HAProxy Updates

This document describes the policy for doing micro-release updates of the HAProxy package in Ubuntu LTS releases.

About HAProxy

HAProxy is a free, very fast and reliable reverse-proxy offering high availability, load balancing, and proxying for TCP and HTTP-based applications.

Upstream release policy

The HAProxy core team maintains multiple versions in parallel. Since version 1.8, two major version are emitted every year. The upstream maintainers backport fixes to all supported releases, being careful to not break anything, and they do recommend to stay updated to the highest possible number on the last digit of the version where only bug fixes are present (Description section of its home page). For example, in Jammy, HAProxy version 2.4.14 is shipped, we should keep it updated to the the highest last digit which is 2.4.17 right now (at the moment this document is written).

Versions where the second digit is an even number are called "LTS" and those are maintained for 5 years after the release (those are released usually between May and June). The ones with odd numbers are called "stable" and those are maintained between 12 and 18 months (Description section of its home page). In Ubuntu, we took care to ship only LTS releases.

Ubuntu and HAProxy releases affected by this MRE

Currently, these are the Ubuntu releases and the corresponding HAProxy package versions affected by this policy:

  • Jammy (22.04): HAProxy 2.4.x (until 2026-Q2)
  • Focal (20.04): HAProxy 2.0.x (critical fixes only until 2024-Q2)
  • Bionic (18.04): HAProxy 1.8.x (critical fixes only until 2022-Q4)

This MRE should be also applicable to future Ubuntu LTS releases containing a HAProxy LTS version.


Upstream tests

HAProxy contains a set a functional and regression tests which are executed by upstream via Github Actions. For the regression tests, upstream uses an external project called VTest to run them (this was formerly known as Varnishtest, used by Varnish, and now it is adapted for HAProxy).

The mentioned Github Actions test the following:

  • Build/Compilation
  • Regression tests using VTest
    • Use gcc and clang (ASAN)
    • Use multiple SSL libraries (openssl, libressl)
    • Different compression configuration

Moreover, those things are also tested on other operating systems. More details, about how this is implemented can be found in .github/workflows directory.

There is also a Travis CI pipeline which builds HAProxy and runs the regression tests in non-amd64 architecture, they are:

  • ppc64el
  • arm64
  • arm64-graviton2
  • s390x

Unfortunately, all those regression tests are not executed during package build time. I do believe the Debian maintainer considers the upstream testing good enough and did not bother to package for instance VTest as a required test dependency. Packaging VTest is something that would require some coordination with upstream since it has no releases and according to its README file there is no plan for that.


The package contains a couple of DEP-8 tests, checking the CLI usage and also if the proxy feature is working. It is not too extensive and complete as the upstream testing but it would catch some obvious regressions. In order to improve this and also run upstream tests we would need to package VTest which was commented above.


As with regular MREs, the aim here is to offer bugfixes and security fixes to all supported releases.

To do this we will:

  1. File (or find, our users are quite proactive about wanting this) a bug to cover the upgrade.
    • Add tasks to all Ubuntu releases which will be updated.
    • Add a link to the upstream changelog.
    • Add links to the upstream CI pipelines demonstrating everything is good.
  2. Make sure the development release already contains those fixes. Ideally, HAProxy in the Ubuntu development release should have the highest possible number on the last digit of the version.
  3. Upload the microrelease to the SRU queue of the supported Ubuntu releases affected by this update and wait until the SRU team approve it.
  4. Watch the migration page until it lands in the -updates pocket. Fix any regression that might appear during the process.

SRU template

This bug tracks an update for the HAProxy package in the following Ubuntu
releases to the versions below:

 * [Release codename]  ([Release version]): HAProxy [HAProxy version - highest possible number on the last digit]
 * [Release codename]  ([Release version]): HAProxy [HAProxy version - highest possible number on the last digit]
 * [Release codename]  ([Release version]): HAProxy [HAProxy version - highest possible number on the last digit]

These updates include bugfixes only following the SRU policy exception defined
at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/StableReleaseUpdates/HAProxyUpdates.

[Upstream changes]

TODO: Add a link to the upstream changelog
TODO: Highlight any important bug fix

[Test Plan]

TODO: link to the upstream CI pipelines demonstrating all tests are passing
TODO: if there are any non passing tests - explain why that is ok in this case
TODO: add results of a local autopkgtest run against all the new HAProxy versions

[Regression Potential]

HAProxy itself does not have many reverse dependencies, however, any upgrade is
a risk to introduce some breakage to other packages. Whenever a test failure is
detected, we will be on top of it and make sure it doesn't affect existing

TODO: consider any other regression potential specific to the version being
updated and list if any.

HAProxyUpdates (last edited 2022-06-09 21:36:48 by lucaskanashiro)