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MX Linux makes three kinds of releases:
- Official release: once a year, typically in December. The year of the release is used for the version number, so MX-17 was released at the end of 2017.
- Point release: when needed. These can occur when major software changes are required, such as a kernel upgrade to fix a vulnerability as with MX-17.1.
- Snapshot: monthly. These releases serve to update all software, and are designed to avoid lengthy download and setup time after a new installation.
- It is important to keep in mind that MX Linux unites sources with differing rates of change:
- MX itself. Changes in our own software are released as soon as tested satisfactorily.
- antiX. Ongoing development released when ready, with a major release every 1-2 years.
- Debian Stable. MX Linux follows a modified fixed-release model: users will upgrade between major MX releases that are still within the same Debian version (e.g., MX-18 was based on Stretch so there was no need to reinstall from MX-17.x). Although MX Linux is always based on the Stable version of Debian, packagers continually backport newer software versions as well as external packages to the main repository.
- Xfce. The slowest rate of change, often with 2-3 years between versions.
- The interaction among these four components with different schedules makes it difficult to describe with any exactitude the MX Linux release cycle.