GitLab Maintenance Policy

Versioning

GitLab follows the Semantic Versioning for its releases: (Major).(Minor).(Patch) in a pragmatic way.

For example, for GitLab version 10.5.7:

  • 10 represents the major version. The major release was 10.0.0, but often referred to as 10.0.
  • 5 represents the minor version. The minor release was 10.5.0, but often referred to as 10.5.
  • 7 represents the patch number.

Any part of the version number can increment into multiple digits, for example, 13.10.11.

The following table describes the version types and their release cadence:

Version type Description Cadence  
Major For significant changes, or when any backward-incompatible changes are introduced to the public API. Yearly. The next major release is GitLab 12.0 on June 22, 2019. Subsequent major releases will be scheduled for May 22 each year, by default.  
Minor For when new backward-compatible functionality is introduced to the public API, a minor feature is introduced, or when a set of smaller features is rolled out. Monthly on the 22nd.  
Patch For backward-compatible bug fixes that fix incorrect behavior. See Patch releases. As needed.  

Patch releases

Patch releases usually only include bug fixes and are only done for the current stable release. That said, in some cases, we may backport it to previous stable release, depending on the severity of the bug.

For instance, if we release 10.1.1 with a fix for a severe bug introduced in 10.0.0, we could backport the fix to a new 10.0.x patch release.

Security releases

Security releases are a special kind of patch release that only include security fixes and patches (see below).

Our current policy is to support one stable release at any given time, but for medium-level security issues, we may backport security fixes to the previous two monthly releases.

For very serious security issues, there is precedent to backport security fixes to even more monthly releases of GitLab. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis.

Upgrade recommendations

We encourage everyone to run the latest stable release to ensure that you can easily upgrade to the most secure and feature-rich GitLab experience. In order to make sure you can easily run the most recent stable release, we are working hard to keep the update process simple and reliable.

If you are unable to follow our monthly release cycle, there are a couple of cases you need to consider.

It is considered safe to jump between patch versions and minor versions within one major version. For example, it is safe to:

  • Upgrade the patch version:
    • 8.9.0 -> 8.9.7
    • 8.9.0 -> 8.9.1
    • 8.9.2 -> 8.9.6
  • Upgrade the minor version:
    • 8.9.4 -> 8.12.3
    • 9.2.3 -> 9.5.5

Upgrading the major version requires more attention. We cannot guarantee that upgrading between major versions will be seamless. As previously mentioned, major versions are reserved for backwards incompatible changes.

We recommend that you first upgrade to the latest available minor version within your major version. By doing this, you can address any deprecation messages that could change behavior in the next major release.

Please see the table below for some examples:

Latest stable version Your version Recommended upgrade path Note
9.4.5 8.13.4 8.13.4 -> 8.17.7 -> 9.4.5 8.17.7 is the last version in version 8
10.1.4 8.13.4 8.13.4 -> 8.17.7 -> 9.5.10 -> 10.1.4 8.17.7 is the last version in version 8, 9.5.10 is the last version in version 9
11.3.4 8.13.4 8.13.4 -> 8.17.7 -> 9.5.10 -> 10.8.7 -> 11.3.4 8.17.7 is the last version in version 8, 9.5.10 is the last version in version 9, 10.8.7 is the last version in version 10

More information about the release procedures can be found in our release documentation. You may also want to read our Responsible Disclosure Policy.