Named Releases (Release Policy) and tracking

I find the new feature “Release Policy” great but I have a few questions:

  1. I’d like to pin all devices to a specific release which seems to be working by changing the “Release Policy” on top of the dashboard page to a certain commit id, right?

  2. Newly added devices will also get this commit id, right?

  3. Is it possible to “tag” or “name” commits? E.g. I want to have a certain commit tagged as “beta” and then assign a bunch of devices to it -> then I easily could see “alpha”, “beta”, etc. instead of commit hashes that are difficult to remember.

  4. If I set the application’s “release policy” to a certain commit, can I select distinct devices to use policy “latest” so they always get the latest build? Right now, I can only pick a commit Id or the application track “default”.

  5. Can I define multiple “tracks” per application? If so, how? Didn’t find anything like that yet in the UI.

Thanks a lot!

Hi there, let me give you an answer to each of your questions:

  1. Yes, if you change the release policy, all devices that are not individually pinned to a specific release will follow that policy (either later or specific release)
  2. Yes, that’s right.
  3. Currently, it is not possible to name releases.
  4. Currently, only the entire application can follow the latest release, and individual devices can only be pinned to a specific release. There is a way to achieve what you want by taking a different approach:
  • Add a tag to all non-beta devices (something like mode: production)
  • Filter by the tag, select all devices, and pin them to the specific release you want to use in production
  • Set the app release policy to follow latest, which will make only the non-production devices get that release, and those can be your “beta” devices
  1. As of now, no.

To expand to my answer, we do have a long-term plan to create “release channels” that will make everything you asked trivial to achieve. Until then I hope what we offer now can work for you. Let us know if you have any other questions/suggestions!

1 Like

Hey Stevche,
thanks for your answers. I had the same impression - so thanks for confirming.
Great already, and looking forward to the mentioned release channels feature!


One last question @sradevski,
following your suggestion in step 4: newly added devices will always get the app release (which would be the “beta”), right?
Even if I add the device tag during preprovisioning using balena CLI, this does not affect the pinned release.
Is this correct?


Hello @fritz ,
Newly added devices will get the app release.
Device tags do not affect the pinned release.