Ubuntu 12.04 Long Term Support Period Extended From 3 To 5 Years

Canonical’s Desktop Ubuntu releases are on a predictable schedule; the short-term releases are on a 6-month cycle, and every two years a Long Term Release (LTS) rolls out, which Canonical supports for three years with updates and maintenace.

The LTS support cycle for Ubuntu Server, on the other hand, extends for five years, which makes a lot of sense in a corporate environment.

Starting with Ubuntu 12.04, Canonical is aligning support for the desktop version with the server edition by extending it from three to five years. The idea--which is a good one--is to make it slightly more compelling and sensible for companies to run Ubuntu on their desktops along with their servers. The five-year support cycle will consist of two years of hardware updates plus another three years of maintenance updates.

Ubuntu 12.04 is coming in April 2012; version 11.10, Oneiric Ocelot, just launched barely a week ago.

Ubuntu 12.04 to feature extended support period for desktop users
Five-year Long Term Support (LTS) makes Ubuntu a compelling choice for the business desktop

London, October 21st, 2011: Canonical today announced it would be extending the support and maintenance period for its upcoming Long Term Support (LTS) release of Ubuntu for desktop users from three years to five years. The move comes in response to increasing demand for Ubuntu desktops in corporate environments where longer maintenance periods are the norm. It brings the desktop product into line with Ubuntu Server which continues with five years of support for LTS releases.

April 2012 will see the fourth LTS release of Ubuntu. LTS releases have become particularly popular with Ubuntu business users. Canonical's own survey data shows over 70% of server users are deployed on LTS versions of the product. Bringing this extended support to the desktop is a response to similar popularity in businesses of the desktop LTS releases.

The first two years of the LTS period will benefit businesses by including hardware updates (through regular point releases) allowing them to keep up to date with the latest hardware upgrades. Maintenance updates will continue for a further three years. Businesses can now rely on always running an LTS version regardless of their hardware refresh rate.

PC manufacturers can now standardise their business-focused range of PCs on an LTS release with a five year support period. This is a more compelling proposition to bring to their customer base especially aligned with the Ubuntu Advantage support programs from Canonical which will fully support the new LTS period

“Ubuntu has always been known for its ability to keep pace with the latest applications and hardware” says Rick Spencer, Ubuntu Engineering Director at Canonical. “But as our user-base grows and matures the ability to plan for the longer term is vital. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS will give desktop users the perfect combination of keeping pace with hardware changes and extended support depending on their needs”.

Ubuntu's fourth LTS release comes at a time when the product has seen unprecedented uptake at a large scale in a variety of businesses. Qualcomm, the City of Munich, LVM have all spoken recently of their use of Ubuntu at large scale.
Tags:  Ubuntu, Canonical