Ubuntu 16.04 10-year Support

Yes, Ubuntu 16.04 codenamed Xenial Xerus is officially supported by Ubuntu up to 10 years. As most of us already know, Ubuntu versions that start with an even number and end with 04 are LTS or Long-Term Support. These LTS versions are supported up to 5 years. By default. That means Canonical will have regular security/maintenance updates for LTS Ubuntus during that time period. Unless…

So where’s the other 5 years?

It turns out they have this program that extends that to the other 5 years. This is called the Ubuntu Pro. It is free up to 5 machines for personal use. But it has to be paid for if used otherwise, like in a commercial setting. (Perhaps if it’s a small business, one can probably get away with it. Who knows?)

This offer is not activated by default. That means that 5-year LTS support will stop if you don’t do this extra step. So the thing is, you have to sign-up for it. There’s really nothing much in the way like filling out several long application forms, and waiting for approvals. None of that. The activation is almost instant. All that is needed is to create an Ubuntu Pro user account here – https://ubuntu.com/pro. Once you are registered, you will be issued a free personal token. Again up to 5 machines only.

Once you have this token, you can use this to enable the ESM (Extended Security Maintenance) on your desktop/server machine via a few commands on the terminal. The full guide can be found here – https://ubuntu.com -/pro/tutorial (no need to rewrite that).

That’s it!

Once activated, your machine will get the updates right away. These updates will carry on until some time in 2026. Don’t misinterpret that the extra 5-year support will start the moment you register for the program. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way.

Ubuntu 16.04 standard support (non-extended default) ended last April 2021. I had slacked a bit on enabling the Ubuntu Pro for months after support has ended. Thought I’d write about this and spread the word a little bit in case some Ubuntu users are not yet aware of the program. Other LTS versions are supported too, starting with 16.04.

I have not installed a new LTS because I’m lazy. Gone are the days where distro-hopping, or even just from one Ubuntu LTS to another, is something I’m excited to do for a personal laptop (I must be getting old). The other reason being, I like the Unity 7 desktop. I wish Canonical had not discontinued it.

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