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# GitLab Maintenance Policy

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GitLab follows the [Semantic Versioning](http://semver.org/) for its releases:
`(Major).(Minor).(Patch)` in a [pragmatic way].
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- **Major version**: Whenever there is something significant or any backwards
  incompatible changes are introduced to the public API.
- **Minor version**: When new, backwards compatible functionality is introduced
  to the public API or a minor feature is introduced, or when a set of smaller
  features is rolled out.
- **Patch number**: When backwards compatible bug fixes are introduced that fix
  incorrect behavior.
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The current stable release will receive security patches and bug fixes
(eg. `8.9.0` -> `8.9.1`). Feature releases will mark the next supported stable
release where the minor version is increased numerically by increments of one
(eg. `8.9 -> 8.10`).
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Our current policy is to support one stable release at any given time, but for
medium-level security issues, we may consider [backporting to the previous two
monthly releases][rel-sec].
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We encourage everyone to run the latest stable release to ensure that you can
easily upgrade to the most secure and feature-rich GitLab experience. In order
to make sure you can easily run the most recent stable release, we are working
hard to keep the update process simple and reliable.
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More information about the release procedures can be found in our
[release-tools documentation][rel]. You may also want to read our
[Responsible Disclosure Policy][disclosure].

[rel-sec]: https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/release-tools/blob/master/doc/security.md#backporting
[rel]: https://gitlab.com/gitlab-org/release-tools/blob/master/doc/
[disclosure]: https://about.gitlab.com/disclosure/
[pragmatic way]: https://gist.github.com/jashkenas/cbd2b088e20279ae2c8e