Is there a documented date, or a believed date for the end of life of Drupal 6? In other words, when will official development stop on Drupal 6?
Official development on D6 might be stopped but modules developers can always continue to support it, although it's not very probable ;).– tostinniSep 11, 2012 at 22:46
however, there's no Drupal 6 development anymore, just security updates / bugfixes releases time to time. Also, just some of the Drupal 7 module features being backported to Drupal 6, in most cases it not worth it and module mantainers usually don't spend time on it, unfortunately.– 32iSep 12, 2012 at 9:40
I believe Drupal 5 EOL was around the same time that Drupal 7 came out so I would imagine the same would hold true for Drupal 6 when Drupal 8 comes out though it may not be the case this time as I think D6 has a much larger install base then D5 did. So I would not be surprised to see D6 supported a little bit beyond the release of Drupal 8.– Danny EnglanderSep 13, 2012 at 21:37
also if you consider using D6, think about security– mojzisOct 26, 2012 at 12:59
I think the advice from Choosing a Drupal version is probably the best to follow:
At any given time, there are two major release series of Drupal which are supported. Currently, these are Drupal 6 and Drupal 7.
Essentially, official support for Drupal 6 will stop when Drupal 8 is officially released.
You can find further discussion on the So long, Drupal 5.x (End of Life Announcement)
3It is possible that there will be a group of people who support Drupal 6 for a longer period of time than this states, but so far efforts like that have not been very successful. Those efforts would need to, for example, coordinate their work with the security team and afaik nobody on the security team plans to do this (serious volunteers always welcome, of course)!– gregglesSep 20, 2012 at 15:25
2There's also the opposite problem, that several module maintainers (Services being a notable example) have already officially stopped maintaining the D6 version of their modules, and in practice, a lot of modules lost a lot of D6 interest shortly after D7 came out. So contrib for D6 is already far behind, and will fall behind faster and faster as time goes. Jul 22, 2013 at 14:07
While the official answers above are correct you need to look at the big picture. There is extremely little core work going on with Drupal 6 as it is tough to fix bugs without the extensive testing framework in place (and even with that, D7 bugfixes occassionally go haywire). Views is essentially on life support too. Obviously, quite a few contrib followed. There are only so many hours in the day and for a lot of people it's better spent on Drupal 7 (in the case of Views, Drupal 8 even).
So while it would not be impossible perhaps to gather a few large Drupal 6 sites and extend the support of D6 perhaps as a commercial venture (we considered this even for Drupal 5), but the problem for such a thing would be that you need to maintain everything: core and contributed modules, including the modules that were crappy four years ago and are without a maintainer. You get the picture.
The former security team lead (one of the very few who could actually pull this off) hints at such a commercial venture being planned at http://groups.drupal.org/node/291243#comment-907858. Edit: this one won't happen. Other, unknown entities of course might still pull it off but I have serious doubts.
2What chx said. I can add that Views Bulk Operations for D6 is also pretty much abandoned (and not as bug free as you'd imagine). This applies to many contrib modules. Sep 25, 2012 at 10:16
It stops to be supported when Drupal 8 will have its first official release that is not an alpha release, a beta release, or a candidate release. The exact date of when that will happen is not known, but in the moment it happens, Drupal 6 will not be anymore supported.
This is exactly what happened with Drupal 5: When the first official release of Drupal 7 (excluding alpha, beta, and release candidates) was released, Drupal 5 stopped to be supported. So, in general, you can say Drupal X stops to be supported when Drupal X+2 is officially released.
This is not a valid exemption anymore: "So, in general, you can say Drupal X stops to be supported when Drupal X+2 is officially released". In the DrupalCon Portland was mantioned that for Drupal 7 will be different, Drupal 7 will be stopped with the Drupal 10 release, meaning that: Drupal X stops to be supported when Drupal X+3 is officially released.– user19434Jul 22, 2013 at 14:02
4Says who? Source? Jul 22, 2013 at 14:08
Drupal 6 reached its end of life (EOL) on 24th February 2016 which is 3 months after Drupal 8 came out. See: Drupal 6 end-of-life announcement
The usual policy of the community is that it support only the current and previous stable versions (mainly to prevent maintainers to support more than 2 active major versions), so when Drupal 6 was out, Drupal 4.7.x was marked as unsupported, the same happened when Drupal 7 came out, Drupal 5.x become unsupported. However this policy has been questioned and the decision was made to end its life 3 months after Drupal 8 is released (See: Drupal 6 extended support announcement). This is to give extra time for the migration and provide support for upgrade processes and patches, so users could upgrade either to Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 anytime between Drupal 8 release date and 3 months after. Alternatively find some organization which will provide extended support for Drupal 6. See: Drupal 6 Long Term Support
1Some answers just need a bit of time.– VolkerMar 30, 2016 at 20:29