Python Versioning and Releases
According to PEP8-602, the Python release cycle has changed to 12 months, starting with Python 3.9 version. The earlier release cycle used to be 18 months for Python 3.8 and prior releases.
Support and Security Fixes
Starting from Python 3.x.0, each Python version is maintained for five years, and the support and security fixes are as follows.
- The first 18 months (1.5 years) after the release, it will have full support in terms of bug fixes updates and full releases almost every month for all the environments (source and installers for Windows, macOS).
- For The next 42 months (3.5 years), it only receives security updates, and source-only releases are made on a need basis.
For the complete details and future updates, refer to the official PEP 602 – Annual Release Cycle for Python.
Does Python 3.x support backward compatibility?
Python 3.0 is one of the major releases as it implements a lot of new features and breaks the backward compatibility when compared to Python 2.6.
From "What's new in Python 3.0" docs:
Python 3.0, compared to 2.6. Python 3.0, also known as “Python 3000” or “Py3K”, is the first ever intentionally backwards incompatible Python release. There are more changes than in a typical release, and more that are important for all Python users. Nevertheless, after digesting the changes, you’ll find that Python really hasn’t changed all that much – by and large, we’re mostly fixing well-known annoyances and warts, and removing a lot of old cruft.
Python Version History
|Version||Status||Release Date||End of Support||End of Security Patches|
|3.11||Current and Latest Version||2022-10-24||2024-05||2027-10|
|3.10||End of Support||2021-10-04||2023-05||2026-10|
|3.9||End of Support||2020-10-05||2022-05-17||2025-10|
|3.8||End of Support||2019-10-14||2021-05-03||2024-10|
|3.7||End of Support||2018-06-27||2020-06-27||2023-06-27|
|3.6||End of Support and Security Fixes||2016-12-23||2018-12-24||2021-12-23|
|3.5||End of Support and Security Fixes||2015-09-13||2017-08-08||2020-09-30|
|3.4||End of Support and Security Fixes||2014-03-16||2017-08-09||2019-03-18|
|3.3||End of Support and Security Fixes||2012-09-29||2014-03-08||2017-09-29|
|3.2||End of Support and Security Fixes||2011-02-20||2013-05-13||2016-02-20|
|3.1||End of Support and Security Fixes||2010-07-03||2011-06-12||2012-04-06|
|3.0||End of Support and Security Fixes||2009-06-27||2009-06-27||2009-06-27|
|2.7||End of Support and Security Fixes||2008-12-03||2020-01-01||2020-01-01|
|2.6||End of Support and Security Fixes||2008-10-01||2010-08-24||2013-10-29|
|2.5||End of Support and Security Fixes||2006-09-19||2011-05-26||2011-05-26|
|2.4||End of Support and Security Fixes||2004-11-30||2008-12-19||2008-12-19|
|2.3||End of Support and Security Fixes||2003-06-29||2008-03-11||2008-03-11|
|2.2||End of Support and Security Fixes||2001-12-21||2003-05-30||2003-05-30|
|2.1||End of Support and Security Fixes||2001-04-15||2002-04-09||2002-04-09|
|2.0||End of Support and Security Fixes||2000-10-16||2001-06-22||2001-06-22|
|1.6||End of Support and Security Fixes||2000-09-05||2000-09||2000-09|
|1.5||End of Support and Security Fixes||1998-01-03||1999-04-13||1999-04-13|
|1.4||End of Support and Security Fixes||1996-10-25||UnSupported||UnSupported|
|1.3||End of Support and Security Fixes||1995-10-13||UnSupported||UnSupported|
|1.2||End of Support and Security Fixes||1995-04-13||UnSupported||UnSupported|
|1.1||End of Support and Security Fixes||1994-10-11||1994-11-10||1994-11-10|
|1.0||End of Support and Security Fixes||1994-01-26||1994-02-15||1994-02-15|
|0.9||End of Support and Security Fixes||1991-02-20||1993-07-29||1993-07-29|