It’s that time again when we should talk about deprecation plans for distro support.
The benefit that’s true for all plans below is less work to support a distribution. Over time it becomes harder to support since you’re getting used to features present in newer distributions. Resources are finite so it’s best to spend them wisely.
This is probably the furthest away, but given the large deployment I think it makes sense to announce it very early.
Let’s start with some facts. RHEL 7’s lifecycle is documented on Red Hat’s product life cycles. It is currently in Maintenance support 2 (see Red Hat Enterprise Linux Life Cycle - Red Hat Customer Portal for details). This means no new features are introduced and it’s only security updates. This phase ends in 2024. CentOS 7 will also go EOL at the same time.
For Foreman we have built for EL 8 since Foreman 2.1, but there have been some feature gaps. Katello being the biggest, but that’s been resolved with Katello 4.0. That means we can start to recommend users moving over.
Then we should also consider that EL9 is on the horizon. It’s expected that CentOS Stream 9 should be on the mirror network in a matter of weeks (source). This brings us to some CI limitations. We don’t have enough resources to do our pipeline testing on all OSes. Dropping EL7 will free up those resources.
For that I’m proposing that we start announcing with Foreman 3.0 that we’re deprecating EL7 support. Actual removal can happen later. This isn’t based on a lot, but I’m thinking about 3.2 or 3.3.
The Debian release table is here:
Debian 11 (Bullseye) was released August 14th. We have not started support to run Foreman on it. This needs to be planned and executed. Once we have Debian 11 support, we can give users 1 or 2 releases to migrate over. That’s how we’ve always dealt with it. Debian 10 will go EOL in ~2022-08.
This means that if we’re optimistic we can deprecate Debian 10 support in Foreman 3.1 and drop it in 3.2 or 3.3, but this means we need to start working on it soon.
The release overview:
Ubuntu 20.04 support was added in Foreman 2.5. This means we can start to deprecate Ubuntu 18.04 support in Foreman 3.0. Actual removal can happen in 1 or 2 releases.
It should be noted that the actual EOL is in 2023, but this saves us resources. We are currently at capacity for Debian building/testing in our CI. Removal of Ubuntu 18.04 in Foreman 3.1 would free up capacity to build Debian 11.
So I’m proposing this:
Edit: 2021-12-08 Table updated to reflect that Foreman 3.2 will support Debian 11
|3.0||Deprecates EL7 and Ubuntu 18.04|
|3.1||Drops Ubuntu 18.04|
|3.2||adds Debian 11, deprecates Debian 10|
|3.4||Drops EL7 & Debian 10|
If Debian 11 is not supported in 3.1, Debian 10 deprecation also moves to a next release and removal in 3.3 also moves.