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Rocky Linux Release and Version Guide

This page goes over the Rocky Linux Release Versions, their support, timelines, and how it affects our users.

Current Supported Releases

Below is a table of Rocky Linux versions, with accompanying general release and (planned or are planned) end of life dates.

Release Codename Release Date Active Support Ends End of Life Latest/Current Version
Rocky Linux 8 Green Obsidian May 1, 2021 May 31, 2024 May 31, 2029 8.10 (May 31, 2024)
Rocky Linux 9 Blue Onyx July 14, 2022 May 31, 2027 May 31, 2032 9.4 (May 9, 2024)

For more detailed information on each version, click any of the tabs below.

Version Release Kernel Release Date End of Life Supported
8.3 4.18.0-240 May 1, 2021 June 21, 2021
NO
8.4 4.18.0-305 June 21, 2021 November 15, 2021
NO
8.5 4.18.0-348 November, 15 2021 May 15, 2022
NO
8.6 4.18.0-372.9.1 May 15, 2022 November 11, 2022
NO
8.7 4.18.0-425.3.1 November 11, 2022 May 20, 2023
NO
8.8 4.18.0-477.10.1 May 20, 2023 November 11, 2023
NO
8.9 4.18.0-513.5.1 November 22, 2023 May 31, 2024
NO
8.10 4.18.0-553 May 31, 2024 May 31, 2029
Yes
Version Release Kernel Release Date End of Life Supported
9.0 5.14.0-70.13.1 July 14, 2022 November 26, 2022
NO
9.1 5.14.0-162.6.1 November 26, 2022 May 16, 2023
NO
9.2 5.14.0-284.11.1 May 16, 2023 November 20, 2023
NO
9.3 5.14.0-362.8.1 Nov 20, 2023 May 16, 2023
NO
9.4 5.14.0-427.13.1 May 09, 2024 November, 2024
Yes

See the Timeline and Terminology and Release Cadence sections for more information on how these dates are determined.

Timeline and Terminology

Terminology

Throughout this page, you will see terms such as "major version" or "minor version", among others. You will see these terms used throughout many discussions online forums, mail lists, or even our Mattermost. See below for their basic definitions.

Term Definition
Major Version A major version is denoted by a whole number, such as "Rocky Linux 9". This number is left-most number in a version, such as 9.0, where "9" is the major version.
Minor Version A minor version is denoted by the right-most number in a version, such as "Rocky Linux 9.3". "9" being the major version, "3" being the minor version. These updates come with version upgrades, rebases, new software and features.
Release Release typically refers to a major version release, such as "Rocky Linux 9". It is typically assumed it is referring to the latest/current version of that release.
Minor Release Used as "Minor Version" in most cases.
Active Support Active support, also known as "full support" is the period of time in which minor releases are provided every six (6) months, whilst providing new software, rebases, or other new features. When Active Support ends, a release receives maintenance-only updates.

Timeline

Rocky Linux strives to follow Red Hat Enterprise Linux and CentOS Stream within reason. As such, Rocky Linux releases should follow fairly close to our upstreams.

Major Version Release

For a new Rocky Linux release, the following should be true:

  • New major version is released with support of ten (10) years[1], starting at .0.
  • Release will have five (5) years of minor version updates

    • Releases come with two minor version releases a year: Every six (6) months
    • Minor releases will come with new features, software rebases, and sometimes brand new software
    • Final minor version will almost always be .10

Minor Version Release

For a new Rocky Linux minor version release, the following should be true:

  • New minor version is released with new features and/or software
  • Previous minor version is moved to the vault and is no longer supported

However, when the minor version is .10, this means:

  • Rocky Linux (and other Enterprise Linux derivatives) go into security maintenance for the next five (5) years
  • This version of Rocky Linux will likely not receive new features nor new software

Release Cadence

Based on Red Hat's life cycle policy, the month of May is when new major versions are released and every May and November a new minor version release is provided for prior supported releases. Rocky Linux attempts to follow as closely as possible to this same cadence.

Below is a general guideline (based on Red Hat documentation) for the "full support" cycle for Rocky Linux.

Version Month
.0 May
.1 November
.2 May
.3 November
.4 May
.5 November
.6 May
.7 November
.8 May
.9 November
.10 May

Upon a new minor release (X.Y+1), the previous Rocky Linux minor version is no longer supported and is moved to the vault.

After X.10 is released, the following may be true:

  • Maintenance Mode starts for the next five (5) years
  • X.10 is considered the final version for a release and only this receives updates until End of Life
  • CentOS Stream X will cease development near the end of the month of May

Version Policy

Rocky Linux attempts to follow closely with the updates of our upstream Red Hat Enterprise Linux. As such, updates aim to be released as on time as possible.

For Rocky Linux 8: Previous versions of packages will coexist in the repositories to allow a user to downgrade in case of a regression or other use cases (such as security only updates).

For Rocky Linux 9: This policy is not currently supported and can be expected in a future Rocky Linux version. Please see Peridot Issue #18. Older versions of packages can by found in Koji when they're uploaded or the vault.

For all Rocky Linux versions: When a new minor release arrives, all previous updates/versions are not carried over.

General Update Timeline

Updates for Rocky Linux are generally expected to be built and released between twenty-four (24) and fourty-eight (48) hours, assuming best effort allows the packages to build without any complications or unforeseen added dependencies by upstream mid-support cycle.

Minor releases for Rocky Linux are generally expected to be built and released at least a week (7 days) after upstream, assuming best effort allows the packages to build without any complications and it passes the Testing Team OpenQA and general testing.

End of Life and Unsupported Release/Version Policy

A release or version of Rocky Linux is considered unsupported if:

  • The Rocky Linux minor version has been superseded by another minor release or
  • The Rocky Linux release is End of Life

See the examples below.

Example: An Unsupported Version

When a new Rocky Linux minor release arrives (X.Y+1) the following is true:

  • The previous version is no longer supported by Release Engineering and the community
  • This version is no longer updated and is moved to the vault.
  • This version does not receive bug fix nor security updates.
  • You are recommended to update your system with dnf update.

Example: An End of Life Release

When a Rocky Linux release has reached its End of Life date typically after ten (10) years (for example, May of 2029), the following is true:

  • The release is no longer supported in full by Release Engineering and the community
  • The final version is moved to the vault.
  • This release no longer receives updates and thus no longer supported.
  • You are recommended to install a supported Rocky Linux version and migrate your data.

If you cannot install a new system and migrate and you still need support for your system or systems, you may be able to find a support provider.

Warning

Support providers will maintain their own packages and policies outside of the Rocky Linux ecosystem, and thus their policies do not apply here. The release is still considered EOL and unsupported by the Rocky Linux project.

Beta to Stable Policy

Rocky Linux may release beta versions when possible. These are typically close to our upstreams where reasonably possible. These are released specifically to find bugs or issues in our build process. This also helps correlate issues with our upstreams in the event they also have bugs. These are provided to our Testing Team members and others in the community and are free to download and test by anyone in the community.

However, when the stable minor version is released, updating from the beta to the stable version is not recommended nor is it supported, even for experienced users.

The following is unsupported:

  • Updating from a stable release to beta release
  • Updating from a beta release to stable release

Upgrade Policy

Upgrades are not generally supported by Release Engineering nor most of the Rocky community. If you wish to perform upgrades between releases, there is a tool called ELevate that may be able to help you. But as a note of caution, this has not been formally tested and we cannot provide official assistance.

Warning

Some users have expressed success with doing upgrades with this tool. However, it is not formally tested by the Rocky Linux project and we cannot provide official assistance.

Note

If you wish to be part of an effort to ensure upgrades are possible, we recommend that you join us in our Mattermost and ask how you can help.