Extending Support Cycle for Docker Community Edition

Jul 18 2018

We’re excited to share the release of Docker 18.06 Community Edition (CE) and also share some changes that will be implemented in the next release. Based on feedback we’ve been hearing from the community, we are implementing some changes to deliver higher quality Community Edition (CE) releases, while also providing faster access to new features as they get added:

  • Docker CE Stable is changing to twice-a-year release cadence
  • Docker CE Edge is deprecated in favor of a nightly build channel

As a result of these changes, Docker 18.06 CE will be the last release with a 4-month maintenance lifecycle. The planned Docker 18.09 CE release will be supported for 7 months with Docker 19.03 CE being the next release in line. Further, the monthly Edge releases of Docker CE (Engine) are now replaced with nightly builds. Note that Docker Desktop (Docker for Mac, Docker for Windows) edge channels will still provide monthly updates.

Docker CE Stable Moving to Longer Release and Maintenance Cycles

We will be delivering a more thoroughly tested Docker CE release twice a year instead of quarterly. We will also be separating the packaging for different operating systems from the release which will allow us to ship new Docker CE versions with each updated operating system release. For example, if a new version of Ubuntu comes out in between Docker CE releases, we will still be able to ship updated Docker CE “packages” for that distribution.

With the longer release cycles, we will be introducing a public beta prior to RC with the objective to ship a higher quality release at GA. This also means maintenance for a given stable release will extend to 7 months, giving you more time to plan and prepare for upgrades. Docker 18.09 CE will be the first release with this new extended maintenance window, with the next stable release expected to be Docker 19.03 CE.

Docker CE Edge Moving to Nightly Builds

Starting with the Docker 18.06 Docker CE release, we are transitioning to a nightly build. This provides faster access to new features and fixes for testing. As a result of this change, there will not be any further monthly Docker CE Edge releases – meaning there will not be an 18.07 nor 18.08 Docker CE Edge release.

Nightly builds will be available via the new nightly channel from download.docker.com.

More details about the release process can be found here.

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