Debian vs Ubuntu: Which Linux Distribution Is Right For You?

8 min read

When deciding between Debian vs Ubuntu, it essentially comes down to your needs. While the derivative is modern and easy to use, the preceding distribution stands out for its reliability and commitment to the open-source principle.

With the world approaching the next generation of computer hardware, there is still plenty to find on the software side. With most laptops pre-installed with Microsoft Windows, many consumers miss out on the Linux OS experience, which is undoubtedly leaner and considerably more resource-friendly than other standard operating systems. Users may also encounter difficulties while installing an unfamiliar operating system, such as Linux.

However, names such as Debian and Ubuntu have played a key part in resolving many of these concerns, making operating systems powered by Linux as user-friendly as feasible. But which is best for you: Debian Linux vs Ubuntu?

Continue reading and exploring to learn the significant difference between Debian and Ubuntu. We will also let you know which is better to use in 2024.

What is Debian?

Debian is a freeware operating system that you can use. The operating system is an assortment of simple programs and tools that make your computer function. The kernel is the most essential software for your computer’s operating system. It handles all the easy tasks and enables you to launch additional programs.

The Debian project stands out from other Linux projects due to its vast community support, extensive package databases, and free project leadership style. Debian Linux also includes several handy features that will benefit both new and experienced users.

Debian employs the Linux kernel, a free software package created by Linus Torvalds while supported by hundreds of programmers worldwide. That is why we have a debate of “Debian vs Ubuntu.”

The GNU Project provides many simple tools that make up the OS, and this software is also free.

Here are the primary reasons Debian is an attractive option for Linux servers.

  • Stability: Debian’s stable edition has long-term support and durability, making it a popular choice for systems that need uninterrupted, surprise-free operations.
  • Package administration: Debian’s package administration (the Alternative Package Tool, or APT for short) makes software installation and updating easier.
  • Security: The Debian security team has a track record of delivering reliable and timely security updates.

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is the Linux kernel or distro. In Linux terminology, a distribution is a variation of the operating system built on the Linux kernel. There are dozens of distinct Linux distributions across the world. Many are free, and users form groups to provide assistance and feedback to one another.

However, installing an open-source Linux distribution with few support choices might be intimidating for the ordinary computer user. Here’s where Ubuntu steps in. Ubuntu, provided by the Canonical organization, is a case study of a commercial Linux kernel-focused project.

Ubuntu uses Snap packages, a packaged software packaging mechanism that simplifies app deployment and maintenance. The distribution also makes it simple to set up and maintain services by providing the following:

  • Juju, which is a service orchestration tool.
  • Charms are predefined deployment routines.

Ubuntu is compatible with many cloud computing platforms, making it an increasingly popular option for cloud servers.

What do Ubuntu & Debian have in Common?

What do Ubuntu & Debian have in Common

Linux is a viable alternative to macOS and Windows. Different operating systems depending on the Linux kernel with the GNU software palette, on the other hand, are not a homogenous group, rather they cater to specific needs. Debian and Ubuntu are two of the most famous and well-known Linux distributions. Users who are considering migrating to Linux will undoubtedly encounter the two possibilities. But, when comparing Ubuntu with Debian, which option has the advantage? The solution isn’t so straightforward.

Both “Debian vs Ubuntu” distributions have advantages and disadvantages. Despite their differences, the two have certain similarities. That’s hardly unexpected given that Ubuntu is a Debian variant.

While Debian has been available since 1993 and was one of the earliest mature Linux distributions, its successor Ubuntu was introduced in 2004. The younger version incorporates components of Debian’s design and infrastructure but takes a different approach. When deciding between Ubuntu and Debian, it is essential to examine both options.

Debian vs Ubuntu: What’s the Difference?

Debian vs Ubuntu What’s the Difference

Before we begin, you should know that Ubuntu relies on Debian, simply another “flavor” of Linux. Ubuntu shares most of its software with Debian, which is typically as fast, versatile, and strong as Debian. Canonical, Ubuntu’s creator, essentially adds a slew of new features, a prettier UI (based on Unity rather than GNOME—don’t worry if you don’t know what these features are), and a more straightforward installation.

Here’s a deeper look at the noteworthy difference between Debian and Ubuntu servers.

Hardware Requirements

Let’s begin the hardware battle between the “Debian vs Ubuntu server.” Before selecting one or the other, think about their hardware requirements. There are several significant distinctions. Debian’s current release is 11.6 “Bullseye.” It requires a computer’s processor with a minimum speed processor of 1 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, and lastly 10 GB of hard drive space.

There are two versions of Ubuntu: server & desktop. The recommended minimum specifications for Ubuntu 18.04 desktop computers are two GB of RAM, 25 GB of storage, and a 2 GHz dual-core CPU.

Although the server version of Ubuntu has been limited to 1.2 GHz, 256 megabytes of processing power, and 1.5 gigabytes of data storage, Debian’s minimal requirements are far lower. Several variations, such as Xubuntu, make do with even less. There’s a solid explanation for Debian’s minimal hardware specifications. We’ll look into them more below.


Both versions employ the sudo security mechanism, however, Ubuntu puts the default user generated after installation to the sudo organization by default.

For Debian, you must manually add individuals to the sudo group using a command executed as the root user, such as usermod -aG sudo USER, wherein USER is the username that should be added.

To prevent having to log in or change to the root user, it is strongly advised that at least one ordinary user be added to the sudo group for security purposes.

Desktop Environment

Debian and Ubuntu both come with the GNOME desktop interface installed by default. However, the GNOME workspace featured on Ubuntu is a bespoke version that includes a dock and a few other customizations. It is the main difference in our comparison between “Debian vs Ubuntu.”

You may install alternative desktop applications on both, and Debian even allows you to choose your preferred desktop during setup (from GNOME, Xfce, the Linux distribution KDE, Cinnamon, Mate, and LXDE). Other Ubuntu versions with alternative desktops include Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu.

Release Cycle

Ubuntu has two types of versions: LTS (Long Term Support) and normal releases. LTS versions are issued every two years and are supported for five years. Regular releases are provided every six months with only nine months of support.

Debian, on the other hand, offers three separate releases: stable, testing, and unstable. Of the three, simply the Stable release should be employed for production. However, the Testing release has newer software, so if you’re interested in Debian with the most recent releases, choose the Testing branch. The Testing version serves as the foundation for the Stable branch. Only the stable version of a branch has a regular development cycle, which occurs every two years.

Installation and Configuration

Installation and usage varied greatly among distributions. Ubuntu is the preferred operating system for ease of installation and use. Ubuntu is considerably easier to install and use. This is when the primary distinction between the two becomes clear: Ubuntu is a type of operating system suitable for beginners as well as professionals. Debian, on the other side, is more suitable for professional users. Configuring and setting up are even more complicated.

Security and Stability

Security is an important consideration when selecting a Linux-based operating system for your server. While Ubuntu is the most popular server OS, Debian is a more suitable choice for business servers if we compare “Debian vs Ubuntu.”

All Debian software releases receive security or essential upgrades on a timely basis. Debian 10, like Ubuntu, comes with AppArmor activated by default, which improves an additional layer of security to some important programs. However, the security viewpoint and firewall settings in Debian are slightly more involved than in Ubuntu.

Debian’s stable branch can give outstanding stability. When you upgrade software programs, everything that previously functioned will seldom break.

Ubuntu is constantly updating, and new features might introduce new issues and unexpected effects. This is why Ubuntu is more appropriate for home use.

When it pertains to Linux distributions for computer systems, stability implies that scripts or settings work as expected, with no unexpected changes. Debian preserves practically all software in the same edition and only patches security flaws. That is why Debian does not surprise you with its upgrade packages, making it the favored choice for servers.

Packages and Programs

When it pertains to packages, the Debian vs Ubuntu discussion is paused. Both distributions utilize the Debian Package (dpkg) for management. Graphics support through Synaptic links the two. Ubuntu has its own Software Center, which is largely geared toward consumers seeking more convenience. However, a closer glance reveals that the distinctions between the original and derivative are significant. The key reason for this is that they take fundamentally different methods.

The Ubuntu editions are consistently up to date. Users enjoy the most recent versions, which include more features. The emphasis is on user-friendliness, to avoid lengthy wait times. Debian operates more leisurely. Many packages are outdated and, hence, out of date.

In comparison, there exist far fewer updates, which might be troublesome, particularly when utilizing new software. The reason for this method is to maintain stability. With Debian, you can expect that all programs have undergone comprehensive testing.

Package Managers

Debian and Ubuntu use the same basic package management systems, apt and dpkg. Apt (and apt-get) install packages from remote databases while dpkg installs are downloaded.deb files.

The most notable distinction between “Debian vs Ubuntu” is that Ubuntu includes the Snap ubiquitous package manager by default. Snap was created by Canonical yet is not included in Debian, though it may be installed.


Debian comes pre-installed with certain critical software but does not provide many other apps. As a result, it consumes less power, runs smoothly on a variety of devices, including outdated computers, and is a lightning-fast and lightweight system. Even distributions depending on the Experimental or Testing branches function better than Ubuntu.

In exchange, Ubuntu includes some of the most recent features available, which takes greater resources. It’s better suitable for current, powerful devices. On Ubuntu, several apps can be installed to render the system lighter. In general, Linux-based computers outperform MacOS and Windows servers. They provide a distinct set of capabilities that are not similar to those accessible to Windows and Mac users.


After reading our blog, you will find choosing Debian or Ubuntu easier. You can choose between the two as per your requirements. In our debate on Debian vs Ubuntu, we discussed ten significant differences between them so that you can understand them easily. If you’re searching for a substitute to Microsoft or macOS that prioritizes usability and accurate solutions, Ubuntu is the best option. Installation, setting, and everyday use are all straightforward and intuitive.

On the other hand, Debian is an edition of Linux geared towards power users. While learning might look more straightforward than Arch Linux, newbies will become quickly overwhelmed. Furthermore, the gradual release approach may prevent most laypersons. Those more experienced with computer operating systems will enjoy Debian’s flexibility and reliability. Comment below your queries or suggestions about choosing between Debian or Ubuntu or do you think “Is Debian better than Ubuntu?”

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q#1 What Is Better Debian Or Ubuntu?

Individuals who value convenience and cutting-edge features prefer Ubuntu, while power users who value stability and open-source ideals prefer Debian. Both are versatile and suitable for a variety of applications.

Q#2 Which Linux OS Is Fastest?

Some of the quickest Linux distributions include Absolute Linux, Arch Linux, Ubuntu Linux Lite, Pup Linux, Lubuntu, antiX, Xubuntu, MX Linux, and others. Their lightweight design, faster boot and processing times, and minimum installation, including kernel optimization, make them quicker.

Q#3 What Are The Disadvantages Of Debian?

The disadvantages of Debian include:

  • More difficult installation and use.
  • Fewer releases, resulting in somewhat obsolete software.
  • There are no frequent updates.

There is no support for numerous commercial programs.

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