Updates to our Xcode Image Policy (April 2022)

:wave: Today we are announcing changes to our Xcode Image Policy.

Please note that nothing will change with our currently supported images as of today.
We are planning the next deprecation cycle for early June, which is when these changes will take effect. An announcement will be made nearer the time.

Image Retention Changes

In order to keep capacity available for us to release new Xcode images quickly and efficiently, we have made some changes to our image retention policy.

These changes were made after lots of research and we believe that the impact to customers moving forward will be minimal. Additionally, this should reduce the number of deprecation cycles to one per year, making it easier to predict when, and which, images will be retired and preventing mid-year changes.

Using the upcoming Xcode 14 release, this is how our image new retention policy will take effect.

Changes from the previous policy are highlighted in Bold Text

Xcode Action
14 Beta image will be released and updated as per the beta image policy
13 The latest 4 major.minor versions will be retained at the latest patch version, older images will be flagged for deprecation and removed when Xcode 15 reaches RC
12 All images except for the final release will be flagged for deprecation and removed when Xcode 15 reaches RC
11 All images except for the final release will be flagged for deprecation and removed when Xcode 15 reaches RC
10 Flagged for deprecation, removed entirely when Xcode 15 reaches RC
Xcode Action
14 We will retain all major.minor versions at the latest patch version
13 We will retain the 4 latest major.minor versions at the latest patch version
12 We retain a single image which will be the last stable release of Xcode 12
11 We retain a single image which will be the last stable release of Xcode 11
10 Removed entirely

macOS Version Support

In our previous policy, we stated that the underlying macOS version would only change infrequently when required. To reflect changes to our image build system, we have adjusted this to say that we aim to support the latest macOS version when an image is released, with the potential of being up to 2 versions behind.

Image Release Times

We know that getting the latest Xcode image is important to our users, therefore we have now stated that we aim to release a new Xcode image within a couple of days of Apple releasing it. Please note that this is not an SLA, but is more transparency into our internal targets for these images. We have made it our mission to constantly strive for decreasing our image release times (particularly for stable images) and have, in general, been turning these around within 48 hours in the past few months!

More Info

For the full policy, please visit our documentation at the link below

Happy Building! :circleci: