Should I use Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, or Edubuntu? Ubuntu Server Edition? What's the difference?
? ? ? ? What is all this?
Desktop CD, Alternate CD, or Server CD?
Introduction Before some people can even begin using Ubuntu, they want to sort out which version to use. This page can help you sort it all out. If reading this page confuses you, however, just go with Ubuntu, the latest LTS version, the Desktop CD. You don't have to worry about these other options unless you're really curious. Should I use Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, or Edubuntu? Ubuntu Server Edition? What's the difference? Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Edubuntu are all the same Linux distro using the same base, the same software repositories, and the same release cycle. They just have different artwork, different user interfaces (in most cases), and different default programs installed. Ubuntu uses a user interface (or desktop environment) called Gnome. Gnome is focused on simplicity and usability. Ubuntu includes a bunch of Gnome-native applications such as Rhythmbox (music player), and Gedit (text editor). You can find the full list of software packages in ubuntu-desktop here . Kubuntu uses the K Desktop Environment (also known as KDE). KDE is focused on including a lot of point-and-click configuration options immediately available to end users. Kubuntu includes a bunch of KDE-native applications such as Amarok (music player), K3B (CD burning), and rekonq (web browser). You can find the full list of software packages in kubuntu-desktop here . Xubuntu uses the Xfce desktop environment, which is a lighter one than Gnome or KDE. In terms of its design principles, it has a bit of a balance—presenting in some ways more point-and-click configuration options than Gnome but also retaining some of the simplicity of Gnome. Its main appeal is its speed, though, and it's ideal for systems with 256 MB to 512 MB of RAM. Both Ubuntu and Kubuntu can run on 512 MB of RAM, but they're more ideal for 1 GB of RAM or more. Xubuntu includes Thunar (file manager), Thunderbird (email client), and Leafpad (text editor). You can find a full list of software packages in xubuntu-desktop here . Lubuntu uses the LXDE desktop environment, which is a lighter one than Gnome, KDE, and even Xfce. This is ideal for low-memory systems. Lubuntu can work speedily on even 128 MB of RAM. Lubuntu includes pcmanfm (file manager), Sylpheed (email client), and Leafpad (text editor). You can find a full list of software packages in xubuntu-desktop here . Edubuntu uses the Gnome desktop environment but has a different set of default applications from Ubuntu. Its focus is on educational tools. It includes Kolourpaint (an easy to use paint program), Atomix (a puzzle game for building molecules out of isolated atoms), and Xaos (a real-time interactive fractal zoomer). You can find a full list of software packages in edubuntu-desktop here . Ubuntu Server Edition is a command-line interface that is designed for people running Linux servers. It is outside the scope of these tutorials. Mixing and matching *buntus is possible and often encouraged by the community. If you choose Ubuntu, you are not stuck with Ubuntu. If you choose Kubuntu, you are not stuck with Kubuntu. You can use Gnome-native applications in KDE and vice versa. You can use Gnome- and KDE-native applications in Xfce. You can install education-related programs in any desktop environment. You can install kubuntu-desktop on top of Ubuntu and choose which one you want to log into at the login screen. All versions of Ubuntu (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu, etc.) share the same software repositories and available applications. You are not locked into using one version just because it is the first version you installed. From now on, I'll be referring to all or any of the above versions as simply Ubuntu . ? ? ? ? What is all this? The numbering scheme for releases of Ubuntu sometimes confuses people. It is the year of release followed by the month of release. That's all. You'll also sometimes hear these releases referred to by their nicknames, usually involving alliteration, an adjective, and an animal. I've put the nicknames in parentheses.
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