Timeline for an 18.x release?

I am a developer (although not Lede/OpenWRT) and I understand the frustration associated with the question.

That said, it can be mitigated to a large extent by having and maintaining a roadmap timeline, and making it easy to access (e.g., one click off the main page). I know that the LEDE project tried to do something like this. I would encourage the team that this is a good practice. It enables the Devs to do what they really want to do without answering this question regularly.

Just my 2 cents - take it for what it’s worth.

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Hauke Mehrtens wrote about the preliminary timeline (subject to delay in case of critical bugs): https://lists.openwrt.org/pipermail/openwrt-devel/2018-April/043747.html

  1. Branch of openwrt-18.05 at 7. April
  2. Create openwrt-18.05-rc1 release on 14. April
  3. Create openwrt-18.05-rc2 release on 28. April
  4. Create openwrt-18.05 final release on 12. May
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Any update on this?

Yes. Keep an eye on the LEDE mailing list for now; it's unclear when/if the original OpenWrt mailing list will become available again.

I really wish openwrt/lede have some firm release plan. It looks like few devs cares about it in the mailing list. proposed date is always next month or next week but never come. This makes me think if the project and community are still healthy

Oh come on. What did you expect from a release date? A date in the past? June should be fine.

"Make regular, predictable release cycles coupled with community provided device testing feedback." - Second goal of "LEDE" when it announced.
LEDE 17.04 had the release plan and it's followed. But from my view, OpenWrt 18.x is not so predictable.

I don't care which exact date it release, just think a predictable plan is necessary.

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I prefer a plan that produces polished releases rather than one that produces predictable releases.

That's an ok thing to prefer, but then you have to expect people asking the question all the time :wink:

Openwrt 18.06 has been branched today.

Assuming a similar timeline as indicated above (from mailing list), the final 18.06 might happen in mid-June.


Excellent news, thanks for sharing.

I don't mean to be argumentative (especially with someone who has done so much good for the project), but...

I have come to the conclusion that the only way to get a release (of any quality) is to set a fixed date for each release. Otherwise, none of the benefits of the newest snapshot version will ever get into the hands of people who want to run a stable release.

Because the dev's are working hammer and tongs on a variety of unrelated features (check the messages at https://lists.infradead.org/mailman/listinfo/lede-dev), there will never be a "natural break" in development that allows for a release.

Instead, we should pick a release frequency (two, three, or maybe four times a year). At the appointed time, we declare (with sufficient warning) the next Release Candidate. If a feature is ready, then it goes into the release, otherwise, it "catches the next bus" (which is only 3, 4, or six months away).

Ubuntu does this with their X.04 and X.10 releases, and it clearly works well. I think it would work well for OpenWrt as well.


Why not? We are in a discussion forum!

I share your point of view, completely: yes, it is good to have deadlines, or we will have and endless beta version that never becomes stable. But deadlines should be more "final date to include new features" than "final date to release". Once you declare a release candidate, the final version should only be published when it is done. I think we agree.

We agree. Thanks.

Agreed. Branching should be done on a predefined date. Release should be when said branch is deemed release worthy.

Some historical perspective:

Old Openwrt infra had a really cumbersome release generation system, which contributed to slowing the release frequency, a release every 18 months or so in 2010-2015. And there were several months between RC versions.

That was one major reason for LEDE fork split-off, and the LEDE buildbot / release mechanism was redesigned to be more lightweight. LEDE 17.01 was released in Feb 2017, and there was a 17.06 on the roadmap with dates. The published goal was 2 releases per year, I think.

LEDE was pretty much on track with that, but then the Openwrt/LEDE merger talks started again and the merger got accepted in May 2017, which prevented new LEDE branded major releases. But the merger only finally happened in early 2018, leaving things in limbo for quite a long time.

Early 2018 saw some new features, like more targets with 4.14 and flow offloading. Then the planned 18.0X got delayed at the last minute due to the DNS outage (of the old Openwrt domain infra) and then it took a while to get the buildbot into green status again, as some minor changes broke some targets during the outage.

Regarding the previous discussion viewpoints, I pretty much agree with the main tune of the discussion. Frequent releases are good, but they need to also have good quality. I feel that the release target dates are both for a deadline for including new features, and for branching the release branch as soon as all looks good in buildbot (as it makes no sense to branch when compilation is broken). Then after the branching 2-3 RCs get compiled and the branch has a few weeks time to mature before the final release.

All developer activity tends to stay on master, so getting the final release off rather quickly after branching is a key priority. Otherwise the RCs just float around, although no real development happens any more in the branch.

Having also followed the Firefox development for years (with 6 week release frequency), the rapid release train keeps things moving and brings new features to the end users quickly. The endless beta of buildbot snapshots is ok for enthusiasts. but not for the general user populace.

For Openwrt the goal of 2-3 major releases per year is more realistic, taking the complexity (devices, kernel, feed packages) into account.

Hopefully after 18.06 we are again on the path for more frequent major releases.


2-3 releases (Ubuntu Linux style) per year would be so amazing for OpenWrt. The released structure was so much improved with LEDE, as short lived as it was, hoping that translates back to OpenWrt for 2018.

I hoped they would make a concise support list, 2-3 releases per year, and focus on quality/performance. Say like: Netgear 1900ACS/3200ACM/32X. Linksys R7800/R9000. TP-Link Archer C7/C9, etc. And just drop everything outside the main routers. Nothing is worse than trying to support 100 things poorly.

Well, as the merge was mostly about renaming LEDE to Openwrt and keeping all LEDE infra intact (except the wiki layout etc.), the LEDE release system is still there and in use. So, the technical mechanisms are there.

Just now the 18.06 phase1 buildbot is already crunching 18.06 snapshot images and SDKs, and packages will get built in phase2 once SDKs (from phase1) are available. It will possible to use opkg to install 18.06 snapshot packages into 18.06 builds in 1-2 days.

Agreed to a point, but I'd propose a two-tier approach, have a set of devices that are committed to and where high quality standards are met, and then have additional targets that might be supported, but where certain issues will not stop the final release. That way the committed device set is guaranteed to see frequent, reliable releases, and the others might need to skip a release if a certain feature/function is less than perfect. But for those unaffected, they still get an official release.