Canonical Unveils 12 Years of Support for Ubuntu LTS

Want to keep running Ubuntu Linux for over a decade? Canonical can help. 

Ubuntu Pro

You say you're perfectly happy with your current Ubuntu Linux release and really, really don't want to move from it? Boy, does Canonical have a deal for you. A new Ubuntu Pro add-on extends the security and support longevity for Ubuntu Long-Term Support (LTS) releases to a dozen years.

Starting with Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, the new service will extend the lifespan of security maintenance and support to a remarkable 12 years. In practice, that doesn't mean Ubuntu 14.04 will be supported for a dozen more years. Instead, it's getting two more years of support. 

Ubuntu LTS versions have traditionally offered five years of security maintenance from Canonical's main repository. The introduction of Ubuntu Pro took this a step further, guaranteeing an extended ten years of security across both main and universe repositories. This extension not only broadens the horizon for enterprise clients and users but also secures a vast library of open-source software.

The newly launched Legacy Support add-on provides an option for an additional two years of security maintenance, complete with phone and ticket support. This premium service answers the growing demand for prolonged system stability and security in complex IT environments.

Maximilian Morgan, Global VP of Support Engineering at Canonical, expressed his enthusiasm about the launch: "We're thrilled to offer our customers additional years of security maintenance and support for Ubuntu LTS releases. With two decades of excellence in open source, Canonical is uniquely positioned to deliver expert maintenance and support globally. Legacy Support is designed to empower organizations to manage their operational needs and investments confidently, ensuring long-term system availability and security."

The initiative is particularly geared towards large, well-established production systems where updates may involve significant complexity due to modern software architectures, including containerization and microservices. Legacy Support aims to provide a bridge that allows organizations to manage transitions without disruption.

While you could get it for your desktop, I'm not really sure why you'd want to keep running, say, the forthcoming Ubuntu 24.04 in 2038. 

Canonical emphasizes that with Ubuntu Pro and the new Legacy Support, businesses will benefit from comprehensive vulnerability management for critical, high, and medium-severity Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE)s across all included software packages. 

Remember that since Linux is now maintaining its own CVEs, there are many more Linux kernel CVEs than there used to be. As Jonathan Corbet, a Linux kernel developer, and editor-in-chief of Linux Weekly News, said at Open Source Summit North America in Seattle, Washington, "In the kernel, just about any bug, if you're clever enough, can be exploitable to compromise the system, the kernel is in a unique spot in the system, that it turns a lot of ordinary bugs into vulnerabilities."

To deal with this, Canonical's dedicated security team will actively backport crucial security fixes to all supported Ubuntu LTS releases. Of course, this doesn't come for free. 

While everyone gets free security patches for any LTS's first five years, after this, Ubuntu Pro will cost you. However, with a nod to its loyal desktop users, you can get Ubuntu Pro patches for up to five desktops for free. 

After that, for software patches alone, it will cost you $25 per year per desktop and $500 per year per server with an unlimited number of virtual machines (VM)s. For higher levels of support, you're looking at $300 for workstations, $1,775 for server infrastructure support, and $3,400 per server for full 24x7 support.