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Canonical now supports Ubuntu LTS releases for 12 years, for a price

Canonical now supports Ubuntu LTS releases for 12 years

The Ubuntu logo with people jumping in the air

The popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu, will now receive a total of 12 years of security and support coverage on LTS releases starting with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. To avail these extra years of support, Ubuntu Pro subscribers will have to purchase the new Legacy Support add-on.

Canonical has not provided pricing details of the add-on but instead requests customers get in contact to find out more. The optional Ubuntu Pro is a paid service for businesses but also free for personal use on five machines - it still supports 10 years of security updates if you don’t buy the new add-on.

Commenting on the news, Maximilian Morgan, Global VP of Support Engineering at Canonical, said:

“We’re thrilled to offer our customers additional years of security maintenance and support for Ubuntu LTS releases. Drawing on 20 years of excellence in open source, Canonical delivers expert security maintenance and support for customers around the world.

With Legacy Support, we empower organisations to navigate their operational needs and investments into open source with confidence, ensuring their systems remain available, secure, and supported for many years to come.”

While the availability of this add-on is a good thing for businesses, it’s largely irrelevant for average users who ought to be upgrading their LTS systems every two-and-a-half to five years to ensure they’re using more up-to-date software.

Even though Ubuntu is free to install for anyone, the reason Canonical is extending support isn’t down to cost, but rather, software support. The extended support will enable businesses to update their applications, services, and systems to run on the latest version of Ubuntu.

Canonical is being paid for this added support but it’s unclear how long it'll be willing to keep pushing out support. If we cast our minds back to 2014 when Ubuntu 14.04 LTS came out, there were also discussions about Windows XP’s retirement as it seemed to Microsoft that it had been living on well past its expiry date but was still being heavily used so it had a difficult time killing it off.

As a reminder, next month will see the launch of Ubuntu 24.04 LTS (get the wallpapers here). Without Ubuntu Pro (which is the case for most people), it will get five years of support until 2029. If you’re on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, there’s a good chance you won’t be offered the upgrade until later in the year with the release of Ubuntu 24.04.1 LTS, this gives Canonical time to fix bugs and test the upgrade path to ensure your system’s stability.

Source: Ubuntu

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