Difference Between CyanogenMod Release Types: EXPERIMENTAL, NIGHTLY, SNAPSHOT and STABLE

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    This post explains the Difference Between CyanogenMod Release Types: EXPERIMENTAL, NIGHTLY, SNAPSHOT and STABLE releases. CyanogenMod is one of the first and most used Android Custom ROMs. In fact there many custom ROMs which are built on top of CyanogenMod. So, it is necessary to know the different types of CyanogenMod release types to get a healthier CyanogenMod build on your device.

    CyanogenMod Releases: NIGHTLY, SNAPSHOT and STABLE

    CyanogenMod has usually following kinds of build releases (CyanogenMod 9 – 10.2):

    2. NIGHTLY
    5. STABLE

    CyanogenMod has usually following kinds of build releases (CyanogenMod 11 – 13):

    1. Development Channel (NIGHTLY)
    2. Release Channel (SNAPSHOT)

    CyanogenMod EXPERIMENTAL build types:

    EXPERIMENTAL builds are just the testing version for a particular device on a particular CyanogenMod branch, requested by device maintainers to evaluate specific changes on the CyanogenMod server(s). Basically EXPERIMENTAL releases are tested before they are released to public and are the first releases that CM allows to be used for official bug reports on their BUG tracking system: https://jira.cyanogenmod.org
    Usually these EXPERIMENTAL CyanogenMod releases should be more STABLE than the NIGHTLY versions of CyanogenMod ROM. But since CyanogenMod 11 the EXPERIMENTAL CyanogenMod build tag is gone officially. There are only two tags: Development channel (a.k.a. Nightlies) and Release channel (a.k.a. Snapshots), which are explained later.

    CyanogenMod NIGHTLY build types:

    NIGHTLY builds are automated by software and are built daily. Basically there is no human interaction in this. I mean to say NO developers is touching on these builds on a daily basis.
    Usually developers are pushing their code changes to CyanogenMod servers via jira and Gerrit reviews and the codechange goes to the development channel. The automated NIGHTLY build will ensure if the code pushed-in to the CM server for a particular device builds successfully or not.

    CyanogenMod SNAPSHOT build types:

    SNAPSHOT (the Release Channel) builds are usually build once a month and basic tests are carried out on these builds to see if everything is working before it is released to the public. The SNAPSHOT CyanogenMod releases are built from a different tag than the NIGHTLY branch. The release channel is built from a separate stable branch, cut from the main branch at a point deemed feature-complete and reliable. A small subset of code reviewers have the ability to merge commits into the stable branch after the cut has been made; i.e. everything that goes to the stable branch receives extra scrutiny.

    CyanogenMod STABLE build types:

    STABLE build will come when CyanogenMod developers (for a particular device, lets say OnePlus 3, rain) are done pushing all the desired changes and tested for a particular Android release like Android Lollipop. Usually the STABLE releases come very late.

    For more info CyanogenMod release versioning scheme you can see here.

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