So Drupal 8 is here and that has a significant impact on Drupal 7 users. Drupal 7 is no longer the latest and greatest version.
One question we often get now is this:
When will Drupal 7 reach end-of-life and no longer be supported?
The simple answer is, "We don't know".
The longer answer is, "We can have a good guess". That's what this blog post is about. We hope to give you more details so you can plan for the future of your Drupal 7 site.
Before you go any further, go and read "Understanding the Drupal 8 and 9 Release Cycle". That post will give you essential background on how Drupal's release cycle is set.
The current state of Drupal 7
Here's the overview of where we are at the beginning of 2017:
- Drupal 7 is currently the "Long Term Support" version of Drupal. That means Drupal 7 will not get new features, but will continue to get bug fixes security support.
The future plans for Drupal 7
- Drupal 7 will get bug fix and security support until Drupal 8 becomes the Long Term Support version.
OK, that's great! But when is the final version of Drupal 8 going to arrive? At the moment, there's no fixed date. The good news is that Drupal 8 may have years of development ahead.
After the final version of Drupal 8 is released, Drupal 7 will no longer get bug-fixes, but it will still get security support. That security support will continue until (bear with me, now!) Drupal 9 becomes the Long Term Support version.
Drupal 7 will likely get bug-fixes until October 2017, and official security support until 2019 or 2020 at least.
Update: When I originally wrote this post, it seemed that Drupal's release cycle policies were clear. However, I was wrong, judging by the comments below this post, and on Drupal.org issues such as this one. At the moment, the release cycles for Drupal 7. 8 and 9 seems to be in a state of flux. I'll update this post when firm decisions are made.Update for 2018: Finally, 18 months after I wrote this post, we have answers!