As the maintenance policy of the MariaDB Foundation states, we are committed to maintaining each release for 5 years. As MariaDB 5.5 was announced for General Availability in 2012, the five year mark will soon be passed. However, since MariaDB 5.5 is widely used in many major Linux distributions in production use at the moment, the Foundation has decided to extend the maintenance period for MariaDB 5.5 to the year 2020.
All Linux distributions currently including MariaDB 5.5 will thus continue to have security updates available for at least until 2020.
The MariaDB Foundation’s mission is to serve the greater public and we’ve decided that supporting MariaDB 5.5 for an extended period is a good use of the MariaDB Foundation’s staff time.
Note that the MariaDB Foundation does provide any legally binding guarantees. If you need a contractually enforced guarantee about support and maintenance, please sign up for a contract with a MariaDB service provider.
If you run an enterprise grade production system, it is always recommended to enter into a some kind of support agreement with a MariaDB vendor, because that brings other benefits too.
We also remind you that the maintenance period for MariaDB uptil and including 5.3 has ended. The Foundation will focus its resources on facilitating the development of newer versions, and is no longer working on 5.3 or anything older than that. There are however support vendors who may continue to provide services related to those releases, and if your systems still depend on MariaDB 5.1, 5.2 or 5.3, you should consider using the services provided by the support vendors.
MariaDB maintains very good backwards compatibility, so in most cases you can simply upgrade your MariaDB server and automatic in-place conversions will run. Please make sure you have backups before you run the upgrade and strive to test the upgrade in a testing environment before doing it in production.
For all new deployments we of course recommend using the latest version of MariaDB in general availability. Currently it is version 10.1, but we expect the version 10.2 to be released very soon.