Understanding Microsoft’s Support Policies for .NET Core

Microsoft’s support for .NET Core 2.0 will end on October 1, 2018. Why? To answer that question, let us explore Microsoft’s .NET Core support policy. Each release of .NET Core is designated as either a Current release or a Long Term Support (LTS) release.

Current Releases

A Current release is one that includes new features but may change based on further testing and feedback from the user community. A Current release is supported for three months after a subsequent Current or LTS release. While you get access to the latest features, you will need to upgrade to newer versions of .NET Core to qualify for support.

Patches are released for a Current version, as needed, to fix any critical issues or to add support for new operating system versions. You must apply the latest patches to continue to qualify for support.

Long Term Support (LTS) Releases

A Long Term Support (LTS) release is more stable and is provides a longer period of support. A LTS release is supported for three years after its initial release or one year after a subsequent LTS release, whichever is longer.

Like a Current release, patches are provided for critical issues when they are needed and you must apply them to qualify for support.

.NET Core Releases

.NET Core 2.0 is a Current release and because .NET Core 2.1 was originally released on May 30, 2018, we should expect that support for .NET Core 2.0 would end on September 1, 2018. However, that support was extended by a month, to October 1, 2018, because a bug was found that prevented a limited number of users from upgrading to .NET Core 2.1. That bug has since been fixed and the official release date of .NET Core 2.1 (LTS) took place on September 11, 2018.

As of this writing, the following table shows the .NET Core releases and their expected end of support dates.

Version Release Date Support Level End of Support Date
1.0 June 27, 2016 LTS June 27, 2019
1.1 November 16, 2016 LTS June 27, 2019
2.0 August 14, 2017 Current October 1, 2018
2.1 September 11, 2018 LTS At least 3 years from LTS designation (which was August 21, 2018)

Joseph Ingeno is a software architect who has designed and developed many different software applications. During his career, he has worked on projects for a number of different business domains, using a variety of technologies, programming languages, and frameworks. His book, Software Architect’s Handbook, was published by Packt and is now available.