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What are the differences between Long Term Support(LTS) and Stable versions of Node.js? (2)

Release Types

  • Current : Under active development. Code for the Current release is in the branch for its major version number (for example, v10.x ). Node.js releases a new major version every 6 months, allowing for breaking changes. This happens in April and October every year. Releases appearing each October have a support life of 8 months. Releases appearing each April convert to LTS (see below) each October.

  • LTS : Releases that receive Long-term Support, with a focus on stability and security. Every even-numbered major version will become an LTS release. LTS releases receive 18 months of Active LTS support and a further 12 months of Maintenance . LTS release lines have alphabetically-ordered codenames, beginning with v4 Argon. There are no breaking changes or feature additions, except in some special circumstances.


Originally asked: What is the difference between Node.js 4.x branch with LTS (Long Term Support) and the 5.x branch (listed as Stable)?

But this is equally relevant to understanding the difference between 6.x and 7.x and, in the future, 8.x and 9.x

Generally, I always lean towards the latest version for features and performance (as I now do a lot of ES6 / ES7). Is there any information on how production ready the "stable" branches are?

The 4.x is the version that is currently being supported, similar to a production release. The 5.0 version is stable, but it is the upcoming version in flux and should be treated like it is a beta or release candidate. As such you currently do not see 5.0 as an option in things like Amazon Elastic Beanstalk.

Once a Stable release line becomes LTS, no new features or breaking changes will be added to that release.