Use X-Y-stable branches only for tagged releases
GitLab uses branch names of the form
X-Y-stable when creating the release branches. However, these branches are unstable, as they are actively committed to for bug fixes and release preparation, both before and after the minor version is tagged (i.e., a release is officially made). When installing GitLab from source, the docs suggest using the
X-Y-stable branches to run the code off of (as opposed to the release tags). By doing so, the docs do not need to be updated every time a patch version is released and allows Gitlab admins to more easily update to the latest version. However, this can cause incomplete versions to be run on production systems.
In the development of GitLab releases (both minor and patch versions), use
X-Y-development branches until a release is ready to be tagged. When it is ready to be tagged, merge into (or create) the
X-Y-stable branch, and create the version tag. Work on patch updates should be made on
X-Y-development and not merged into
X-Y-stable until a release is ready to be made.