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Ubuntu Vs Debian

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Ubuntu is one of the most famous Linux distributions which is based on Debian and the similarities between them end here. They have a different approach toward how packages, releases, and user experience is going to be.

So If you’re finding it difficult to decide between Debian and Ubuntu distros, this Debian vs Ubuntu comparison guide is what you must go through.

If Ubuntu is Based on Debian So What’s the Difference?

Yes, Ubuntu and Debian both use .deb packages. The packages which are available on Debian will directly be available on Ubuntu too but they do have completely different user-experience to share so it was necessary for us to remove the confusion between them.

Let’s start with the first step which is quite different between them and that is finding an ISO image for installation.

Finding an ISO Image for Installation

This might not seem the topic for comparison but trust me there is a huge difference between them on how you will find your ISO file.

On the Ubuntu side, getting an ISO file Ubuntu Server or Ubuntu Desktop is straightforward and anyone can install various available options of Ubuntu.

1. Ubuntu ISO file

On the other hand, Debian is a bit confusing. Yes, there is a direct option for download but it does not include any proprietary drivers or Desktop Environment. This is a major con where you have to go through several pages to get your desired ISO file.

1.1 Debian ISO

Supported Platforms

Ubuntu is only limited to 64-bit architectures and has discontinued support for 32-bit architectures. On the other hand, Debian still supports 32-bit architectures and also has support for old systems such as power PCs.


This is the major difference between installers As Debian ships with the net installer. The net installer is quite confusing as it overwhelms the user with various options and can even confuse intermediate users too. It looks quite outdated and does not recognize the installed OS on the other partition.

2. Debian installer

On the other hand, the Ubuntu installer is quite straightforward and can be understood by beginners easily. It can identify the OS installed on the other partition and allows you to dual-boot your system without any issue at all.

2.1 Ubuntu installer

Release Cycles

Ubuntu has two variants: LTS and normal release. LTS stands for Long Term Support which will get users security patches for 5 years and a normal release will only be supported for 9 months and then you have to update Ubuntu.

On the other hand, Debian has three release variants: Stable, Testing, and Unstable. Unstable contains the most recent packages and it might have various bugs as it is not tested enough for daily usage.

Testing is the sweet spot between stable and unstable. Many users do use it as their daily driver as it gives newer packages compared to stable ones and includes more stable packages than Unstable ones.

Stable is the main release of Debian and it will provide you with security patches for 5 years. The packages are almost 1-2 years old as they are tested well enough and give you rock-solid experience.

New Packages

Ubuntu is definitely going to get users’ recent packages compared to Debian as Debian is more focused on bringing the most stable experience whereas Ubuntu will get you more recent software but with less stability.

It does not mean that Ubuntu is unstable but can not be compared to Debian as it is the most stable Linux distro available in the market.

Desktop Environments

Debian does have support for a wide range of Desktop Environments during the installation (only if you went with a net installer). You get many options including GNOME, Xfce, KDE, Cinnamon, MATE, and LXDE.

Compared to this, Ubuntu does not give you the option to choose your favorite Desktop Environments and requires you to install different spins if you want to experience KDE with Ubuntu base, you have to have KDE neon.


Recently, we saw major improvements due to Proton but Ubuntu still gets users better support as it ships with new drivers which support recently released hardware.

On the other hand, Debian is known for getting better support for old hardware and gaming is not a prime factor of Debian.


The comparison between Debian 11 and Ubuntu 20.04 can not be completed without comparing their performance. The major factor in performance will always be what is your current Desktop Environment as the more resource-hungry your Desktop, the lesser performance gain you would have.

But if we compare these two distros on old hardware, Debian will always win as it is perfectly tuned for old hardware.


Debian is a community-driven distro and you get a large community to help you. The probability of your problem has already been faced by someone else and getting fixed is also pretty much high.

On the other hand, Ubuntu also has one of the largest communities and if you seek a professional approach, canonical also provides extended paid support.

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As Debian 11 was recently released, there was much confusion among users and this is the reason why we came up with a detailed comparison of Ubuntu vs Debian. If your main priority is having stability, there is no comparison of Debian.

But if you are looking for the perfect blend of stability and user-friendliness, Ubuntu can be your next distro.

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Sagar Sharma
Sagar Sharma

Sagar always uses Linux to its core and loves to write the technical side of system administration! While he's not writing for GeniusGeeks, you can find him writing for core linux blogs like IT'SFOSS.com and LinuxHandBook.com

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