Confusion over ESM and "Standard Support" vs. End of LIfe

José Antonio Rey jose at
Thu Feb 25 12:23:50 UTC 2021

This has been brought up and we have started planning in order to work the
public definitions on these. Will update as we have more insights, but this
is a medium-effort project.

José Antonio Rey

On Tue, Feb 16, 2021, 21:51 Thomas Ward <teward at> wrote:

> Mark,
> I am emailing you specifically on this as there is no dedicated Canonical
> contact.  I am also CCing the Community Council and the Technical Board for
> awareness, as this is not only a community related question but a technical
> related one as it may dictate technically-defined limitations on support
> mediums such as IRC and others.
> Ever since ESM has been made available for 12.04 and 14.04, there has been
> increasing confusion as to what "standard support" means, and how it
> applies to community support mediums such as IRC, the Forums, Ask Ubuntu,
> etc.  Traditionally, it has been accepted that if a release goes End of
> Life, it is no longer supported by the community support mechanisms.
> Indeed, with 12.04 ESM this held true on Ask Ubuntu [1] in the past, mostly
> because "We really should be pushing people to upgrade to stay on a
> supported release, even if you can get extended security updates via ESM
> because most "new" software won't support old libraries, and ESM is more or
> less an extension of time for you to have to upgrade to newer or for old
> legacy solutions that need to be kept until replacement solutions can be
> found."
> However, this question once again is rearing its head on Ask Ubuntu [2],
> and though it hasn't landed at the IRC level (as most people don't go into
> depth with the argument of "But ESM!" among other things), I would like to
> establish governance that is official as to how "End of Life" is determined
> from the community's perspective, and would like hard definitions for the
> Ubuntu "Standard Support" and "End of Life", and at what point the
> community support mechanisms are officially no longer capable of supporting
> a given release.
> To point at IRCC decisions and policy, the factoids for 14.04 as a prime
> example still quote "end of life" and ESM:
> > Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) was the 20th release of Ubuntu.
> !End-of-life was April 25th, 2019. Paid support (ESM) is available. See
> also !esm, !eol, !eolupgrade
> > End-Of-Life is when security updates and support for an Ubuntu release
> stop. Make sure to update Ubuntu before it goes EOL so you get updates
> promptly for newly-discovered security vulnerabilities. See
> and
> for more info. Looking to upgrade from an EOL release? See
> However, as you can see, the "End of Life" name in the original factoid
> and "End of Life" definition no longer match Canonical's definitions as the
> EOL date is not April 2019, but April 2024 per the wiki [3].
> We also have conflicting information about what Ubuntu Advantage
> Infrastructure Essential actually entails, as I stated above, as people
> simply lump "ESM" and "Support" together at the global / general level
> without understanding ESM or UA-I and what it does/doesn't entitle you to
> in terms of general support.
> Therefore, I would like to achieve the following with discussions and
> insight from you and relevant Canonical teams as well:
>  1. Clarification on the actual definitions of "Standard Support" vs. "End
> of Life"
>  2. More concrete clarification on the difference between "Standard
> Support" and "ESM" and what ESM actually implies given that there is a
> 'free" version of UA-I Essential that's available for 3 systems (50 for
> official members) which has no paid support contract attached (but no
> definition of "No support contract" distinctly), and
>  3. Based on the response to points 1 and 2, governance regarding
> "Community Support Mediums and the definition of Community End of
> Life/Support of a Given Release" which can then distinctly and concretely
> define:
>     A) at what point community support for a release is no longer
> available (or alternatively, should not be available) via the IRC chat,
> mailing lists, and other support mediums such as Ask Ubuntu (which tends to
> follow Ubuntu / Canonical / CC advisories even though they're not directly
> under Ubuntu governance), and,
>     B) once community / standard support is unavailable, definition that
> ongoing support issues and need for technical or user support must be
> executed via a UA-I Standard contract (which is a Paid Support contract),
> and not "Community Support" mechanisms.
> Opinions are welcome on this message, as is your suggested guidance and
> insight into this, Mark.
> Thanks.
> Thomas
> Ubuntu Community Council Member
> [1]:
> [2]:
> [3]:
> --
> community-council mailing list
> community-council at
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the technical-board mailing list