Announcement: End-of-life for Bitbucket Server hosting on Windows

Previously we announced that as of February 2021 we will no longer sell new licenses for our Server products and will cease new feature development in our Server product line, with migration to Bitbucket Data Center (self managed) or Bitbucket Cloud being the alternatives.

Bitbucket only ever supported hosting on Windows for Server licenses, not the enterprise focused Data Center license. It then follows that the end-of-life of Server licenses means the end-of-life for hosting of Bitbucket on Windows follows a similar process. Here we describe exactly what this process looks like for hosting Bitbucket on Windows.

What was previously announced?

Previously we announced the changes to our Server product line, and by extension what is happening for Windows support. Specifically:

  • End of sale for new licenses
    • As of February 2, 2021 PT, we will no longer sell new licenses for our Server products and will cease new feature development in our Server product line.
  • No new feature development
    • As of February 15, 2022 PT, we will only provide security bug fixes for critical vulnerabilities until the end of support.
  • End of support
    • As of February 2, 2024 PT, your products will reach the end of support.

How is the Windows end-of-life being implemented?

Bitbucket Server 7.21 will be the final minor 7.x version to support hosting on Windows. Bugfix releases will be provided for critical vulnerabilities from the date of release through to the end of support date, February 2, 2024 in line with the Atlassian end-of-life of Server licenses announcement.

Bitbucket 8.0 and later will not support hosting on the Windows operating system, it will only support hosting on the Linux operating system (plus Apple MacOS for evaluations only).

What does this mean for customers running Bitbucket instances on Windows?

If you are currently running Bitbucket Server on Windows we recommend planning either to:

You can also remain hosting on Windows, running Bitbucket Server 7.21 through to February 2024 and be assured that bugfix releases will be available for any critical security vulnerabilities.

What does this mean for plugin/app developers?

As a plugin developer while you will have been previously testing on Linux (as the dominant operating system on which your plugins are used) you may have been developing plugins in a Windows development environment. As of Bitbucket 8.0 the application will no longer start on Windows; it will only start on Linux and MacOS.

There are a number of options for you to continue developing on Windows if moving to MacOS or Linux is not possible:

  • Run Bitbucket in the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). At the same time as we release the Bitbucket Server/DC 8.0 early access release (likely sometime Feb-Mar) we’ll also release a guide to using WSL for plugin development.
  • Launch a Docker container, virtual machine, or a remote server to run Bitbucket and use your IDEs remote development capabilities. For example Remote development - IntelliJ IDEA
  • Develop in a virtual machine running Linux

Has Atlassian considered supporting hosting Bitbucket Data Center on Windows?

Microsoft Windows has always been an inferior platform for hosting Bitbucket Server when compared to Linux. As a result there have always been a number of restrictions including no support for Data Center licenses or running licenses with user tiers greater than 500 users. Disk I/O and process forking performance is poor on Windows and this impacts Bitbucket’s performance. For those instances running on Windows a superior user experience is available by hosting on Linux or by migrating to Bitbucket Cloud. Furthermore Linux provides superior tooling to help our support engineers help you whether you need help understanding the load on your system or diagnosing and solving problems.

Additionally, only a tiny fraction of our customer base is running Bitbucket on Windows, however the development and maintenance effort required to support Windows is significant. We would prefer to channel this effort towards increasing the velocity of improvements we are working on that benefit all customers, including new feature development, improved performance and greater scalability.

Taking all of this into account, we have decided to progress the Windows end-of-life alongside the Server license end-of-life.

Does this impact users on Windows clients?

No this only affects the choice of server operating system, not client operating system. Bitbucket Server and Data Center both support clients running on Windows.

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