LTSEnablementStack

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LTS Enablement Stacks

The latest information on the Ubuntu Lifecycle and Release Cadence.

The Ubuntu LTS enablement (also called HWE or Hardware Enablement) stacks provide newer kernel and X support for existing Ubuntu LTS releases. These enablement stacks can be installed manually but are also available when installing with Ubuntu LTS point release media. These newer enablement stacks are meant for desktop and server and even recommended for cloud or virtual images. However, if one wants to remain on the original GA (General Availability) stacks, the options are:

  • Install from a previous 12.04.0/12.04.1/14.04.0/14.04.1/16.04.0/16.04.1/18.04.0/18.04.1 point release and update. Previous releases are archived at http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/

  • Perform an update or upgrade to an LTS release from a previous release.
  • Perform a network install using the netboot images rather than the new <release>-netboot images.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - Focal Fossa

All Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS will ship with an updated kernel by default. Also Ubuntu Desktop certified hardware may use OEM kernel flavour, where required. Server installations will default to the GA kernel and provide the enablement kernel as optional.

The 20.04 LTS HWE Stacks continue to follow Rolling Update Model as documented at the following location, as has been in use since 16.04 LTS :

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/RollingLTSEnablementStack

Desktop

It is advised to keep Ubuntu Desktop 20.04 LTS with the kernel flavour picked during installation. It can be either HWE or OEM flavour. Changing to track GA kernel may result in regressions of performance, hardware support, and certified features.

To check if you are on a certified hardware platform execute:

 ubuntu-drivers list-oem 

If any meta packages are listed, please refrain from manually changing the kernel flavours.

To downgrade from HWE/OEM to GA kernel:

 sudo apt install --install-recommends linux-generic 

If NVIDIA drivers are required check appropriate level and install them:

 ubuntu-drivers list 

And then install appropriate NNN version of the drivers:

 sudo apt install --install-recommends linux-modules-nvidia-NNN-generic 

Reboot, interrupt grub, in advanced options elect to boot 5.4 based kernel, complete boot. Check that everything works as expected.

If everything is good, you may remove the other kernel flavours:

 sudo apt remove --purge linux-generic-hwe-20.04 linux-oem-20.04 linux-hwe-* linux-oem-* linux-modules-5.1* linux-modules-5.8.0-* linux-modules-5.6.0-* 

Server

Installing the HWE stack is simple:

 sudo apt install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-20.04 

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - Bionic Beaver

The 18.04.2 and newer point releases will ship with an updated kernel and X stack by default for the desktop. Server installations will default to the GA kernel and provide the enablement kernel as optional.

The 18.04 HWE Stacks continue to follow Rolling Update Model as documented at the following location, as has been in use since 16.04 LTS :

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/RollingLTSEnablementStack

Installing the HWE stack is simple:

Desktop

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-18.04 xserver-xorg-hwe-18.04 

Server

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-18.04 

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS - Xenial Xerus

The 16.04.2 and newer point releases will ship with an updated kernel and X stack by default for the desktop. Server installations will default to the GA kernel and provide the enablement kernel as optional.

The 16.04 HWE Stacks will follow a new Rolling Update Model as documented at the following location:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Kernel/RollingLTSEnablementStack

It is highly recommended to read the above documentation before executing the following commands, as the HWE model has changed in 16.04.

Installing the HWE stack is simple:

Desktop

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-16.04 xserver-xorg-hwe-16.04 

Server

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-hwe-16.04 

Ubuntu 14.04 LTS - Trusty Tahr

The 14.04.2 and newer point releases will ship with an updated kernel and X stack by default. If you have installed with older media you can use the following to install the newer HWE kernel derived from 16.04 (Xenial):

Desktop

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-lts-xenial xserver-xorg-core-lts-xenial xserver-xorg-lts-xenial xserver-xorg-video-all-lts-xenial xserver-xorg-input-all-lts-xenial libwayland-egl1-mesa-lts-xenial 

Multiarch Desktop

If you run a multiarch desktop (for example, i386 and amd64 on amd64, for gaming or Wine), you may find you need a slightly more involved command, like this:

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-lts-xenial xserver-xorg-core-lts-xenial xserver-xorg-lts-xenial xserver-xorg-video-all-lts-xenial xserver-xorg-input-all-lts-xenial libwayland-egl1-mesa-lts-xenial libgl1-mesa-glx-lts-xenial libgl1-mesa-glx-lts-xenial:i386 libglapi-mesa-lts-xenial:i386 

Server

Install the HWE kernel derived from 16.04 (xenial):

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-lts-xenial 

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS - Precise Pangolin

The 12.04.2 and newer point releases will ship with an updated kernel and X stack by default. The current and supported hardware enablement stack is comprised of the newer kernel and X stacks from 14.04 (Trusty).

Anyone wishing to opt into the hardware enablement stack for Precise may do so running the following commands:

Desktop

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-lts-trusty xserver-xorg-lts-trusty libgl1-mesa-glx-lts-trusty

Server

 sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-lts-trusty 

Check your support status

If you want a tool to determine if your install is still supported please use hwe-support-status as documented on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/1204_HWE_EOL

 hwe-support-status --verbose 

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Extended Security Maintenance

Following the end-of-life of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Canonical is offering Ubuntu 12.04 ESM (Extended Security Maintenance), which provides important security fixes for the kernel and the most essential user space packages in Ubuntu 12.04. All Ubuntu 12.04 LTS users are encouraged to upgrade to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. But for those who cannot upgrade immediately, Ubuntu 12.04 ESM updates will help ensure the on-going security and integrity of Ubuntu 12.04 systems.

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS initially released with kernel based on version 3.2. The final hardware enablement kernel, when Ubuntu 12.04 LTS reached end of life, was based on kernel version 3.13. Both kernels are included as part of Ubuntu 12.04 ESM.

For more details on this program, please refer to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/SecurityTeam/ESM/12.04

Ubuntu Kernel Release Schedule

The following is a generic view of the Ubuntu release schedule, the kernels delivered, and the support time frames. 14.04, 16.04, and 18.04 will each deliver point release updates respectively (ie. 14.04.x, 16.04.x, 18.04.x) and eventually introduce newer hardware enablement kernels. Please refer to the 14.04.x, 16.04.x, and 18.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support diagrams in the corresponding sections below for more details.

Ubuntu Kernel Release Schedule.svg Download Ubuntu Kernel Release Schedule Graphic

14.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support

This is a distilled view of our 14.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule.

14.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule.svg Download 14.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule Graphic

16.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support

This is a distilled view of our 16.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule.

16.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule.svg Download 16.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule Graphic

18.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support

This is a distilled view of our 18.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule.

18.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule.svg Download 18.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule Graphic

Ubuntu Kernel Support

This is a combined view of the diagrams from above (ie the Ubuntu Kernel Release Schedule combined with the Distilled 14.04.x, 16.04.x, and 18.04.x Ubuntu Kernel Support diagrams)

Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule.svg Download Ubuntu Kernel Support Schedule Graphic

LTS Kernel Support Schedule

A more detailed view of our LTS Kernel Support Schedule. This includes views for 12.04.x, 14.04.x, 16.04.x as well as upstream stable commitments.

LTS Kernel Support Schedule.svg Download LTS Kernel Support Schedule Graphic