What Is the Difference Between Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server?

Apart from the many Ubuntu Flavours, Ubuntu has different versions namely Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Core, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Cloud, Ubuntu Server, and Ubuntu desktop. The Ubuntu Server is the operating system version of Ubuntu built specifically to the server specifications while Ubuntu Desktop is the version built to run on desktops and laptops.

In case you missed it, here are 10 Reasons Why Your Business Is Better Off With A Linux Server. And if you’re just joining us then read on to know which type of the Ubuntu ISO image you’re better off using.

A server is a computer designed to provide data and other functionality to other computers over the internet. They may run common servers like the Apache TTP server and the computers typically run on a LAN or WAN e.g. desktops, laptops, smartphones, IoT devices. A desktop computer is any personal computer designed to be used regularly at a single location due to its size.

Servers are at the center of a simplified client-server model (computer architecture) in which the client devices are the systems it serves to which it serves web content (static pages, text, videos, etc.) i.e. the client.

Differences Between Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop

  • For starters, the Ubuntu Server CD contains only server-relevant packages like apache and Bind, but none for desktops such as Wayland session.
  • There’s no GUI desktop environment on the Server edition.
  • Ubuntu Server installation is menu and text-driven.
  • Ubuntu Server requires at least 2GB of free storage while Ubuntu Desktop requires 25GB.

Similarities between Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Desktop

  • They both have LTS (supported for 5 years) and non-long term support editions. Before Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Ubuntu desktops were supported for 2 years less.
  • They use the same server-optimized kernel. Prior to Ubuntu 12.04, the Linux generic image did not contain the server image. This implies that you can tweak Ubuntu desktop to replicate a running Ubuntu server CD.
  • They support dual booting.
  • Installer media can be via a DVD drive or a USB port.
  • At least a 2 GHz dual-core processor is required.

There are a lot more technical details that we could get into but now you know enough to decide on which version to install, and that choice depends on what you want to. Do you want to set up a personal server or recommend a reliable server operating system? Or do you want to set up an office workstation, a media production-centric work station or a personal computer for surfing the Internet?

Ubuntu Server vs Ubuntu Desktop can’t be a difficult question for you to answer. Which versions are you familiar with and what do you use them for? You’re welcome to share your experience, recommendations, and points in the comments section below.

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.

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