Canonical to Stick with 10-Year Support Cycle for Ubuntu LTS Versions

In light of the recent announcement that the upstream Linux kernel LTS support time will be shortened from six years to two years, Canonical has reaffirmed its commitment to providing ten years of support for Ubuntu LTS versions.

In a blog post published today, Canonical stated that it has been the "premier LTS provider of the Ubuntu Linux kernel for nearly two decades" and that it will continue to provide five years of security updates for the LTS kernel and extend the maintenance window to ten years through Extended Security Maintenance (ESM).

Canonical also noted that its "dedicated engineering team maintains all Ubuntu kernels, manages Linux kernel CVEs, and applies patches for possible flaws." The company added that "high kernel reliability is at the core of our designs and decisions" and that "Ubuntu is currently widely used in production environments, and we will continue to improve related kernel reliability over time."

Canonical's commitment to ten years of support for Ubuntu LTS versions is a welcome relief for many organizations, which rely on Ubuntu for its stability and security. The company's decision is also a testament to the importance of long-term support for enterprise Linux distributions.

Why is long-term support important?

Long-term support (LTS) is important for enterprise Linux distributions because it provides organizations with a stable and predictable platform on which to run their applications. LTS releases typically receive security updates and bug fixes for five to ten years, which gives organizations plenty of time to plan and implement upgrades.

What does Canonical's announcement mean for users?

Canonical's announcement means that users of Ubuntu LTS versions can continue to expect ten years of support, even though the upstream Linux kernel LTS support time has been shortened. This is because Canonical backports newer kernel versions into its LTS releases as part of its hardware enablement (HWE) stack.

What about other enterprise Linux distributions?

It is expected that other major enterprise Linux distributions, such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, will also continue to provide long-term support for their releases, even though the upstream Linux kernel LTS support time has been shortened. This is because these distributions have their own engineering teams that maintain and support their kernel.

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