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Get started with Ubuntu Pro


New to Ubuntu Pro? This how-to guide will help you understand how to activate your Ubuntu Pro subscription and choose which services to enable. Together, we will identify security updates that are uniquely available with an Ubuntu Pro subscription, and we will apply fixes.

We will start by getting a free, personal subscription. Then we will attach this subscription to your existing Ubuntu LTS machine.

Want to learn more about the benefits of Ubuntu Pro before moving on?

What you'll learn

  1. What Ubuntu Pro is and how to use it
  2. How to check the source of your installed packages
  3. How to attach an Ubuntu Pro subscription to your existing Ubuntu LTS machine
  4. How to check for and apply security updates on your Ubuntu machine, including security updates for Ubuntu Universe packages which are only available with Ubuntu Pro

What you'll need

  1. An Ubuntu machine running 16.04 LTS, 18.04 LTS, 20.04 LTS or 22.04 LTS
  2. Sudo access
  3. An email address, or an existing Ubuntu One account
  4. Ubuntu Pro client version 27.13.1 or newer


Before we start

  1. Make sure that you are up to date:
    $ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade
  2. Ensure that you're running the latest version of the pro client:
    $ pro --version

I can see that I am running version 27.13.1, so no need to update. If you run a previous version of the client, you have two options:

  • You could wait for the pro client update, which is now released and phased to get to all Ubuntu machines, or
  • Consider bypassing the update phasing and install the latest client version using the following command:
    $ sudo apt install ubuntu-advantage-tools
  • When you get the latest client, run apt update again to make sure all package data is up to date.

    $ sudo apt update


Identify the source repository of your installed packages

First, let's find out how many deb packages are installed on your machine and from which source:

$ pro security-status
1919 packages installed:
    1870 packages from Ubuntu Main/Restricted repository
    10 packages from Ubuntu Universe/Multiverse repository
    10 package from a third party
    29 packages no longer available for download

To get more information about the packages, run
	  pro security-status --help
for a list of available options.

This machine is receiving security patching for Ubuntu Main/Restricted
repository until 2025.
This machine is NOT attached to an Ubuntu Pro subscription.

Ubuntu Pro with 'esm-infra' enabled provides security updates for
Main/Restricted packages until 2030.

Ubuntu Pro with 'esm-apps' enabled provides security updates for
Universe/Multiverse packages until 2030 and has 1 pending security update.

Try Ubuntu Pro with a free personal subscription on up to 5 machines.

OK, so there are 1919 deb packages installed on your machine.

  • 1870 packages are from Ubuntu Main/ Restricted repository which means that they receive Ubuntu LTS updates until 2025. This is covered without any subscription but can be expanded with Ubuntu Pro for an additional 5 years, until 2030.
  • 10 packages are from Ubuntu Universe/ Multiverse repository and they come with no security assurance from Ubuntu LTS, but they are covered by Ubuntu Pro.
  • And there is 1 security update for the Universe repository available with an Ubuntu Pro subscription.

Note: if you're currently not using any packages from the Ubuntu Universe repository, that line will not be displayed.

To see the list of packages covered with esm-apps and to identify which packages have pending CVE fixes, run:

$ pro security-status --esm-apps
1919 packages installed:
	10 packages from Ubuntu Universe/Multiverse repository

Ubuntu Pro with 'esm-apps' enabled provides security updates for
Universe/Multiverse packages until 2030 and has 1 pending security update.

Run 'pro help esm-apps' to learn more

Package names in bold currently have an available update
with 'esm-apps' enabled
ansible python3-argcomplete python3-kerberos python3-libcloud
python3-ntlm-auth python3-requests-kerberos python3-requests-ntlm
python3-selinux python3-winrm python3-xmltodict

For example, run:
	apt-cache policy ansible
to learn more about that package.

From the output we identify the list of all packages installed from the Universe repository, and we know that the CVE updated concerns ansible.

Alternatively, if you know the CVE number you want to check, the pro fix command can tell you if the machine is vulnerable or not. As an example, let's check for the CVE-2021-3583, run:

$ pro fix CVE-2021-3583
A flaw was found in Ansible, where a user's controller is vulnerable to
template injection. This issue can occur through facts used in the template
if the user is trying to put templates in multi-line YAML strings and the
facts being handled do not routinely include special template characters.
This flaw allows attackers to perform command injection, which discloses
sensitive information. The highest threat from this vulnerability is to
confidentiality and integrity.
1 affected source package is installed: ansible
(1/1) ansible:
A fix is available in Ubuntu Pro with `esm-apps` enabled.
The update is not installed because this system is not attached to a subscription.

Choose: [S]ubscribe at [A]ttach existing token [C]ancel

To fix that we need an Ubuntu Pro subscription. Let's get one!


Get your free Ubuntu Pro subscription

  1. Create an Ubuntu One account

    If you do not already have an Ubuntu One account, create one - Ubuntu One is the single account you use to log in to all services and sites related to Ubuntu, including the Ubuntu Pro which is free of charge for personal use on up to 5 machines. For enterprise use-cases go to or contact us.

  2. Confirm the email address

    Simply click the link provided in the email:

    Welcome to your new Ubuntu One account.
    You can log in right away and start using your new account.
    Please take a moment to confirm your email address with us.
    To confirm your email address, please click on the link below:{YOUR_TOKEN_HERE}/+newemail/{YOUR_EMAIL_HERE}
    Thank you,
    The Ubuntu One team
    If you don't know what this is about, then someone has probably entered your email address by mistake. Sorry about that. Use the following link only if you wish to report this email being incorrectly used:{YOUR_TOKEN_HERE}/{YOUR_EMAIL_HERE}
    You can also seek further assistance on:

  3. Retrieve the token:

    You will be automatically redirected to your Ubuntu Pro dashboard (; an additional Google captcha confirmation step might be required. Your Ubuntu Pro token will be listed under 'Free Personal Token'


Attach your Ubuntu LTS machine to an Ubuntu Pro subscription using the token

Now that we have our Ubuntu Pro token, we can attach it to our Ubuntu instance. Open the terminal on your Ubuntu LTS, and type the following command:

sudo pro attach [YOUR_TOKEN]

You should see some of the Ubuntu Pro services automatically enabling, while others will remain disabled until you switch them on:

$ sudo pro attach [YOUR_TOKEN]
Enabling default service esm-infra
Updating package lists
Ubuntu Pro: ESM Infra enabled
Enabling default service livepatch
Canonical livepatch enabled.
Unable to determine current instance-id
This machine is now attached to 'Ubuntu Pro - free personal subscription'

esm-apps         yes       enabled   Expanded Security Maintenance for Applications
esm-infra        yes       enabled   Expanded Security Maintenance for Infrastructure
fips             yes       disabled  NIST-certified core packages
fips-updates     yes       disabled  NIST-certified core packages with priority security updates
livepatch        yes       enabled   Canonical Livepatch service
usg              yes       disabled  Security compliance and audit tools

Operation in progress: pro attach

Enable services with: pro enable <service>
Account: [YOUR_EMAIL]
Subscription: Ubuntu Pro - free personal subscription

This output will depend on your Ubuntu LTS version; for instance 'fips', 'fips-updates' and 'usg' are not yet available on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

For Ubuntu Desktop, you can go to “Software & Updates” and open the "Ubuntu Pro" tab.

Then you can click the “Enable Ubuntu Pro” button. You can then copy paste the token into “add token manually”.

Alternatively, you can pick the code displayed and paste it on


Congratulations - your machine is now upgraded to Ubuntu Pro

Well done! Your machine now has access to Ubuntu Pro repositories. That means that every time you update your software, you will be pulling from the Ubuntu Pro’s Expanded Security Maintenance repositories. You can get it through all the usual paths; nothing new to learn. You can use unattended-upgrades, the Software Updater on the Desktop, or apt upgrade command in the CLI.

To ensure that all available CVE fixes are applied, run:

 $ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade


What else can you use your Ubuntu Pro subscription for?

For users running in regulated environments, we have a set of FIPS-certified crypto-modules and hardening scripts available. To enable them, consider enabling other Pro services you are entitled to, such as the Ubuntu Security Guide.

$ sudo pro enable usg


That's all, folks

Good job, you made it! You should now know how to access and use Ubuntu Pro, as well as understand all the great benefits Ubuntu Pro has to offer.

Next steps:

Still hungry to learn more about Ubuntu Pro? Talk to the Canonical team or head on over to Ubuntu Pro Discourse.