Release policy

dCache follows a time-boxed two dimensional release policy. Every four months we produce a feature release. Feature releases have version numbers like 8.x.0, where x is a positive integer. A new feature release marks the start of a branch; for example, the release of dCache 8.1.0 marked the start of the 8.1-branch.

A feature release is followed up by a number of maintenance releases containing bug fixes or high priority feature tweaks. Maintenance releases for release 8.x.0 have version numbers 8.x.y, with y being some number larger than 0; for example, 8.1.0 is a feature release, 8.1.1 is the first maintenance release for the 8.1-branch and 8.1.2 is the second maintenance release.

Support period

Typically once a year, we designate one branch to a long-term supported release: a golden release. The only difference between long-term releases and other branches is the support period. A golden release is supported until the second subsequent long-term release, which is typically two years. Other branches are supported until the end of the previous golden release support period.

Choosing between golden releases and other branches is a matter of site policy and a matter of taste. Newer branches contain newer features, but they also have shorter support periods and often fewer dCache instances using them. However, upgrading from a golden release to a non-golden branch does not affect the end-of-support date.

Some sites use dCache that is repackaged by another distribution. Such a distribution may recommend a specific version. Sites should follow their distribution’s recommended version.


It is not just possible to upgrade from one feature release to the next one, but also from one golden release to the next. In oder to understand the implications and changes, one needs to read all release notes from the intermediate feature releases. We also usually provide an upgrade guide from one golden release to the next that highlights important and breaking changes.