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My web server runs on Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Server and as a development system I use the Ubuntu 10.04 Desktop edition to minimize portability problems between systems. Currently, I have no intention to update my Desktop edition because I can neither stand Gnome 3 nor Unity as it makes me very unproductive.

My question is, what will happen after the LTS stops?

Does this mean that all applications quickly become outdated and are run over by worms, trojans and viruses? Does it pose a security risk? Or can it be ignored entirely if I just leave 10.04 on the web server?

I'm not doing anything fancy with the web server. It runs

  • PHP
  • MySQL
  • nginx
  • cron jobs
  • some self-written C applications
share|improve this question
The desktop version of 10.04 LTS, but updates for that will stop sooner than for the server edition. – 0xC0000022L May 16 '12 at 21:05
up vote 7 down vote accepted

"Support" in that sense basically means supplying security updates. These are updates to packages that contain essential security fixes. So, while a newer major version of a package might exist, your older version will still get important fixes.

This applies to normal versions:

You get free security updates for at least 18 months on the desktop and server.

For LTS versions:

A new LTS version is released every 2 years. In previous releases, a Long Term Support (LTS) version had 3 years support on Ubuntu (Desktop) and 5 years on Ubuntu Server. Starting with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, both versions will receive 5 years support.

Thus, after your LTS expires, you won't be able to get security fixes from the official repositories. Which doesn't mean you couldn't manually update software on your server, but that is up to you to decide.

share|improve this answer
Cool, learned something, but the LTS period was shorter, I see. +1. Removing my comments above. – 0xC0000022L May 16 '12 at 21:04

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