Why only 3 years LTS?

Question 1:
Ubuntu Mate LTS is only supported for 3 years.
Big brother (BB) Ubuntu's LTS is supported for 5 years.

I don't want the same support as BB for 5 years, but isn't it possible to keep the OS & the browsers updated with just security updates? Just safe to use for 5 years? Or are they already? I'm using UM for only 2 years now, so I don't know.

Because, if I install an Ubuntu Mate 20.04 LTS now, it seems I'll have to re-instal it in less than a year. That's not my idea of LTS. I am waiting desparately for 22.04, but I might be running out of time.

Yes, I know it's similar to: Why is Ubuntu MATE 16.04 only supported for 3 years, but not for 5 years? but I need some extra clarification and we are after all, +5 years later.

Question 2:
Someone suggested to me that, in order to circumvent the 3 years limitation, I could install the Mate DE on top of a standard Ubuntu, with
apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop
but that doesn't give me a full Ubuntu Mate, doesn't it. Or does it?
What is the difference?



So Ubuntu MATE does get all the updates that Ubuntu LTS gets for 5 years (browsers and security updates mostly) where that applies, however anything Ubuntu MATE specific does not get updated, so if causes something to break don't expect, if you install the ubuntu-mate-desktop that does pretty does give you Ubuntu MATE though I'm not sure about the UM specific snaps and you also have all the Gnome stuff to deal with as well

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Ubuntu and all flavors used to all provide three years of support for LTS.

Ubuntu Desktop, Ubuntu Server, Ubuntu Cloud, and Ubuntu Base had their supported life extended to 5 years, many years ago, but all flavors remained 3 years.

No flavor has reduced length of LTS, it's just the main Ubuntu products had life extended. It applies to packages found in 'main', so as already stated, your Ubuntu-MATE system will have security fixes & updates for the packages from 'main', ie. those used in common with Ubuntu Desktop.

The only change since the prior post you mention, is Kubuntu only has 3 years of support (Ubuntu Kylin had 5 years for 16.04 [only for 16.04], not Kubuntu)

FYI: I'm speaking here mostly from my knowledge via the Ubuntu News Team having been involved there since 2015; but official member since 2017.


You could always install your Home partition separate or on another drive, therefore you only need to reinstall the updated version and keep all your settings etc.

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We can just upgrade from one LTS to the next too if we want, that's what I always do. It's a lot quicker easier than re-installing. I been doing it that way for a long time and I haven't had a problem with it yet.


I agree with Herman, you can just upgrade from one LTS the next without re-installing. I too have been doing this for sometime without any problems.


Before contacting this community I presumed like you do that Ubuntu Desktop had 5 years in front of U.M. so I installed a 20.04 Desktop version with Gnome3 and over it installed ubuntu-mate-desktop. After closing session restarted on ubuntu mate and the behaviour is as good as native UM. Even with compiz
Nevertheless as I read above, you'll have the same lapse for upgrading in both UM and Ubuntu Desktop.

I have found the ppa to update mate to the last version so in case that beyond 2023 something is wrong with Mate I will count on this option.
On the other hand you can count on flatpak.

For testing purposes I installed all packages I use with flatpak and they work fine even in versions not available in Ubuntu repositories. This can be the second help you can count on. The con is that some packages do not interact with Themes decoration but they do work good..

In my case I work with photo edition and all the software I need is found in flatpak no matter what the version of ubuntu is you can run them within a separate box not interacting with the system.