AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Save the Date – End of Life for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin)

By David Duncan. David is a Partner Solutions Architect (SA) with AWS.

On February 23, 2017, Leann Ogasawara, Canonical’s Kernel Team Manager, announced the April 28th, 2017 end of life for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (code-named Precise Pangolin) to the Kernel Support Release Update mailing list. AWS customers use Ubuntu for a wide variety of projects across workloads that range from the very simple to the extremely complex. Customers like Netflix, partners like Pivotal, and many others choose to run their workloads with Ubuntu. The AWS Partner team works closely with the Canonical Public Cloud team to ensure that the Ubuntu experience is optimal for our common customers. In support of this goal, we want to make certain that AWS customers have a number of opportunities to properly prepare for the deprecation process with confidence as we move toward the sunset of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which was originally launched in April 2012.

Canonical releases a version of Ubuntu every six months. Releases are made according to a timed schedule and include development releases and there are Long Term Support (commonly known as LTS) versions. The LTS versions are released every two years in the month of April.

The LTS releases are fully supported for 5 years with security and bug fixes. According to Canonical’s defined policies for product lifecycle, the support for Ubuntu 12.04 – where the version number specifies the April 2012 release date –  ends in April 2017. The supported upgrade path is to Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (April 2014 release) or, preferably, to 16.04 LTS (April 2016 release). The 16.04 LTS release exhibits by far the strongest security story for Ubuntu yet, and, since October, the Canonical Livepatch Service has been available for fixing kernel vulnerabilities without the need for rebooting.

Let’s take a moment and review the major dates related to the end of life for Ubuntu 12.04 that affect AWS customers. For more details on the important events throughout the lifecycle of Ubuntu releases, you can review the list of releases on the Ubuntu Wiki pages.

  • April 8, 2017 – AWS Support will send e-mail notifications to customers who are running instances created with 12.04 AMIs in the past 6 months. They will announce the upcoming removal of the Ubuntu Precise archives mirrors and the actions to follow.
  • April 28, 2017 – Access to Ubuntu 12.04 mirrors associated with the AWS instances will no longer be available. Ubuntu 12.04 AMIs will be made available only for automated installs.
  • August 28, 2017 –AMIs will be removed completely by the Canonical Public Cloud team as the final step in the end of life for this release.

Canonical provides a simple tool to identify the current support status for Ubuntu deployments. The ubuntu-support-status command provides immediate feedback on the lifecycle status of any currently deployed Ubuntu instance, similar to the following:

From this sample output, I can see that my 12.04 instance is supported until April 2017. While you can run this handy command to determine when you need to upgrade, you can also keep up to date with all Ubuntu lifecycle events by following the Ubuntu Releases wiki page.

In Canonical’s March 14th Announcement,  AWS users learned they can still access security patches and key updates for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS by purchasing a support contract with Canonical through the AWS Marketplace. Canonical’s support package, Ubuntu Advantage, is available through the AWS Marketplace at an hourly rate, with centralized billing through AWS. It provides access to systems management tooling, professional support, and SLAs, and live patching at scale.

Email announcements will be sent to the primary contact for each account. Be on the lookout for this customer announcement.