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.NET Core Support Policy

What's covered

.NET Core refers to several technologies including .NET Core, ASP.NET Core and Entity Framework Core.

Looking for the support policy for another part of the .NET platform? See .NET Support Policy.

Every Microsoft product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it's no longer supported. Knowing key dates in this lifecycle helps you make informed decisions about when to upgrade or make other changes to your software. This product is governed by Microsoft's Modern Lifecycle Policy.

The .NET Core support lifecycle offers support for each release. The length of time and degree of support vary based on a few qualifications.

What releases qualify for servicing and how do updates effect servicing qualifications?

Customers can choose Long Term Support (LTS) releases or Current releases. LTS releases will receive only critical and compatible fixes throughout their lifecycle. Current releases will receive these same fixes and will also be updated with compatible innovations and features.

Within a release's support lifecycle, systems must remain current on released patch updates.

.NET release cadence

We will publish new major releases of .NET Core on a regular cadence, enabling developers, the community and businesses to plan their roadmaps. Beginning with .NET Core 3.1, these releases will happen every November and every other release will be LTS.

Long Term Support (LTS)

LTS releases are supported for three years after the initial release.

.NET Core 1.x was released under an earlier definition of LTS. For more details, see .NET Core 1.x "shorter" LTS definition.

Current

Current releases are supported for three months after a subsequent Current or LTS release.

How do the different support tracks work?

Customers choosing LTS will need the latest patch update installed to qualify for support. If a system is running 1.0 and 1.0.1 has been released, 1.0.1 will need to be installed as a first step. Once a patch update has been installed applications will begin using the update by default. LTS releases will be supported for 3-years after general availability, or for a 12 month Maintenance period after the next LTS release ships, whichever is longer.

In addition to staying current with the latest patch update, customers using Current will need to update as new minor versions are released to stay in support. The latest released minor version will become the minimum serviceable baseline after release. After a 3 month Maintenance period, the previous minor version will no longer be supported. For example, after 1.2 releases systems running version 1.1 will have 3 months to update to 1.2 to remain eligible for support. Applications do not automatically begin using the new minor update.

End of support

End of support refers to the date when Microsoft no longer provides fixes, updates, or on-line technical assistance. End of support may also be referred to as 'end of life' or abbreviated 'EOL'. This is the time to make sure you have the latest available update installed.

Updates are cumulative, with each update built upon all of the updates that preceded it. A device needs to install the latest update to remain supported. Updates may include new features, fixes (security and/or non-security), or a combination of both. Not all features in an update will work on all devices. Update availability may vary, for example by country, region, network connectivity, or hardware capabilities (including, for example, free disk space).

What operating system versions are supported to run .NET Core applications?

.NET Core is supported across several operating systems and versions. The .NET Core OS Lifecycle Policy provides current details on operating systems support policies and versions.

.NET Core release lifecycles

This table tracks release dates and end of support dates for .NET Core versions.

Version Original Release Date Latest Patch Version Patch Release Date Support Level End of Support
.NET Core 3.1 Scheduled for December 2019 Will be LTS when released
.NET Core 3.0 September 23, 2019 Current
.NET Core 2.2 December 4, 2018 2.2.7 September 10, 2019 Maintenance December 23, 2019
.NET Core 2.1 May 30, 2018 2.1.13 September 10, 2019 LTS At least three years from LTS declaration (August 21, 2018)
.NET Core 2.0 August 14, 2017 2.0.9 July 10, 2018 EOL October 1, 2018
.NET Core 1.1 November 16, 2016 1.1.13 May 14, 2019 EOL June 27 2019
.NET Core 1.0 June 27, 2016 1.0.16 May 14, 2019 EOL June 27 2019

Preview releases

.NET Core preview releases are supported through Microsoft Developer Support only if they are specifically designated 'Go-Live'. In such cases the license allows you to deploy applications built on the specified .NET Core, ASP.NET Core, Entity Framework Core preview to production environments and provides access to Microsoft Support. For an explanation of available support options, please visit Support for Business and Developers.

The support lifecycle for applicable pre-releases is as follows.

Version Release Date End of Support
.NET Core 3.0 RC1 September 16, 2019 October 31, 2019
.NET Core 2.1 RC1 May 8, 2018 June 30, 2018
.NET Core 1.0.0 RC1 February 15, 2016 July 16, 2016
.NET Core 1.0.0 RC2 May 16, 2016 September 27, 2016

Accessing support

For assisted support with .NET Core technologies, contact a Microsoft Support Professional.

Community support is a great way to get help and even contribute to the projects. See the Community page for details.

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