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< Fedora Release Life Cycle

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Fedora Project 每隔大约 6 个月发布一个新版本的 Fedora,并会在13个月内提供更新支持。This allows users to "skip a release" while still being able to always have a system that is still receiving updates.



最近在开发的版本Fedora 40的发行进度在 发行进度里可以找到. Alpha版,Beta版和 通用版(最终版)的发行通常是在美国东部时间的10:00am,也就是1500UTC或者1400UTC(得看夏时令是否生效)。

Schedule Methodology

Fedora release schedules are proposed by the Release Engineering team and ratified by Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo). FESCo is responsible for overseeing the technical direction of the Fedora distribution. A core schedule is created using the key tasks listed below. Detailed team schedules are built around these dates.

Task/Milestone Start Day Length
Planning and Development Day After GA of Previous Release Depends on GA date and working backwards from all the tasks below
Feature Acceptance Deadline Tuesday--Two weeks before Feature Freeze n/a
Feature Freeze Tuesday--1 week before Alpha Change Deadline Until GA
Branch Freeze Event Tuesday--One week before Alpha Change Deadline Branch Freeze Policy in effect until GA.
Alpha Change Deadline Tuesday--Two weeks before the Alpha Release
String Freeze Same time as Alpha Change Deadline Software String Freeze Policy in effect until GA.
Alpha Compose Thursday--Two days after the Alpha Change Deadline 1 day
Alpha Go/No-Go Meeting Wednesday @ 17:00 E{D,S}T--six days after Alpha Compose n/a
Alpha Release Tuesday--Two weeks after Branch Freeze and 12 days after Alpha Compose Public testing of Alpha lasts 3 weeks
Beta Change Deadline Tuesday--Two weeks before the Beta Release
Feature Complete Tuesday--Same as the Beta Change Deadeline n/a
Beta Compose Thursday--Two days after the Beta Change Deadline 1 day
Beta Go/No-Go Meeting Wednesday @ 17:00 E{D,S}T--six days after Beta Compose n/a
Beta Release Tuesday--Two weeks after the Beta Change Deadline and 12 days after Beta Compose Public testing of Beta lasts 2 weeks + 6 days (ends on a Monday)
Final Change Deadline Monday--End of Beta Release Testing In effect until GA
Compose Final RC Thursday--three days after Final Change Deadline 1 day
Test Final RC Thursday to Tuesday 6 days
Final Go/No-Go Meeting Tuesday @ 17:00 E{D,S}T after Test Final RC n/a
GA Release Tuesday--Seven days after Test Final RC ends n/a
Maintenance Tuesday--GA release day ~13 Months
End of Life One month after GA of current release + 2 releases n/a

Steps to Construct a New Schedule

This is admittedly an unusual methodology, but it is fairly easy to generate using the the TaskJuggler schedules John Poelstra creates.

  1. Pick GA date (the Tuesday before May 1st or October 31st)
  2. Work backwards using consistent spacing for freezes, composes, and releases for Alpha, Beta, and Final, as described above
  3. Set the feature submission and completion dates working backwards from the Branch Freeze date
  4. The time between the feature submission deadline and the GA of the previous release is the time dedicated to development
    • Development time varies from from release to release based on how when the previous release finished
    • The freeze and testing time (from Branch Freeze until GA) is held constant from release to release

Development Schedule Rationale

Fedora generally develops new releases over a six month period to provide a regular and predictable release schedule. The bi-annual targeted release dates are May Day (May 1st) and Halloween (October 31) making them easy to remember and avoiding significant holiday breaks. Changes to this standard must be approved by the community-elected Fedora Engineering Steering Committee (FESCo).

A six month release schedule also follows the precedence of Red Hat Linux (precursor to Fedora). Former Red Hat software engineer Havoc Pennington offers a historical perspective here. GNOME started following a time based release based on the ideas and success of Red Hat Linux and other distributions following Fedora having adopted a similar release cycle. Several other major components, including the Linux kernel,, Xorg, have started following a time based release schedule. While the exact release schedules vary between these components and other upstream projects, the interactions between these components and Fedora makes a six month time based release schedule a good balance.

Schedule Contingency Planning

If the Alpha, Beta, or Final Go/No Go meetings result in a "No Go" determination, that milestone and subsequent milestones will be pushed back by one week.

One week is added to the schedule to maintain the practice of releasing on Tuesdays. Tuesdays are the designated release day because they are good days for news coverage and the established day we synchronize our content with the mirrors that carry our releases. Go/No Go meetings receive input from representatives of FESCo, Release Engineering, and Quality Assurance.

Maintenance Schedule

We say maintained for approximately 13 months because the supported period for releases is dependent on the date the release under development goes final. As a result, Release X is supported until one month after the release of Release X+2.

This translates into:

  • Fedora 38 will be maintained until 1 month after the release of Fedora 40.
  • Fedora 39 will be maintained until 1 month after the release of Fedora 41.

Maintenance Schedule Rationale

Fedora is focused on free and open source software innovations and moves quickly. If you want a distribution that moves slower but has a longer lifecycle, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which is derivative of Fedora or free rebuilds of that such as CentOS might be more suitable for you. Refer to the RHEL page for more details.

Historically, the Fedora Project has found supporting two releases plus Rawhide and the pre-release Branched code to be a manageable work load.

生命周期结束 (EOL)

When the a release reaches the point where it no longer supported, updates are no longer created for it and it is considered End of Life (EOL). Branches for new packages in the SCM are not allowed for distribution X after the Fedora X+2 release and new builds are no longer allowed.

The tasks performed at EOL are documented in the End of life SOP.