What is HWE ?

Hardware Enablement Stacks (HWE) are incorporated into installers for selected Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) point releases. It is a special Ubuntu feature that provides a LTS release with hardware support introduced in newer Ubuntu releases. For Ubuntu 12.04 the point releases are .2/.3/.4/.5 and the corresponding Ubuntu releases are 12.10/13.04/13.10/14.04. The HWE path can be obtained in 2 ways:

  • Installing Ubuntu from the media (ISO) for these point releases (where HWE is used by default)
  • Manually installing some packages

Further reading:

Why Should I Care ?

As of August 8, 2014, systems running stock Ubuntu 12.04.2, 12.04.3, or 12.04.4 no longer receive software updates for the kernel and the graphics stack from the standard Ubuntu PPAs.

As an exception, Canonical's Professional Engineering Services team has been providing security updates as an extended support service for PCs from our OEM partners which were pre-loaded with Ubuntu 12.04.2 or 12.04.4. This extended support will no longer be available after April 30, 2015. Therefore, we strongly recommend you upgrade to the 12.04.5 HWE stack which will continue to receive security updates until April 2017. To upgrade to 12.04.05 simply follow the steps when prompted by the Update Manager.

How do I know if I’m affected ?

To know if you are affected, open a Terminal (by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T) and type the following command:

uname -r
  • you are affected if it shows a kernel in these series: 3.5 or 3.11
  • you are not affected if it shows a kernel in these series: 3.2 or 3.13

What to do if I’m affected ?

You can upgrade to the 12.04.5 HWE stack by following the standard upgrade process.


  • I am running a pre-loaded 12.04.2 HWE. After April 30, 2015, will my system no longer receive package updates?

Your system will continue to receive updates except for the kernel and graphics stack. To receive updates for your entire Ubuntu OS, you will need to upgrade to 12.04.5 following the standard upgrade process.

  • How can I get support if I run into problems ?

If you experience any issue after this upgrade, please post a message on askubuntu.com using the tag 'oem' (you can use this link: http://www.askubuntu.com/questions/ask?tags=oem)

1204_HWE_EOL_OEM (last edited 2015-03-18 02:24:20 by 77-48-41-175)