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Ubuntu is the most famous Linux distribution in the world. Used by all types of platforms, from enterprise to desktop and passing by mobile phones, the distribution that started its journey just 14 years ago totally dominates the markets today in terms of userbase.

But when recommending Linux distributions in online discussions for others, people keep saying stuff like “Ubuntu is for noobs, don’t use it”, or something like that. But that’s not true at all, as Ubuntu is suitable for any type of needs and use cases. In our post today, we’ll introduce you a couple of reasons of why you would want to choose Ubuntu over the other Linux distributions for your desktop.

Biggest Linux Community on Earth

Why use Ubuntu instead of other Linux distributions? 10

There’s no Linux community of users and customers bigger than Ubuntu’s, period.

The Ubuntu forums alone contain more posts and threads than the Fedora, Linux Mint, openSUSE and LinuxQuestions.org forums combined; The Ubuntu forums have around 15 million posts and threads, where as the others have 2 million, 1.8 million, 1.3 million and 7.2 million posts respectively.

And this is without mentioning the number of questions and answers on AskUbuntu.com (Which is an online questions & answers website dedicated for Ubuntu), which is currently standing at 340,000 questions.

The presence of Ubuntu in the Linux media is huge, as you hear about few cities and countries switching to Ubuntu from Windows each few couple of months. This isn’t to say that other Linux distributions don’t have any communities at all, but to emphasize on how large the Ubuntu userbase is and the community and adaptation behind it.

And we are being generous here by not counting the Ubuntu-based distributions as Ubuntu community members as well; Distributions such as Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Kubuntu and others do have large communities too, and all of these are flavours of the official Ubuntu distro and their users can be considered users of the normal Ubuntu desktop.

The large community is an important strength point for Ubuntu, because as a user, it guarantees that you can always ask for help or expect to find an online tutorial that keeps Ubuntu users in mind, unlike other smaller Linux distributions. It also means that 3rd-party software developers will target Ubuntu first before expanding to other distributions.

Large Software Repositories

Why use Ubuntu instead of other Linux distributions? 12

My Ubuntu 20.04 LTS installation (the daily image) is currently showing 60000 packages available for installation from the official Ubuntu repositories. What’s nice about Ubuntu is that it supports something called PPAs (Personal Package Archives) which are special 3rd-party repositories created by people who want to distribute their programs to Ubuntu users.

There are thousands of Ubuntu PPAs for most of the things you may need as a daily user; For example you can get the latest versions from GIMP, Inkscape, LibreOffice, Firefox, Chromium, graphics drivers and many other software easily on your Ubuntu installation by using those PPAs. For a good list of them, check our selections at PPAs.fosspost.org.

You can also browse or search PPAs on LaunchPad.net.

Notice: You shouldn’t add too much PPAs to your system, as this might cause system instability. But in general, you can easily use a couple of PPAs for some certain software you depend on in your daily work. Just make sure they do not conflict with each other (E.g break package dependencies for each other).

Stable Yet Modern System

Ubuntu offers 2 OS versions for its users:

  1. LTS Releases (Long-term Support): Released each two years and supported for a total of 5 years (+5 years to a total of 10 years for paying customers). Those versions usually ship the latest stable versions of software in their time, but as they get older, they usually do not receive a lot of updates, which makes them good for a lot of use cases where stability is more important over new features.
  2. non-LTS Releases: Released each 6 months (except when the time of an LTS is coming). Those versions are supported only for 9 months, and they usually contain the latest available stable software of their time, and continue to receive updates all the time. Good for users who always want to get the latest versions of everything.

Both the LTS releases and the non-LTS releases can be considered “stable” in the sense that they won’t crash with you in doing your daily tasks. But if you were just happy enough with an LTS release on your machine, then you won’t need to switch or upgrade your OS version for the next 5 years.

Snaps

Why use Ubuntu instead of other Linux distributions? 14

An alternative distribution method to traditional software management is Snaps. Snaps are self-contained and sandboxed packages for distributing apps on Linux, they were created by Canonical (The company behind Ubuntu). Snaps allow you to have any version of a software you may want under any supported Ubuntu release.

This means that you do not need to upgrade your Ubuntu 18.04LTS installation, for example, to more recent Ubuntu versions in order to enjoy the latest versions of VLC or OBS or other software, as you can choose to install them as Snaps, and the latest versions will always be delivered to you with zero effect on the stability of your operating system, unlike what would’ve happened if you were using PPAs and traditional package managers.

Snaps are supported and enabled by default on all Ubuntu versions, they are really cool for many use cases.

Hardware Support

Why use Ubuntu instead of other Linux distributions? 16

Configuring your graphics drivers, printers, bluetooth drivers, WiFi drivers and other things on some Linux distributions can be difficult, but not on Ubuntu.

Ubuntu comes with an out-of-the-box support for both NVIDIA and AMD graphics card, and also contains proprietary wireless drivers that are needed so that you can connect to the Internet (Some distributions like Debian just ship the open source ones, rendering you unable to connect). And while Ubuntu only offers some of the latest stable versions of these drivers for its users, you can add additional well-known PPAs to your system to receive daily bleeding-edge updates of these drivers. Which could be important for some uses cases like gaming.

The De Facto Linux

Yaru theme on Ubuntu 18.10

Being the most used desktop Linux distribution since ages surely should have an effect on your decision of using it. Because Ubuntu being that famous makes it enjoy a lot of features like we mentioned above; You have the community to help you, most companies releasing their software by default for Ubuntu in DEB format instead of other Linux distributions, and a large number of developers to contribute to the overall ecosystem.

This situation could’ve been different if you were using a less known Linux distribution where you would suffer from the lack of community and 3rd-party developers and companies support for it.


Ubuntu is good for everybody; Developers, engineers, students, doctors, newbies, gamers and ordinary folks… Literally everyone can use Ubuntu as their daily OS to make the best of their computers. So if you are new to the Linux world in general, then you should definitely give Ubuntu a try or one of its official flavours that come in other desktop environments.

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FOSS Post is a high-quality online magazine about Linux and open source software. With a team of professional writers from all over the world, we bring you the latest articles, analysis and reviews related to open source. Articles published with this account are written as a collaborative effort between writers. You can email us at contact@fosspost.org

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DavidM.Hanny SabbaghicanctoNickUser-friendly Recent comment authors
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James Babcock
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James Babcock

One of the biggest draws of Ubuntu is that its UI is complete and mature. I have some older hardware and short attention span, so I get excited when someone spews platitudes about the latest lightweight distro… Then I reinstall Ubuntu (and I should probably be saying gnome, I guess) because I don’t like to spent time figuring where features are only to find they are partially or not at all implemented. Any review of a Linux distro should include how complete this version is, how quickly it takes to establish your minimum usable desktop and other similar topics. I’ve… Read more »

Nonya
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Nonya

Most people that I know that have tried Ubuntu have quickly moved on to better Linux distros. I much prefer Debian based distros that are more mature and less buggy than Ububtu. I recommend SolydK, its much better than Ubuntu!

castaway
Guest
castaway

Ubuntu is great! Canonical is able to bring many different people together. Some distros lack that a little… Ubuntu is so underrated!!!

Kris
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Kris

Why? No reason at all! I left Ubuntu years ago… Manjaro is my Distro !!! Rolling Release distro..stable fast and the community is amazing

Brian Poor
Guest
Brian Poor

Agreed , me too. .. Manjuro… Ubuntu still a good Deb version of Linux thou. Used. Ubuntu for At least 8 years. Now been using Manjuro for about 6 years. Works great on a old tougbook laptop 👍👍.

Allen
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Allen

I tried using Manjaro 3 different times. Each time, it broke updates. Ubuntu LTS is the way to go. 6 month releases for newer hardware. (Prior to 20.04) KDE Neon or perhaps the 6 month releases if you have older hardware due to performance improvements in later versions of KDE.

Stevizard
Guest
Stevizard

I’ve tried Ubuntu several times, and found it unforgiving and boring. And once again, I see it still has that horribly outdated and boring Orange desktop background. Some distros actually want to look cool.

User-friendly
Guest
User-friendly

Are you worried about “looking cool”, or an actual functioning OS? Some distros work best for older machines. If you wanna “look cool”, of course you might wanna go ahead and dump a cool grand on a Mac.

Nick
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Nick

Amazing. I second your response I use Manjaro nowadays but like most I started with Ubuntu [and moved to a much “cooler looking” (⌐■_■).] This is exactly what’s wrong with the Linux community, or all FOSS for that matter.

Here’s a thought, instead of creating a new “ground breaking” distro and adding just another clever name to distrowatch’s already enormous catalogue why not use your talents in a productive manner and improve an already popular distro (or FOSS project).

Stevizard
Guest
Stevizard

Try Solus or Deepin (latest version) for the coolest Linux distros.

Scooter
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Scooter

If user base size is such a big deal, MS and Apple bases dwarf Ubuntu. I’m fairly new to Linux but even I know Ubuntu has had problems, technical and ethical. If what I read was correct, SUSE has a much higher valuation than Canonical, and Red Hat has a much much higher valuation than SUSE. PPAs are no fun, more than a few is a PITA. I think it’s fair to say Snaps are a bit of a controversy, for example the proprietary server side isn’t FOSS. No doubt Ubuntu has strong driver support by bundling more non-free drivers,… Read more »

Tartuffe
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Tartuffe

You understand all pleasure of Ubuntu when you enter a login loop and the easiest way to solve the situation is to reinstall the system. Or when you lose your data just because of some process that has been crashed unexpectedly but so often that you begin to use online services just to be protected from the system’s craches.

Etc Etera
Guest
Etc Etera

I’m mostly using Ubuntu (LTS Server) on servers, because it happened to be what I started out with for its being widespread and having a large community and being based on Debian which is widely considered rock solid, and I expect to stay there for the time being because of Canonical’s kernel livepatch feature which frees me from the strict duty of rebooting servers in a timely manner every time important fixes for the kernel come in. I’m using Linux Mint on desktops/laptops, though, because I like both its fine adjustments to its Ubuntu base and the choice of UI.… Read more »

Karl L. Pearson
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Karl L. Pearson

I use Linux Mint. Before that I used PCLinuxOS, until the primary developer became very ill and the distro lost direction and want updated for a couple years. Now I use Linux Mint because the first time I installed it, it was stable, pretty, and fast. It still is 14 major versions later. Everything just works. Always has. I’ve used Linux as my daily driver for over 25 years and have tried many many distributions. I started with Slackware. Then moved to Redhat, then to fedora, then found PCLinuxOS… I’ve used Manjaro, but it’s repository just isn’t very easy to… Read more »

Karl L. Pearson
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Karl L. Pearson

…and wasn’t updated…

Allen
Guest
Allen

My early experience with Mint was that it is garbage. Years ago they used a separate XML file to brand Firefox search and homepage in a way that could not be removed removed using firefox’s traditional settings interface. The search results were terrible. I put this on par with anything Canonical has done, if not worse, because it’s obscure to new users to fix. I tried posting to forums, but didn’t get a timely response. Tried googling it, but couldn’t find it. Canonical has definitely had a couple slip ups (Amazon branding and web search). They’ve quixkly implemented fixes after… Read more »

Karl L. Pearson
Guest
Karl L. Pearson

I remember issues in the beginning, but Mint is very solid now and has been since about version 11

Ricky
Guest
Ricky

I tried all Linux distro, and finally Ubuntu is my choice, because of compatibility and performance. Debian was rock solid to me, it’s really fast, but require many configuration after install was not good to me. Debian derivatives such as Deepin or MX is little bit slow on my very low-end laptop and the GUI out-of-the-box is not good for me. Fedora or OpenSuse is way too heavy weight and the performance just struggling on my laptop even I used the lightest desktop environment one. Clear Linux? It’s good, but some proprietary components like exFAT is not available on Clear.

icancto
Guest
icancto

Largest package repository? Ever heard of AUR?

Also, Ubuntu’s versioning doesn’t make any sense. Why have versions at all? Go Arch Linux.

M.Hanny Sabbagh
Admin
M.Hanny Sabbagh

I challenge you to bring me the exact same paragraph where we ever mentioned “Largest package repository”.

But you had to say that you use Arch, didn’t you?

David
Guest
David

What makes the small 5 year lifespan makes those such as myself displeased with the use of Ubuntu (but I and many other users are in the know that it can just be updated to the latest version without creating excessive use of the limited lifespan of an SSD… Unless we use a special Ubuntu based distro such as Pinguy which makes such an upgrade from the terminal an outrageous amount of work as you not only have to upgrade the distro version and application sources versions, but all the add ons to whichever new ones the updated version of… Read more »