Whether you’re new to Palo Alto Networks or you’ve been working with the Palo Alto Networks for some time, you may be curious as to how to determine which version of code to use. Choosing the "right" code is a question that comes up pretty often. It is also a question that should not be taken lightly as there are many things to consider. Community member @PMKochie asked How do you determine which "release branch" to use? on a post about recommended PAN-OS versions. Here is a process that can help assist in finding that out.
When choosing which code to download It is important to understand that a major release includes significant new features and optimizations. Determining the version to use begins with understanding which major version has the features you require in your environment. You can easily check new features pertaining to a major version through the release notes.
Determining which code to use is the first step you can take to ensure you are setting up your environment for success. I hope this was helpful. If you have another method of determining which code to use please feel free to share in the comments below. Also, if you don't stick with preferred releases and find yourself using others, the community could benefit from learning about your situation and why it was best.