Each Fedora release is supported for a given time period. Approximately one month after Fedora release X+2, Fedora release X will go end of life (sometimes called EOL). Fedora 25 was recently released, so Fedora 23 will be going end of life shortly. The part of end-of-life that most users notice is that there are no more updates released.  Another aspect of end-of-life is cleaning up bugs filed in Bugzilla. An automated script is used to close all bugs that are still open for an EOL release. The goal of closing EOL bugs is to make overall Bugzilla management easier and make sure the right bugs are getting attention.

Reporting a bug and seeing it closed without being fixed can be a frustrating experience. One aspect of open source many people like is being able to report bugs in a transparent manner. However, there are many more users than developers and maintainers. And there are more people reporting bugs than fixing them. Package maintainers may not have time to respond to, or the knowledge to fix, every bug. Maintainers will usually make an effort to report the bugs directly to the upstream project for the developers to fix.

Once a bug is reported to the upstream project, several things can happen. Sometimes a bug is known and fixed, but the developer just doesn’t respond to the bug report. In addition to fixing bugs, developers are constantly working on new features. Sometimes new features will fix an existing bug as well. If there are many changes in a new package version, it can be difficult to identify which change might fix a bug. It is faster for both a package maintainer and developer to request testing on the newest version. Marking a bug as EOL is an indication that the newest version needs to be tested to see if the bug is still present.

If an EOL bug is still present after testing on the newest version, it is appropriate to reopen the bug and change the version where the bug is still present. This is helpful to maintainers, since it lets them know a bug is still present. A maintainer may make different choices about what bugs to continue reporting upstream if they know a bug is still present. By only having bugs open to supported versions, it’s more likely the maintainers and developers will be able to fix the correct problems.

Some packages may choose to do mass end-of-life notifications more often than once a release. The kernel package does this for every major update (updating from 4.x to 4.y). Closing out bugs for versions that are no longer supported helps make sure maintainers see the correct problems. Filing bugs for the latest version of software makes Fedora a better product.