DigitalOcean Kubernetes Supported Releases

DigitalOcean Kubernetes (DOKS) is a managed Kubernetes service that lets you deploy Kubernetes clusters without the complexities of handling the control plane and containerized infrastructure. Clusters are compatible with standard Kubernetes toolchains and integrate natively with DigitalOcean Load Balancers and block storage volumes.

This section outlines DigitalOcean Kubernetes (DOKS) release process and when we end support for unsupported upstream Kubernetes releases. You can find version availability and deprecation announcements in the Kubernetes changelog and release notes.

We release new minor versions of DOKS as soon as possible (usually a month) after an upstream Kubernetes release. We release new patch versions of DOKS, which integrate new upstream patches as well as improvements to DOKS-specific components, about once a month. When an upstream Kubernetes release becomes unsupported, we stop updating the DOKS patch releases for that release.

Currently, you can create new clusters on the three most recent minor releases. In addition, you can keep existing clusters on older minor releases and apply patch upgrades to them.

Supported Releases Policy

To help you take advantage of the latest upstream Kubernetes features and bug fixes, and for us to provide you better support and security, we are announcing some upcoming changes to our release process and support policy. Starting 1st September, 2021:

  • We will require that you upgrade clusters that are on unsupported releases. During their scheduled maintenance windows, clusters will be automatically upgraded to the next minor release 30 days after the release they are running becomes unsupported. You can manually trigger an upgrade any time before or during this window. You will receive notification emails 30 days, 7 days, and a day before an automatic upgrade.

    Clusters are upgraded using the upgrade process and follow the end-of-support timeline.

We will upgrade clusters running on unsupported versions regardless of whether you have enabled auto upgrades for those clusters.
  • We will provide support for clusters running unsupported releases during the 30-day window on a best-effort basis.

  • If a serious security vulnerability is identified in the version your cluster is running, we may end support for that patch version and schedule an upgrade to the latest patch version of the cluster’s current minor version. You will be notified at least 7 days before the upgrade, as well as the day before the upgrade starts.

  • You can continue to create new clusters on any currently-supported Kubernetes minor release. When a release goes beyond its support window, we will immediately disable creation of new clusters on that release.

End-of-Support Timeline

The following table shows the end-of-support timeline for all DOKS releases that are currently in use:

DOKS Release Initial DOKS Release End of Support Upgrades Begin
1.11-1.14 May 21, 2019 (DOKS GA Release) September 1, 2021 October 1, 2021
1.15 August 12, 2019 September 1, 2021 October 1, 2021
1.16 November 5, 2019 September 1, 2021 October 1, 2021
1.17 May 7, 2020 September 1, 2021 October 1, 2021
1.18 July 20, 2020 September 1, 2021 October 1, 2021
1.19 October 27, 2020 September 1, 2021 October 30, 2021
1.20 February 2, 2021 December 30, 2021 January 30, 2022
Clusters running releases 1.17 and earlier will be automatically upgraded multiple times after October 1, 2021. Upgrades will occur during the scheduled maintenance window until the cluster reaches a supported release. For example, a cluster running a 1.11 release will be upgraded in 8 consecutive maintenance windows to reach a supported release 1.19.