When I wrote about the new “Ubuntu Pro” section in Ubuntu 22.04‘s software settings panel I said the banner wasn’t a nag screen or a desktop notification but something you had to go out of your way to see.

Not so in the latest daily builds of the Jammy Jellyfish.

Upon login today I was greeted by a desktop notification asking if I ‘want to enable Ubuntu Pro?’.

Two actions are available when click on the notification: “Don’t remind me again” and “Enable Ubuntu Pro” (though thanks to a bug the notification will appear on every login even if you click “don’t remind me” – but that will get fixed soon).

Clicking the “Enable Ubuntu Pro” buttons opens the Ubuntu Pro tab in the Software & Updates utility:

The notification and settings panel

Here one has the ability to ‘attach’ a machine to an active Ubuntu Pro subscription. Interestingly the blurb mentions that Ubuntu Pro is free for personal use on up to 3 machines.

Clicking the “attach this machine” button opens a dialog with a link to “sign in to your Ubuntu Advantage account”, and offers a field to enter an Ubuntu Advantage token.

Which is where I get a bit confused.

Ubuntu Pro was originally a support offering for AWS customers. More recently, it is being offered as something businesses and other enterprise users can opt-in in to.

Now it’s being spotlighted to all users.

It could be that Ubuntu Advantage is going to be rebranded as Ubuntu Pro. Indeed, many of the links about Ubuntu Pro in these dialogs/panels open web pages about Ubuntu Advantage. Ubuntu Advantage is essential a commercial support package for Ubuntu giving you phone/email help.

Anyway, since Ubuntu Advantage/Ubuntu Pro is free for personal use (albeit without official phone and ticket support) there is perhaps some merit to letting more people know about it — at least in theory. I enabled it and added my Advantage token and it accepted it.

That said, from what we know of it so far, Ubuntu Pro isn’t something most users are going to be interested in (there is a benefit to Livepatch and EMS support but as this LTS hasn’t even had its 5 years of proper support yet that’s hardly a pressing concern).

But things could change yet. The current Jammy daily builds may show a Ubuntu Pro notification to all users but there’s nothing to say Ubuntu will continue to do that by the time the stable release rolls out (though also nothing to say it won’t, or that it shouldn’t).

I guess we’ll have to wait and see as development continues.

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