On 31 May 2023, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS will reach the end of standard support. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) was released on 23 April 2018, introducing improved UEFI Secure Boot and broader Kernel Livepatch coverage for enhanced security on Azure. You can continue to use your existing virtual machines, however, security, feature, and maintenance updates will no longer be provided by Canonical and may leave your systems vulnerable.
It’s important to act before 31 May 2023 to ensure you’re on a supported operating system. Microsoft recommendseither migrating to the next Ubuntu LTS release or upgrading to Ubuntu Pro to gain access to extended security and maintenance from Canonical.
Upgrading to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Ubuntu 22.04
Transitioning to the latest operating system, such as Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Ubuntu Pro 22.04 LTS, is important for performance, hardware enablement, new technology benefits, and is recommended for new instances. It may be a complex process for existing deployments and should be properly scoped and tested with your workloads.
While there’s no direct upgrade path from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, you can directly upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, and then to Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, or directly install Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.
Ubuntu Pro – Extended Security Maintenance to 2028
Ubuntu Pro includes security patching for all Ubuntu packages due to Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) for Infrastructure and Applications and optional 24/7 phone and ticket support. Ubuntu Pro 18.04 LTS will remain fully supported until April 2028.
Ubuntu Pro is available for free for personal and small-scale commercial users on up to 5 machines and with transparent, per-machine pricing for enterprises.
New virtual machines can be deployed with Ubuntu Pro from the Azure Marketplace. You can also upgrade existing virtual machines to Ubuntu Pro by purchasing from Canonical.
Note on the retirement of ‘`UbuntuLTS’` UrnAlias for Azure CLI and PowerShell
Starting October, 2023, the ‘`UbuntuLTS’` UrnAlias,,, used for deployments from the Azure CLI and Powershell, along with other popular aliases will be retired in favor of versioned aliases. This is a breaking change and may require code changes. Stay tuned to the Microsoft Azure Blog for more updates later this year.
More information covering Ubuntu 18.04 LTS End of Standard Support can be found here.