Extended Security Maintenance
Security updates for Ubuntu LTS for additional 5 years
Continue to receive security updates for the Ubuntu base OS, critical software packages and infrastructure components with Extended Security Maintenance (ESM). ESM provides five additional years of security maintenance, enabling an organization's continuous vulnerability management.
ESM is available through an Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure subscription for physical servers, virtual machines, containers and desktops, and is free for personal use. ESM is also included in the Ubuntu Pro premium images that are optimised for the public cloud, and these also provide security maintenance for high and critical CVEs for the entire collection of software packages shipped with Ubuntu.
Is Ubuntu 16.04 LTS still supported beyond April 2021?
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS will still be supported beyond its free initial five-year maintenance period in April 2021, as it transitions to the extended security maintenance phase - with five additional years of security ensured.
What is covered?
ESM continues security updates and kernel livepatching for high and critical CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures).
ESM on Azure, AWS and Google Cloud with Ubuntu Pro
If you are running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS images on the public cloud and are looking for continued security coverage with ESM, it is recommended to launch new, Ubuntu Pro images for Azure, AWS and Google Cloud. Ubuntu Pro images are paid, premium images that are optimised and priced for the cloud, with security and compliance features built-in.
How to enable ESM?
Attach your subscription
sudo ua attach [TOKEN]
Note: obtain the subscription token via the Ubuntu Advantage portal. Attaching the subscription is not necessary on Ubuntu Pro.
If ESM is not listed as enabled after attaching your Token, the ESM entitlement can be enabled using the UA client.
sudo ua enable esm-infra
If ESM is enabled manually, the status of this entitlement can be confirmed with the UA client as well.
sudo ua status
ESM is now enabled!
Do all levels of Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure have access to Ubuntu ESM?
Yes. Ubuntu ESM is available for UA-I Essential, Standard and Advanced customers. For more information on levels please visit our pricing page. Existing UA customers can retrieve their credentials through the Ubuntu Advantage portal.
How can we ensure the security of our Ubuntu systems after the end of Standard Security Maintenance?
To ensure security continuity when a particular release reaches the end of its Standard Security Maintenance window, sign up for Ubuntu Advantage for free on up to 3 machines or through a paid subscription for enterprise use.
How long will Ubuntu ESM be maintained?
All Ubuntu LTS releases until further announcement have ESM updates provided for five years establishing a lifecycle of ten years.
|Release||Release date||End of Life|
|Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)||April 2014||April 2024|
|Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus)||April 2016||April 2026|
|Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)||April 2018||April 2028|
|Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa)||April 2020||April 2030|
Is it possible to purchase Ubuntu ESM months down the road when needed, with or without backdating the cost, or does it need to be in place in advance?
You can purchase Ubuntu Advantage support at any time. It does not need to be in place in advance, although we strongly recommend you eliminate the gap between when Ubuntu ESM is enabled on your system(s), to avoid exposing your systems to security vulnerabilities. Ubuntu Advantage is priced year-over-year so there is no backdating.
We're mirroring the repository on our internal Landscape server. Can we still get Ubuntu ESM if using Landscape?
ESM is just a regular Ubuntu archive, but authenticated and served over HTTPS. Archive mirroring is already available in Landscape and is a supported mechanism for mirroring the ESM archive.
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS moving to Extended Security Maintenance period
Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus transitions to the extended security maintenance (ESM) period in April 2021. Register for our webinar to learn about the ESM period and six key considerations when assessing and planning your migration path.