Ubuntu Mate Long Term Support (LTS)

I will start off by saying I love this distro just feels like home. I have installed it on mostly all my work stations even my macbook pro. I just wish that ubuntu mate was supported for 5 years like ubuntu and kubuntu are. But this is still great work and I am a big supporter.


As Ubuntu is the main version it has a 5 years support. Kubuntu has 3 years support the same as Ubuntu MATE

Kubuntu 16.04 LTS will be supported for 3 years.

Source: XenialXerus/ReleaseNotes/Kubuntu - Ubuntu Wiki (section Support lifespan)

Just to set the records straight :slight_smile:


Thank you for the info. I read on omgubuntu that kubuntu was a 5 year support as well. Either way I still wish it was a 5 year support distro.

Source: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2016/04/see-whats-new-ubuntu-16-04-flavors-screenshot

1 Like

Yeah, I remember reading that too.
But obviously someone screwed up.
Even the official Kubuntu download page says three years.

1 Like

So this is a Canonical decision? to limit the LTS to three years? a way of pushing Unity… Look, the latest 16.04 delivery of MATE is so good that I even have nine year old computers running it with Compiz as the compositor without any hiccups. The intuitiveness, stability and speed of this version is incredible. Any and all problems and quirks I’ve met so far are so easy to resolve, which makes me think that this could give Unity a good run for its money, so to speak, and make Ubuntu consider something like this as their core? Why? because corporate clients are not always interested in convergence nor do they use the latest in technology for their server side clients. If the MATE developers on Ubuntu step up, it could change the future.

1 Like

Hi @MonDragon. I’m sure it’s 100% the Ubuntu-Mate team’s decision for 3 years.

If Ubuntu-Mate was in a position of actively selling service contracts of their product into the competitive IT marketplace, like Canonical is very much doing, it would make more sense to go 5 years. Maybe someday they will. I’ll bet it would be a great problem to have. :grinning:

No one’s mentioned how Ubuntu updates and repositories are for all 5 years anyway. It will only be the matured Mate portion that sort of becomes frozen-in-time at 3 years.

The answer is quite simple: there is an LTS release every two years.

  • 12.04 - release April 26, 2012
  • 14.04 - release April 17, 2014
  • 16.04 - release April 2016

By that calculation there will be another LTS in April 2018 (18.04 ?). So with 3 years support you will still get full support a year after the official LTS release and after that another 2 years on the Ubuntu base. This gives you a year to decide whether you want to upgrade.

And another thing, most derivatives are maintained by a small group of people who do it voluntarily or get small donations. The main Ubuntu version has a company behind it.

wizd3m -

I have another question for you. I am just curious.

If I install ubuntu 16.04 and I just install different desktop environments ex. Mate, xfce, lxde, and I use mate as my default would I still be receiving 5 years support or would it be 3?

I apologize if this is a stupid question I am just curious. Thanks for the help in understanding this.

First of all, there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers :grin:

You will get 5 years on Ubuntu 16.04, and 3 years on the Mate desktop. The same goes for xfce4, lxde and so on.

@wimpy: please correct me if I am wrong on this.

1 Like

hi guys, I thought LTS to 5 years was a good idea, but I’ve done something different, I had Ubuntu 14.04 with Unity but seeing another 16.04 LTS, I made the change. Why?. because it is more modern, it is a stable version and brings the latest in kernel and drivers. At the end you change. I changed to Mate for its Mutiny version and I love the idea of ​​my old gnome 2, with the mixture of Unity .Solo companies using servers will be favored by the LTS of 5 years or people who start on Linux and have to get used the different management to Windows. Users who took some years using it, we changed earlier. regards…

I think on a desktop, 3 years is pretty much perfect.


The more I think about it. I think you may be correct on this.


Coming back to this old thread I wanted to understand if 16.04 LTS in UM indeeds gets another 2 years support on the Ubuntu base but none in the desktop?

It runs perfect the way it is and I would hate to change it now. Another two years would be convenient. Or is there a security risk?

One way to know for your situation is to run this command in the terminal:


For me, still on 16.04:

You have 83 packages (3.1%) supported until April 2021 (Community - 5y)
You have 315 packages (11.7%) supported until April 2019 (Community - 3y)
You have 1876 packages (69.4%) supported until April 2021 (Canonical - 5y)

You have 34 packages (1.3%) that can not/no longer be downloaded
You have 394 packages (14.6%) that are unsupported

You can also get a breakdown using these parameters to list specifically which packages will or will not receive updates:

 ubuntu-support-status --show-unsupported
 ubuntu-support-status --show-supported
 ubuntu-support-status --show-all
 ubuntu-support-status --list

So, to answer your question, yes, the 'base' of Ubuntu (libraries, system) will still be safe, but MATE and some applications may not... You could use a trusted PPA to receive updates for Xenial (16.04).

Security wise: The nice thing with how Ubuntu packages libraries and applications separately is that for example, you have an old, unsupported version of a 'community' PDF viewer, but it depends on a 'main' PDF library package that still receives security updates.


Thanks. That is helpful.