If you’re not already aware, CiviCRM version 5.13 shipped this past Wednesday. In addition to this being the normal monthly release of the latest stable version of CiviCRM, it will also serve as the next version of CiviCRM ESR, officially in August. Finally, CiviCRM version 5.13 will be the last version of CiviCRM to support PHP 5.6.
There’s a lot here to digest, so let’s break it down with a few questions.
Will the current version of ESR be supported until August?
Yes. Originally slated for 6 months of support, ESR version 5.7 will continue to receive security and critical fixes up until the release of 5.13 ESR. After August 2019, version 5.7 will be sunset.
Will PHP 5.6 continue to work on versions of CiviCRM beyond 5.13?
Possibly, however it will no longer be supported by CiviCRM. That means that if there’s an issue related to your continued use of PHP 5.6, then it’s on you to fix and maintain. Note that CiviCRM version 5.14 will be released on June 5th. On that day, CiviCRM will no longer support PHP 5.6. Previous versions of CiviCRM (i.e. 5.13 or older) will function on PHP 5.6 as normal, however only CiviCRM ESR will be supported by the Core Team.
We’re currently using the latest stable version of CiviCRM but want to stay on PHP 5.6.
Because PHP 5.6 will not be support beyond 5.13, we would encourage you to subscribe to CiviCRM ESR and use 5.13 for as long as it’s support. If you’re wondering how long that might be, the answer is that it will be supported for at least 6 months and potentially longer depending on funding for it. More information about CiviCRM ESR can be found online.
CiviCRM version 5.13 is the next ESR
CiviCRM version 5.13 will support PHP 5.6
CiviCRM version 5.7 will be supported until August
CiviCRM 5.14 and newer will not support PHP 5.6
Ok, that’s about it. That wasn’t too bad! All kidding aside, this is an important release for both ESR users as well as those that are currently using PHP 5.6. You’re advised to work with your partner or your host to establish your current PHP configuration and to either plan to subscribe to CiviCRM ESR or upgrade to the latest stable version of CiviCRM as well as upgrade your version of PHP 5.6 to something newer.
Past discussion on ending support for PHP versions can be found here and here.