Release and maintenance

This section describes the Ansible and ansible-base releases. Ansible is the package that most users install. ansible-base is primarily for developers.

Ansible release cycle

Ansible is developed and released on a flexible release cycle. This cycle can be extended in order to allow for larger changes to be properly implemented and tested before a new release is made available. See Roadmaps for upcoming release details.

For Ansible version 2.10 or later, the major release is maintained for one release cycle. When the next release comes out (for example, 2.11), the older release (2.10 in this example) is no longer maintained.

If you are using a release of Ansible that is no longer maintained, we strongly encourage you to upgrade as soon as possible in order to benefit from the latest features and security fixes.

Older, unmaintained versions of Ansible can contain unfixed security vulnerabilities (CVE).

You can refer to the porting guides for tips on updating your Ansible playbooks to run on newer versions. For Ansible 2.10 and later releases, you can install the Ansible package with pip. See Installing Ansible for details. For older releases, You can download the Ansible release from https://releases.ansible.com/ansible/.

This table links to the release notes for each major Ansible release. These release notes (changelogs) contain the dates and significant changes in each minor release.

Ansible Release

Status

devel

In development (2.11 unreleased, trunk)

2.10 Release Notes

In development (2.10 alpha/beta)

2.9 Release Notes

Maintained (security and general bug fixes)

2.8 Release Notes

Maintained (security fixes)

2.7 Release Notes

Unmaintained (end of life)

2.6 Release Notes

Unmaintained (end of life)

2.5 Release Notes

Unmaintained (end of life)

<2.5

Unmaintained (end of life)

ansible-base release cycle

ansible-base is developed and released on a flexible release cycle. This cycle can be extended in order to allow for larger changes to be properly implemented and tested before a new release is made available. See Roadmaps for upcoming release details.

ansible-base has a graduated maintenance structure that extends to three major releases. For more information, read about the Development and stable version maintenance workflow or see the chart in release_schedule for the degrees to which current releases are maintained.

If you are using a release of ansible-base that is no longer maintained, we strongly encourage you to upgrade as soon as possible in order to benefit from the latest features and security fixes.

Older, unmaintained versions of ansible-base can contain unfixed security vulnerabilities (CVE).

You can refer to the porting guides for tips on updating your Ansible playbooks to run on newer versions.

You can install ansible-base with pip. See Installing Ansible for details.

Note

ansible-base maintenance continues for 3 releases. Thus the latest release receives security and general bug fixes when it is first released, security and critical bug fixes when the next ansible-base version is released, and only security fixes once the follow on to that version is released.

This table links to the release notes for each major ansible-base release. These release notes (changelogs) contain the dates and significant changes in each minor release.

ansible-base Release

Status

devel

In development (2.11 unreleased, trunk)

2.10 ansible-base Release Notes

Maintained (security and general bug fixes)

Development and stable version maintenance workflow

The Ansible community develops and maintains Ansible and ansible-base on GitHub.

Collection updates (new modules, plugins, features and bugfixes) will always be integrated in what will become the next version of Ansible. This work is tracked within the individual collection repositories.

Ansible and ansible-base provide bugfixes and security improvements for the most recent major release. The previous major release of ansible-base will only receive fixes for security issues and critical bugs.``ansible-base`` only applies security fixes to releases which are two releases old. This work is tracked on the stable-<version> git branches.

The fixes that land in maintained stable branches will eventually be released as a new version when necessary.

Note that while there are no guarantees for providing fixes for unmaintained releases of Ansible, there can sometimes be exceptions for critical issues.

Changelogs

We generate changelogs based on fragments. Here is the generated changelog for 2.9 as an example. When creating new features or fixing bugs, create a changelog fragment describing the change. A changelog entry is not needed for new modules or plugins. Details for those items will be generated from the module documentation.

We’ve got examples and instructions on creating changelog fragments in the Community Guide.

Release candidates

Before a new release or version of Ansible or ansible-base can be done, it will typically go through a release candidate process.

This provides the Ansible community the opportunity to test these releases and report bugs or issues they might come across.

Ansible and ansible-base tag the first release candidate (RC1) which is usually scheduled to last five business days. The final release is done if no major bugs or issues are identified during this period.

If there are major problems with the first candidate, a second candidate will be tagged (RC2) once the necessary fixes have landed. This second candidate lasts for a shorter duration than the first. If no problems have been reported after two business days, the final release is done.

More release candidates can be tagged as required, so long as there are bugs that the Ansible or ansible-base core maintainers consider should be fixed before the final release.

Feature freeze

While there is a pending release candidate, the focus of core developers and maintainers will on fixes towards the release candidate.

Merging new features or fixes that are not related to the release candidate may be delayed in order to allow the new release to be shipped as soon as possible.

Deprecation Cycle

Sometimes we need to remove a feature, normally in favor of a reimplementation that we hope does a better job. To do this we have a deprecation cycle. First we mark a feature as ‘deprecated’. This is normally accompanied with warnings to the user as to why we deprecated it, what alternatives they should switch to and when (which version) we are scheduled to remove the feature permanently.

Ansible deprecation cycle

Since Ansible is a package of individual collections, the deprecation cycle depends on the collection maintainers. We recommend the collection maintainers deprecate a feature in one Ansible major version and do not remove that feature for one year, or at least until the next major Ansible version. For example, deprecate the feature in 2.10.2, and do not remove the feature until 2.12.0. Collections should use semantic versioning, such that the major collection version cannot be changed within an Ansible major version. Thus the removal should not happen before the next major Ansible release. This is up to each collection maintainer and cannot be guaranteed.

ansible-base deprecation cycle

The cycle is normally across 4 feature releases (2.x.y, where the x marks a feature release and the y a bugfix release), so the feature is normally removed in the 4th release after we announce the deprecation. For example, something deprecated in 2.7 will be removed in 2.11, assuming we don’t jump to 3.x before that point. The tracking is tied to the number of releases, not the release numbering.

For modules/plugins, we keep the documentation after the removal for users of older versions.

See also

Committers Guidelines

Guidelines for Ansible core contributors and maintainers

Testing Strategies

Testing strategies

Ansible Community Guide

Community information and contributing

Development Mailing List

Mailing list for development topics

irc.freenode.net

#ansible IRC chat channel