Trying to get some clarity on the meaning of LTS and the point release of 18.04. Looking on Canonical site they state 5 years support for 18.04, 18.04.1 and 18.04.5 but only six months for 18.04.2/3/4. See:


I'm trying to understand a couple of things:

  • Does the Ubuntu bionic version migrate through point release numbers based on "apt upgrade" and thus a normal user with unattended-upgrades set would just migrate through these bionic releases? It does not appear that you need to use dist-upgrade to get to next bionic point release.
  • Based on answer to above, how would a user stay on 18.04.1 and get security patches without migrating to next bionic point release and latest kernel?
  • When would a 18.04.1 device be expected to get the v5 kernel (seems this came with 18.04.3) and what if anything, would stop this kernel upgrade via apt?

My assumption has always been: - that bionic releases upgrade automatically through apt and ppa definitions - all 18.04 releases are considered LTS (not clear what the 6 month kernel timeline means from a support perspective as devices would get to .5 and be supported going forward)

I am asking as there is a vendor who is refusing to support v5 kernel based on the above chart and yet claims support for "18.04 LTS". Can't find a good answer on whether 18.04.3 is or is not considered an LTS release.


  • 18.04 gets kernel 5+ by HWE. You can opt out of HWE anytime and get back to 4.15 kernel. – Kulfy Nov 7 '19 at 16:07
  • A clear, canonical answer to your question is at wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases: Ubuntu 18.04.3 was released on August 8, 2019, and is supported until April 2023 – user535733 Nov 7 '19 at 17:35

The way point releases work for LTS cycle is thus:

  • XX.04 - initial release
  • XX.04.1 - second initial release with same kernel version
  • XX.04.2 - first HWE release, using HWE kernel (from XX.10 release)
  • XX.04.3 - second HWE release, using HWE kernel (from XX+1.04 release)
  • XX.04.4 - third HWE release, using HWE kernel (from XX+1.10 release)
  • XX.04.5 - final HWE release, using HWE kernel (from xx+2.04 LTS release)

The non-HWE kernel is supported through the full cycle, and the final HWE kernel is supported through the full cycle. The interim HWE kernel updates come from the interim (non-LTS) releases which only have 9 months of support, 3 months after their release (so you only get 6 months with that kernel). Any interim HWE release will get upgraded to the final HWE kernel with the 18.04.5 release. One can switch to the HWE kernel from the non-HWE install if they choose.

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