Debian vs Ubuntu which is Best for Server and Desktop

Debian vs Ubuntu

Debian Vs Ubuntu is the most controversial topic we’ve ever picked up. Although both of them are top distributions available today.

As they both share close relation with each other in OS architecture, features and package management system.

Taking a look at both (Debian Vs Ubuntu) will reveal everything.

In this comparison, we’re looking forward to making a solid comparison also we will include the similarities both distros show in order to obtain a clear perspective Debian vs Ubuntu.

What is Debian?

Debian is the foundation on which Ubuntu was built. More precisely it is a volunteered project maintained and developed a Linux/GNU with onboard.

The Debian project has reached a million user. Even today it has more than 20,000 packages for free and open source documentation and applications.

It is developed in association with a common cause for making the operating system free for everyone

. Nevertheless, today the Debian operating system is maintained as well as updated through the work of many volunteers.

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is a free open source project for cross-platform OS based on Debian. Ubuntu incorporates features of UNIX OS with enhanced customizable GUI which makes it even more popular among many computer users, universities and research organizations.

Ubuntu is free, open source, free of viruses and best for laptops. Desktops and servers.

Ubuntu provides support and promises upgrades every six months. Also, Ubuntu offers supports for deployment across the cloud, server, and desktop.

Differences between Debian vs Ubuntu

One of the most prominent differences we have found between Debian vs ubuntu is how these two distributions are released.

Debian is fast and works on the model of stability. Whereas, Ubuntu has more LTS releases. Although Debian basically has 3 releases stable, testing and unstable.

As we said earlier Debian is fast, stable and ultra-reliable but when it comes to software in Debian it’s outdated which may not be good for the desktop users.

Debian testing is fluid as because the Debian projects are handled by active engineers.

Let’s look how Debian vs ubuntu actually matches up?

The installer in Debian vs Ubuntu

The first and foremost the installers on Debian vs Ubuntu. Ubuntu installer is a part of the Debian project. Ubuntu back when it had started off with some additional features and active GUI as compared to Debian.

But we can say that Ubuntu has more feature rich installer. The changes are brought up by canonical that offer a cleaner friendly installation experience for users.

On the other hand, Debian installer has come out with a lot of progress in recent years but it still feels clumsy than ubuntu.

To start off Debian still uses the nCurses and not a full GUI. Although the changes are not great even existence of full graphical installer.

Luckily, Debian installer has more options whereas Ubuntu is known for the user-friendliness.

Included software: Debian vs Ubuntu

In the development process, we have seen that both Debian and Ubuntu has a lot of similarities but differ in their policies.

Whereas Ubuntu primary concern is the usability and least for software licensing. This means you get everything directly in the default repository for easier reach to the users.

On the other hand, Debian takes a leap and disallow free software availability. Debian belongs to proprietary software which a user needs to install during the default Debian installation.

Drivers and Firmware: Debian vs Ubuntu

Debian seems to have driver’s firmware as because the Debian kernel doesn’t contain any proprietary blobs.

It simply means a lack of firmware by default. Users need to download the extras and enable the repository to get it worked.

Whereas, Ubuntu has firmware support and installs the required drivers automatically for you. Ubuntu supports and works with certified manufacturers providing a seamless experience to the users.

Release cycle and support: Debian vs Ubuntu

If we look at both Debian and Ubuntu both offers consistent updates whilst the other one promise long term stable releases.

The Debian releases updates in every 2 years as well as provide support for up to 3 years. However, Debian is unstable and constant updates are pushed down during the testing phase to bring more refresh and stable version.

Whereas, Ubuntu updates are rolled out in every six months with over 2 years of Long-Term support (LTS) releases.

Package Management: Debian vs Ubuntu

Irrespective of the both Debian and ubuntu interface they use similar apt package management system but incorporates different software repository.

Debian do not allow paid software in their main repository whereas Ubuntu offers every sort of software, paid or free.

It means Ubuntu introduces independent snap package manager nevertheless, apt offer a self-contained and completely independent distribution.

Performance: Debian vs Ubuntu

Both Ubuntu and Debian has advantages over the Windows operating system. Debian is fast and ships without and bundled software like windows.

On the other hand, Ubuntu is quicker than windows and allow sideloading additional features as compared to none with Debian.

Support and community: Debian vs Ubuntu

One of the major advantages of Debian and Ubuntu is both are open source and allow volunteers to work on the Debian and Ubuntu projects.

Both have a plethora of developers and communities build around them. When it comes to the size of the community Debian is ahead in the competition by its community size and active developers present in it.

The Debian community is run by most tech-savvy peoples whereas, Ubuntu is a great choice for beginners.

If we talk about the price, Ubuntu has expert support from Canonical Ltd. Whereas, Debian has community forums.

Future Releases

Debian corresponds to three release types such as:

  • Stable – This version is ready for work with windows and servers.
  • Unstable– This is basically run by developers and offer a free trial to experiment with the code.
  • Testing – This is a testing version where developers play an important role in participation in the active rollout of the stable version.

Ubuntu corresponds to two types such as:

  • Ubuntu LTS– The LTS version offers a steady update in every 6 months span with new releases once in 2 years. The LTS version might have outdated hardware drivers and software but it’s more stable than anything.
  • Ubuntu non-LTS– It is referred to an as stable version which receives updates once in every six months. The Non-LTS version is built on Debian that promises to bring improvements upon release.

Security: Debian vs Ubuntu

The security fixes through consistent updates for both Debian and Ubuntu is maintained quite well.

Ubuntu uses AppArmor pre-installed (Linux security kernel model) that helps to restrict administrative capabilities.

Whereas Debian does not have any firewall in-built or pre-access installed control system and keeps more faith in users’ abilities for top security.

Ubuntu is a more intuitive and comes straight out of the box operating system with strong security for the users.

Corporate backing: Debian vs Ubuntu

Debian has the largest community of developers onboard. Thus, it is backed by the board of elected developers. It has the laws and regulations that Debian follows strictly.

Although, Ubuntu is the product of the corporation named Canonical.

The company develops many projects to have full control and decisions made by Ubuntu.

Despite Canonical is a separate company but it assimilates major decisions while making deals with other manufacturers for compatibility.

Ubuntu is found in machines pre-installed by Dell.

Canonical also provide support for Ubuntu.

If you are a Ubuntu user can be assured of technical support from the Canonical in case of any issues.

Debian vs Ubuntu both are for different needs

Debian vs Ubuntu – Which is best for you?

Despite what you see in web, choosing Debian over Ubuntu or vice-versa is generally conceptualized in different ways.

For instance, you can run both operating systems as live CDs or try them in a virtual machine so as to see which one works best for you.

It should be also noted that Debian & Ubuntu are not meant for the same kinds of users. Ubuntu has always focused on beginners who are new to Linux, while Debian is more fulfilling to advanced users.

A minimalistic design and build for developers is the main advantage of making this Debian operating system.


Is Ubuntu the same as Debian?

Debian is one of the first known original Linux distributions started back in 1993. However, Mark Shuttleworth thought to make a friendlier version of Debian through Ubuntu in late 2004. Ubuntu releases new update in every 6 months whereas Debian is slightly different from Ubuntu. Unlike Ubuntu OS Debian OS is a bit more advanced and difficult to use for the beginners.

Is Ubuntu more popular than Debian?

Usually, Ubuntu is preferred over Debian due to its usability and also because of the delayed updates make Debian extremely unfamiliar among users.

Is Debian or Ubuntu more secure?

More or less Debian or ubuntu both have good security. Every Linux based operating system such as Debian or Ubuntu is somewhat secure but not 100% secure. Whilst, the nature of the OS prevents infections unlike, Windows 10 which is arguably is prone to infections and malware attacks.

What is the difference between Debian and Linux?

Ubuntu derived from the Debian distributions and known as Debian Linux. It shares almost 80% of the core packages. The only difference you will see that Debian does not have stability like Ubuntu. Ubuntu LTS rolls out updates once in every six months but Debian has a stable version, an unstable version and lastly, a testing version.