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Canonical extends lifecycle for Ubuntu LTS releases

A man standing in front of a rack of servers inside a data center
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / Gorodenkoff)

In a relief to any small and medium businesses (SMBs) running their infrastructure on Long Term Support (LTS) releases of Ubuntu, Canonical has announced it will extend the lifecycle of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS release by a couple of years,

Canonical reasons that the extended lifecycle, which now sees the distros supported for a total of ten years, will give SMBs the leeway they need to balance their infrastructure upgrade costs, especially as businesses emerge from the pandemic. 

“Each industry sector has its own deployment lifecycle and adopts technology at a different pace. We are bringing an operating system lifecycle that lets organizations manage their infrastructure on their terms,” said Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos, Product Manager at Canonical.

Notably, Ubuntu’s subsequent LTS release, namely 18.04 (Bionic Beaver) and 20.04 (Focal Fossa), are already supported for ten years, that is up to April 2028 and April 2030 respectively

Lifecycle extension

One of the main impetus behind the move for prolonging the support cycle for the two LTS releases is to enable organizations to get more bang for the buck from their IT budgets. 

Citing the prevalence of cybersecurity threats, Canonical argues that the lifecycle extension will help sustain critical infrastructure by providing uninterrupted security updates, while the kernel livepatching functionality guarantees maximum system uptime and availability.  

“Extended Security Maintenance ensures that the Ubuntu OS receives security updates, while the Livepatch service reduces the unplanned work that comes from Linux kernel vulnerabilities, making organizations more effective when managing Ubuntu systems,” asserts Canonical.

Post the announcement, Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr) released in April 2014 will now reach end of life on April 2024, instead of April 2022, while Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) that came out in April 2016, will be supported till April 2026, instead of April 2024.

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.