Guidelines and HOWTOs/Application Versioning

Every application has an application version number that regularly has to be increased to distinguish different versions of the application (e.g. features, bug fixes). Not using different version numbers for different releases can lead to a confusing About dialog and lower the quality of the bugs reported, as it will not be clear which version is affected. When an application does not have its own release schedule but is released with as part of the release service (KDE Gear), it can use the version number of the corresponding release service release.

It is the maintainer's duty to take care of increasing the version number regularly for every release. Specifically, there are two possible ways to do that:

  1. Increase the version number by hand for each new release.
  2. Use the same version number as KDE Gear and let the release script update the version number.

In the following, we explain how to use the scripted version numbers from KDE Gear within an application. The release scripts will auto-update the following CMake variables in the toplevel CMakeLists.txt of all applications bundled in the KDE Gear release:

# KDE Application Version, managed by release script

You can then use them to define the version for your own application based on this.

For example Kate defines in its CMakeLists.txt:


and then use this in the


This is then passed to the KAboutData:

    * construct about data for Kate
   KAboutData aboutData(QStringLiteral("kate"), i18n("Kate"), QStringLiteral(KATE_VERSION),
                        i18n("Kate - Advanced Text Editor"), KAboutLicense::LGPL_V2,
                        i18n("(c) 2000-2014 The Kate Authors"), QString(), QStringLiteral(""));

Beside using the full version, you could use only the patch release version ${RELEASE_SERVICE_VERSION_MICRO} to suffix your own version if you don't want to do that manually for each patch release.

Appstream release metadata

Appstream files should also be updated at release time with version numbers and dates of releases.

Appstream wiki page has more info and Appstream versions

If you want to get the Bugzilla versions automatically created by the release managers (starting with KDE Applications 17.12.0), your project should use

 project(my_project_name VERSION my_version_name)

Note that this requires cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.0). The project() line must be AFTER the cmake_minimum_required() line.

For example Kate would be using


At the moment this only works for products whose bugzilla name and repository name are the same, if yours is different and you have a good reason for it, ask in the release team mailing list.

This page was last edited on 14 April 2021, at 17:12. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.