Canonical extends support for Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 to 10 years from launch
Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions. Not only do a lot of people who are dipping their toes into Linux for the first time use Ubuntu, but it is also used by smaller businesses for their backend infrastructure. These SMBs usually rely on LTS (Long Term Support) releases of Ubuntu, which are released once every 2 years and are supported for 5 years from their launch. Canonical has now announced that it has extended support for Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 16.04 to a total of 10 years from their launch.
Canonical has announced a lifecycle extension for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS “Trusty Tahr” and 16.04 LTS “Xenial Xerus”. The original commitment was for 5 years from launch, which marked April 30 2019 and April 29 2021 as the EOL dates for the releases, respectively. Now, 14.04 will be supported until April 2024, while 16.06 will be supported until April 2026. Note that the EOL for Ubuntu 18.04 “Bionic Beaver” and Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa” remains unchanged at April 2028 and April 2030 respectively.
“With the prolonged lifecycle of Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 LTS, we’re entering a new page in our commitment to enabling enterprise environments. Each industry sector has its own deployment lifecycle and adopts technology at a different pace. We are bringing an operating system lifecycle that lets organisations manage their infrastructure on their terms.”
Extended support for the LTS releases beyond the 5 year period is delivered through Extended Security Maintenance, which requires a subscription to Ubuntu Advantage. This lifecycle extension will give organizations more time to deal with their upgrade plans and thus help out with their infrastructure upgrade costs. The prolonged Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) phase of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS enables a secure and low-maintenance infrastructure with security updates and kernel live patches provided by Canonical.
If you’re looking for a release for your personal use on non-critical infrastructure, Ubuntu 21.04 “Hirsute Hippo” was released some months ago and will continue to receive security and maintenance updates till January 2022, after which you can update to the next version.