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Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 16.04 just got an unexpected support boost from Canonical.
Announced today, Canonical says both releases will get an extended 10 years of support from their original release date, up from the 5 years originally provided. The commitment brings the older LTS releases in line with the 10 year support period Canonical provide for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and 20.04 LTS.
As a result, Ubuntu 14.04 is being supported until April 2024, and Ubuntu 16.04 is now supported until April 2026. Both of these releases were “out of support” prior to today’s news. Ubuntu 16.04 LTS hit end-of-life earlier this year, and 14.04 way back in 2019.
The announcement is sure to be welcomed by enterprise, business, and other service customers who run older versions of Ubuntu and can’t (or won’t) upgrade to something more recent. But it’s likely to be welcomed by the few desktop users who still (!) run these versions.
The “catch” (if you can call it that) is that revived support from Canonical is delivered through via Extended Support Maintenance (ESM), not as regular repo updates.
ESM requires an active subscription to Ubuntu Advantage — however, as we highlighted recently, regular home users can get a free subscription to ESM updates on up to 3 devices through Ubuntu Advantage Essentials.
Companies, businesses, and enterprise customers who need support on more systems do need to pay for an Ubuntu Advantage subscription which includes ESM updates, plus other perks and the convenience of dedicated support help.