Methods to Select Between Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu

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A Ubuntu sticker on a PC keyboard.;
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There’s multiple Ubuntu. You’ll be able to obtain Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, or Lubuntu: However what’s the distinction, and which do you have to select? The reply depends upon what you’re in search of: Linux is all about selection.

What’s the Distinction?

To choose correctly, you’ll want to grasp the strengths of every “taste.” That could be the bling and polish of Kubuntu, the “set it up and overlook about it” of Ubuntu, the retro simplicity and stability of Xubuntu, or the power of Lubuntu to run on older and fewer highly effective {hardware}.

Regardless of the completely different names, all of those are primarily based on the identical underlying Ubuntu software program. They embrace the identical Linux kernel and low-level system utilities. Nevertheless, every has completely different desktop and flavor-specific functions. That implies that some are extra full-featured, whereas others are extra light-weight—so every feels a bit completely different.

Since these flavors are constructed to make Linux extra accessible, they’re not essentially going to attain upvotes in a geeky Reddit thread. The flavors are about practicality slightly than command-line geekiness.

Right here’s a have a look at 4 of the Ubuntu distros. Discover out what every does—and doesn’t do—as a way to determine which works greatest for you:

Ubuntu: Finest for Linux First-Timers

Ubuntu desktop

Ubuntu will set up rapidly and simply on virtually any trendy {hardware}, usually in as little as 5 or 10 minutes. It wants simply 4GB of reminiscence and a 25GB onerous drive (Take that, Home windows 10!).

The GNOME desktop, with its left aspect dock, is surprisingly intuitive, even when it’s hardly typical and never essentially straightforward to fine-tune. You’ll want to put in a few apps, just like the GNOME Tweak Tool, in addition to maneuver by way of the jungle that’s the GNOME Shell extension web site and its mini-apps.

The software program, together with the LibreOffice workplace suite, Firefox browser, and Thunderbird e mail shopper, are largely drop-in replacements for something that Home windows affords. Having mentioned that, the Software program app, which handles set up, is clunky and liable to crashing and has been under “repair” for years.

Kubuntu: Finest for Tweaking and Customization

Kubuntu desktop

Kubuntu makes use of the KDE Plasma desktop and diverse KDE apps (Kwallet, anybody?) on high of the Ubuntu base. Though there are not any official minimal system necessities, which means that it could not appear fairly as mild or as nimble as Ubuntu in measurement or assets (and there’s no 32-bit model).

However Kubuntu affords a way more nice feel and look than Ubuntu, in addition to the flexibleness to tweak the desktop to appear like virtually something you need. Its Dolphin file supervisor is normally thought to be being among the many most efficient in computing. As well as, the builders have steadily changed lots of its notorious Ok-apps, just like the browser, e mail, and workplace suite, with Firefox, Thunderbird, and LibreOffice.

The drawbacks? The remaining Ok-apps and their dependencies are likely to muddle up the onerous drive. Plus, if you wish to set up a non-KDE app, it usually means putting in a number of non-KDE information to make it work, which provides to the muddle.

Xubuntu: Finest for Simplicity and Stability

Xubuntu desktop

There’s nothing glitzy or post-modern about Xubuntu, which makes use of the Xfce desktop on high of the Ubuntu base. That’s its largest benefit—it’s about as steady, reliable, and strong as Linux distros get. On this, the Xfce desktop is so old style that it seems as if it hasn’t modified prior to now decade (and it largely hasn’t, apart from its stability).

Plus, Xubuntu doesn’t take a lot in the best way of system assets—the minimums are simply 512MB of reminiscence and a 7.5GB onerous drive. Regardless of this, it will possibly run the identical apps as Ubuntu (LibreOffice, Firefox, VLC, and the remaining).

But it surely additionally implies that, since Xfce is so completely different from GNOME, you could not be capable to set up essential GNOME app you may want, just like the Tweak Instrument. And because it’s so old style, there’s little you are able to do to tweak it. In case you suppose that desktops want greater than a dock, a wallpaper choice, and a change of icons, then Xubuntu isn’t for you.

Lubuntu: Finest for a Light-weight Desktop

Lubuntu desktop

Lubuntu began life as a distro designed to run on older, slower, and lower-spec {hardware}, and that is still one in every of its promoting factors: It wants as little as 1GB of reminiscence (although, like Kubuntu, there are not any official minimums).

However its builders have fine-tuned its strategy prior to now couple of releases, specializing in a light-weight however extra trendy distro. Therefore the transfer to the LXQt desktop, the Calamares installer utilized by Fedora, the KDE Muon software program heart, and the choice to drop the 32-bit model.

The LXQt desktop is much like Xfce in that it’s lighter and extra primary than GNOME and Plasma, though it makes use of a number of the similar under-the-hood code as Kubuntu’s Plasma. On this, it’s in all probability truthful to think about the brand new Lubuntu as a lighter, much less blingy model of Kubuntu that additionally makes use of much less resource-intensive apps, similar to Trojita e mail and the Featherpad textual content editor. The catch is that this new strategy stays a piece in progress, and there have been various reports in forums and elsewhere of repeated bugginess.


In the long run, it’s price giving every choice you’re desirous about a strive. You’ll be able to put each on a USB drive and try it in a live environment (no set up crucial) to see what clicks for you.

RELATED: How to Create a Bootable Linux USB Flash Drive, the Easy Way





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