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Debian and Ubuntu both have fan bases that continue to advocate the superiority of their selected solution, but what is really different between them? In this article we will take a look at how both Debian and Ubuntu have been maintaining a steady position since the early days and how even to this day they are regarded as top solutions that provide some of the most trustworthy, efficient services.

Speaking about keeping a steady position, when it comes to the top Linux distributions available, the two have never dropped below position number 6. In fact, last time they were on 6th place was back in 2005 but since then a drastic climb has been recorded. Today, they are both in the top 4 solutions list and have been there for the last four years.

Most desktop setups that rely on Linux have found Ubuntu to be an amazing friend. There is no doubt that Ubuntu was at the base of many systems and at the same time system users experiencing an easy learning curve for PCs. Ubuntu has been around since 2004, and if you were a non-English speaker back then, Ubuntu would have been your best bet. One of the greatest strengths possessed by Ubuntu is the catalogue of free licenses that it offers. Due to how easy it is to use, many have called Ubuntu out as being for beginners. We can accept that assessment without it being derogatory towards Ubuntu. Indeed it is a platform that will make novices feel right at home and as mentioned before the learning curve is very manageable. Let’s see how Ubuntu fares against Debian, which in contrast has been described as a type of “pro” distribution.


If there’s any doubt that you can install Debian as easily as you would another distribution (let’s say…Ubuntu?), we are clearing it right now. The more recently introduced incarnation of Debian is easy to install and doesn’t require anything over what you might need for an Ubuntu installation. Ubuntu is also very easy to install. While not quite the same, these two at least share a similarity in how they facilitate installation for their consumers.


Unity is the proprietary desktop for Ubuntu but before Ubuntu could put together its own desktop in 2010 it used GNOME. Unfortunately this change didn’t result in as much positive feedback as Ubuntu might have hoped for. With Unity not very liked overall, many resort to using alternate desktops.

Debian currently offers an installer that comes with a fruitful offer. With Debian you get multiple desktop environments. There are over a dozen of them to be more precise, and they do a fine job of replacing any alternate desktop solution you were used to until now. Before that however, Debian was using another desktop environment. Can you guess what it was? That’s right, it was GNOME.

Admin and packages

This category is where we can see some important changes starting to take effect. First off, we have Ubuntu which is using sudo root password concealment. This results in the platform giving root clearance to at least one user at all time. All they have to do is enter their own password.

Debian on the other hand comes with a root account philosophy that stretches to envelope a user that is classified as non-privileged. This goes against what many are thriving to achieve while using Debian, therefore the implementation has received a lot of negative feedback. There are still many who defend the decision of taking the non-sudo path however, so there is no final verdict on the matter.