v22.1 is a minor release to backport bug fixes. The v22.x branch has now reached its “Maintenance End” and v22.1 will be last release on the v22.x branch unless there is a critical security issue discovered before the v25.0 release which spells the “End of Life” of the v22.x branch.

v24.0.1 is a major release and the first release of the v24.x branch. Unless you depend on specific behavior from the v22.0 branch (as described in Vojtěch’s excellent answer), you should aim to run a maintained version, i.e. the latest release in the v23.x and v24.x release branches, which currently are v23.0 or v24.0.1.

Bitcoin Core aims to release a major version ever 6-7 months. Major releases may contain breaking changes and new features. The latest two major versions are maintained: bug fixes are backported from the development branch to those two release branches, leading to minor releases as needed. Minor releases generally only include bug fixes, no new features.

Bitcoin Core uses Semantic Versioning: the first number in the version is incremented for major releases. The second number in the version name is incremented for minor releases. You can read more about the release schedule on Bitcoin Core’s Software Life Cycle page.

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By pplny

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