There are multiple supported release series of Asterisk. Once a release series is made available, it is supported for some period of time. During this initial support period, releases include changes to fix bugs that have been reported and features that have been added following policy (features must not introduce backwards incompatible behavior and must include tests when possible). At some point, the release series will be deprecated and only maintained with fixes for security issues. Finally, the release will reach its End of Life, where it will no longer receive changes of any kind.
The type of release defines how long it will be supported. A Long Term Support (LTS) release will be fully supported for 4 years, with one additional year of maintenance for security fixes. Standard releases are supported for a shorter period of time, which will be at least one year of full support and an additional year of maintenance for security fixes.
The following table shows the release time lines for all releases of Asterisk, including those that have reached End of Life.
Security Fix Only
New releases of Asterisk will be made roughly once a year, alternating between standard and LTS releases. Within a given release series that is fully supported, bug fix updates are provided roughly every 4 to 6 weeks. For a release series that is receiving only maintenance for security fixes, updates are made on an as needed basis.
If you're not sure which one to use, choose either the latest release for the most up to date features, or the latest LTS release for a platform that may have less features, but will usually be around longer.
For developers, it is useful to be aware of when the major feature freeze for a particular branch will occur. The major feature freeze for a branch will occur 3 months prior to the release of a new Asterisk version, and a reminder announcement will be posted to the asterisk-dev mailing list approximately 60 days prior to the feature freeze. Asterisk versions are slated to be released the 3rd Wednesday of October. The major feature freeze for a branch will occur the 3rd Wednesday of July. An announcement reminder will be posted to the asterisk-dev mailing list the 3rd Wednesday of May. Major feature freeze consists of the creation of the release series branch. Features can continue to be placed into the release series branch alongside bug fixes according to policy. New major changes or breaking changes are no longer acceptable in the release series once the major feature freeze has been done. On the 2nd Wednesday of September an initial release candidate for the new version is created alongside release candidates for all other current supported release series. Additional release candidates will be created as needed based on fixes for issues reported. On the 3rd Wednesday of October full releases for all supported release series are created.
For additional information on policies please see the Software Configuration Management Policies wiki page.
Feature Freeze Announcement Reminder
3rd Wednesday of May
Major Feature Freeze of Asterisk Branch
3rd Wednesday of July
|First Release Candidate of Asterisk Branch||2nd Wednesday of September|
First Release of Asterisk from Branch
3rd Wednesday of October