Build & Release Cadence

We produce new builds of Istio for each commit. Around once a quarter or so, we build a Long Term Support (LTS) release, and run through a bunch more tests and release qualification. Finally, if we find something wrong with an LTS release, we issue patches.

The different types 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
Development BuildNo supportDangerous, may not be fully reliable. Useful to experiment with.
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 development builds on the development builds wiki. You can find high-level releases notes for each LTS release here.

Naming scheme

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:


where <major>.<minor> represent the next LTS, and <sha> represents the git commit the release is built from.

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