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The second Release Candidate (RC2) for WordPress 5.9 is now available! 

“Release Candidate” means the new version of the software is ready for release. It helps the community check that nothing is missed, given the thousands of plugins and themes and differences in how millions of people use the software.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed thus far towards testing and filing bugs to help make WordPress 5.9 a great release. WordPress 5.9 is slated for release in just two weeks on January 25, 2022. There’s still time to help! Since RC1 was released, six bugs have been found and fixed. There were 13 bug fixes backported from Gutenberg.

Testing the release

You can test the WordPress 5.9 release candidate in three ways:

Option 1: Install and activate the WordPress Beta Tester plugin (select the “Bleeding edge” channel and “Beta/RC Only” stream).

Option 2: Direct download the beta version here (zip).

Option 3: When using WP-CLI to upgrade from Beta 1, 2, 3, 4, or RC1, on a case-insensitive filesystem, please use the following command sequence:

Command One:

wp core update –version=5.9-RC2

Command Two:

wp core update –version=5.9-RC2 –force

Your help to test the second Release Candidate is vital: the more testing that happens, the more stable the release, and the better the experience for users and developers—and the entire WordPress community.

Thank you to all of the contributors who tested the RC1 release and gave feedback. Testing for bugs is not just a critical part of polishing every release, it is also a great way to contribute to WordPress.

How to Help

Help test WordPress 5.9 features – a guide to how you can take part.

Can you write in another language other than English? You can help translate WordPress into more than 100 languages! Release Candidate 1 marked the hard string freeze point of the 5.9 release schedule. Thanks to every locale that is already involved with translations.

Developers and those interested in more of the background to the features can find more in the Field Notes. More developer notes will be added as the release progresses to its final stage. You can also follow the 5.9 development cycle and timeline.

If you think you have found a bug, you can post the details to the Alpha/Beta area in the support forums.

 If you are comfortable writing a reproducible bug report, you can file one on WordPress Trac, where you can also check the issue against a list of known bugs.

Props to: @psykro and @webcommsat, and @hellofromtonya, @audrasjb, @cbringmann and @marybaum for final review.