Ubuntu 17.10 desktop screenshot

The Ubuntu 17.10 desktop

Ubuntu 17.10 reaches end of life on July 19, 2018 — which if you haven’t checked your calendar recently, is today.

If you have thus far managed to resist the temptation to upgrade to a newer release then alas: today is the day when you need to start thinking about it.

It’s time to bid adieu to the Artful Aardvark.

What Happens When Ubuntu is End of Life (EOL)?

All official support for Ubuntu 17.10 ends July 19, 2018, a neat 9 months to the date of its initial release back in October 2017.

Ubuntu 17.10 will get no more security patches, bug fixes, or software updates

After this date anyone running Ubuntu 17.10 on a server, laptop or desktop PC will receive no further security updates, bug fixes, or updated packages from the main Ubuntu archives.

Literally nothing.

No new Firefox release, no vital/critical security patches, no tweaks.

Many third-party developers providing software updates through PPAs or custom repos also tend to stop building packages for unsupported Ubuntu releases too.

Don’t panic: your desktop will continue to work

It’s important to stress that although Ubuntu 17.10 will no longer receive package updates or security patches it doesn’t stop working.

But Canonical recommends Ubuntu users upgrade to an actively supported version of Ubuntu.

You can check the support status of any Ubuntu release at any time by running this command in the terminal:

ubuntu-support-status

Upgrade or fresh install?

The supported upgrade path from Ubuntu 17.10 is to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS ‘Bionic Beaver’ which, as a long term support release, gets 5 years of updates the desktop.

Not that you have to stick with Ubuntu, mind.

You could use the EOL as an opportunity to indulge in the popular sport of distro hopping! Perhaps you’d rather perform a fresh install of another supported Linux distro? The recent Linux Mint 19 release is proving popular and, like 18.04, is supported for 5 years…

Artful Aardvark – a new chapter in Ubuntu’s history

Released on October 19th, 2017, Ubuntu 17.10 was a highly anticipated arrival. It was the first version of Ubuntu to use the GNOME Shell desktop environment by default, following Canonical’s decision to stop developing the Unity desktop.

Beyond the upheaval of a new desktop there were a few other notable changes, like the inclusion of captive portal detection, updated software, and theme refinements.

April’s release of Ubuntu 18.04 added an iterative gloss to the foundations laid in Artful, with the only “major changes” coming from GNOME Shell bump and the inclusion of a new “to do” app.

Are you still running Ubuntu 17.10? What are you plans now support is ending? Sound off in the comments!