Cumulus Linux Release Versioning and Support Policy


This article outlines the release version numbering structure, and support policies, for:

  • Cumulus Linux and Cumulus RMP 3.0 and later
  • Cumulus Linux and Cumulus RMP 2.5 ESR (2.5.6 and later)

Important: Earlier releases of Cumulus Linux and Cumulus RMP are no longer supported.


Version Definitions

The Cumulus Linux installation file name includes the version number, in the form of CumulusLinux_x.y.z_TAG; for Cumulus RMP, it is CumulusRMP_x.y.z_TAG.

  • x represents the major release version number. An increased major release version means that the release may include:
    • New functionality within the existing market.
    • New market entries.
    • Major positioning changes.
    • A significant engineering rebase.
  • y represents the minor release version number. An increased minor release version means that the release may include:
    • New hardware platforms.
    • New features within the existing market.
    • Bug fixes.
    • Security updates.
  • z represents the maintenance release version number. An increased maintenance release version may include:
    • Re-branded hardware platforms.
    • Bug fixes and updates.
    • Security updates.
  • TAG represents a release candidate (RC) or updated release.

This number corresponds to the release version of the software, so CumulusLinux_2.5.6_RC would be the release candidate for the Cumulus Linux 2.5.6 maintenance release.

Release, Support Lifecycle and Support Policy

From Cumulus Linux and Cumulus RMP 3.0 onwards, the support policy has been adjusted to incorporate both mainline and Extended Support Releases (ESRs). This support expansion allows us to maintain our desire to innovate, while providing customers with stable releases once the architectural needs are met.

Consistent with this two-pronged approach, the mainline and ESR code branches are separate code bases. As such, issues and fixes in one branch are independent of the other. The ESR branch is prioritized for stability first and foremost, so any fixes there are focused on critical-impact security fixes and urgent bug fixes. This ensures customers deploying an ESR release can experience minimal disruption in their day to day network operations.

The following diagram illustrates the ESR and mainline branches, and the table below it describes the characteristics of each.  

  Mainline Extended-Support Release (ESR)
Functionality Latest features No new major functionality
Stability Functionally robust Highly stable and robust
Frequency Flexible; business-driven The next ESR will be announced at least 1 year prior to the end of life (EOL) of the current ESR
Support Duration (Software updates and support)

Pre-ESR: Software updates and Global Support Services (GSS) support

Post-ESR: 12 months GSS support only

3 years
Software Updates New functionality, security updates, bug fixes Security updates and critical bug fixes
Security Updates ASAP ASAP

Product End of Life

Starting with Cumulus Linux and Cumulus RMP 2.5.6 and including all later versions in the 2.5.z release cycle, version 2.5 has transitioned into an extended support phase (ESR). This brings the server-side Long-Term Support (LTS) release model to networking, giving customers the choice between Cumulus Linux and Cumulus RMP 2.5 ESR, a mature and stable operating system, and the new Cumulus Linux 3.0, with the latest and greatest features. Cumulus Networks will continue support and maintain Cumulus Linux and Cumulus RMP 2.5 ESR for 3 years, until February 2, 2019.

With the introduction of the ESR policy, support for all versions of Cumulus Linux and Cumulus RMP 2.5.5 and earlier (including 1.5.z, 2.0.z, 2.1.z, 2.2.z and 2.5.0 through 2.5.5) will cease at the end of 2016.

Cumulus Linux Version ESR Start Date End of Life Date
3.y.z TBD TBD
2.5.6 - 2.5.12 2/2/2016 2/2/2019
2.5.5 and earlier N/A 12/31/2016

Upgrade Process

For information regarding upgrading from previous Cumulus Linux releases, refer to the Cumulus Linux upgrade documentation. For Cumulus RMP, please read the Cumulus RMP user guide.

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