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Version: 0.35

Astro Runtime maintenance and lifecycle policy

Astro Runtime is a production ready, data orchestration tool based on Apache Airflow that is distributed as a Docker image and is required by all Astronomer products. It is intended to provide organizations with improved functionality, reliability, efficiency, and performance. Deploying Astro Runtime is a requirement if your organization is using Astro.

Astronomer maintenance and lifecycle policies are part of the distribution and define the period that specific Astro Runtime versions are supported and how frequently updates are provided.

Release channels

To meet the unique needs of different operating environments, Astro Runtime versions are associated with the following release channels:

  • Stable: Includes the latest Astronomer and Apache Airflow features, available on release
  • Long-term Support (LTS): Includes additional testing, stability, and maintenance for a core set of features

All major Astro Runtime versions belong to the Astro Runtime stable release channel. The LTS release channel is a subset of the stable release channel and includes additional stability, reliability, and support. For more information on how Astro Runtime is versioned, see Runtime versioning.

For users that want to keep up with the latest Astronomer and Airflow features on an incremental basis, we recommend upgrading to new versions of Astro Runtime as soon as they are made generally available. This should be regardless of release channel. New versions of Runtime are issued regularly and include timely support for the latest major, minor, and patch versions of Airflow.

For customers looking for less frequent upgrades and functional changes, we recommend following the LTS release channel exclusively.

Astro Runtime maintenance policy

The maintenance period for an Astro Runtime version depends on its release channel:

Release ChannelMaintenance Duration
Stable6 months or 3 months after the next major Astro Runtime release, whichever is longer
LTS18 months or 6 months after the next LTS Astro Runtime release, whichever is longer

For each supported major Runtime version, bug fixes are delivered only through new minor.patch versions. If you report an issue with a supported Astro Runtime image that is not on the latest minor.patch version, Astronomer Support might ask that you upgrade your Astro Runtime version to see if that resolves the issue.

For example, if you report an issue occurring on a Deployment running Astro Runtime 9.0.0, Astronomer support might ask you to first upgrade to the latest 9.minor.patch version before troubleshooting your issue any further. If the issue still persists after upgrading, any fixes to that issue will be delivered in a new minor or patch release. Astronomer strives to provide backwards compatibility for all upgrades within the version. For example, you can upgrade directly from 9.0.0 to 9.4.0 and expect no breaking changes unless otherwise stated in documentation.

Within the maintenance window of each Astro Runtime version, the following is true:

  • A set of Docker images corresponding to that version are available for download on
  • Astronomer will regularly publish bug or security fixes identified as high priority.
  • Support for paying customers running a maintained version of Astro Runtime is provided by Astronomer Support.
  • A user can create a new Deployment with the Cloud UI, API, or Astro CLI with any supported major.minor version pair of Runtime. For new Deployments, the Cloud UI assumes the latest patch.

When the maintenance window for a given version of Runtime ends, the following is true:

  • Astronomer is not obligated to answer questions regarding a Deployment that is running an unsupported version.
  • Only System Admins can create new Deployments on Astronomer Software with that version of Runtime. Versions that are no longer maintained will not render as an option in the Deployment creation process from the Software UI.
  • The latest version of the Astro CLI will show a warning if a user pushes an Astro Runtime image to Astronomer that corresponds to that version.

End of maintenance date

Maintenance is discontinued the last day of the month for a given version. For example, if the maintenance window for a version of Astro Runtime is January - June of a given year, that version will be maintained by Astronomer until the last day of June.


Astronomer continuously checks for available security fixes for software used in Astro Runtime. This process includes scanning language dependencies, container images, and open source threat intelligence sources. When a security fix is available, Astronomer evaluates potential risks for organizations using Astro Runtime and determines deployment priority. Low priority fixes are deployed following the regular maintenance policy as described in Astro Runtime maintenance policy.

If a vulnerability is not yet addressed in a third-party dependency and no official fix is available, Astronomer attempts to address the vulnerability or its impact with environmental mitigations. Whenever possible, Astronomer collaborates with the upstream project to support a timely delivery of the official fix. This process also covers images publicly available on and provides context for their vulnerability scanning results.

If you identify a vulnerability that results in relevant risk for your organization, contact Astronomer security.

Backport policy for bug and security fixes

  • Functional bugs: When Astronomer identifies a significant functional bug in Astro Runtime, a fix is backported to all Long Term Support (LTS) versions and the latest stable version. To avoid the impact of previously identified bugs, Astronomer recommends that you consistently upgrade Astro Runtime to the latest stable version.

  • Security vulnerabilities: When Astronomer identifies a significant security vulnerability in Astro Runtime, a fix is backported and made available as a patch version for all stable and LTS versions in maintenance. A significant security issue is defined as an issue with significant impact and exploitability.

Occasionally, Astronomer might deviate from the defined response policy and backport a bug or security fix to releases other than the latest stable and LTS versions.

Astro Runtime lifecycle schedule

The following table contains the exact lifecycle for each published version of Astro Runtime. These timelines are based on the LTS and Stable release channel maintenance policies.

Runtime versionAirflow versionRelease dateEnd of maintenance date
9 (LTS)2.7August 18, 2023January 2025
112.9April 8, 2024October 2024

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Astronomer support.

Legacy Astro Runtime versions

The following table contains all major Runtime releases that are no longer supported. Astronomer is not obligated to answer support questions regarding these versions.

Runtime versionAirflow versionRelease dateEnd of maintenance date
32.1.1August 12, 2021February 2022
4 (LTS)2.2March 10, 2022September 2023
5 (LTS)2.3April 30, 2022April 2024
6 (LTS)2.4September 19, 2022March 2024
72.5December 3, 2022July 2023
82.6April 30, 2023November 2023
102.8December 18, 2023June 2024

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