Long-term Support Pilot

With the release of Blender 2.83, Blender Foundation will start a LTS (Long Term Support) pilot program. The program is aimed at ensuring that long-lasting projects can be executed using a stable Blender version, which will provide critical fixes throughout a 2-year time span.

Blender Release Schedule

Any critical fix that is applied to the 2.9 series will be regularly ported over to Blender 2.83 LTS.

Blender 2.83 LTS will be available on blender.org as continuous build and with numbered releases (2.83.1, 2.83.2, etc.).

Note that the Blender Foundation accepted a proposal to update release numbering starting with version 3.0 in 2021.

Pilot Program

A dedicated maintainer will ensure that fixes are tested, ported over and documented for the next 12 months. Only critical issues will be accepted on the bug tracker for an LTS version. LTS reports are treated the same as for previous releases – if already fixed in master, the report is to be closed.

During the pilot period, the program will be evaluated and further refined, with periodic releases of the LTS version. Releases will be shared via blender.org and synced to the 3rd party platforms (Steam, Microsoft Store, Snap).

Additionally the maintainer will develop a Blender add-on to notify about updates automatically.

Corporate Plans

The LTS program is aimed at organizations or teams that require stable and maintained software up to a 2 year period. For these cases, the Blender LTS release can be used as starting point to:

  • Provide a dedicated license agreement between Blender Institute and a third party organization. In large corporate environments employees often don’t have the right to install software without license agreements. This agreement will just confirm that Blender is Free Software, licensed as GNU GPL, and is (and will remain) free to download.
  • Implement a technical support contract. The definition and provision of support contracts will be explored on a one-to-one basis with interested parties.

The agreements or contracts are meant to provide sufficient funding to manage the LTS program, to fund a dedicated team of engineers to manage quality assurance.

Further reading: technical doc about LTS and release management.


Ton Roosendaal
Blender Foundation chairman

43 comments 43,905 Views
  1. I really like all the points of this plan.

  2. Good time to consider a launcher that manages versions and installs

    • I couldn’t agree more! That would make my Blender-Life so much easier.

    • There are already plenty of dedicated systems for software versioning. Blender doesn’t need to make another one.

      • no, what he meant is something a lot like the unreal engine launcher, where you get to download any version of blender, add-ons, marketplace, blender community etc all in one executable (app). this will be a perfect fit for next generation of blender 3.0

        • Blender has a small team, why waste developer hours on a trivial convenience when they could invest those hours in bug fixes or new features.

          This sounds more like a nice little community project.
          https://download.blender.org/release/

          • Agree, we don’t need those kind of BS.
            Take 5 minute of your own time every 3 months instead of asking for obscure dwl managers.

          • On Steam you get auto updates when new version is released. When I need a beta feature I download it manually as with any other branched versions.

      • There already might be an addon you can use. We use our own launchers in our studio.

        An easier way for you would be to create your own icons and write the version number on the blender icon

    • Absolutely, that would be best. it would be nice to see this kind of upgrade in the futuristic blender 3.0

    • I really hope that if an installation manager gets introduced, the portable versions of blender don’t get scrapped. I have to do my day to day work on an obnoxiously restrictive Windows-based workstation, while it’s left up to me to keep Blender up to date. I have no chance to install anything that messes with the registries, or even do any actions other than things with simple user-level access, so a portable version of Blender is priceless and an absolute necessity in this case.

  3. *Additionally the maintainer will develop a Blender add-on to notify about updates automatically.*
    I hope this is not just for LTS but also for the regular Blender versions…..get it an updater from the source is always better than a second hand.

  4. I’m not really sure what the use of the add-on is to a company using a LTS release. 99% of the people seeing messages will be the artists, who don’t have the authority to update to the new release.

    The only people who can action an update will be Pipeline / IT, and they generally will not be daily drivers of the software. Wouldn’t a mailing list be less work and more effective?

    I can see how this would be a nice feature for individual users, but I’d personally uninstall it if I was deploying blender to my floor. Would it be possible to have it check environment variable and suppress messages if its been set?

  5. Hi ton.
    I’m interested in the idea of providing long term support via contracts to studios and such. I think based on my conversations with some this is a big part holding back usage in big studios. Can you add more detail on the thoughts there?

    Would this be through contracts with blender institute or a third party?

    • There is not much more known in this stage, it’s being evaluated. Feedback or suggestions or examples of best practices are welcome.

      • Well I wish I had all the answers here :). I guess the fundamental question here is if the Blender institute wants to do support themselves? My feeling is that it would make sense to have a group somewhat disconnected from main blender development for this. General donations to the development fund are great but opening up that support contracts which drive feature requests makes it a bit weird. Keep the Blender development democratic I think.

        So back to my question there two ways I could see this working:
        a. A separate group under the Blender foundation that provides support on LTS versions
        b. A third party support group (maybe endorsed by BF) to provide support and feature additions which they push back to blender code. Also they would give a large % of proceeds to BF for obvious reasons.

        I know the stance in the past has been that larger studios should do development on Blender themselves and contribute code back in lieu of what license fees would be for other software. In a few conversations I’ve had that’s a harder proposition for them, both in finding the developer and uncertainty. If you look at what the e-cycles developer is doing (whether you agree with him or not) he’s not providing faster rendering. He’s providing paid support. There is a market for this IMO, and should be done right so it benefits the BF and the community as a whole.

        • Let’s first define “support”. The ‘S” in the LTS refers to the support we do via blender.org: triaging reports, bug fixes and releases. For the LTS version we will do that for 2 years for everyone and in public. No payment or license agreement is required to report issues, or to download the LTS or get updates.

          That kind of public support is democratic and accessible for all, but not always practical for everyone, especially corporations. For example when confidentiality is involved, or for an urgent issue that needs a timely fix.

          This kind of (commercial) tech support is well described in this wikipedia article:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_support

          Blender Institute is investigating how to manage commercial tier1/2/3 support. Even though my preference is to have ‘the market’ solve it (anyone can offer support services on a Blender LTS), it’s obvious that it works much better if it’s officially authorized and offered via blender.org.

          We’re evaluation if a third party can help with that. Parties interested in it can always connect with me: ton at blender org!

          • 100% agreed 🙂

          • You mention a market based solution. I wonder what you think of something like a hub and spoke system with the Foundation as guardians of the codebase but hypothetical “Blender Support Providers” acting as satellites, contributing fixes and code and support of their own specifically for high value corporate level support.

            Let’s say a studio signs a contract with a Blender Support Providers to keep a particular Blender version running for the length of a project. They might have support technicians responsible for Tier 1 and 2, In-person training might be on the table if there’s a Blender Certified Trainer on staff, One or more developers could cover Tier 3 to whatever extent the contract requires.

            Because Blender’s source is GPL2, any of these hypothetical Blender Support Providers can branch off Blender LTS. A service contract could include customisations to the software on top of bug fixes. It would make sense for a Blender Support Provider to offer services that allow Blender to plug into the company’s existing pipeline more effectively, or write a script to make a certain custom process automatic, etc. Fixing bugs and making hard/slow things easier/quicker are both important, even though they’re not very “sexy” compared with big ticket features like an improved rendering engine or new tools.

            An official Blender Service Provider certification where the developers can get priority access to the core team as required could give clients confidence while not overwhelming the core devs with all the knowledge. Making downstream developers act as buffers is a bit more scalable, and current core devs are able to shift towards a more “code guardian” style role.

            Challenges would be communication and making sure bugfixes and useful features still flow upstream instead of being stuck in confidentiality agreements.

            Is that roughly the kind of market solution you’re hoping to move towards?

    • Agree

  6. With respect to the updates in the LTS version, please provide a separate update package to be installed rather than installing entire blender software again!!

    • Blender’s download is very compact and quick to download. I wouldn’t know how to release parts of Blender in any reliable manner.

      • thank you but you can add “Notifications button” without Automatic update
        Just alert every period that there is a new update..

        something else when will we see a big things for texture paint blender stuck in 2001 for that tool?

    • The article states the following:

      > Releases will be shared via blender.org and synced to the 3rd party platforms (Steam, Microsoft Store, Snap).

      The snap store (used by Ubuntu Linux and available on a lot of other Linux distributions) uses a delta mechanism, which means when you download a new version of Blender, you may not have to download the whole new version, but only a delta of the binaries. This usually reduces the amount of data to download (you can read more here: ).

      I’m not sure about Steam and the Microsoft Store, but I *guess* they also use some kind of delta download feature, which means if you use these platforms, you don’t have to download the whole Blender archive everytime.

  7. In my opinion this is not all good idea….As of small team dividing into two groups and there is already stable,beta and alpha versions are all running in development teams. Better to focus implementing on new features,changes etc…

    • From my understanding after they get the ball rolling there will be seperate team developing these lts releases which is founded by the corporate support programs which are the ones interested in this. Currently they are only backporting fixes, and there is only one person developing this. If you don’t like the lts releases, you don’t have to use them, but for big companies this is a very good thing. If everything goes to plan, I don’t think this means less features for you. What this might mean for you is less bugs, and a more stable blender.

      Of course I’m only reading the blog post, And I might be wrong. If i got anything wrong, feel free to correct me.

  8. Blender is the best!!!! i honestly love you guys …. i honestly admire the developer the most ….. out of every software ever on earth ….. I cannot believe you listen to every single piece of ideas from people around the world who give feedback and trying their best to improve the quality and ease of use in blender. Blender is complex to me personally but i never think or ever wanted to give up on learning it …. it is still my best and only best software that i can ever use …. I love it so much.

  9. https://docs.nvidia.com/cuda/cuda-toolkit-release-notes/index.html

    “CUDA 11.0 adds support for the NVIDIA Ampere GPU microarchitecture (compute_80 and sm_80).”

    Please add Nvidia Ampere support in Blender 2.91 in time for 2.93 LTS.

  10. After a week or more i will try blender 2.83 LTS i believe they should have fix the bug on memory lagging on bump node,displacement,vector and the rest ,memory lagging on world environment especially when applying hdri,blender particle need to reworked,particles often enter each other

  11. No LTS for blender 2.79 ?

  12. Is my laptop with 4GB DDR3 RAM, i5 4th gen processor @1.7GHz with 1.75GB intel Graphics, 2GB Nvidia GeForce 820M and 1TB 5400RPM HDD compatible for blender 2.83? I’m very much interested in blender, but don’t know if my current laptop can let me.

    • I believe you should be good to go, although you might run into some limits on scene complexity. Really high-resolution sculpting and other features might run really slow or cause crashes, but for learning (and for a lot of real projects, just not some specific ones) it should work just fine!

      Also, since Blender is free and not even that big a download, it doesn’t cost too much to try…

  13. I grew up with blender,
    this stuff still makes me smile!

  14. Try to send a suggestion for Epic Games for a continuation of support of Epic MegaGrant ( that supported 1,2 milion$ ) Blender is perfect choice. VERY high chance that they will make continuation of supporting. It’s totally worth a try.

  15. https://twitter.com/NVIDIAGeForce/status/1292808003897311232

    Nvidia next-gen GPUs coming soon, please add support in Blender 2.9 in time for 2.93 LTS.

  16. I’m not the smartest cookie will the LTS 2021 version be up to date with 2.92

  17. Long Term Support. I don’t really know why it’s necessary. I mean, Blender 1.60 can open Blender 2.79 files almost perfectly. So Blender has been LTS for many years now. Saying it’s LTS now is kind of humorous.

  18. dislike
    always bug since 2.8

  19. The download link for Blender 2.83.5 archive doesn’t work :
    https://www.blender.org/download/Blender2.83/blender-2.83.5-windows64.zip?x20324
    A big thanks !

  20. Will the LTS version be released for Windows 10 UWP alongside the actually available current build in the Microsoft Store, too?

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