The pro status output explained#

When running pro status we can observe two different types of output, which depend on whether the Ubuntu Pro subscription is attached or unattached.

Pro subscription unattached#

When unattached, users will see the following status table containing only three columns (output truncated for brevity):

esm-apps         yes        Expanded Security Maintenance for Applications
esm-infra        yes        Expanded Security Maintenance for Infrastructure
fips             yes        NIST-certified core packages
fips-updates     yes        NIST-certified core packages with priority security updates
livepatch        yes        Canonical Livepatch service


  • SERVICE: Is the name of service being offered.

  • AVAILABLE: Shows if that service is available on that machine. To verify if a service is available, we check the machine kernel version, architecture, Ubuntu release being used and the machine type (i.e., lxd for LXD containers).

  • DESCRIPTION: A short description of the service.

With Pro subscription attached#

However, if we run the same command when attached, we have an output with 4 columns (output truncated):

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

You may notice that the column AVAILABLE is no longer shown, and instead we see the following new columns:

  • ENTITLED: Shows if the user subscription allows that service to be enabled.

  • STATUS: Reports the state of that service on the machine.

It is possible that a service could appear as “available” when the Pro status is unattached, but then shows as “not entitled” if the subscription is later attached. This happens because even if the service is available, if your Ubuntu Pro subscription doesn’t allow you access to a service, pro cannot enable it.

The STATUS column allows for three possible states:

  • enabled: The service is enabled on the machine.

  • disabled: The service is not currently running.

  • n/a: This means “not applicable”. This will show if the service cannot be enabled on the machine due to a non-contract restriction. For example, we cannot enable livepatch on a container.

    “Not applicable” rows are not shown by default. If you would like to see the full output, use the pro status --all command.


“Notices” are information regarding the Ubuntu Pro status which either require some kind of action from the user, or may impact the experience with Ubuntu Pro.

For example, let’s say FIPS was just enabled, but the system wasn’t rebooted yet (which is required for booting into the FIPS Kernel). The output of pro status in this case will contain:

FIPS support requires system reboot to complete configuration.

After the system is rebooted, the notice will go away.

Notices can always be resolved, and the instructions on how to resolve it will be explicitly stated in the notice itself.


“Features” are extra configuration values that can be set and unset in uaclient.conf. Most of these are meant for development/testing purposes, but some can be used in application flows. For example, to always have beta services with the same flow as the non-beta (for enable, status, etc.), uaclient.conf may have:

  allow_beta: true

In this case, the output of pro status will contain:

allow_beta: True

It’s important to keep in mind that any feature defined like this will be listed, even if it is invalid or typed the wrong way. Those appear in status output for informational and debugging purposes.

Machine-readable output#

Status API functions#

Some status information can be obtained from API functions. These include:

If you need status-related information for which there is no API function, then pro status --format=json (described below) is the recommended machine-readable interface.


Let us know what status information you need that is missing from the API by clicking “Give feedback” at the top of this page.

pro status --format=json#

The pro status command supports a --format flag with options including json and yaml. These result in a machine-readable form of the information presented by the pro status command.


pro status should return the same results whether using sudo or not, but earlier versions did not always do this. We recommend using sudo whenever possible.

For example, running sudo pro status --format=json on an attached machine may give you something like this:

  "_doc": "Content provided in json response is currently considered Experimental and may change",
  "_schema_version": "0.1",
  "account": {
    "created_at": "2000-01-02T03:04:05+06:00",
    "id": "account_id",
    "name": "Test"
  "attached": true,
  "config": { ...effectiveConfiguration },
  "config_path": "/etc/ubuntu-advantage/uaclient.conf",
  "contract": {
    "created_at": "2000-01-02T03:04:05+06:00",
    "id": "contract_id",
    "name": "contract_name",
    "products": [ "uaa-essential" ],
    "tech_support_level": "essential"
  "effective": null,
  "environment_vars": [...proClientEnvironmentVariables],
  "errors": [],
  "execution_details": "No Ubuntu Pro operations are running",
  "execution_status": "inactive",
  "expires": "9999-12-31T00:00:00+00:00",
  "features": {},
  "machine_id": "machine_id",
  "notices": [],
  "result": "success",
  "services": [
      "available": "yes",
      "blocked_by": [],
      "description": "Expanded Security Maintenance for Applications",
      "description_override": null,
      "entitled": "yes",
      "name": "esm-apps",
      "status": "enabled",
      "status_details": "Ubuntu Pro: ESM Apps is active",
      "warning": null
      "available": "yes",
      "blocked_by": [],
      "description": "Expanded Security Maintenance for Infrastructure",
      "description_override": null,
      "entitled": "yes",
      "name": "esm-infra",
      "status": "enabled",
      "status_details": "Ubuntu Pro: ESM Infra is active",
      "warning": null
      "available": "yes",
      "blocked_by": [],
      "description": "Canonical Livepatch service",
      "description_override": null,
      "entitled": "yes",
      "name": "livepatch",
      "status": "enabled",
      "status_details": "",
      "warning": null
  "simulated": false,
  "version": "27.13.6~18.04.1",
  "warnings": []

Some particularly important attributes in the output include:

  • attached: This boolean value indicates whether this machine is attached to an Ubuntu Pro account. Starting with version 28.1, we recommend using the API instead. This does not tell you if any particular service (e.g. esm-infra) is enabled. You must check the individual service item in the services list for that status (described below).

  • expires: This is the date that the Ubuntu Pro subscription is valid until (in RFC3339 format). After this date has passed the machine should be treated as if unattached and with no services enabled. attached may still say true and services may still say they are entitled and enabled, but if the expires date has passed, you should assume the services are not functioning.

  • services: This is a list of Ubuntu Pro services. Starting with version 28.1, if you are looking for enabled services, we recommend using the API instead. Each item has its own attributes. Widely applicable services include those with name equal to esm-infra, esm-apps, and livepatch. Some important fields in each service object are:

    • name: The name of the service.

    • entitled: A boolean indicating whether the attached Ubuntu Pro account is allowed to enable this service.

    • status: A string indicating the service’s current status on the machine. Any value other than enabled should be treated as if the service is not enabled and not working properly on the machine. Possible values are:

      • enabled: The service is enabled and working.

      • disabled: The service can be enabled but is not currently.

      • n/a: The service cannot be enabled on this machine.

      • warning: The service is supposed to be enabled but something is wrong. Check the warning field in the service item for additional information.

For example, if you want to programmatically find the status of esm-infra on a particular machine, you can use the following command:

sudo pro status --format=json | jq '.services[] | select(.name == "esm-infra").status'

This command will print one of the status values defined above.