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Home < Documentation < Nightly < Developers < Versioning

For the latest Slicer documentation, visit the read-the-docs.

How to create a Slicer package

Locally on your machine

After Slicer correctly build and test, to create a binary package on mac/unix:

$ cd Slicer-Superbuild/Slicer-build
$ make package

For Visual Studio on Windows, the inner Slicer (not superbuild) solution file contains a 'PACKAGE' project, just build it. You might have to install NSIS prior.

On Mac OS X, a 'dmg' file is generated, on unix it's a tar.gz archive and on Windows it's a exe installer.

Automatically expose it to the Slicer community

CTest can automatically create a package and upload it on and to be available to the community.

You need to create a script following the template Slicer/CMake/SlicerDashboardScript.TEMPLATE.cmake. Change the following variables WITH_PACKAGES to TRUE and SCRIPT_MODE to experimental

Then you can run your script:

$ ctest -S /path/to/SlicerPackageScript.cmake -VV > /path/to/logs.txt 2>&1

Please note that the source and build directories should not be located in /usr. The libraries would be considered by the packaging mechanism as "system" libraries.

Slicer Package naming scheme


There are 2 types of builds, releases and developments:

Special builds made on a given revision (e.g. r19033: "ENH: Slicer 4.0.1")
Don't contain date or revision number.
The optional suffix -rc{1|2|3|...} identifies the release candidates leading to a final release.
Eventually, a tweak number can be added (e.g. 4.0.1-1)
Nightly or experimental builds
Contains suffixes after the major.minor.patch version
The suffix svn<REV> allows to identify the revision associated with the current package.
The -dirty prefix indicates if the package has been generated from a locally modified source tree.

Example of linux 64bits packages

[              File name               ][   date   ][ build type ][                      note                     ]
Slicer-4.0.0-linux-amd64                 2011-11-24    release     release of Slicer 4.0.0
Slicer-4.0.0-2011-12-10-linux-amd64      2011-11-25  development   nightly build after 4.0.0
Slicer-4.0.1-rc1-linux-amd64             2012-01-04    release     release candidate 1 of Slicer 4.0.1
Slicer-4.0.1-rc1-2012-01-05-linux-amd64  2012-01-05  development   nightly build after the release candidate
Slicer-4.0.1-rc2-linux-amd64             2012-01-11    release     release candidate 2 of Slicer 4.0.1
Slicer-4.0.1-rc2-2012-01-12-linux-amd64  2012-01-12  development   nightly build after the release candidate
Slicer-4.0.1-linux-amd64                 2012-01-14    release     release of Slicer 4.0.1
Slicer-4.0.1-2012-01-20-linux-amd64      2012-01-20  development   nightly build after 4.0.1
Slicer-4.0.1-1-linux-amd64               2012-01-28    release     tweak version 1 of Slicer 4.0.1
Slicer-4.0.2-linux.amd64                 2012-06-05    release     release of Slicer 4.0.2

Extension package - Naming scheme

  • Create Extensions-XYZ-Nightly and Extensions-XYZ-Continuous tracks on CDash


Project fork

While Slicer specific patches related to dependent project (i.e. VTK) are integrated upstream, it is not uncommon to build Slicer against a Slicer specific fork of the project.

For example:

Patches for tagged release

For each version of the project requiring some specific patches, a branch following that convention will be created: slicer-vX.Y.Z where X.Y.Z corresponds to the version of the project.

For example, in case of the SlicerVTK fork, the branch slicer-v5.10.1 has been created.

Patches for development branch

In this case, since there is no tag associated with the branch, the Slicer specific patch should be added to a branch named using the date of the commit parent of the Slicer branch: slicer-YEAR-MONTH-DAY-vX.Y where X.Y corresponds to the fork release.

Feature freeze

Usually ~1 month before release.


  • Update modules documentation link in help section (loadable, scripted and cli)
    • And some html links in Welcome module (Modules/Loadable/SlicerWelcome/Resources/HTML)
    • Update CLI XML description files


Since there all development occurs on master, each time version is updated, two commits will be required.

Step 1

<RC> corresponds to the release candidate number. It is greater or equal to one.

  • In CMakeLists.txt, uncomment and set:
    • Slicer_VERSION_TWEAK to 0
    • Slicer_VERSION_RC to 1, 2 or 3
  • ... and if this is the first release candidate, update at least one these variables:
    • Slicer_VERSION_MAJOR
    • Slicer_VERSION_MINOR
    • Slicer_VERSION_PATCH
  • Commit message: Slicer X.Y.Z-rc<RC>

Step 2

  • Generate packages based on REVISION associated with step1.

Step 3

  • In CMakeLists.txt, comment Slicer_VERSION_TWEAK so that the next builds will contain the date associated with the last commit.
  • Commit message: Begin post-X.Y.Z-rc<RC> development


Since there all development occurs on master, each time version is updated, two commits will be required.


  • In CMakeLists.txt,
    • uncomment and set Slicer_VERSION_TWEAK to 0ode>
  • ... and if this no release candidate has been made, update at least one these variables:
    • Slicer_VERSION_MAJOR
    • Slicer_VERSION_MINOR
    • Slicer_VERSION_PATCH
  • Commit message: Slicer X.Y.Z


  • Generate packages based on REVISION associated with step1.
  • Tag the repository:
 svn copy -r<REVISION>  \  \
     -m "ENH: Tag of X.Y.Z release based on r<REVISION>."


  • In CMakeLists.txt, comment and set:
    • Slicer_VERSION_TWEAK to 0 so that the next builds will contain the date associated with the last commit.
    • Slicer_VERSION_RC to 0
  • Commit message: Begin post-X.Y.Z development</code

Post release

Create a release branch

svn copy -r <REVISION>

Backport commit into release branch

The following steps will lead to the creation of new git-svn clone having to branch:

  • git-svn
  • git-svn-XY


Step 1: Checkout sources

git clone git:// Slicer-X.Y
cd Slicer-X.Y
git svn init
git update-ref refs/remotes/git-svn refs/remotes/origin/master
git checkout master
git svn rebase

Step 2: Add release branch remote

Edit .git/config, and in addition to the existing 'git-svn' remote, add the following one:

[svn-remote "svn-XY"]
   url =
   fetch = :refs/remotes/git-svn-XY

Step 3: Pull associated SVN branch

git svn fetch git-svn-XY -r <REVISION>
git checkout -b master-XY git-svn-XY

Step4: Backport

We can now cherry pick commit associated with master (trunk) into master-XY (Slicer-X-Y)

  • Package machines
    • switch to branch (make sure at least you are on trunk otherwise)
    • update source to release revision
      • cd Slicer; svn update -r19609
    • delete build directory to force rebuild
      • cd Slicer-package; rm -rf *
    • build, package and upload with cmake
      • cd DashboardScripts; ./
      • make sure LEGACY CLIs is ON, EMSegment needs BSplineToDeformationField.
  • Generate ChangeLog using More details here .
  • Update Release Details page using generated ChangeLog
  • In Mantis
    • "Release" current target
    • Create new target
    • Check the "fixed in" fields
  • In Midas
    • If needed, create a X.Y.Z folder in Slicer/Packages/Application/Release
    • Copy uploaded packages into the folder created above
    • Identify the item_id associated with uploaded packages. For example: 11926, 11925, 11927, 11992
    • SSH connect to
    • Connect to mysql using mysql -u midas -p
    • List packages associated with identified items and check they are the appropriate ones:
      • select * from slicerpackages_package as p , item as i where i.item_id = p.item_id and p.item_id in (11926, 11925, 11927, 11992);
    • Set release field
      • update slicerpackages_package set `release`="4.2.2-1" where item_id in (11926, 11925, 11927, 11992);
  • Update more recent version on external links:
    • on slicer wikipedia article
  • Slicer trunk: Update Major/Minor/Patch version to match latest release