What Python 3 versions Django supports, and when this changes

June 25, 2016

I was idly skimming the in-progress release notes for Django 1.10 when one of the small sections that I usually ignore jumped out at me instead:

Like Django 1.9, Django 1.10 requires Python 2.7, 3.4, or 3.5. [...]

Since I've recently been thinking about running Django on Python 3, the supported Python 3 versions caught my eye. More exactly, that it was a short list. This made me wonder what Django versions will support what Python 3 versions, and for how long.

In mid 2015, the Django project published a roadmap and said:

We will support a Python version up to and including the first Django LTS release whose security support ends after security support for that version of Python ends. For example, Python 3.3 security support ends September 2017 and Django 1.8 LTS security support ends April 2018. Therefore Django 1.8 is the last version to support Python 3.3.

So we need to look at both the Django release schedule and the Python release and support schedule. On the Django side, Django's next LTS release is '1.11 LTS', scheduled to release in April 2017 and be supported through April 2020 (and it's expected to be the last version supporting Python 2.7, since official Python 2.7 security support ends in 2020). After that is Django 2.2 in April 2019, supported through April 2022. On the Python side, the Python team appears to be doing 3.x releases roughly every 18 months (see eg PEP 494 on Python 3.6's release schedule) and giving them security support for five years after their initial release. If this is right, Python 3.4 will be supported through March 2019 and Python 3.5 through September 2020; 3.6 is expected in December 2016 (supported through December 2021) and thus 3.7 in roughly May of 2018 (supported through May 2023).

Putting all of this together, I get an expected result of:

  • Python 3.4 will be supported through Django 1.11; Django 2.0 (nominally due December 2017) will drop support for it.

  • Python 3.5 and 3.6 will probably be supported through Django 2.2. Django 1.11 will almost certainly be the first release to support Python 3.6.

  • Python 3.7's exact Django support range is up in the air since at this point I'm projecting both Python and Django release schedules rather far into the misty future.

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS has Python 3.4 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has 3.5. Both will be supported long enough to run into the maximum likely Django version that supports their Python 3 version, although only more or less at the end of each Ubuntu LTS's lifespan.

(I'm going to have to mull over what this means for Python 3 migration plans for our Django app. Probably a real Python 3 migration attempt is closer than I thought it would be.)

Written on 25 June 2016.
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Last modified: Sat Jun 25 01:56:12 2016
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