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Kubernetes Versions: List, Release Notes & More

08th Sep, 2023
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    Kubernetes Versions: List, Release Notes & More

    An open-source container orchestration technology called Kubernetes (sometimes referred to as "k8s" or "Kube") automates a lot of the labor-intensive steps required in setting up, running, and scaling containerized applications. This blog will go into great detail about Kubernetes, its several iterations, the latest Kubernetes, and more. Declarative configuration and automation are made easier by the portability and extensibility of Kubernetes, an open-source platform for managing containerized workloads and services. It has a huge, expanding ecosystem. Also, services, assistance, and tools for Kubernetes are widely accessible. 

    Greek helmsman or pilot is the meaning of the word Kubernetes. The eight letters between the "K" and the "s" are what lead to the abbreviation "K8s." Initially created by Google engineers, Kubernetes was open-sourced in 2014. It combines the greatest ideas and techniques from the community with more than 15 years of Google's experience managing large-scale production workloads. Following Semantic Versioning terminology,  

    Kubernetes versions are written as x.y.z, where x denotes the major version, y is the minor version, and z is the patch version. Apply for Docker and Kubernetes Certification if you wish to make your career in Kubernetes.

    What is Kubernetes

    What is the Kubernetes Version?

    The three parts that make up the Kubernetes release versions. The major version (v1) is presented first, followed by the minor version (19), and finally, the patch version (3). 

    Patches are published more frequently with important bug fixes, whereas minor versions are released every few months with new features and functionalities. General compatibility with the preceding version is shown by each number in the version: 

    1. Major versions must be changed when backward compatibility may be compromised by incompatible API upgrades. 
    2. Minor versions are updated accordingly When backward-compatible functionality upgrades are implemented.  
    3. Patch versions are updated when backward-compatible bug fixes are made. 

    Try to keep your minor version updated by running the most recent patch release. Your production cluster, for instance, is located at 1.17.7. The most recent patch for the 1.17 series may be found at 1.17.8. To guarantee that your cluster is properly patched and supported, you should upgrade to 1.17.8 as soon as feasible. 

    Different Versions of Kubernetes

    Different versions of Kubernetes bring in specific enhancements to the product. The table below shows the Kubernetes version history.

    VersionRelease dateEnd of Life date
    1.010 July 2015
    1.19 November 2015
    1.216 March 201623 October 2016
    1.31 July 20161 November 2016
    1.426 September 201621 April 2017
    1.512 December 20161 October 2017
    1.628 March 201723 November 2017
    1.730 June 20174 April 2018
    1.828 August 201712 July 2018
    1.915 December 201729 September 2018
    1.1028 March 201813 February 2019
    1.113 July 20181 May 2019
    1.1227 September 20188 July 2019
    1.133 December 201815 October 2019
    1.1425 March 201911 December 2019
    1.1520 June 20196 May 2020
    1.1622 October 20192 September 2020
    1.179 December 201913 January 2021
    1.1825 March 202018 June 2021
    1.1926 August 202028 October 2021
    1.208 December 202028 February 2022
    1.218 April 202128 June 2022
    1.224 August 202128 October 2022
    1.237 December 202128 February 2023
    1.243 May 202229 September 2023
    1.2523 August 202227 October 2023

    Table - Kubernetes version list

    What is the Latest Version of Kubernetes?

    The latest version of Kubernetes or the most recent three minor releases (1.25, 1.24, 1.23 includes improvements, bug fixes, and new features that make the platform more dependable, scalable, and user-friendly. There are a significant number of API deletions and a total of 56 improvements of varying maturity levels. Kubernetes current version always has some enhancement, so check the official website for updates.

    Upcoming Releases

    Check out the schedule for the upcoming 1.26 Kubernetes release or check for the current Kubernetes version.

    How Do Kubernetes Versions Work?

    Kubernetes employs the common Semantic Versioning scheme: major, minor, and patch. For instance: 1.17.7 1.17.8 The version number indicates how generally compatible each number is with the preceding version. The earliest minor version and patch releases supported are deprecated and removed when a new minor version is released. 

    Kubernetes Release Scheme and How Do They Handle It in Different Cloud Platforms?

    The Semantic Versioning Specification, used by the Kubernetes release system, states that, given a version number of Major. Minor. Patch, you should increase the: 

    • The Major version, when you make backward-incompatible API  
    • Change the Minor version when you add functionality 
    • The Patch version when you address bugs. 

    A software update is backward-compatible if its modifications don't disrupt external components that rely on interfaces established in earlier iterations. 

    1. How Does Google Handle K8s Versions?

    GKE now supports a minimum of two Minor versions. A recent Kubernetes Minor or Patch release's stable release serves as the default version for newly established GKE clusters. Versions that are more recent than the default are typically made available on a weekly basis. 

    Google automatically updates cluster masters and nodes by default. This comprises the Docker daemon, the OS base image, the Kubelet, and the Kube-proxy. 

    Google makes sure that the versions on the master and nodes are in sync. The documentation for Google Cloud contains comprehensive information on automated upgrades, release notes, and schedules for certain versions. 

    2. How Does Microsoft Handle K8s Versions?

    The current Minor version of Kubernetes and the three preceding Minor versions are supported by AKS. Additionally, each Minor version supports two reliable Patches. 

    The previous Minor version and Patch releases are retired when a new Minor version is released. Within 30 days after an upstream release, AKS strives to certify and make available new Kubernetes versions, subject to the release's stability. 

    3. How Does Canonical Handle K8s Versions?

    Snap channels are used to manage Kubernetes versions in Canonical's Charmed Kubernetes distribution. Then, upgrades can be carried out by choosing the appropriate channel and launching the upgrade operation in Juju. Some of the Kubernetes cluster components utilized by the Charmed Kubernetes distribution, such as Docker, Etcd, Flannel, and easy, are not included in the upgrade.

    4. How Does Digitalocean Handle K8s Versions?

    By enabling automatic upgrades for each cluster, DigitalOcean Kubernetes offers Patch-level only updates that can be initiated manually or automatically during a specific maintenance window.

    Upgrades to minor versions are not supported. It is advised that you move your workload to another cluster that has been updated. The master nodes are upgraded first, causing a brief outage of the Kubernetes API, and then the nodes are upgraded on a rolling basis, one worker pool at a time.

    5. How Does AWS Handle K8s Versions?

    Amazon EKS supports only particular versions of Kubernetes. As of the time of writing, these are the newly formed clusters: 1.13.8, 1.12.10, and 1.11.10. At any one time, Amazon EKS will run three production-ready versions of Kubernetes, with the fourth version under deprecation (currently 1.10). 

    The initial Amazon EKS platform version for a new Kubernetes minor version begins at eks.1 when it becomes accessible on Amazon EKS. It may take some time to implement automatic updates of current Amazon EKS platform versions. The newest version of the Amazon EKS platform for the specified Kubernetes version is always used to establish clusters. You can take the DevOps Course and learn Kubernetes basics and fundamentals to enhance your skills.

    Why Do You Need Kubernetes?

    You can concentrate on the application with Kubernetes. It becomes less crucial to adapt the software to specific systems, allowing you to create a user experience and business plan that will enable you to make gratifying profits. Thus we need Kubernetes because -  

    1. Encourages Company Expansion

    Organizations that use Kubernetes have seen significant growth. The cycle of software development becomes more productive and efficient using Kubernetes versions. The following are just a few advantages associated with using Kubernetes: 

    • Short lifecycle of software development. 
    • Organizations can now switch to the cloud. 
    • The way that resources are used has improved. 

    2. Increased Scalability and Availability of the System

    Scalability refers to a system or network's capacity to expand and cope with rising demands. The amount of time a system is available to carry out the duties it must do during a given timeframe is known as availability. A system can become scalable and available thanks to Kubernetes. 

    You might use a CPU-intensive application. Due to business requirements, the application also experiences significant traffic at specific times. When necessary, Kubernetes will force the resource to scale up. If the load drops, it will likewise scale back. Your application will be more stable, thus helping businesses with increased scalability and availability.  

    3. Transparent And Automated Procedures

    It used to take a lot of time to install new programs on actual virtual machines. Kubernetes register all product-related events. Changes are simple to track, and repeated tasks can be automated. This speed-up labor reduces the likelihood of human error and, in the event of a problem, aids in identifying its origin. 

    With Kubernetes, automatic implementations and updates are versatile in their configuration. It is sufficient to outline the installation method. By adding nodes to the cluster (autoscaling), the system will increase computing capacity, alter the present state into the anticipated state, apply new solutions, and add or remove containers depending on the deployment settings. 

    4. Possibly Less Expensive Than Other Options

    Some applications demand more powerful computational capabilities. The most cost-effective option for you will be Kubernetes. You won't have to spend money on resources you don't require. or assets that you do not utilize, thanks to Kubernetes. Due to its auto-scaling ability, as previously mentioned, this is achievable.

    Bottom Line

    Kubernetes is a potent new open-source operations solution that helps businesses scale, increase resilience, and hasten deployment. With our KnowledgeHut's Docker and Kubernetes Certification course, you can utilize it, as well as the variety of open-source technologies that surround and support it, to the fullest extent.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1How to Check Kubernetes Version?

    Using the kubectl version command is the simplest method for determining a cluster's Kubernetes version. The Kubernetes cluster and the kubectl client's information will be output by this command. The Kubernetes version that your cluster is using is known as the server version. The Git version, the Major version, and the Minor version are all available. 


    2How often are new versions released?
    • Every three months, minor version updates are made accessible, and the Kubernetes project can support three minor releases at once. 

    • Each week, a new patch version is released. 

    • Backporting of patch fixes to the most recent three minor releases 

    • Releases of minor versions are supported for roughly nine months. 

    3What is the purpose of Kubernetes patches?

    Upgrades to the Patch version may be available for each Minor version release. Patch updates correct important bugs in the most recent Minor version. These can be flaws in security, widespread issues with no fixes, or obstacles to the development of Kubernetes-based solutions. 

    4What happens to current clusters when K8s get upgraded?

    Upgrades to minor versions are typically secure. In other words, there shouldn't be any downtime or inconsistent states when upgrading from one minor version to the next. The Kubernetes project advises against updating more than two Minor releases concurrently. Additionally, you ought to only use the most recent Patch release for each particular Minor release. 

    5What is the Kubernetes Release Cycle?

    The fundamental rule for Kubernetes releases is to anticipate significant releases every three to four months. 


    Mayank Modi

    Blog Author

    Mayank Modi is a Red Hat Certified Architect with expertise in DevOps and Hybrid Cloud solutions. With a passion for technology and a keen interest in Linux/Unix systems, CISCO, and Network Security, Mayank has established himself as a skilled professional in the industry. As a DevOps and Corporate trainer, he has been instrumental in providing training and guidance to individuals and organizations. With over eight years of experience, Mayank is dedicated to achieving success both personally and professionally, making significant contributions to the field of technology.

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