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Time to prepare for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS end of standard support on 31 May 2023 – Options for AWS users.


on 30 March 2023

This article was last updated 1 year ago.

As mentioned in our recent blog post, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ‘Bionic Beaver‘ will reach the end of the standard five-year maintenance window on 31 May 2023. This means that Ubuntu 18.04 LTS servers will stop receiving updates unless you are an Ubuntu Pro subscriber.

With an Ubuntu Pro subscription, your Ubuntu 18.04 LTS deployment will continue to be fully supported until 2028. 

This blog sets out what you need to know if you are still running your EC2, ECS, EKS workloads on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

Note:  If you are running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on any other AWS service other than EC2, EKS and ECS, please contact AWS support for upgrading options.

Upgrading Ubuntu to newer versions

You might consider upgrading to a new LTS release. If so, you can either upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or freshly install Ubuntu 20.04 or 22.04 LTS and upgrade your application accordingly.

For more information see Ubuntu Server upgrade guide  › 

Ubuntu Pro 

If you need more time to plan your upgrade, or you want to extend the economic life of a project that does not need upgrading, you can use Ubuntu Pro.

Ubuntu Pro is Canonical’s security and compliance subscription. It’s the same Ubuntu we all know and love but enhanced with extra services. It provides access to `esm-infra`, which extends the LTS release coverage from 5 to 10 years from the release date, allowing for continued security fixes for high and critical common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) for x86-64  and arm64 architectures. 

Ubuntu Pro also includes access to `esm-apps`, which covers security patching for 3rd party open source applications, present in the Ubuntu Universe repository, with over 23,000 packages.

This access enables organisations with workloads running on Ubuntu LTS releases to maintain compliance standards by providing a secure environment before upgrading.

Learn more at:

How to get Ubuntu Pro on AWS

There are two ways to get Ubuntu Pro on AWS:

Ubuntu Pro on AWS EC2 and Marketplace for fresh instances

If your workload is ephemeral or easy to redeploy, for example, if it is regularly rebuilt in a CI/CD, you can launch fresh instances of Ubuntu Pro 18.04 LTS from different sources on AWS:

  • Using the AWS Marketplace to find the Ubuntu Pro 18.04 LTS listing
  • Using AWS CLI tool to get the Ubuntu Pro 18.04 AMI:

Option 1: Using AWS EC2 describe-images:

aws ec2 describe-images --output text --owner 099720109477 --filters "Name=name,Values=ubuntu-pro-server/images/hvm-ssd/ubuntu-bionic-18.04-amd64-pro*" --query 'sort_by(Images, &CreationDate)[-1].{Name: Name, ImageId: ImageId, CreationDate: CreationDate}'

Option 2: Using AWS SSM Param-store:

aws ssm get-parameters --names /aws/service/canonical/ubuntu/pro-server/18.04/stable/current/amd64/hvm/ebs-gp2/ami-id

Upgrade your instances to Ubuntu Pro

When a re-deploy is not viable, you can still upgrade to Pro through AWS License manager and AWS Systems Manager (SSM), without subscriptions or long term commitments.

A detailed tutorial can be found here: How to update your Ubuntu LTS instances to Ubuntu Pro using AWS License Manager

> Note: Make sure you have updated the following components:

  • Pro client: `sudo apt install ubuntu-advantage-tools`
  • Updated snap for livepatch

More information at:

Time to prepare for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS End of Standard Support

Bionic Beaver will reach the end of the standard, five-year maintenance window for Long-Term Support (LTS) releases on 31 May 2023. Migrate to the latest LTS or get extended coverage until 2028 with Ubuntu Pro.

Learn more ›

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