In cleaning up an answer today, I noted the following:

  • LTS desktops get updates for three years
  • LTS servers get updates for five years
  • An Ubuntu desktop is (essentially) a superset of server packages.

So in the fourth and fifth year, if LTS Server gets Kernel updates*, are these also provided for LTS Desktop? What about other core-system stuff?

  • I realise the Kernel is a little special because there is a -server variant but are updates pushed for -generic (et al) too?

12.04 LTS and future releases

12.04LTS and further LTS releases are planned to have upgrades both for the desktop and server version for 5 years after release date.

You can read in the Ubuntu LTS wiki page:

A new LTS version is released every 2 years. In previous releases, a Long Term Support (LTS) version had 3 years support on Ubuntu (Desktop) and 5 years on Ubuntu Server. Starting with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, both versions will receive 5 years support. There is no extra fee for the LTS version; we make our very best work available to everyone on the same free terms. Upgrades to new versions of Ubuntu are and always will be free of charge.

Non LTS release will still be maintained and will receive updates for 18 moths after release date.

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Yes, an LTS desktop gets upgrades for server packages after three years. If you have openssh-server installed on your desktop, for instance, then that will be supported for five years because it is a server package. Desktop applications still gets unsupported after three years. When 12.04LTS is released, the LTS support period is upgraded from three years on the desktop to five years on everything.

You can use the command ubuntu-support-status to get an overview.

For versions prior to 12.04LTS, I would expect the desktop kernel to not be supported after three years. The desktop really is not supported after three years, even if some of the packages would be. Again, this changes when 12.04LTS is released.

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