Canonical informs 9to5Linux that the Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system series has officially transitioned to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) at the end of April 2021.
As you know, Ubuntu LTS (Long-Term Support) releases are supported for five years with standard updates, and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), which was released back in 2016, has now reached end of life on April 30th, 2021.
Following the tradition to offer commercial support for those who still want to use Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on their machines, Canonical is now offering extended security maintenance (ESM) support, which usually provides users with security updates for high and critical common vulnerabilities and exposures for an additional 3 to 5 years.
As such, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) is still supported until April 2024 with Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) through Canonical’s Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure, as well as on the public cloud with Ubuntu Pro for AWS (Amazon Web Services), Azure, and Google Cloud.
But the ESM offering is not only available to businesses don’t want or can’t upgrade (yet) their systems to a newer Ubuntu LTS release, such as Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), which is supported until April 2023, or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), which is supported until April 2025, but also to personal users on up to 3 machines, as well as to Ubuntu members on up to 50 machines.
Ubuntu 16.04 is a Common Criteria certified operating system, providing access to FIPS 140-2 certified cryptographic modules with a solid history of timely security fixes,” said Canonical.
Canonical’s ESM support for Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus) can be accessed anytime via the Ubuntu Advantage offering or through Ubuntu Pro on public cloud platforms. However, it should be noted that ESM support is only available for x86_64 (64-bit), AArch64 (ARM64), and IBM System z (s390x) architectures.
If you can’t afford the Extended Security Maintenance support, Canonical recommends that you upgrade to the latest LTS verison of Ubuntu, such as Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) as soon as possible, for free (of course).
Compared to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, which was released five years ago, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS offers significantly faster boot times, a much newer and LTS kernel, Secure Boot support to protect you against low-level attacks and rootkits, Kernel Self Protection measures, control flow integrity, as well as Stack Clash protection.
Besides Ubuntu 16.04, Canonical is still offering ESM support for Ubuntu 14.04 machines until April 2022.
Last updated 2 years ago