Image retention policy

Our image retention policy depends on the type of Ubuntu image, we publish two types:

  • release images - fully tested, production grade images that benefit from Canonical’s in-life support

  • daily images - untested builds that contain all the latest updates from the Ubuntu archive

For more details about these image types, check out our documentation of image release types.

On Azure, release and daily images for a given Ubuntu release are published under two distinct offers. To avoid confusion, only release images of Ubuntu are displayed on the Azure Marketplace and daily images are ‘hidden’.

To find the daily images, use the Azure CLI and run:

az vm image list -p Canonical --offer 'daily' --all

Retention policies

The images published on Azure are not retained forever. Whenever possible, it is safer to use the latest tag while selecting images. For example, use Canonical:0001-com-ubuntu-server-jammy:22_04-lts-gen2:latest instead of Canonical:0001-com-ubuntu-server-jammy:22_04-lts-gen2:22.04.202311010.

There are different retention policies for release and daily images:

release images

Only 90 release images per plan/SKU are kept alive at any given time. This is due to a marketplace limit on the number of images. For example, the image described by the URN Canonical:0001-com-ubuntu-server-jammy:22_04-lts-arm64:22.04.202206220 will be available until 90 new images have been published under the Canonical:0001-com-ubuntu-server-jammy:22_04-lts-arm64 plan. This translates into an approximate time period of two years.

daily images

Since the daily images are only meant for testing, 10 images per plan/SKU are kept alive.