Comparative philosophy between Debian and Ubuntu father and child

Source: Internet
Author: User
Comparing Ubuntu with Debian is a matter of course. As we all know, Ubuntu is a branch of Debian. In addition, many development tasks of Ubuntu are completed on Debian. More importantly, we often hear that Linux Beginners should try Ubuntu. When some experience is accumulated, we will go to the Debian suggestions. Most people think that Ubuntu and Debian share the same characteristics, but this statement is only half correct. Debian is known as a version for Linux experts.

Comparing Ubuntu with Debian is a matter of course. As we all know, Ubuntu is a branch of Debian. In addition, many development tasks of Ubuntu are completed on Debian. More importantly, we often hear that Linux Beginners should try Ubuntu. When some experience is accumulated, we will go to the Debian suggestions.

Most people think that Ubuntu and Debian share the same characteristics, but this statement is only half correct. Debian is known as a version for Linux experts because of historical reasons, it also provides a very convenient management function. Although Ubuntu has always emphasized practicality, its practicality depends on the software it includes, just like other releases, most of the software integrated with Ubuntu and Debian is the same. So why are there some suggestions like Debian for beginners to use Ubuntu? What are the differences between Ubuntu and Debian? This article attempts to find a credible answer! We will analyze the similarities and differences among installation, desktop, software package management, and community.


The Ubuntu installer lowers requirements for beginners. The installation process is divided into seven steps: language selection, Time Zone selection, keyboard layout, partitioning, and new account creation, and confirm your selection. The most difficult part of these steps is partitioning. Of course, you can select the default Partitioning Method for beginners. You can just click Next to install the Ubuntu operating system.

This is because the installer is suitable for beginners and many controllable settings are hidden. This is also a defect of the Ubuntu Installer. If you encounter problems during installation, You Need To debug them, or to gain more control, you need to use the Ubuntu backup installation CD. The installation program provided in the backup CD is suitable for expert users and has more control options.

You may have heard that the Debian installation program is not particularly difficult to use. Indeed, its graphical interface is not beautiful. If you need to precisely control the parameter settings in the installation, it is still relatively difficult, A little careless, you may make a wrong choice. Sometimes you can only make a choice by making guesses.

However, the Debian installer not only meets the needs of experienced users but also expert users. In general, the Debian installer is a little more complex than Ubuntu, but is not difficult to use.


Although both Ubuntu and Debian support other desktops, such as KDE, Xfce, and LXDE, their default desktops are Gnome, and they use much more time and energy on Gnome, for example, Debian uses KDE4.4 for six weeks to prepare software packages, while Ubuntu does not have much time to install on Kubuntu, so that most Ubuntu users forget the KDE Desktop.

Debian uses the native Gnome style directly. Apart from adding desktop wallpaper to its own brand, on the contrary, Gnome of Ubuntu is highly customized and has two upper and lower panels. The main menu is located in the upper left corner, the exit option is in the upper-right corner, the desktop button is displayed on the left at the bottom, and the recycle bin is in the lower-right corner. In addition, Gnome of Ubuntu is equipped with a special notification system.

Driven by ease of use and profitability, Ubuntu claims that many programs are not available in Debian, including hardware driver management programs (HardwareDrivers), which can help manage private drivers, computerJanitor helps you delete unnecessary files in the system and the Startup DiskCreator wizard. In addition, Ubuntu provides a direct link to Ubuntu One, it is an online storage and UbuntuOne music store launched by Canonical.

Theoretically, these additional functions make Ubuntu easier to use and are definitely suitable for Linux beginners. But for many users, the standard Debian and Ubuntu Desktop are not much different, the desktop experience does not have much to do with the release version, but has a greater relationship with the desktop project itself. Gnome versions used by Ubuntu are generally newer than Debian. If the same version is used, you will find that there is no major difference between the two.

Software packages, software repositories, and release cycles

Ubuntu and Debian are both used. deb-format software packages, in fact, most of Ubuntu software packages come from Debian's less stable version of the software warehouse, and Debian testing software warehouse, but this does not mean that they are interchangeable software packages, even the names of the software packages used by Ubuntu and Debian are different. Therefore, if you want to install the Debian software package on Ubuntu, there may be dependency problems, and vice versa. For example, In Debian, if you want to install KDE, kde-full and kde-minimal are optional. In Ubuntu, only kubuntu-desktop is available. Different names may cause great trouble for mixed software packages.

Another difference is the way to organize online software warehouses. Debian divides their software warehouses into three types: Unstable, Testing, and Stable, of course, there are also Experimental warehouses (Experimental), but many users may not use them. software packages that meet the minimum quality standards are first uploaded to the unstable warehouse. After improvement, they enter the test warehouse, it remains in the test repository until it finally enters the stable repository. once it enters the stable repository, it will have the opportunity to be included in the new Debian release. Currently, the Debian release version has been updated to 5.0, and a new version of Debian 5.0.5 is released recently.

However, this does not mean that you cannot try the latest software In Debian. As long as you want, you can download and install the unstable version. Of course, you have to bear the risk, however, we recommend that you use a software version that has been tested for a long time or has entered a stable repository. Due to the irregular release of Debian, sometimes the stable version is outdated.

The Debian software warehouse also allows you to choose the degree of freedom of the software, instability, and further subdivision under the test and stability warehouse, including main (Free Software ), contrib (dependent on free Software of other non-free software) and non-free (can be downloaded for free, but no free license is provided). By default, debian only installs the main version. If you want to try other software repositories, you can modify/etc/apt/sources. list file to access other repositories.

Ubuntu software repositories are organized in completely different ways. Ubuntu software repositories are divided into main, Universe (software supported by the Ubuntu community), and Restricted (private drive) and Multiverse (software with copyright restrictions or legal issues). In recent years, Backports (early software versions) and Partners (software provided by third parties) have also been added ). For users who want to taste it, Ubuntu also provides a Launchpad repository that contains software from the project website and Debian experimental repository.

The main repository of Ubuntu is free and tested. Although Universe is free, it may not be tested and provides a shortcut to let you know which packages are not tested, restricted and Multiverse are private, but their software package testing status is still unknown, and software packages under Backports and Partners are only suitable for research.

Like the Debian repository, Ubuntu also focuses on the quality and freedom of software, but it is different from the judgment standard.

We all know that the release cycle of Ubuntu is 6 months. We often use software packages in the Debian instability and test warehouse. In general, the software used by Ubuntu is different from the software used by Debian, testing is not enough. In fact, we often see complaints about a software package in the Ubuntu community, but we seldom see such complaints in the Debian community, the slow release of Debian also allows many Debian users to continuously test, unstable, and even software versions in the experiment repository.


For many users, it is still a technical issue to choose the release version. But for many experienced users, they pay more attention to the community, ubuntu and Debian have many differences.

The Ubuntu community has only six years of history, but there are well-developed code of conduct to ensure that discussions are often constructive and have a friendly atmosphere.

On the contrary, although the Debian community is active, it sometimes seems unfriendly, especially biased against women and new users. Although the atmosphere has improved in recent years, it remains to be improved. One reason for this atmosphere is that Debian focuses on the best-of-breed system. Although non-developers can write documents and test bugs, they are also part of the team, however, it is an arduous process to become a Debian developer, because candidates must be recommended by existing developers and their abilities and determination must be proved repeatedly.

Even so, all developers think that Debian is very democratic, radical, has complete regulations, how to operate, and how to make decisions have strict procedures. The Debian owner voted for the results, in addition to coordination, there are more rights to implement control. On the contrary, the Mail list is only used to discuss the problem.

Ubuntu implements the elite system and transparency in most free software projects, but the final decision was finalized by MarkShuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu. He has the highest say in the Ubuntu community, fortunately, he often does not abuse his rights. In addition to having one vote of the veto in a major strategic direction, others are often determined through democratic discussions and voting.

Finally, the difference between the Ubuntu and Debian communities lies in their core values. Debian is still a community-based release and still adheres to the consistent concept of Software Freedom, elites and democratic systems. Ubuntu also has a powerful community, which is also one of the keys to its success. Although Ubuntu is more open than Debian's hierarchy, it is still more open than many high-tech companies.

Make a choice

Despite their common origins, there are significant differences between Ubuntu and Debian. When you make a choice between them, no matter who you choose, it won't be said that the choice of XX will have a sense of inferiority or superiority.

On the one hand, Ubuntu, as a branch of Debian and as a release version, is designed for all levels of users. It advocates the idea of free software and does not emphasize private software. changes mainly depend on upstream software, such as Gnome changes. The release cycle of Debian is usually long, because it depends more on the efforts of the Community, and its commercial value is currently a secondary concern.

On the other hand, Ubuntu is famous for attracting Linux beginners. Although it does not give up the ideal of free software, it has a different attitude towards private software than Debian, the release cycle is more important than the quality of software in Ubuntu, and the business desire is stronger than Debian. In general, the Ubuntu community is more friendly than the Debian community, but less democratic.

For many people, the combination of Ubuntu and Debian is the most ideal release version, but this ideal cannot be achieved. In the end, a compromise must be made, and users must determine their own values and tendencies, otherwise, you may not be satisfied with the selection.

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