Asterisk Open Source – Now with more Long Term Support!

By Kevin P. Fleming

Starting with this year’s release of Asterisk 11 (scheduled for October, just in time for AstriCon), the Asterisk release policy will be changed in order to provide Long Term Support (LTS) releases on a more frequent basis.

A little background: Asterisk 1.4, released in late 2006, was the first release labeled with the ‘LTS’ designation (although that didn’t happen until years later, when the Asterisk development team started using that designation). Asterisk 1.8, released in late 2010, was the second release labeled ‘LTS’. Asterisk 10 was released earlier this year, and is a standard (not LTS) release.

Until recently, the plan has been to make LTS releases every three years, and make two standard releases in between those releases. However, since standard releases have a limited support lifetime, customers have requested releases that they can use for longer periods of time to be made on a more frequent basis. To accommodate these requests, we’ve decided to change the Asterisk release policy in two ways:

  1. Long Term Support (LTS) releases will be made every other year, starting with Asterisk 11 (to be released in 2012). The primary focus of the development team for the 6-9 months prior to making an LTS release will be stability and performance improvements, although these releases will also include new features.
  2. Standard releases will be made in the years between LTS releases, starting with Asterisk 12 (to be released in 2013). The primary focus of the development team for the 6-9 months prior to making a standard release will be new feature inclusion (especially features that requires fundamental or architectural changes to Asterisk), although of course improvements in stability and performance are likely to be included as well.

The goal here is to provide more ‘overlap’ between LTS releases, so that users of one LTS release can have more time to migrate their systems to the next LTS release, before the one they are using reaches its End of Life. In addition, this will allow the development team to better plan for inclusion of major new features, without risking disruption of a planned LTS release.

For more details on the exact schedule of planned releases, check out the Asterisk Versions page on the Asterisk wiki. As always, thanks for using Asterisk!

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