Ubuntu Pro vs Ubuntu Free

Everyone in the Linux community knows all about Ubuntu, one of the most popular Linux distributions of all time. It is a free operating system developed by Canonical, and is based on Debian Linux. But did you know that Canonical also has a program called Ubuntu Pro?

You may have seen it mentioned through Canonical literature or gotten the nag about enabling Ubuntu Pro for your system while you were using Ubuntu. In this article, we will explore the features of Ubuntu Pro, and see how it comes to regular, free version of Ubuntu. This will help you decide if the Ubuntu Pro program could be a good choice for you or your company.

In this tutorial you will learn:

  • What is Ubuntu Pro?
  • The features of Ubuntu Pro
  • How to enable Ubuntu Pro
Ubuntu Pro vs Ubuntu Free
Ubuntu Pro vs Ubuntu Free
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Ubuntu Linux
Software N/A
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

What is Ubuntu Pro?

Ubuntu Pro is a set of features that you can enable for your Ubuntu system. Here is a list of what Ubuntu Pro includes:

  • Security patches for common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs)
  • Security guarantee for 23,000 packages in Ubuntu’s repos
  • 10 years of expanded security maintenance on any Ubuntu LTS version
  • Quick response security patches for zero day vulnerabilities
  • FedRAMP and HIPAA-compliant Linux environment
  • Scripts to help you harden and secure your Ubuntu system(s)

This is a subscription based service, and you can view the pricing plans on the Ubuntu Pro pricing plans page. Ubuntu Pro is also free for personal use if you are a contributing member to the Ubuntu community. This means your collaboration with Ubuntu has been recognized for your continuous contributions. More info at: Ubuntu community membership.

Ubuntu Pro vs Ubuntu Free

Ubuntu Pro applies to a small target audience. This subscription plan is meant for companies with critical servers or desktops that need to ensure as little down time as possible. Entities like an enterprise or hospital would be the type to get a big benefit out of Ubuntu Pro. Such places can’t afford to have their systems compromised by a newly discovered exploit, and they also must stay compliant with various regulations.

End users do not need to worry about Ubuntu Pro, and they would likely get no noticeable benefit from forking over the money to subscribe. That means if you are a casual Linux user, just using your PC at home, Ubuntu Pro is not meant for you. Canonical would be happy to take your sub money anyway, but we would advise you to stick with ever free Ubuntu. The free version of Ubuntu already contains timely updates, security patches, and new features that are always being introduced.

How to Enable Ubuntu Pro

If you want to move forward with signing up for Ubuntu Pro, check out the step by step instructions on Ubuntu’s official website.

Closing Thoughts

In this tutorial, we learned about the difference between Ubuntu Pro and the free version of Ubuntu. While Ubuntu Pro has an alluring set of features for enterprises, the end user would find them largely irrelevant. If you found this guide because you are wondering why your system is nagging you to check out Ubuntu Pro, don’t worry, it is safe to ignore it. If you are in Canonical’s target audience for Ubuntu Pro, you will surely know it.