Does Gitlab.com get upgraded to 8.17 early?

I was under the (mistaken) impression that Gitlab.com was running the Enterprise Edition and was always upgraded at the same time as each release (on the 22nd of each month). I always look out for the blog post explaining the changes and new features so I can be informed.

Today I was trying to teach a coworker how to add Private Variables to a Project, and we couldn’t find the menu item. We thought it was a permissions issue until we realised it was missing from all Projects, along with the Deploy Keys and Runners menu items.
Then we found that all different pages had been merged into the “CI/CD Pipelines” menu item, including Runners and Deploy Keys. That makes sense and definitely de-clutters the project menu, but we didn’t know this had been changed.
When we visited the About Gitlab EE page on Gitlab.com it said “8.17”.

I notice that in the Gitlab Milestone for the 8.17 release one of the steps is to “Deploy 8.17-rc1 to Gitlab.com” about two weeks before the 22nd:
https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/gitlab-ce/issues/27252

My question is how do Gitlab.com users find out about these changes as they’re made? If Gitlab.com is running 8.17 now, I need to know what’s changed so I can help my team out (and update all our documentation). Even without reading the issue board or a blog-post summary, knowing that the version is different would be enough of a hint that some things might have changed.

Is there a way to keep us informed, and is this something the team is thinking about? I have no problem with rapid iteration on Gitlab.com, or getting updates early. I’m not afraid to jump into the issue tracker and report bugs in release candidates if it helps the developers, but I do need to know when things change so we don’t lose valuable production time troubleshooting non-existent issues.

Some ideas:

  • A Gitlab.com RSS feed of the changes which have just been applied to the live site
  • Popups/messages to say that an upgrade has just been applied (“You are now running 8.17-rc1, click here to read the list of changes”)
  • Email alerts/digests to Gitlab.com Team Owners

Any suggestions would be appreciated :slight_smile:

Thanks again!

Looks like my question is answered:


Gitlab.com does run pre-release versions of Gitlab.

Still not sure how I can stay ahead of the changes if they’re not announced until weeks after the upgrade. This short part of the blog post would have been very helpful: