Comparison of stable, beta, and nightly versions

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

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. If there is a beta version currently available, it can be found on the download page.

Nightly builds

Nightly builds of MuseScore are intended for testers only, and should not be used otherwise. They may come every night, but may be more or less frequent depending on how often there are changes to the code. Nightly 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 nightly, see:

Summary

Frequency Purpose Prior testing and stability
Official release About every 9 months Normal use Fairly stable
Beta Months leading up to a stable release Early preview for testers and advanced users Some instability expected
Nightly Every one to three days For testing only Untested