Based on my comments here and my messages in Raiders of the Lost Downboat, I think the term "end of life" is sometimes confusing and may be misleading for new users. As of now, one of the closing reason states:

This question is specific to an end of life Ubuntu release. These are no longer supported and are therefore off-topic here. To upgrade, see: How to install software or upgrade from old unsupported release?

But on the page (where "end of life Ubuntu release" redirects), "End of Life" is basically defined as the End of Standard Support+End of Extended Security Maintenance(which is off-topic here).

So, I think it's the time that the help center and closing reason be edited and "End of Life" is changed to "End of Standard Support" or "End of Public Support" to make an attempt to avoid confusions and such answers.

  • 3
    I love your being a nitpicker exactly like I am – the world needs more per(s)nicketiness.
    – dessert
    Commented Aug 30, 2019 at 18:26
  • 5
    I think users would find that helpful, and it fits what is happening elsewhere. I coped flak from Canonical staff when 14.04 LTS reached EOL (fridge.ubuntu.com/2019/05/02/… posted by meta.askubuntu.com/users/153297/wild-man) over the wording in the heading. Canonical wanted End of Standard Support there, but I resisted based on precedent. I don't like change, but I think it's for the better (user-wise).
    – guiverc
    Commented Aug 31, 2019 at 4:55
  • @guiverc Respect. I get that Canonical is trying to promote ESM, but changing a word's definition without warning is super confusing.
    – wjandrea
    Commented Sep 1, 2019 at 18:44
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    I think "End of Public Support" would be a great replacement Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 12:10
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    How about we redefine “life” to mean “standard support” and introduce “afterlife” as a synonyme for the Extended Security Maintenance period – sadly, this way the afterlife has an end as well and for most there is none at all…
    – dessert
    Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 16:28
  • "End of Public Support" is more explicit than "End of Standard Support" and "End of Basic Support". I likes it. "Afterlife" would require more explaining, so I don't, even though it's a great pun.
    – K7AAY
    Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 16:44
  • I think we have to be careful, because "End of Life" is an Ubuntu term from Upstream, and therefore we have to be careful 'redefining' that term independently
    – Thomas Ward Mod
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 14:05
  • @ThomasWard What if we can link "end of life Ubuntu release" to this meta Q&A instead of Ubuntu Wiki? And I think we should consider guiverc's comment.
    – Kulfy
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 14:11
  • The Ubuntu Wiki page: wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases, clearly states that 14.04 LTS End of Life is April 2022. The Ask Ubuntu Help page: askubuntu.com/help/on-topic, states: "Support for versions for Ubuntu releases past their Support or "End of Life" (EOL)", are off topic. The Help page makes no mention of ESM versions being disqualified. Until EOL is redefined in Ask Ubuntu as "End of Standard Support" EOL is when Canonical says it is and Ubuntu 14.04 is technically on-topic until April 2022. Why try to control what other people do if it doesn't hurt you? Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 9:32
  • @C.S.Cameron First, I'm not trying to control things. The question was meant to get the opinion of community. Also, this question was posted even before ESM was made free for personal use. Moreover, Canonical's definition of "end of life" changed with time. See this cached copy of Releases - Ubuntu Wiki and consider comparing them side by side. It's just the help page of Ask Ubuntu isn't updated.
    – Kulfy
    Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 11:37
  • @Kulfy: My apologies if you thought that I was referring to you in my statement about some users trying to control others. There is nothing in your Question to make anybody think that. The closing of this question: askubuntu.com/questions/1316699/… is the source of my comment. Your Question was also linked to in that question also in my Meta question on the subject: meta.askubuntu.com/questions/19510/…. You're welcome to comment on my question. Commented Feb 16, 2021 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


This "End of Life" issue is confusing the end-users.

On one hand, the Releases on Ubuntu Wiki mentioned the term "End of Standard Support" and "End of Life". On the other hand, the Ubuntu release cycle on Ubuntu.com mentioned "five-year public support" or "subscribe to ESM". Then, searching on Ubuntu.com will lead to the Releases on Ubuntu Wiki (again), and the recent post of Ubuntu 18.10 End of Life on Ubuntu Fridge, and then 'end-of-life' tag on Ubuntu Blog.

The problem: Ubuntu Wiki makes the term confusing by defining "End of Life" equals to "End of Standard Support" and "Extended Support Maintenance (ESM)".

In my opinion, Ubuntu Wiki should rename the terms as follows.

  • End of Standard Support -> End of Life
  • End of Life -> End of Life ESM

The naming is similar to the Releases on Debian Wiki: End of life date, EOL LTS, EOL ELTS. These names are defined clearly. Then why not Ubuntu Wiki?

If renaming the terms on Ubuntu Wiki is made possible, then no need to redefine in the help center on Ask Ubuntu. That would solve the problem immediately--just two lines of text!

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    But here on Ask Ubuntu we can't control things on Ubuntu Wiki unless someone really see this Q&A.
    – Kulfy
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 17:09
  • 2
    Well then, share the link to this meta post and let others know of this suggestion. Just pass the word that we have this suggestion, eventually someone will reach to the "right" person. That is what we can do.
    – user37165
    Commented Sep 6, 2019 at 17:30
  • The only critical criteria for depriving a Ubuntu user of a release of their choice is security...If Canonical is willing to provide security for a Ubuntu release, Ask Ubuntu is also obliged to support that release. Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 13:29

I know that this is probably not going to be a popular answer, but i think that this is an example of a knee-jerk reaction proposal in the format "I don't want somebody else to answer these questions, make them stop!"

The idea of askubuntu.com was "Answer questions about Ubuntu family of GNU/Linux distros until they reach End of Life". If End of Life can be extended, there is no harm in allowing such answers.

  • Is there any damage what-so-ever in allowing somebody to answer such questions?
  • Is somebody forcing you to answer these questions if you personally do not want to do that?
  • What uses more resources: trying to stop people from getting answers until EOL or simply letting such questions remain here?
  • 1
    Excelent. Downvote with no comment, because "I want people to stop answering questions I don't like because reasons and because I don't like".
    – v010dya
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 3:22
  • 2
    Extending EOL means opting Extended Security Maintenance. For ESM, private archives are provided from where users can download/install packages. We on Ask Ubuntu won't know which packages are being provided to them. Also, in Ubuntu packages and dependencies could be very much different. For example, 12.04 is currently in ESM. Most of the packages still depend on Python 2 but this ain't true for releases after 18.04. You may find this meta Q&A interesting. PS: I didn't downvote your answer.
    – Kulfy
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 14:08
  • 1
    @Kulfy I see where we differ. You seem to think that EOL meant "end of public support" and thus consider other uses to be an extension of EOL. However, i would agrue that EOL means (and always meant) "end of support"; thus it is not about extending or not extending, it is about limiting or not limiting. I do not have any extended security management, but if somebody were to answer a question with a sourced "It is not possible, but you can do that if you ESM" i would definitely upvote that answer. True it is not useful for everybody, but not having such answer is not useful to anybody.
    – v010dya
    Commented Sep 12, 2019 at 18:26
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    Well honestly speaking, I don't think people here on Ask Ubuntu actually take interest in answering those questions. (Reference: jrg's comment). Moreover, the intent of this question was to reconsider the definition of EOL not the scope of the website. If you think EOL releases should be on-topic, please ask a new question. Thanks :)
    – Kulfy
    Commented Sep 14, 2019 at 11:56
  • 1
    @Kulfy Wrong. Currently releases that have not reached EOL are in scope, but the OP wants to redefine EOL, which de-facto will change the scope. I want the scope to remain as it. Perhaps we can add a tag "End of Public Support".
    – v010dya
    Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 3:42
  • Even now, the majority interpret EOL as "End of Standard Support" which is why everyone is flagging 14.04 as EOL even though it is technically not until 2022. So for me, it makes sense to change the flag name to "End of Standard Support" I agree with @Kulfy. There was an extensive discussion about this in the downboat
    – VidathD
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 7:31

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