Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ) and their answers about Rudder as a software project, and common technical issues.

Here you will find answers to common questions new and experienced Rudder users had to ask and kindly shared with the community.

About Rudder

Who is behind Rudder?

The Rudder project was started by the folks at Normation, back in 2010. The source was made available on GitHub in October 2011. Since then, the project is still majoritarily maintened by Normation’s employees, and regularly includes external contributions.

What licences apply to Rudder?

Rudder’s main components are available under the GNU General Public License 3.0, with a linking exception for modules including web software to allow plugins to use different licences.

Some common libraires written in Scala are published under the Apache Software License 2.0.

Rudder’s documentation is subject to Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0).


What is the versioning policy?

Rudder versions look like X.Y.Z (for example, 2.3.8).

Minor version increments (X.Y.Z1 –> X.Y.Z2, for example 2.3.8 to 2.3.9) are bug fix only releases. They can be considered as stable as the previous release, as we make a lot of effort to reduce the amount of changes that go into these versions. A full changelog is always available. Upgrading your Rudder version to the latest minor release is always recommended, and is designed to be easy.

Major version increments are currently an increment of X or Y (ie 2.3.* to 2.4.*). These versions include new features, and the amount of changed code can be considerable. An upgrade path from one major version to next will always be provided, but may not be between two non-consecutive versions (ie, upgrading from 2.3.* to 2.4.* is supported, and from 2.4.* to 2.5.* is too, but upgrading directly from 2.3.* to 2.5.* may not be – check the Upgrading section of the User Manual for specifics).

What is an extended support release (ESR)?

An ESR is a version of Rudder that has been througly tested and used on production systems for some time. We consider it safe to use an ESR to manage production systems (but don’t hold us liable if something goes really wrong!). The “ESR” tag is given to a release once it has been proven reliable on real production systems.

How long are ESR maintained?

Our policy is to maintain a release (ie, release bug fix versions and communicate about security vulnerabilities) for 6 months after the next ESR version is announced. This gives you a 6 month window to upgrade. For example, as Rudder 2.3.x was announced as an ESR in October 2011, and Rudder 2.4.0 was announced as an ESR in December 2012, Rudder 2.3.* has been maintained until June 2013 (December 2012 + 6 months).

How long are major releases maintained?

Not all major releases may be marked “ESR” during their lifecycle. For example, Rudder 2.4.0 was marked ESR in December 2012, and Rudder 2.5.0 released in January 2013, but no 2.5.* version was aanounced as an ESR. Major releases that are not marked ESR will be maintained for 3 months after the next major release.

What is the end-of-life (EOL) / mainteance period for each major version?

OK, to make this really clear, here is a table of all versions of Rudder, their status, release dates and planned maintenance end.

VersionStatusRelease dateMaintained until date
4.0.*LatestNovember 2016As yet unknown (at least 3 months from next “latest” version)
3.2.*Old-LatestJanuary 201610th February 2017
3.1.*ESRJuly 2015As yet unknown (at least 6 months from next “ESR” version)
3.0.*End-of-lifeFebruary 2015Ended 10th June 2016
2.11.*End-of-lifeJuly 2014Ended 10th September 2016
2.10.*End-of-lifeMarch 2014Ended 10th December 2015
2.9.*End-of-lifeDecember 2013Ended 30th June 2014
2.8.*End-of-lifeNovember 2013Ended 31st March 2014
2.7.*End-of-lifeJuly 2013Ended February 2014
2.6.*End-of-lifeApril 2013Ended 16th December 2014
2.5.*End-of-lifeJanuary 2013Ended July 2013
2.4.*End-of-lifeDecember 2012Ended January 2014
2.3.*End-of-lifeOctober 2011Ended June 2013

What were ‘stable’ releases?

We used to have ‘stable’ releases instead of ESR, but we changed our naming scheme in June 2015.
Having both a ‘stable’ and a ‘latest’ confused some users, leading them to believe that ‘latest’ releases were not stable (unstable) as opposed to ‘stable’ releases.

Technical issues

All technical FAQ have now been moved to a dedicated section of Rudder’s main documentation.