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Kubernetes 1.13 Release Schedule

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tl;dr The 1.13 release cycle begins on Monday, October 1st, 2018, and ends on release day, Monday, December 03, 2018. Enhancements freeze is Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Code slush is Friday, November 09, 2018. Code freeze begins Thursday, November 15, 2018 and ends Wednesday, November 28, 2018, but may vary depending on CI Signal. Docs must be completed and reviewed by Tuesday, November 27, 2018. Release blocking test case additions must be completed by in conjunction with enhancements by code freeze.

Notes About this Release

  • The Release Team will continue with the shortened Code Freeze, see below.
  • The Features process is remaining as it has in prior releases, except that it is being renamed from Features to Enhancements.
  • Enhancements that don't have complete code and tests by Code Freeze may be disabled by the release team before cutting the first beta.
  • The release team will escalate release-master-blocking and release-master-upgrade failures to SIGs throughout the cycle, not just near release cuts.
  • Unlike the previous cycles key deliverables, including the final release, do not fall on Tuesdays due to shortened release cycle.
  • The release cycle length is approximately only 10 weeks long.


What Who Oct Nov Dec Jan DEV WEEK TEST GATES
Start of Release Cycle Lead 1 week 1
Begin weekly release team meetings Lead 1
Finalize Schedule Lead 5
Begin collecting planned work from SIGs Lead, Enhancements Lead 8 week 2
Begin weekly status reports at Community Lead, Shadow 11
Finalize Release Team Lead 12
1.13.0-alpha.1 release Branch Manager 15
Start Release Notes Draft Release Notes Lead 16 week 3
Clean up enhancements repo Enhancements Lead 16
"Enhancements Freeze" begins (EOD PST) Enhancements Lead 23 week 4
1.13.0-alpha.2 release Branch Manager 23 master-blocking, master-upgrade
Begin MWF Burndown meetings Lead 5 week 6
All release-1.9 CI jobs/testgrid removed Test Infra Lead 6
Create 'release-1.13' branch and begin daily branch Branch Manager 6
v1.14.0-alpha.0 Branch Manager 6
1.13.0-beta.0 released from branch Branch Manager 6 master-blocking, master-upgrade
Docs deadline - Open placeholder PRs Docs Lead 8
All release-1.13 CI jobs/testgrid created Test Infra Lead 9
Begin Code Slush Bot, Lead 9 week 6
All Issues & PRs must have complete labels Bug Triage 12 week 7
Kubecon Shangai 2018 Community event 13 - 15
Begin code and test freeze (EOD PST) Bot, Lead 15 week 7 1.13-blocking, master-blocking, master-upgrade
Begin pruning Lead and release team 16
1.13.0-beta.1 released from branch Branch Manager 16 1.13-blocking, master-blocking, master-upgrade
Begin M-F Burndown meetings Lead 19 week 8
Unapproved/non-critical Issues/PRs get kicked out Bot, Bug Triage 19
Docs deadline - PRs ready for review Docs Lead 19
1.13.0-beta.2 released from branch Branch Manager 21 1.13-blocking, master-blocking, master-upgrade
US Thanksgiving Holiday 22
Docs complete - All PRs reviewed and ready to merge Docs Lead 27 week 9
1.13.0-rc.1 released from branch Branch Manager 27 1.13-blocking, master-blocking, master-upgrade
End of code freeze (EOD PST): Master branch re-opens for 1.13 Bot, Branch Manager, Lead 28
PRs for v1.13.0 must be cherry picked to release-1.13 Branch Manager 28
Notify kubernetes-dev of lifting code freeze Lead 28
cherry pick deadline (EOD PST) Branch Manager 30
1.13.0-rc.2 released from branch Branch Manager 30 1.13-blocking, master-blocking, master-upgrade
v1.13.0 Branch Manager 3 week 10 1.13-blocking
Release retrospective Community 6?
Contributor Summit + Kubecon Seattle 2018 Community event 9 - 13 week 11
1.14 Release Cycle Begins Next Lead 2


Conditionally Shortened Code Freeze

In keeping with 1.11 and 1.12 release cycles, the 1.13 Release Team has set the schedule with a shortened code freeze. This is ofcourse contingent on all tests in master-blocking and master-upgrade passing and have been passing for a few days leading to the code slush and freeze.

The release team may need to shorten the length of code slush and increase length of freeze to begin earlier if the project does not maintain a clean CI signal heading into the planned slush and freeze. Any such changes will be communicated early and broadly.

Enhancements Freeze

All enhancements going into the release must have an associated issue in the enhancements repo by Tuesday, October 23, 2018. That issue must be in the 1.13 milestone. SIG "themes" should also be in the release notes draft at this time to prepare for blog posts and release marketing. Any work the SIG wants publicized needs to be called out to the Enhancements Lead so the Release Team communications lead can work with SIG-PM and the CNCF.

Code Slush

Starting on Friday, November 9th, 2018, only PRs marked for the 1.13 milestone (issue the Prow "/milestone v1.13" command) by their owner SIGs' leadership will be allowed to merge into the master branch. All others will be deferred until the end of Code Freeze, when master opens back up for the next release cycle. If necessary, the release team can add the milestone in cases where the SIG approvers do not have permissions to do so. For more information on correct PR marking see the release process in the developer guide.

At this time, any issues/PRs with incomplete labels, or which are "stale" will be removed from the release. The release team will work with SIGs to make sure that labels are complete prior to removal.

Code Slush begins prior to Code Freeze to help reduce noise from miscellaneous changes that aren't related to issues that SIGs have approved for the milestone. Enhancements work is still allowed at this point, but it must follow the process to get approved for the milestone. SIGs are the gatekeepers of this label, not the release team.


Starting at Code Slush, the release team will solicit and rule on exception requests for enhancements and test work that is unlikely to be done by Code Freeze. The exception approval is the responsibility of the SIG or SIGs labeled in the pull request. The release team may intervene or deny the request only if it poses a risk to release quality, or could negatively impact the overall timeline. Changes introduced at this point should be well-tested, well-understood, limited in architectural scope, and low risk. All of those factors should be considered in the approval process. Enhancements on an feature branch with documentation, test cases, and passing CI are more likely to be accepted.

Code Freeze

All enhancements going into the release must be code-complete, including tests, and have docs PRs open by Thursday, November 15th, 2018.

The docs PRs don't have to be ready to merge, but it should be clear what the topic will be and who is responsible for writing it. This person will become the primary contact for the documentation lead. It’s incredibly important that documentation work gets completed as quickly as possible.

After this point, only release-blocking issues and PRs will be allowed in the milestone.


Enhancements that are partially implemented and/or lack sufficient tests may be considered for pruning beginning after code freeze, unless they've been granted exceptions.

The release team will work with SIGs and enhancements owners to evaluate each case, but for example, pruning could include actions such as:

  • Disabling the use of a new API or field
  • Switching the default value of a flag or field
  • Moving a new API or field behind an Alpha Enhancements gate
  • Reverting commits or deleting code

This should occur before 1.13.0-beta.1 is cut so we have time to gather signal on whether the system is stable in this state. These are considered drastic measures, so the release team will strive to coordinate at-risk work with SIGs before this time. The goal is to make code freeze, and overall project transparency, enforceable despite the lack of a consistently used feature branch process.


If an enhancement needs documentation, enter Yes in the enhancement tracking spreadsheet and add a link to the documentation PR. You can open documentation PRs in the kubernetes/website repository. If you have questions, the release documentation lead, or representatives from SIG-Docs will be happy to assist you.

For documentation PRs:

  • Open PRs against the release-1.13 branch based off of the 1.13 release PR. The documentation workflow uses feature branches for release documentation, rather than basing from master. Be sure to open your PR against the release branch.
  • Add your PR to the 1.13 Release milestone.


Burndown meetings are held on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at TIME TBD until the final release is near, and then every business day until the release. These meetings may overlap with other SIG meetings and the Community Meeting, but it is critical that SIGs provide representation at the release burndown meeting when requested to discuss specific issues and insure they do not become gating on the release. The release lead or a release team representative will keep the Community Meeting informed of release status even if there are meeting conflicts.

Join the Kubernetes Milestone Burndown Group to get the calendar invite.

The intent of these meetings is to:

  • Focus on fixing bugs, eliminating test flakes and general release stabilization.
  • Ensure docs and release notes are written and accurate.
  • Identify all enhancement going into the release, and make sure alpha, beta, GA is marked in enhancements repo.
  • Provide a one-stop view of release progress including relevant release metrics.
  • Host SIG stakeholders for updates.