GitLab Runner support policy

The support policy by GitLab Runner is determined by the lifecycle policy of the operating system.

Container images support

We follow the support lifecycle of the base distributions (Ubuntu, Alpine, Red Hat Universal Base Image) used for creating the GitLab Runner container images.

The end-of-publishing dates for the base distributions will not necessarily align with the GitLab major release cycle. This means we will stop publishing a version of the GitLab Runner container image in a minor release. This ensures that we do not publish images that the upstream distribution no longer updates.

Container images and end of publishing date

Base container Base container version Vendor EOL date GitLab EOL date
Ubuntu 20.04 2030-04-09 2030-04-22
Alpine 3.12 2022-05-01 2023-05-22
Alpine 3.13 2022-11-01 2023-05-22
Alpine 3.14 2023-05-01 2023-05-22
Alpine 3.15 2023-11-01 2023-11-22
Alpine 3.16 2024-05-23 2024-06-22
Alpine 3.17 2024‑11‑22 2024-12-22
Alpine 3.18 2025‑05‑09 2025-05-22
Red Hat Universal Base Image 8 8.7-1054 2024-05-31 2024-06-22

Windows version support

GitLab officially supports LTS versions of Microsoft Windows operating systems and so we follow the Microsoft Servicing Channels lifecycle policy.

This means that we support:

  • Long-Term Servicing Channel, versions for 5 years after their release date. Note that we don’t support versions that are on extended support.
  • Semi-Annual Channel versions for 18 months after their release date. We don’t support these versions after mainstream support ends.

This is the case for both the Windows binaries that we distribute, and also for the Docker executor.

The Docker executor for Windows containers has strict version requirements, because containers have to match the version of the host OS. See the list of supported Windows containers for more information.

GitLab provides Windows operating system runner images until the EOL (End-Of-Life) date for the operating system. After the EOL date of the Windows OS, GitLab stops releasing runner images with the EOL Windows OS version.

The EOL date for a Windows OS version will not necessarily align with a GitLab major release; therefore, we will typically stop releasing an EOL image in a GitLab minor release. A removal notice will be included in the release post of the GitLab version in which we stopped publishing the image with the EOL Windows version.

As a single source of truth we use which specifies both the release and mainstream support dates.

Below is a list of versions that are commonly used and their end of life date:

OS Mainstream support end of life date
Windows 10 1809/2019 January 2024
Windows Server Datacenter 1809/2019 January 2024

Future releases

Microsoft releases new Windows Server products in the Semi-Annual Channel twice a year, and every 2 - 3 years a new major version of Windows Sever is released in the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC).

GitLab aims to test and release new GitLab Runner helper images that include the latest Windows Server version (Semi-Annual Channel) within 1 month of the official Microsoft release date on the Google Cloud Platform. Refer to the Windows Server current versions by servicing option list for availability dates.