Clarification needed on Octopus releases and their packages


Is my understanding correct that the package(s) associated with an octopus release are retained indefinitely while that release is active on the dashboard? (our packages are produced by Octopack in Team City and then deployed to Octopus).

In other words, when you can no longer see the release on the Dashboard, then the retention policy will come into effect at some point and remove all data inc the artifacts/packages.

Is this correct?

(we’re on Octopus 3.2.7)


Hi Andrew,

Thanks for getting in touch! You are correct on both points Andrew. When your retention policy is configured, Octopus should retain releases until they are no longer available on the dashboard. The retention policy will come into effect when you have specified on your retention policy page. (See documentation:

Are you currently experiencing any behavior regarding your retention policies that are not as expected?

Looking forward to hearing from you.


Hi Daniel

Thanks for confirming.

Our situation was that we ran out of space on our Octopus server and decided to free up space by manually deleting the contents of the Octopus cache folder. We did this based on our interpretation of what the term “cache” means, generally speaking. The upshot was that packages for active releases listed on the dashboard were no longer available. Octopus reverted back to trying to obtain the package from Team City, but our TC retention policy meant that it was no longer available there either (To date we’ve used Team City for CI, not as a release repository).

We also read here that the cache directory is automatically cleared every 20 days so we were slightly confused by your use of the term “cache” in Octopus. It sounds like our mistake was inadvertently deleting from this cache?

So I just wanted official clarification that an adequate retention policy in Octopus should suffice in terms of ensuring Octopus retains all of the artifacts it needs for active releases you can see on the dashboard. We shouldn’t need to rely on falling back to a build server (Team City in our case) for this responsibility. (but, that we shouldn’t delete from the cache manually either)


Hi Andrew,

Thanks for getting back! The cache simply stops us from re downloading a recent package, but it is not at all smart.
The retention policy in Octopus only relates to the inbuilt package repository. The Octopus cache will clear itself and is not related to our retention policy/repository. After 20 days we will delete from the cache regardless of the content of the dashboard. We assume that generally you will not delete from your feed/repository manually.

You are able to configure the days that it caches the file for by using the OctopusServer.exe configure command:

      --instance=VALUE       Name of the instance to use
      --home=VALUE           Home directory
                             SQL Server connection string
      --serverNodeName=VALUE Unique Server Node name for a clustered
      --cachePackages=VALUE  Days to cache packages for. Default: 20

So if you need to delete from the cache at any point, you can do so and it will not cause you any issues at all.

Please let me know if I can clarify any of this or if you have any further questions.



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