Comparison of stable, beta, and development versions

Last updated 2017-09-28

MuseScore comes in three different types: stable releases, beta releases, and nightly builds. If you have not been closely involved with a software project before, then these terms may be unfamiliar. Don't let that stop you from getting involved. The quality of a stable version depends on testing and reporting by the wider community using the beta and nightly builds.

Stable versions

The stable versions (also called final releases) come about every nine months and are intended for normal, everyday use. Stable versions have received extensive testing from the community prior to release. In the lead up to an official release, code development slows down to focus on fixing bugs found by the testing community and to avoid introducing new problems. If any critical bugs are found at the last minute, then they may delay the official release. To obtain the latest stable version, click on the green download button on the home page of the MuseScore website.

Beta releases and release candidates

Beta versions come in the months leading up to a major new version to offer an early preview of the stable release. Bugs are expected in beta releases, and they are intended for testers and advanced users, in order to make sure that the final release is as bug-free as possible.
Rele3ase Candidates come out in the months leading up to a major new version.
If there is a beta version or release candidate currently available, it can be found on the download page.

Development builds

Development builds from MuseScore's master branch are intended for testers only, and should not be used otherwise. They may come several times a day, but may be more or less frequent, depending on how often there are changes to the code. Development builds are created automatically, so you may be the first human to test a particular build. Occasionally, even basic functionality may be broken.

To obtain the latest development build, see:

At times there also development builds of a non-master branches, like currently for the 2.2 branch. These are supposed to be previews of what will or may become the next minor release. You get them from the places mentioned above, just make sure not to take those with "master" in their name.

Summary

  Frequency Purpose Prior testing and stability
Official release About every 9 months Normal use Fairly stable
Beta version / Release Canditate Months/weeks leading up to a stable release Early preview for testers and advanced users Some instability expected
Development build (from master branch) Every time the code changes, could be multiple per day For testing only Untested, except for some automated regression tests in the build server
Development build (from non-master branches) Every time the code changes, could be multiple per day For testing / normal use, advanced users Fairly stable