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Upgrade your existing Ubuntu LTS instances to Ubuntu Pro in AWS

In April 2023, Amazon Web Services (AWS) released a new functionality that allows users running Ubuntu LTS to upgrade their instances to Ubuntu Pro with just a few clicks. This upgrade provides additional security features, including patching for universe packages, extended security management for an additional five years, live kernel patching, and access to FedRamp and FIPS modules. In this blog, we will cover all the steps needed to upgrade Ubuntu LTS instances to Ubuntu Pro on AWS using AWS License Manager.

If you are using an Ubuntu version which is already, or coming to, an end-of-support like Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and you are not ready to migrate to a newer version, you may want to look at upgrading to Ubuntu Pro. 

What is Ubuntu Pro?

Ubuntu Pro is a premium version of the Ubuntu Linux distribution that is designed for enterprise use. It is built on top of the popular Ubuntu distribution and includes additional features and support options that are not available in the standard version. Ubuntu Pro is available in the AWS Marketplace and is optimized for use on AWS.

Features of Ubuntu Pro

Enhanced security

Ubuntu Pro includes several security features that are designed to protect your data and infrastructure. These features include kernel livepatching, security fixes for all packages on Main and Universe repositories under SLA and hardening scripts using CIS and DISA-STIG standards. 

FIPS 140-2 compliance

Ubuntu Pro is compliant with the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2, which is a U.S. government standard that defines security requirements for cryptographic modules. This compliance ensures that your infrastructure meets the security standards required by many organizations.

Long-term support

Ubuntu Pro includes long-term support (LTS) for up to ten years. This means that you will receive security updates and bug fixes for a longer period, reducing the need for frequent major upgrades.

How to upgrade Ubuntu LTS to Ubuntu Pro on EC2 using AWS License Manager


  • Ubuntu LTS EC2 machines from 16.04 onwards
  • Instances managed by AWS Systems Manager (SSM)
  • The pro client tool up to date: sudo apt install ubuntu-advantage-tools
  • Network access for the instances as described here

To enable SSM on your instances, follow the instructions in the AWS official documentation, video tutorial, or step-by-step tutorial.

To check if your instances are managed by SSM, go to the SSM console and check if the instances you would like to upgrade appear as managed nodes under fleet management. If they don’t appear, follow the links provided above and ensure you have completed the steps correctly. You may need to restart the instances to activate the SSM Agent.

Step 1: Shut down your instances

Go to the EC2 dashboard and shut down all the instances you would like to upgrade.

Step 2: Upgrade to Ubuntu Pro

  1. Go to the AWS License Manager and select License type conversion on the left side menu.
  2. Click the Create license type conversion button.
  3. Select Ubuntu LTS from the dropdown menu and choose the instances you want to upgrade.
  4. Click Next and select Ubuntu Pro as the License type destination.
  5. Review the information and click Convert.

The conversion process may take some time, and you can monitor its progress on the License Manager dashboard.

Step 3: Verify the upgrade

After the conversion process is complete, log in to one of the upgraded instances and run the following command to verify the upgrade:

pro status

The output should show that the instance is now running Ubuntu Pro.

Need additional support?

If you would like additional phone and ticketing support on top of Ubuntu Pro, or talk to our Sales Representatives for volume usage email us or contact us  


Upgrading to Ubuntu Pro provides additional security and compliance certifications for your instances. With AWS License Manager, upgrading your Ubuntu LTS instances to Ubuntu Pro is a straightforward process that can be completed in just a few clicks. Follow the steps outlined in this blog to upgrade your instances and enjoy the benefits of Ubuntu Pro.

Further reading

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