Configuration options can be given in three ways:

  • setup.cfg file in a [semantic_release] section

  • pyproject.toml file in a [tool.semantic_release] section

  • -D option, like so:

    semantic-release <command> -D <option_name>=<option_value>

Each location has priority over the ones listed above it.



The branch to run releases from.

Default: master


The file and variable name of where the version number is stored, for example:


You can specify multiple version variables (i.e. in different files) by providing comma-separated list of such strings:


In pyproject.toml specifically, you can also use the TOML list syntax to specify multiple versions:

version_variable = [


Similar to version_variable, but allows the version number to be identified safely in a toml file like pyproject.toml, using a dotted notation to the key path:



Similar to version_variable, but allows the version number to be identified using an arbitrary regular expression:

README.rst:VERSION (\d+\.\d+\.\d+)

The regular expression must contain a parenthesized group that matches the version number itself. Anything outside that group is just context. For example, the above specifies that there is a version number in README.rst preceded by the string “VERSION”.

If the pattern contains the string {version}, it will be replaced with the regular expression used internally by python-semantic-release to match semantic version numbers. So the above example would probably be better written as:

README.rst:VERSION {version}

As with version_variable, it is possible to specify multiple version patterns in pyproject.toml.


The way we get and set the new version. Can be commit or tag.

  • If set to tag, will get the current version from the latest tag matching vX.Y.Z. This won’t change the source defined in version_variable.
  • If set to commit, will get the current version from the source defined in version_variable, edit the file and commit it.

Default: commit


If this is set to true, semantic-release will create a new patch release even if there is no tag in any commits since the last release.

Default: false


If this is set to false, semantic-release will create a new minor release instead of major release when current major version is zero.

Quote from Semantic Versioning Specification:

Major version zero (0.y.z) is for initial development. Anything MAY change at any time. The public API SHOULD NOT be considered stable.

If you do not want to bump version to 1.0.0 from 0.y.z automatically, you can set this option to false.

Default: true.

Commit Parsing


Import path of a Python function that can parse commit messages and return information about the commit as described in Parsing of commit logs.

The following parsers are built in to Python Semantic Release:

  • semantic_release.history.angular_parser()

    The default parser, which uses the Angular commit style with the following differences:

    • Multiple BREAKING CHANGE: paragraphs are supported
    • revert is not currently supported
  • semantic_release.history.emoji_parser()

    Parser for commits using one or more emojis as tags in the subject line.

    If a commit contains multiple emojis, the one with the highest priority (major, minor, patch, none) or the one listed first is used as the changelog section for that commit. Commits containing no emojis go into an “Other” section.

    See major_emoji, minor_emoji and patch_emoji. The default settings are for Gitmoji.

  • semantic_release.history.tag_parser()

    The original parser from v1.0.0 of Python Semantic Release. Similar to the emoji parser above, but with less features.

  • semantic_release.history.scipy_parser()

    A parser for scipy-style commits with the following differences:

    • Beginning a paragraph inside the commit with BREAKING CHANGE declares a breaking change. Multiple BREAKING CHANGE paragraphs are supported.
    • A scope (following the tag in parentheses) is supported

    See scipy_parser for details.


Comma-separated list of emojis used by semantic_release.history.emoji_parser() to create major releases.

Default: :boom:


Comma-separated list of emojis used by semantic_release.history.emoji_parser() to create minor releases.

Default: :sparkles:, :children_crossing:, :lipstick:, :iphone:, :egg:, :chart_with_upwards_trend:


Comma-separated list of emojis used by semantic_release.history.emoji_parser() to create patch releases.

Default: :ambulance:, :lock:, :bug:, :zap:, :goal_net:, :alien:, :wheelchair:, :speech_balloon:, :mag:, :apple:, :penguin:, :checkered_flag:, :robot:, :green_apple:


Parses commit messages using scipy tags of the form:

<tag>(<scope>): <subject>


The elements <tag>, <scope> and <body> are optional. If no tag is present, the commit will be added to the changelog section “None” and no version increment will be performed.

While <scope> is supported here it isn’t actually part of the scipy style. If it is missing, parentheses around it are too. The commit should then be of the form:

<tag>: <subject>


To communicate a breaking change add “BREAKING CHANGE” into the body at the beginning of a paragraph. Fill this paragraph with information how to migrate from the broken behavior to the new behavior. It will be added to the “Breaking” section of the changelog.

Supported Tags:


Supported Changelog Sections:

breaking, feature, fix, Other, None



Whether or not to commit changes when bumping version.

Default: True if version_source is tag, False if version_source is commit


Git commit subject line. Accepts the following variables as format fields:

Variable Contents
{version} The new version number in the format X.Y.Z.

Default: {version}


Git commit message body. Accepts the following variables as format fields:

Variable Contents
{version} The new version number in the format X.Y.Z.

Default: Automatically generated by python-semantic-release


Author used in commits in the format name <email>.

Default: semantic-release <semantic-release>


If you are using the built-in GitHub Action, this is always set to github-actions <>.



Comma-separated list of sections to display in the changelog. They will be displayed in the order they are given.

The available options depend on the commit parser used.

Default: feature, fix, breaking, documentation, performance plus all the default emojis for semantic_release.history.emoji_parser.


A comma-separated list of the import paths of components to include in the changelog.

The following components are included in Python Semantic Release:

  • semantic_release.changelog.changelog_headers()

    Only component displayed by default.

    List of commits between this version and the previous one, with sections and headings for each type of change present in the release.

  • semantic_release.changelog.changelog_table()

    List of commits between this version and the previous one, dsplayed in a table.

  • semantic_release.changelog.compare_url()

    Link to view a comparison between this release and the previous one on GitHub. Only appears when running through semantic-release publish.

    If you are using a different HVCS, the link will not be included.

It is also possible to create your own components. Each component is simply a function which returns a string, or None if it should be skipped, and may take any of the following values as keyword arguments:

changelog A dictionary with section names such as feature as keys, and the values are lists of (SHA, message) tuples. There is a special section named breaking for breaking changes, where the same commit can appear more than once with a different message.
changelog_sections A list of sections from changelog which the user has set to be displayed.
version The current version number in the format X.X.X, or the new version number when publishing.
previous_version The previous version number. Only present when publishing, None otherwise.

You can should use **kwargs to capture any arguments you don’t need.


The name of the file where the changelog is kept, relative to the root of the repo.

If this file doesn’t exist, it will be created.



A placeholder used to inject the changelog of the current release in the changelog_file.

If the placeholder isn’t present in the file, a warning will be logged and nothing will be updated.

Default: <!--next-version-placeholder-->.


If set to false, **scope:** (when scope is set for a commit) will not be prepended to the description when generating the changelog.

Default: True.


If set to false commit messages will not be automatically capitalized when generating the changelog.

Default: True.



If set to false the pypi uploading will be disabled. See PYPI_TOKEN which must also be set for this to work.


A comma , separated list of glob patterns to use when uploading to pypi.

Default: *


The repository (package index) to upload to. Should be a section in the .pypirc file.


If set to false, do not upload distributions to GitHub releases. If you are not using GitHub, this will be skipped regardless.


The relative path to the folder for dists configured for setuptools. This allows for customized setuptools processes.

Default: dist/


Flag for whether the dist folder should be removed after a release.

Default: true


Command to build dists. Build output should be stored in the directory configured in dist_path. If necessary, multiple commands can be specified using &&, e.g. pip install -m flit && flit build. If set to false, build command is disabled and files should be placed manually in the directory configured in dist_path.

Default: python sdist bdist_wheel



The name of your hvcs. Currently only github and gitlab are supported.

Default: github


If enabled, the status of the head commit will be checked and a release will only be created if the status is success.

Default: false


Git tag format. Accepts the following variables as format fields:

Variable Contents
{version} The new version number in the format X.Y.Z.

Default: v{version}