Competition between Ubuntu and Debian desktop

Source: Internet
Author: User
Before the advent of Ubuntu, Debian was already a main force in the Linux field. More specifically, it is the Debian Linux release that makes it a reality for many other releases from Knoppix to SimplyMepis. This is like the relationship between Ubuntu and LinuxMint: Ubuntu provides a user-friendly basis for Mint development.

Before the advent of Ubuntu, Debian was already a main force in the Linux field. More specifically, it is the Debian Linux release that makes it a reality for many other releases from Knoppix to SimplyMepis. This is like the relationship between Ubuntu and LinuxMint: Ubuntu provides the basis for easy development for Mint. In this article, I will introduce in detail the advantages and disadvantages of Debian compared with Ubuntu, and whether Dibian is capable of becoming a powerful replacement for Ubuntu.

  Release version installation

Although Ubuntu is based on Debian, it does not bring the same installation experience. For example, Debian allows you to use KDE, GNOME, and its desktop environment, while Ubuntu actually provides the Unity desktop environment. It is true that some Ubuntu derivative versions on the market provide alternative desktops, but Debian officially provides alternative desktops in the name of Debian. This is what Ubuntu lacks.

Another aspect worth mentioning is the Debian installation method. You have two options: either use the standard installation ISO file or use the LiveISO file bundled with the installer. I used the LiveISO file to see how the installation program in this version handles the installation. I was surprised that the step-by-step operations by graphical user interface (GUI) installation programs were not only very simple, but Debian even suggested that I consider creating a dedicated primary partition. Considering that Ubuntu is still one of the few releases that do not give such suggestions, Debian has a very good feature.

Ubuntu also provides an excellent GUI installer. However, I find it frustrating to create a dedicated primary partition without suggestions, because in the long run this will only benefit users. I'm sure there is a mysterious reason Ubuntu developers force users to manually select this option, but the lack of this simple single-choice button makes me very angry.

Another aspect to consider is that the Debian installation process raises issues that new users may not understand. For example, it is best to leave the problem about where the package image and GRUP are installed to middle and senior users. This is not to say that new users cannot understand such problems, but that most people do not want to work hard to figure out what these things mean.

Ubuntu is different from Debian in terms of visual effects during installation. The Debian GUI installer lacks various scrolling images during Ubuntu installation. This is not to say that one side is better than the other side in this regard; rather, it probably indicates that Debian gives the impression that this is a private release.

  Desktop Experience

Once the installation is complete, both Ubuntu and Debian provide a standard desktop environment that provides application menus, desktops, and various small applications. As far as Debian is concerned, I chose Gnome, so that I finally got my own desktop. For Ubuntu, the last desktop you get will be Unity.

Ubuntu is equipped with Firefox, while Debian provides an unbranded Iceweasel browser. It is the same as Firefox, but it does not have ownership of the trademark brand of the Mozilla Foundation.

The Gnome desktop I selected comes with a standard Gnome experience. Since I run the desktop in a virtual machine, I finally got a fast backup mode, because the performance on my testing machine is limited. To be honest, Debian with Gnome can beat Ubuntu in terms of performance when running on machines with fewer resources. However, in terms of appearance, Ubuntu brings back an aesthetic aspect.

These two releases use PulseAudio as their audio servers by default after installation, which is a big drop because most Debian users are unlikely to want to use PulseAudio, because it is considered by many Linux users as a bloated technology.

  Software Management

One thing that Debian shares with Ubuntu is the use of Debian software package management and its accompanying tools. At the terminal layer, apt is used for software package management.

The management of GUI software packages starts to be different: Ubuntu uses Ubuntu SoftwareCenter, by default, while Debian uses Synaptic. For experienced Linux enthusiasts, the latter is actually more favored, because Synaptic is a software tool that is better than the software center. However, new users may find that they miss the Ubuntu Software Center because Synaptic lacks Ubuntu's default options for perfection.

On the other hand is Ubuntu's Personal Package Archives (PPA, and Debian's backports ( /). The idea of Ubuntu PPA is that you can ensure that every software you choose is of the latest version. For Debian, you can use Debianbackports for the same experience. These software are basically tested by Debian and developed for use by Debian stable Edition users. As for Ubuntu and Debian, users should be careful, because advanced software may sometimes bring new problems. I suggest you avoid both methods unless there is a revised version, or if you use an advanced version of any software, you can obtain a function. Although the old versions seem boring, they tend to be more stable.


Ubuntu is different from Debian in that most network devices in Ubuntu work by default. If you need a proprietary driver, the restricted driver management tool can easily handle this problem. In contrast, Debian cannot run many wireless devices by default. Indeed, the Debian component library contains the required binary large object files (blob). However, to install these files, in addition, it is still necessary for end users to enable many commonly used wireless chipsets to work with Debian.

Some may think that Debian is more difficult to use. I do not agree with this statement, but think that Debian is a Linux without a security belt. To get a Ubuntu-like experience in a Debian environment, just spend some time on the Debian wiki ( and add one or two more component libraries. In the end, you get a stable and responsive desktop, which outshines any installed Ubuntu in terms of speed and stability. The secret to enjoying this benefit is that Debian only requires a little effort.

The last example proves better than Debian is to install a proprietary video driver. For experienced users, the Debian method is quite simple and straightforward. You just need to browse to the corresponding page, add the required component package, and paste the installation command of the driver you need. However, Ubuntu users have been overly spoiled by proprietary driver managers. The real good news is that, in fact, the Debian method is much faster than the Ubuntu method. Debian users only need to copy and paste the content of the two command boxes from the Debian Wiki. On the other hand, Ubuntu users rely on the GUI. as we all know, the GUI is far from perfect. Even worse, if something goes wrong and you do not delve into the log itself, there will be no detailed countermeasures for you to take.

The main point here is that Debian needs a hands-on user experience. Some people like this, and some are hesitant to think of making desktop Linux a more in-depth experience.

So, is Debian a powerful replacement for Ubuntu? The answer is yes, if you are willing to adjust your expectations.

Some users are willing to learn how Linux works and have them spend more time adding required component libraries for additional hardware support. for these users, Debian is a great choice. Debian is easier to use than ArchLinux, but it still provides users with a fast and stable desktop. you can use it with confidence for many years.

Related Article

Contact Us

The content source of this page is from Internet, which doesn't represent Alibaba Cloud's opinion; products and services mentioned on that page don't have any relationship with Alibaba Cloud. If the content of the page makes you feel confusing, please write us an email, we will handle the problem within 5 days after receiving your email.

If you find any instances of plagiarism from the community, please send an email to: and provide relevant evidence. A staff member will contact you within 5 working days.

A Free Trial That Lets You Build Big!

Start building with 50+ products and up to 12 months usage for Elastic Compute Service

  • Sales Support

    1 on 1 presale consultation

  • After-Sales Support

    24/7 Technical Support 6 Free Tickets per Quarter Faster Response

  • Alibaba Cloud offers highly flexible support services tailored to meet your exact needs.