see how to feed πŸ€–).

gren changelog

Create a CHANGELOG.md file using all the release notes of the repo (like the ones generated by πŸ€– ). If the file exists already, use the --override option to proceed.

gren changelog --override

To generate a brand new release notes, using the same approach as per the releases, you have to run the command with the --generate option.

gren changelog --generate

Help! πŸ†˜

gren is using Commander.js which generates the --help section. To trigger the help of a command, run:

# General usage
gren --help
# Command usage
gren help release # or gren release --help

It's also possible to see all the examples here or directly in the terminal:

gren examples release

Configuration file

You can create a configuration file where the task will be run to specify your options. See how to set up the config file The accepted file extensions are the following:


If you need help to create the configuration file, you can run the following command and follow the instructions

gren init

See full documentation here

Contributors ✨

Thanks goes to these wonderful people (emoji key):

Dan Klausner

πŸ› πŸ’»

David Sevilla MartΓ­n


Alexander Vassbotn RΓΈyne-Helgesen

πŸ› πŸ’»

Joaquin Corchero


David Parker


Mario Tacke


Kevin Yeh


Jack O'Connor


Keith Stolte

πŸ“– 🎨

David Poindexter


Frank S. Thomas




Yang, Bo


Victor Martinez


Tyler Hogan


Blair Gemmer








MΓ΄nica Ribeiro


Tanya Bushenyova


This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind welcome!