Ubuntu is nagging me to update. Looking around, I see that 16.04 LTS has now reached the end of “hardware and maintenance updates”, but continues to supply “maintenance updates” for some time. Is there any pressing need to update my machine, or can I hang on for a while longer?

If I set “notify me of a new Ubuntu version” to “never”, do I still get a reminder when my current version reaches end of life?


2 Answers 2


You can still get hardware upgrades on 16.04 by installing a newer kernel:

You would do this for example if you bought a new device to add onto your computer and the drivers for it were only on a newer kernel.

In fact since I've started using Ubuntu 14.04 and then 16.04 I've usually been running on a newer kernel than the distribution version offered. Partly to stay up-to-date but but mostly as a hobby of researching new kernel versions.

  • 1
    So long as I'm on the same machine, and have no new peripheries, there's no need to do this?
    – TRiG
    Jul 9, 2019 at 23:05
  • That is correct. Bug fixes for old hardware come out on old LTS kernels (good for 5 years) and new kernels alike. Plus Ubuntu creates their own custom kernel numbers which on the surface looks old but they take updates to old LTS kernel version which the linux team releases and rolls the bug fixes into the Ubuntu custom kernel numbers. That part is a little confusing though... anyway you still get hardware updates for bug fixes to old hardware (at time original kernel was published), you just don't get hardware updates for new hardware. Clear as mud? Jul 9, 2019 at 23:10
  • That works for me, @WinEunuuchs2Unix. Backporting, it's called, isn't it?
    – TRiG
    Jul 9, 2019 at 23:22
  • 1
    I never thought of the word before but yes backporting fits perfectly. The linux kernel team releases something like 5 different kernel version numbers the same day which all originated in a different era. Ubuntu republishes the same version numbers unadulterated but with hooks into Ubuntu code. Then they also republish something like 5 other versions for there custom kernel numbers which the major component 4.4, 4.15, 4.18, etc were frozen on time but the minor component creeps up to the 100's. The Ubuntu Kernel team call it their kernel farm, where they "grow" new kernels. Jul 9, 2019 at 23:28

I'm still running 16.04 myself and the support only ends in April 2021 so you have to upgrade before that, unless you're willing to pay for extended support in which case you're fine till April 2024.

I like to skip LTS releases because upgrading is 40+ hours of work in my case as my system is highly customized and does exactly what I want and looks the way I want (Steampunk).

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  • Upvoted because you found this old question to answer AND got accepted too. There should be a badge in there somewhere :) Jul 9, 2019 at 22:49
  • Oh, good that you left a comment. I thought @TRIG upvoted...
    – Fabby
    Jul 9, 2019 at 23:39

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