How to manage Expanded Security Maintenance (ESM) services

For Ubuntu LTS releases, ESM for Infrastructure (esm-infra) and ESM for Applications (esm-apps) are automatically enabled after you attach the Ubuntu Pro Client subscription to your account. However, if you chose to disable them initially, you can enable them at any time from the command line using the Ubuntu Pro Client (pro).

Make sure pro is up-to-date

All systems come with pro pre-installed through the ubuntu-advantage-tools package. To make sure that you’re running the latest version of pro, run the following commands:

sudo apt update && sudo apt install ubuntu-advantage-tools

Check the status of the services

After you have attached your subscription and updated the ubuntu-advantage-tools package, you can check which services are enabled by running the following command:

pro status

This will show you which services are enabled or disabled on your machine (output truncated for brevity):

esm-apps         yes       enabled   Expanded Security Maintenance for Applications
esm-infra        yes       enabled   Expanded Security Maintenance for Infrastructure
livepatch        yes       enabled   Canonical Livepatch service
realtime-kernel  yes       disabled  Ubuntu kernel with PREEMPT_RT patches integrated

Enable esm-apps and esm-infra

If either of the esm-apps or esm-infra services are disabled and you want to enable them, run the following command to enable ESM-Infra:

sudo pro enable esm-infra

Or the following for ESM-Apps:

sudo pro enable esm-apps

Update your packages

When you enable the ESM-Infra and/or ESM-Apps repositories, especially on Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04, you may see a number of package updates available that were not available previously.

Even if your system indicated that it was up to date before enabling esm-infra or esm-apps, make sure to check for new package updates after you enable them:

sudo apt upgrade

If you have cron jobs set to install updates, or other unattended upgrades configured, be aware that this will likely result in a number of packages being updated with the esm-infra and esm-apps content.

Running apt upgrade will apply all available package updates, including the ones in esm-infra and esm-apps.

Disable the services

If you wish to disable the services, you can use the following command to disable ESM-Infra:

sudo pro disable esm-infra

Or the following command to disable ESM-Apps:

sudo pro disable esm-apps

Note that this command will only remove the APT sources, but not uninstall the packages installed with the services.

To purge the services, removing the APT packages installed with them, see how to disable and purge services.