Samba Release Planning

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Samba Release Planning and Supported Release Lifetime

Future Development Roadmap

As each item, and parts of each item on Samba's future development is completed, the features are landed in the master branch, for inclusion in the next stable release of Samba. Development in master is ongoing, in parallel to our stable releases, and new features always land on master first.

General information

The regular Samba release cycle intends a new release series every nine month. Each release series then enters into maintenance mode when the next major release version (4.x.0) comes out as the new current stable release series. For your convenience, the next to last series will be turned into a security fixes only mode. Beyond this point, the series is discontinued (EOL).

That means, a series is

  • nine months fully supported,
  • another nine months in the maintenance mode,
  • nine months in the security fixes only mode.

In total, each series is maintained for a period of approximately 27 months.

Example:

If 4.1 is the current release series, then 4.0 would be in maintenance mode, 3.6 would be in the security fixes only mode, and finally the support of 3.5 would be stopped with the release of 4.1.0.

Each series can have any number of desired minor release. These will be released usually every 6 weeks.

series status started maintenance security discontinued (EOL)
4.2 (details) new upcoming release series
4.1 (details) current stable release series 2013-10-11
4.0 (details) maintenance mode 2012-12-11 2013-10-11
3.6 (details) security fixes only 2011-08-09 2012-12-11 2013-11-29
3.5 (details) discontinued (EOL) 2010-03-01 2011-08-09 ~2012-12-17 2013-10-11
3.4 (details) discontinued (EOL) 2009-07-03 2010-03-01 ~2011-08-23 2012-12-11
3.3 (details) discontinued (EOL) 2009-01-27 2009-07-03 2010-03-01 2011-08-09
3.2 (details) discontinued (EOL) 2008-07-02 2009-01-27 2009-08-11 2010-03-01
3.0 (details) discontinued (EOL) 2003-09-24 2008-07-02 2009-01-27 2009-08-05

Modes

The mode describes the status of the release series. The following modes exist:

  • Upcoming Release
  • Current Stable Release
  • Maintenance Mode
  • Security Fixes Only Mode
  • Discontinued

Upcoming Release

This is the new upcoming release branch. It's not ready for production. The branch is created when the first Release candidate becomes available for testing, otherwise development happens in our master GIT branch.

Current Stable Release

This is the current release branch. Available bug fixes will be included in the regular bug fix releases. Bug fix releases will be shipped every six weeks usually (and on a as needed basis). New features or parameters will be added to major releases only and not within a release cycle (there might be rare exceptions).

Maintenance Mode

Maintenance mode means that there are regular bug fix releases to address major issues and security issues. Less patches are backported to this branch than to the current release series.

Security Fixes Only Mode

Only security issues will be addressed in this release series.

Discontinued (End of Life)

There won't be any other versions of this release series.

Release Branch Checkin Procedure

The release branches are closed to direct checkin as soon as they are created, so for all branches, only bug fixes are allowed into the branch, according to the following procedure:

  • Every bug that is to be patched in a closed branch needs to be associated with a bug report in bugzilla.
  • The patch for the bug should already be in master, if possible.
  • Once past autobuild and in master on git.samba.org, it should be cherry-picked from master to the branch using git cherry-pick -x and git format-patch -1.
  • The developer of the patch needs to convince at least one other developer that the bug is critical enough to be included in a closed branch.
  • The RM applies the patch from bugzilla only if the patch has been signed off by two members of the Samba Team.
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