Icon Build & Release Cadence

We produce new builds of Istio on a daily basis. Around once a month or so, we take one of these daily builds and run it through a number of additional qualification tests and tag the build as a Snapshot release. Around once a quarter or so, we take one of these Snapshot releases, run through a bunch more tests and tag the build as a Long Term Support (LTS) release. Finally, if we find something wrong with an LTS release, we issue patches.

The different types (Daily, Snapshot, LTS) represent different product quality levels and different levels of support from the Istio team. In this context, support means that we will produce patch releases for critical issues and offer technical assistance. Separately, 3rd parties and partners may offer longer-term support solutions.

TypeSupport LevelQuality and Recommended Use
Daily BuildNo supportDangerous, may not be fully reliable. Useful to experiment with.
Snapshot ReleaseSupport is provided for the latest snapshot release onlyExpected to be quite stable, but use in production should be limited to an as-needed basis. Usually only adopted by bleeding edge users, or users seeking specific features.
LTS ReleaseSupport is provided until 3 months after the next LTSSafe to deploy in production. Users are encouraged to upgrade to these releases as soon as possible.
PatchesSame as the corresponding Snapshot/LTS releaseUsers are encouraged to adopt patch releases as soon as they are available for a given release.

You can find available releases on the releases page, and if you’re the adventurous type, you can learn about our daily builds on the daily builds wiki. You can find high-level releases notes for each LTS release here.

Naming Scheme

Prior to Istio 0.8, we increased the product’s version number on a monthly basis. Effective with 0.8, we will increase the product’s version number only for LTS releases.

Our naming scheme for LTS releases is:

<major>.<minor>.<LTS patch level>

where <minor> is increased for every LTS release, and <LTS patch level> counts the number of patches for the current LTS release. A patch is usually a small change relative to the LTS.

For snapshot releases, our naming scheme is:

<major>.<minor>.0-snapshot.<snapshot count>

where <major>.<minor>.0 represent the next LTS, and <snapshot count> starts at 0 and increases for every snapshot leading up to the next LTS.

In the unlikely event we need to issue a patch to a snapshot, it is numbered as:

<major>.<minor>.0-snapshot.<snapshot count>.<snapshot patch level>