Ubuntu’s long-term support releases just got even longer, with Canonical today announcing they are eligible for up to 12 years of security coverage from initial release.

As you know, every Ubuntu LTS release receives 5 years of standard security (and select application) updates out of the gate. This covers packages in the ‘main’ Ubuntu repo. Subscribing to Ubuntu Pro adds a further 5 years of security coverage for packages in both ‘main’ and ‘universe’.

Now there’s Legacy Support, a purchasable add-on for Ubuntu Pro customers. This offers an additional 2 years of coverage, bringing the total LTS support period up to 12 years from release for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and above.

A trip down memory lane with the Trusty Tahr

“We’re thrilled to offer our customers additional years of security maintenance and support for Ubuntu LTS releases”, Maximilian Morgan, Global VP of Support Engineering at Canonical says in the official announcement.

“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”.

Although Ubuntu Pro is free for regular users who opt-in, sign-up, and enable the feature, which delivers the ESM updates, this new Legacy Support add-on isn’t, from what I can gather, included.

For most of us, the idea of hanging back on the previous LTS (much less an LTS from 10 years ago even if it still supported with security updates) isn’t something we’d choose to do.

But many businesses, enterprises, research labs, cloud services, educational institutions etc don’t have the luxury of impulsive, ad-hoc, sudo do-release-upgrade‘ing whenever they feel like it.

Upgrading production system means downtime; upgrades take time, and may cause incompatibilities or issues with critical software stacks that run on top — which then has to be fixed or resolved, costing more time and money; hardware upgrades may be needed, and so on.

Which is to say: this extended support isn’t there to placate home users too idle/unwilling to upgrade but infrastructure who don’t value having “the latest” packages as much as keeping their critical systems running, up, and secure.

“Organisations looking to gain peace of mind and stability while they plan and execute their migration strategy can trust Canonical. 12 years of timely security fixes and support Security maintenance is part of a continuous process that proactively protects systems,” Canonical adds.

With the addition of Legacy Support this means all support (paid or otherwise) for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “Trusty Tahr” now ends in April 2026, rather than April this year, giving IT bods a little more time time (lol) to plan and prepare upgrading to a newer version.


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