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I'm unclear whether ESM (Extended Security Maintenance) for Ubuntu is actually free for personal use, or is it always a paid solution?

5
  • ESM probably stands for Extended Security Maintenance ubuntu.com/esm
    – alci
    Apr 15 '20 at 7:50
  • 2
    Just out of curiosity, why would someone require ESM for personal use when you can upgrade for free? Do you have a very old machine or what?
    – Kulfy
    Apr 15 '20 at 7:51
  • Yes, old machine but also just curious to see how long I can keep using a single install for (without doing an actual upgrade).
    – warsong
    Apr 15 '20 at 7:58
  • If you don't really care about newer packages (since newer packages may have dependency issues), you can keep until ESM ends. If you don't care about security updates, you can keep for indefinite time.
    – Kulfy
    Apr 15 '20 at 8:03
  • 1
    @warsong FWIW, I've learned that upgrading is very easy when you 1) Install the "upgrade" to a new partition instead of upgrading in place, and 2) already have /home on a separate partition, so that it can survive upgrades without much fuss. Just choose a custom partition layout when installing, and set the proper mount points for the two partitions (/ and /home).
    – jpaugh
    Apr 16 '20 at 19:16
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Since November 2019, Canonical has stated that Ubuntu ESM is now available for free for personal use, though it is up to three machine.

Canonical is happy to announce that all community users are entitled to a free Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure account for access to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) and Kernel Livepatch* for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) for up to three machines, and up to 50 machines for all official Ubuntu Members.

Taken from https://ubuntu.com/blog/ua-services-deployed-from-the-command-line-with-ua-client

You can get started here → https://ubuntu.com/esm

6

I guess the answer is on the ESM website:

Canonical provides Ubuntu Advantage Essential subscriptions, which include ESM, free of charge for individuals on up to 3 machines. For our community of Ubuntu members we will gladly increase that to 50 machines. Your personal subscription will also cover Livepatch, FIPS and CIS hardening tools.

So, it's free for personal use. And paid for other cases.

2
  • Can you elaborate on the statement: "For our community of Ubuntu members we will gladly increase that to 50 machines"? For example does "community" mean Ask Ubuntu members? Dec 20 '20 at 22:36
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix I think they refer to wiki.ubuntu.com/Membership/NewMember
    – alci
    Dec 21 '20 at 5:59

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