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Published September 6, 2015 Updated October 21, 2021
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Milestoner is a command line interface for crafting Git repository milestones (also known as tags or versions). Each milestone is a summary of all commits made since the last milestone. You can use Milestoner to inspect what is currently unreleased or create a new release via a single command. By having a tool, like Milestoner, you can quickly manage/automate releases in a consistent and reliable fashion. Milestoner also pairs well with Git Lint for further ensuring you have commit messages of high quality for your release notes.


  • Uses Versionaire for Semantic Versioning.

    • Format: <major>.<minor>.<patch>.

    • Example: 0.1.0.

  • Ensures Git commits since last tag (or initialization of repository) are included.

  • Ensures Git commit messages are grouped by prefix, in order defined. For more details, see Git Lint Commit Subject Prefix for details. Defaults (can be customized):

    • Fixed

    • Added

    • Updated

    • Removed

    • Refactored

  • Ensures Git commit messages are alphabetically sorted.

  • Ensures duplicate Git commit messages are removed (if any).

  • Provides optional security for signing Git tags with GnuPG signing key.


  1. A UNIX-based system.

  2. Ruby.

  3. GnuPG.


To install, run:

gem install milestoner


Command Line Interface (CLI)

From the command line, type: milestoner --help

  -c, --config ACTION                      Manage gem configuration. Actions: edit || view.
  -h, --help                               Show this message.
  -P, --publish VERSION                    Tag and push milestone to remote repository.
  -s, --status                             Show project status.
  -v, --version                            Show gem version.

      --[no-]sign                          Sign with GPG key. Default: true.


milestoner --config edit
milestoner --config view

milestoner --help

milestoner --publish 0.1.0
milestoner --publish 0.1.0 --sign
milestoner --publish 0.1.0 --no-sign

milestoner --status
milestoner --version


This gem can be configured via a global configuration:


It can also be configured via XDG environment variables.

The default configuration is as follows:

  :format: "md"
      - Fixed
      - Added
      - Updated
      - Removed
      - Refactored
    :sign: false

Feel free to take this default configuration, modify, and save as your own custom configuration.yml.

The configuration.yml file can be configured as follows:

  • Documenation Format: Determines what format the status information should be rendered. Defaults to Markdown (i.e. md) but ASCII Doc (i.e. adoc) is supported too.

  • Git Commit Prefixes: Should the default prefixes not be desired, you can define Git commit prefixes that match your style. NOTE: Prefix order is important with the first prefix defined taking precedence over the second and so forth. Special characters are allowed for prefixes but should be enclosed in quotes. To disable prefix usage completely, use an empty array. Example: :prefixes: [].

  • Git Tag Sign: Defaults to false but can be enabled by setting to true. When enabled, a Git tag will require GPG signing for enhanced security and include a signed signature as part of the Git tag. This is useful for public milestones where the author of a milestone can be verified to ensure milestone integrity/security.


To securely sign your Git tags, install and configure GPG:

brew install gpg
gpg --gen-key

When creating your GPG key, choose these settings:

  • Key kind: RSA and RSA (default)

  • Key size: 4096

  • Key validity: 0

  • Real Name: <your name>

  • Email: <your email>

  • Passphrase: <your passphrase>

To obtain your key, run the following and take the part after the forward slash:

gpg --list-keys | grep pub

Add your key to your global Git configuration in the [user] section. Example:

  signingkey = <your GPG key>

Now, when publishing a new milestone (i.e. milestoner --publish <version> --sign), signing of your Git tag will happen automatically. You will be prompted for the GPG Passphrase each time but that is to be expected.


To contribute, run:

git clone
cd milestoner

You can also use the IRB console for direct access to all objects:



To test, run:

bundle exec spec


Read Semantic Versioning for details. Briefly, it means:

  • Major (X.y.z) - Incremented for any backwards incompatible public API changes.

  • Minor (x.Y.z) - Incremented for new, backwards compatible, public API enhancements/fixes.

  • Patch (x.y.Z) - Incremented for small, backwards compatible, bug fixes.

Code of Conduct

Read Code of Conduct for details.


Read Contributions for details.


Read License for details.


Read Changes for details.


Engineered by Brooke Kuhlmann.