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I see that Magento 2 updates are simultaneously released in both a 2.1.x format and a 2.2.x format. I currently have a Magento 2.1.x running, but I wonder wether I should aim to update to the newest Magento 2.1.x or 2.2.x?

Can anyone explain the key differences between updating to one instead of the other?

Thanks in advance!

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The 2.2 versions have more features. Those are based on a newer branch. Magento also still (security) supports the 2.1 versions.

The simplest upgrade will be in the one from the same branch. Updating to a newer branch will add features, but it also means your extensions / custom code will have to support the newer branch. So it may require some extra work.

One difference is that 2.2 support php 7.1 while 2.1 only supports php 7.0. Support on php 7.0 ends in the beginning of December. So I would advise updating to 2.2 (and later to 2.3 etc.).

For security support you should at least be running the latest patch release (x.x.latest) within that branch.

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