How it works

GitVersion v3 works very differently to v2. Version 2 had knowledge of both GitFlow and GitHubFlow hard coded into it, with each branch having it's own class which calculated the version for that branch type.

v3 is driven by configuration, meaning most of the behaviors in GitVersion can be tweaked to work the way you want. This also makes it much more predictable and easier to diagnose when odd things are happening.


GitVersion has three distinct steps for calculating versions in v3.

  1. If the current commit is tagged, the tag is used and build metadata (excluding commit count) is added. The other two steps will not execute.
  2. A set of strategies are evaluated to decide on the base version and some metadata about that version. These strategies include HighestReachableTag, NextVersionInConfig, MergedBranchWithVersion, VersionInBranchName etc.
  3. The highest base version is selected, using that base version as the new version is calculated.

Visually it looks something like this:

Version Calculation

Edit Diagram

* Some strategies allow the version to be incremented, others don't. More info below. + This version is out of context with the rest of the example. It is here simply to show what happens if the check is true.

Base Version Strategies

Currently we have the following strategies:

  • HighestTagBaseVersionStrategy - Finds the highest reachable tag from the current branch
  • VersionInBranchBaseVersionStrategy - Extracts version information from the branch name (e.g., release/3.0.0 will find 3.0.0)
  • ConfigNextVersionBaseVersionStrategy - Returns the version from the GitVersion.yaml file
  • MergeMessageBaseVersionStrategy - Finds version numbers from merge messages (e.g., Merge 'release/3.0.0' into 'main' will return 3.0.0)
  • FallbackBaseVersionStrategy - Always returns 0.1.0 for new repositories

Each strategy needs to return an instance of BaseVersion which has the following properties:

  • Source - Description of the source (e.g., Merge message 'Merge 'release/3.0.0' into 'main')
  • ShouldIncrement - Some strategies should have the version incremented, others do not (e.g., ConfigNextVersionBaseVersionStrategy returns false, HighestTagBaseVersionStrategy returns true)
  • SemanticVersion - SemVer of the base version strategy
  • BaseVersionSource - SHA hash of the source. Commits will be counted from this hash. Can be null (e.g., ConfigNextVersionBaseVersionStrategy returns null).
  • BranchNameOverride - When useBranchName or {BranchName} is used in the tag configuration, this allows the branch name to be changed by a base version. VersionInBranchBaseVersionStrategy uses this to strip out anything before the first - or /. so foo ends up being evaluated as foo. If in doubt, just use null.