Canonical’s Ubuntu Linux has long been known for its Long Term Support (LTS) releases, which provide stability and extended maintenance for critical workloads. Historically, Canonical has supported six LTS versions, including 4.14, 4.19, 5.4, 5.10, 5.15, and 6.1. These versions have ensured the longevity and reliability of the Ubuntu Linux platform for a duration of six years.
However, recent changes in policy have led to a reduction in the LTS support timeline from six years to two years. This decision was driven by the realization that a six-year support cycle may be excessive, as users tend to move on to newer versions before the full support duration expires. By shortening the support period, Canonical aims to alleviate the burden on maintainers while still providing sufficient assistance to users.
For instance, Ubuntu Linux 4.14, released in 2017, was initially planned to receive support until January 2024. However, due to its aging nature, usage has significantly declined. Instead of extending the support for 4.14, Canonical will introduce a new LTS version during that period with a shortened two-year support window.
TL;DR: Ubuntu Linux’s Long Term Support (LTS) releases, which have traditionally spanned six years, will now be limited to a two-year support cycle. This change aims to address diminishing usage of older LTS versions while reducing the maintenance burden on maintainers.