Ubuntu 14.04 reached its end of life on April 30, 2019. This means there will be no security and maintenance updates for Ubuntu 14.04 users anymore unless they pay for extended security (explained later).
You won’t even get updates for installed applications and you won’t be able to install a new application using the apt command or the Software Center without manually modifying sources.list.
Ubuntu 14.04 was released almost five years ago. That’s the life of a long term support release of Ubuntu.
Check your Ubuntu version and see if you’re still using Ubuntu 14.04. If that’s the case for a desktop or a server you run, you might be wondering what you should do in such a situation.
Let me help you out there and tell you what options you have in this case.
Upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (easiest of them all)
If you have a good internet connection, you can upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS from within Ubuntu 14.04.
Ubuntu 16.04 is also a long term support release and it will be supported till April, 2021. Which means you’ll have two years before another upgrade.
I recommend reading this tutorial about upgrading your Ubuntu version. It was originally written for upgrading Ubuntu 16.04 to Ubuntu 18.04 but the steps are applicable in your case as well.
Make a backup, do a fresh install of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (ideal for desktop users)
Another option is that you make a backup of your Documents, Music, Pictures, Downloads and any other folders where you have kept essential data that you cannot afford to lose.
When I say backup, I simply mean copying these folders to an external USB disk. In other words, you should have a way to copy the data back to your computer because you’ll be formatting your system.
I would recommend this option for desktop users. Ubuntu 18.04 is the current long term support release and it will be supported till at least April, 2023. You have four long years before you’ll be forced into another upgrade.
Pay for extended security maintenance and continue using Ubuntu 14.04
This is suited to
Ubuntu Advantage program users also have the Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) feature. This program provides security updates even after a given version reaches end of life.
This comes at a cost. It costs $225 per year per physical node for server users. For desktop users, the price is $150 per year. You can see detailed pricing for the Ubuntu Advantage program here.
Still using Ubuntu 14.04?
If you’re still using Ubuntu 14.04, you should start exploring your options as you have less than two months to go.
In any case, you must not use Ubuntu 14.04 after 30 April 2019 because your system will be vulnerable due to the lack of security updates. Not being able to install new applications will be an additional major pain.
So which option will you choose here? Upgrading to Ubuntu 16.04 or 18.04 or paying for ESM?