Ubuntu 16.04 LTS end of maintenance

How will this impact my existing virtual machine (VM) instances

Your current VMs that are running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS are not affected. After April 30, 2021 you will still be able to start or stop your existing VMs that are using these images.

However, your projects might be at risk because you will be running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS VMs that are no longer supported and are not receiving security updates.

What do I need to know

After this date, the following changes take effect:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS images will still be available but will be marked as deprecated.
  • For your existing Ubuntu 16.04 LTS based VMs, limited technical support is available through Google Cloud.

What do I need to do

  1. Review the operating system lifecycle and support policy.
  2. If you need to create VMs that use these Ubuntu 16.04 LTS images after the end of maintenance date, make copies of the images that are available in your projects.
  3. Evaluate and move your Compute Engine VMs to either Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS before April 30, 2021. In-place upgrades of cloud images from LTS to LTS are supported by Canonical. For more information, see the Canonical upgrade documentation.

Additional information

To ensure continued support for your Ubuntu 16.04 VMs on Compute Engine, consider the following options.

  • Get Extended Security Maintenance with an Ubuntu Advantage subscription from Canonical.

    Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) is provided to Ubuntu VMs that have an attached Ubuntu Advantage (UA) subscription. Canonical ESM for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS provides at least three additional years of security patches.

  • ESM with Ubuntu Pro

    Google and Canonical are working together to simplify ESM enrollment for continuity of security coverage with Ubuntu Pro on Compute Engine. This will ensure that you do not have to upgrade to newer Ubuntu versions immediately.

    Ubuntu Pro is a premium image that is now available on Compute Engine. Premium images incur additional license fees to run on Compute Engine. Upgrading to Ubuntu Pro enables ESM for new Ubuntu Pro 16.04 LTS VMs with hourly billing as an alternative to an annual UA subscription. For information about how to upgrade to Ubuntu Pro, see Upgrade from Ubuntu to Ubuntu Pro.

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