Canonical has made good on its promise to keep on patching the venerable 14.04 Long Term Support (LTS) version of the Ubuntu operating system as it emitted updated installation media.
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14.04, aka Trusty Tahr, was released back in 2014. A time before Brexit, Trump, and the discovery of an alarming flaw in APT (CVE-2019-3462) that could allow altered packages to be installed as part of a man-in-the-middle attack.
Canonical had already patched affected versions of Ubuntu (at least those it still supports) from the current 18.10, back through the 18.04, 16.04 and 14.04 LTS editions. The install media for the 16.04 LTS was given an update last week.
While the update doesn't bring along any exciting new hardware support, it does roll up updates for "additional high-impact bugs". Since this is the LTS, Canonical is obviously all about keeping things stable and compatible.
New installations of Trusty Tahr will now contain the fixes.
However, it is also a salutary reminder that free support for 14.04 is coming to an end soon, something that will send shivers down the spines of admins. After the April cut-off, 14.04 will enter Extended Security Maintenance, as the team were quick to remind users (with impeccable timing).
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS was on the receiving end of the scheme back in 2017, which costs $150 per desktop per year, or $750 per year for server. It has since received "hundreds of high and critical security patches".
When ESM was announced for 14.04 LTS last year, Canonical reckoned that while desktop users "probably don't need Ubuntu extended maintenance support", things were a bit less straightforward for servers. The company admitted: "People really don't like fixing what isn't broken."
No, they don't. And Canonical will be very happy to keep the support taps turned on – for a fee.
The update to the 14.04 LTS media is a salutary reminder that it is time to do that upgrade or reach for the company credit card. ®