ubuntu 16.04 lts desktop screenshot

Did you know it’s possible to get security updates for Ubuntu 16.04 until 2024 without paying for an enterprise Ubuntu support package?

ESM is not a reason to never upgrade but it does offer a welcome stop gap

I didn’t, not until today when a reader mailed in to tell me that Canonical offers free Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure accounts for personal use on up-to 3 machines (active Ubuntu members can use it on up to 50 machines).

A gratis Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure account includes a couple of things but the most notable is …Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) for EOL releases.

Yes, ESM updates for free.

Ubuntu 16.04 ESM Updates

Ubuntu 16.04 hit EOL earlier this year. Users were (and still are) advised to upgrade to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (or newer) to ensure they get critical security updates, major bug fixes, and core app upgrades.

It’s possible to run old Ubuntu versions securely and get the latest app updates [as Snaps]

But not everyone is able (or willing) to do that — and with ESM they arguably don’t need to.

Ubuntu 16.04 is supported until April 2024 with ESM.

Now, ESM is not a long-term solution; it’s squarely a stop-gap measure. designed to provide cover to old systems while whoever is in charge of them makes plans to upgrade to a fully-supported Ubuntu LTS release.

But until that is feasible, ESM (free via a personal Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure account) helps keep old Ubuntu versions protected from new security nasties.

While ESM does NOT provide the same breadth of updates as in pre-EOL status (there are no new Firefox updates, for instance), it’s better than nothing at all. And since Ubuntu 16.04 LTS supports Snap apps it is possible to run an old Ubuntu version securely and get the latest app updates from the Snap Store.

Pretty neat, no?

For more details or to sign up for an Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure account head over to the Ubuntu website:

Sign up for Ubuntu Advantage

h/t Bertie

How To ESM Xenial Xerus