Back to top anchor

Sector release schedule overview

We are updating our documentation library to be ready for the Sector 10! Find out more in our Sector 10 roadmap or head straight to our collection of Sector 10 - Changes and Updates.

User role
Site Administrators (UID1)
Planning and maintaining your site
Sector Starter Kit Security
Sector Starter kit

As part of our Sector 9 roadmap, the Sector team is committed to a release schedule based on the Drupal core release cycle. 

Graphic Sector release cycle

The dates in this post are based on the Drupal core release cycle and assume that the release dates for Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 are stable and that there will be no unscheduled Drupal core releases other than security releases. 

To keep your site secure, please follow the Drupal security advisories.

Next to scheduled releases, Drupal publishes regular security advisories for Drupal core and contributed modules. You need to ensure you follow Drupal security advisories and update your site if and when required! Need help maintaining your Drupal sites? Contact us

Labels and numbers

Drupal releases are grouped into major, minor, and patch releases. Major releases are full point releases (Drupal 8.0 or 9.0), minor releases are secondary point releases (8.8.0 or 8.9.0), patched releases are 8.8.1 or 8.8.2.

Minor Drupal releases are currently scheduled every 6 months, are patched for 6 months (under active development), and covered for another 6 months with security releases - so the full support for a Drupal minor release - a secondary point release - is 1 year

Sector release targets 

From Drupal 8.8 onwards, Sector will have two supported releases at any given time, each corresponding to the currently supported Drupal versions. 

Sector is not just Drupal core - the Starter Kit includes contributed modules provided by the Drupal community. For each Drupal core release, we need to ensure that the contributed modules we use for Sector and our own Sector modules work together with the new Drupal version. 

We aim to have a Sector Starter Kit release ready 20 working days after the minor Drupal core release date. This will depend highly on the status of the contributed modules included in the Starter Kit. So our Sector support cycle for each minor Drupal update is about 11 months. 

For updates to contributed modules and security releases, please see our Sector maintenance policy

Versioning for Sector

From 2020, Sector will follow the common approach for Drupal distributions and modules

Core Compatibility-Major.PatchLevel[-Extra]

Read more in Understanding Drupal version numbers.  

From June 2020 (and the release of Drupal 9) new releases are allowed to use semantic versioning without the Compatibility-Major prefix dropping the API compatibility component and adding a patch component. 


  • As of the Sector 9 release in March 2021, the {major} point in the Sector versioning realigns with the major Drupal releases - while Sector 5.n was Drupal 8, we skipped straight to Sector 9.n for Drupal 9.  
  • The {minor} point is reserved for minor Drupal releases - Sector 9.0 is Drupal 9.0, and Sector 9.1 will be Drupal 9.1.
  • The {patch} point is for a specific Sector release with patches, bug fixes, and security updates. The third point will include up to three digits, e.g. 9.0.123 
  • [-Extra] will use post fixes to indicate if a release is stable (no postfix), a dev release (-dev postfix), or in alpha, beta or rcs.

Matching Sector releases to Drupal core versions

Table matching Sector releases to Drupal core versions 
  Sector Starter Kit Starter Kit Dev branches
Drupal 8.7.n 8.x-3.n 8.x-3.x-dev (GIT 8.x-3.x)
Drupal 8.8.n 8.x-4.n 8.x-4.x-dev (GIT 8.x-4.x)
Drupal 8.9.n 5.n 5.0.x-dev (GIT 5.0.x-dev)
Drupal 9.0.n 9.0.n 9.0.x-dev (GIT 6.x-dev)
Drupal 9.1.n 9.1.n 9.1.x-dev (GIT 6.x-dev)

Please note: The table uses n instead of x because x often stands for a DEV branch.

Key Dates 

On June 24, 2020, the official End of Life (EOL) for Drupal 7 was extended for other 12 months to November 28 2022 . The official End of Life (EOL) for Drupal 8 remains November 2021.

For past releases please see the release cycle 

Drupal 8

Table view for Sector and Drupal 8 
  Drupal 8      Sector 8     
  Release Security  End of support  Release Security End of support
8.7. (-) Dec 4, 2020 Jun 3, 2020 (-) Dec 4, 2020 Jun 3, 2020
8.8. Dec 4, 2020 Jun 3, 2020 Dec 2, 2020 Feb 27, 2020  Jun 3, 2020 Dec 2, 2020
8.9 Jun 3, 2020 (tbc) (tbc) (tbc)

16 Jun, 2020

(tbc) (tbc)

The final minor release in the 8.x series 8.9 will be a long-term support (LTS) release and will be released at the same time as Drupal 9.0.0. It will be fully supported with bug and security fixes for a full year.

(-) milestone in the past. 

Drupal 9

Drupal 9 was released on June 3, 2020.

The good news is it will be much easier to update from Drupal 8 to 9 and we are on track with our Sector 9 Roadmap - Sector 9 is out now (see the Sector 9 release notes)! 

Table view for Sector and Drupal 9 
  Drupal 9     Sector 9     
  Release Security  End of support  Release Security End of support
9.0. June 3, 2020 (tbc) (tbc) (tbc) March 5, 2021 (tbc) (tbc)
9.1. (tbc) (tbc) (tbc) (tbc) (tbc) (tbc)
9.2 (tbc) (tbc) (tbc) (tbc) (tbc) (tbc)

Drupal 7

On June 24, 2020, the official End of Life (EOL) for Drupal 7 was extended for another 12 months to November 28 2022

From February 2020, Sector D7 is no longer supported. However, we aim to update Sector D7 with critical core security updates and critical contribution module security updates quarterly. To keep your site secure, please follow the Drupal security advisories  or consider updating to Drupal 8.

Last updated

Sector 10 is coming!

Find out more in our Sector 10 roadmap.

Need Help?

Sector is brought to you by Sparks Interactive - supporting Sector from Wellington and Auckland

Open Source award winner!

Sparks Interactive are delighted to accept the Open Source Use in Business award for Sector and the open source platform.

Subscribe for Sector updates