This is a review of the Nextcloud release cycle. I’ve been testing on NextcloudPi in addition to regular Nextcloud. All with Mariadb, Redis, fpm. I’ve found admins should expect their Nextcloud system to be fully upgraded at a minimum of every 10 calendar months. This is the most conservative release cycle available for general admins.
I’ve tested running Nextcloud 15 and 17 for as long as possible. Releases are as follows:
Version 13 from 02/06/2018 - 02/29/2019. Thirteen months.
Version 14 from 09/10/2018 - 08/16/2019. Less than 11 months.
Version 16 from 04/25/2019 - 06/09/2020. Thirteen months.
Version 17 from 09/30/2019 - 10/13/2020. Twelve months.
Version 18 01/17/2020 - 10/09/2020. On release x.10 so it should be EOL by 2021.
Version 19 from 06/03/2020 - present.
Version 20 from 10/02/2020 - present
Releases are very aggressive. Obviously, the devs are cranking it out as quickly as humanly possible. This is awesome and shows with the number of features and fixes added within each release. This also means
X.0.1 or even
X.0.2 can serve as part of the major bug testing phase. All newly announced applications (Federation, Circles, e2e Encryption, Social, Deck) and integrations should not expect any level of feature completeness, regardless of whether these are Core applications within releases.
The Nextcloud recommendation is to always keep up-to-date. The release process itself has been smoothing out greatly across major release updates, so that is excellent as of the last couple releases.
- Very rapid release cycle.
- Improvements benefit upstream projects.
- Exemplary open development, with strong community feedback available through Github.
- Stable release does not account for app support. So, you must manually re-enable in order to upgrade or even re-configure major apps such as e2e encryption or Two Factor authentication if you updated too quickly to Nextcloud 20.0.0 (or latest release).
- To maintain production stability, home users must wait for point releases to address outstanding bugs, which are often not discovered until the initial stable release. Move fast and break things.
- Stable releases are always EOL within a calendar year. App developers may remove support even sooner in order to focus on the latest version. Or, devs will abandon their project entirely due to effort required to maintain compatibility in latest release.
- Older systems must upgrade one release at a time to limit risks because of this very fast release cycle. Example: From last 17 to 18 to 19 to 20 current.
The best compromise I’ve found it to use NextcloudPi since it is based solely on basic compatibility. The project is currently on
19.0.2 so users must manually upgrade if they wish to use most current
20.0.0 releases otherwise available. In the Nextcloud release cycle, it is the most conservative upgrade cycle available apart from purchasing Enterprise support.
Thanks for reading, and take care.