What is “Nightly Build” version of softwares? What does it mean?


I always keep trying latest applications of my interest in market from internet and often came across this scary word and for many softwares that I downloaded without knowing whether it’s a fully working or pre-release or anything else, had this title as “Nightly Build” version of X software. Probably I was frightened of any ghost thinking of that it may get’s build at mid night or only at nights and not during day time so I just kept ignoring the term and using the softwares. But so far in the journey, I got the courage (lol.. after so long time) to explore what really it means. Hence my this post is for the “Geeks” like me who never try to search for the such keywords just avoiding any unfortunate consequence.


What is a “Nightly Build” version of any software?

Nightly builds are automated Alpha builds from the latest development code in Testing. By nature, these builds are experimental, unstable, untested, hence – may contain Bugs and Errors and may be harmful to your machine. It’s the build before release of any Beta version or a Release Candidate (RC). 

Nightly Build = An automatic build from a codebase

In software development, a neutral build is a build that reflects the current state of the source code checked into the source code version control system by the developers, but without any developer-specific changes.

A nightly build is a neutral build that takes place automatically. These typically take place when no one is likely to be working in the office so that there are no changes to the source code during the build. 

Obviously, it may or may not be usable, depending on what stage of development it’s at, what the release strategy for that project is, etc. What you are testing is a snapshot of unfinished software at one moment in time.

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