Ubuntu Pro comes with many advanced security features. But is that enough to convince regular users to switch to the Pro version?
If you’re an Ubuntu user and are curious about its Pro version, this article will help you understand what makes Ubuntu Pro different and if it’s worth trying.
We’ll look at the features in detail and give our final verdict.
Let’s get started!
What is Ubuntu Pro?
Ubuntu Pro is a version of Ubuntu with extra security patches and a longer term of support. It’s a subscription package mainly intended for enterprise usage. But you can use it for free on up to five computers if used for non-commercial purposes.
Ubuntu Pro only comes with the Long Term Support (LTS) versions of Ubuntu and not the interim builds. But that doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade to the next LTS release while using the Pro version.
What Does Ubuntu Pro Offer?
So here’s the most important part and probably why you’re here in the first place. Ubuntu Pro provides additional security benefits you won’t find in the regular LTS version. Let’s talk about some noteworthy features.
1. Expanded Security Maintenance (ESM)
You probably know that the support for Ubuntu LTS versions is for 5 years. For the Pro version, this support is extended to 10 years. The support includes the 2300 packages in the Ubuntu Main repo and 23000+ packages in the Ubuntu Universe repo.
2. Compliance and Hardening
If your company needs to meet some compliant requirements, Ubuntu Pro can help with that. FIPS 140 cryptographic modules issued by NIST, CIS benchmarked USG hardening, DISA-STIG compliant profiles, and Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation requirements fulfillment make Ubuntu Pro a secure choice for home users and industry use.
3. Livepatch Service
With Live Patching, you need not worry about any high or critical vulnerabilities found on the Linux kernel. Canonical will create live patches and release them for your system while running. This enables longer uptime and reduced unplanned work.
If a vulnerability is out of the scope of live patches, the developers send you an Ubuntu Security Notice. This notice addresses you to apply any kernel patch updates and reboot the device.
4. Landscape Administration Tool
“Landscape” is Ubuntu’s precious system management tool for large infrastructures with many desktops, clouds, and servers. With Landscape, managing and administrating such systems become a breeze.
Landscape can handle up to 40,000 devices with only one instance. Installing, updating, removing software, monitoring servers, configuring users and groups, automated update and security patch policies, inventory control, etc, come with this outstanding tool. With Ubuntu Pro, you’re getting your hands on it.
Ubuntu Pro Pricing Plans
You might wonder if you want Ubuntu Pro and how much it will set you back.
If you want a personal subscription to Ubuntu Pro, you can get it without any cost for up to 5 devices. However, if you’re a member of the official Ubuntu Community, you can increase this number to 50.
For enterprise use, you can refer to the following bullet points to understand the pricing structure:
- Desktop: $25/year for each device ($300 with 24/7 full support)
- Server with unlimited VMs: $550/year ($1775 for infra support and $3400 for full support)
If you’re an enterprise customer, you can calculate your total cost with the help of Ubuntu’s subscription window.
Pros and Cons
By now, you should have a clear idea of what Ubuntu Pro can do for you. We will summarize all the benefits you’re getting and the downsides should you decide to upgrade.
- Advanced security features and compliance
- Extended support time
- Suited for large organizations and enterprise usage
- Livepatch for vulnerability fixes without compromising uptime
- Personal use limits to only 5 machines
- Can be complex to set up for giant organizations
- Full support seems too costly
Is Ubuntu Pro For You?
If you’re a daily user like most people, you may not be concerned about upgrading to the Pro version. Additionally, if you like to try every version of Ubuntu, including the interim builds that come out every six months, then Ubuntu Pro is also not for you. That’s because the Pro version is only for the LTS versions.
On the other hand, if security is a top priority for you and you want to enjoy extended support for 5 more years, you can try out the Pro version for personal use. If you’re an enterprise user and need Ubuntu Pro for your office or other infrastructure, then the features you’re getting for the price are well worth it.
This article gives a brief introduction to Ubuntu Pro, a subscription for added security and support on top of the LTS versions, and shows you how it can enhance your whole system. With this newly equipped knowledge, you can decide whether to keep using the Ubuntu version you’re familiar with or pay attention to the Pro one.