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When it comes to Linux distributions (Linux distro), Ubuntu OS stands as one of the most popular and widely-used choices, thanks to its classic UI, stability, user-friendliness, and rich repository that boasts over 50,000 software packages. Ubuntu is renowned for being an excellent choice, particularly for beginners looking to delve into the world of Linux. The best Ubuntu based distros are not only robust but also supported by a vast community of dedicated open-source developers who actively maintain and contribute to its development.
While Ubuntu itself is a fantastic choice, there's a world of diversity within the realm of Ubuntu-based distributions, and not all of them are the same. Each flavor of Ubuntu brings something unique to the table, offering variations that cater to a wide range of user preferences and requirements.
In this guide, we'll explore some of the best Ubuntu based distros of 2024, highlighting their key features and what sets them apart. But before we delve into the list, let's discuss what Ubuntu is best used for and whether you should opt for Ubuntu or its Debian-based counterpart.
What is Ubuntu Based Used For?
Ubuntu is a versatile Linux distribution that can serve various purposes. Its user-friendly nature, robust software repository, and support community make it a top choice for:
- Desktop Usage: Ubuntu is excellent for daily desktop use, whether you're a beginner or an experienced Linux user. Its classic UI and stability make it a great option for general computing tasks.
- Development: Ubuntu provides a solid foundation for software development. With easy access to development tools and libraries, it's a preferred choice for programmers. Click here to delve deeper into the Top 10 Linux Distros ideal for programming
- Server Deployment: Ubuntu Server is a reliable choice for hosting web applications, databases, and services. Its long-term support (LTS) releases ensure stability.
- Educational Purposes: Many educational institutions use Ubuntu for its ease of use and robust software selection. It's a suitable platform for learning about Linux.
- Media and Entertainment: Ubuntu offers a variety of multimedia applications, making it a great choice for consuming and creating multimedia content.
Should I Use Ubuntu or Debian?
The choice between Ubuntu and Debian depends on your specific needs and preferences. Debian is often seen as a more minimalistic, DIY distribution, while Ubuntu aims to provide a more user-friendly experience out of the box. If you're comfortable with hands-on configuration and want complete control over your system, Debian might be the way to go. On the other hand, if you prefer a distribution that is ready to use with less initial setup, Ubuntu is a solid choice. For downloading Ubuntu, make sure to read this step-by-step guide.
Now, let's explore some of the best Ubuntu based distros, each offering its unique set of features and strengths.
List of Best Ubuntu Based Distros
Choosing the best Ubuntu based distros ultimately depends on individual preferences and specific use cases. Ubuntu itself remains a strong choice for its classic UI, stability, and rich software repository. However, if you're seeking alternatives, the options mentioned in this guide each offer unique features:
1. Zorin OS
Zorin OS is a compelling choice among the best Ubuntu based distros, especially if you're looking for a distribution that closely mimics the familiar Windows 7 interface. Zorin OS excels at delivering a user experience that is both welcoming and reminiscent of Windows, making it an excellent option for those transitioning from the Microsoft operating system.
One of Zorin OS's standout features is its emphasis on user privacy. It refrains from collecting sensitive data, giving users peace of mind when it comes to their personal information. This commitment to privacy sets it apart as the best Linux distro Ubuntu based.
Zorin OS is also known for its stability, ensuring that your computing experience remains reliable and hassle-free. This reliability, combined with its Windows-like interface, positions Zorin OS as a top choice for those seeking a seamless transition to the Linux world.
2. POP! OS
Developed and maintained by System76, POP! OS is a breath of fresh air in the realm of the best Linux Ubuntu distros. It's a prime example of one of the best Ubuntu based distros, offering a user experience tailored to productivity and efficiency.
What sets POP! OS apart are its streamlined workflows and a plethora of keyboard shortcuts. These features are designed to enhance your workflow and boost your overall productivity. Whether you're a developer, designer, or simply a power user, these optimizations can make your daily tasks smoother and more efficient.
In addition to its productivity focus, POP! OS excels in graphics handling, making it an ideal choice for gamers. With pre-installed drivers and gaming-ready configurations, it simplifies the setup process for gaming enthusiasts. This makes it one of the best Linux distributions for gamers. Find your perfect gaming companion: Best Linux Distros for Gamers!
3. Elementary OS
If aesthetics and a visually appealing interface are your priorities, then Elementary OS should be on your radar. This Ubuntu-based distribution is designed with stunning appeal in mind and takes inspiration from Apple's macOS. The result is a sleek and elegant interface that stands out in the Linux world.
What's remarkable about Elementary OS is its commitment to user privacy. It refrains from collecting sensitive data, ensuring that your personal information remains just that—personal. In an age where data privacy is a top concern, this is a commendable feature.
Beyond its aesthetics and privacy considerations, Elementary OS is known for its speed and reliability. It provides a fast and dependable operating system, making it an excellent choice for those who want both style and substance in their Linux experience.
Kubuntu is an ideal solution for users who prefer the KDE Plasma desktop environment over the default GNOME interface in Ubuntu. As one of the best Ubuntu based distros 2022, it offers a lightweight and lean desktop experience that doesn't consume excessive system resources, ensuring that your system remains fast and reliable. Check out our guide on the Best Linux Lightweight Distros!
Much like Ubuntu, Kubuntu includes a suite of applications for everyday use. From office tools to graphics, email, music, and photography applications, Kubuntu ensures you have the essentials readily available. This familiarity with common applications makes the transition from Ubuntu to Kubuntu seamless.
With a sleek and elegant look and feel, featuring numerous wallpapers and polished icons, Kubuntu offers an alternative take on the Ubuntu experience. Its similarity to Ubuntu in many aspects, except for the desktop environment, makes it a favorite among Linux users looking for a change without compromising on the essentials.
For users wondering how to make the most of aging hardware that appears to have outlived its usefulness, LXLE comes to the rescue. It's a lightweight distribution designed to breathe new life into older PCs with low specifications.
LXLE's secret sauce lies in its lightweight LXDE desktop environment. This choice ensures that the system's resources are used efficiently, without sacrificing functionality. It's a perfect fit for older hardware that might struggle with resource-intensive modern operating systems.
The distribution isn't just about performance; it's also about style and customization. LXLE comes packed with cool wallpapers and various customization options, allowing you to tailor the system to your preferred look and feel. This combination of performance and customization makes LXLE one of the best non-Ubuntu Linux distros for old computers.
Lubuntu, one of the most lightweight and best Ubuntu based distros, targets systems with limited hardware resources. It's an excellent choice for older PCs with modest specifications, making it a preferred option for users looking to extend the lifespan of their aging hardware.
One of Lubuntu's distinguishing features is its desktop environment, which comes in both LXDE and LXQt flavors. These lightweight environments ensure that the system runs smoothly, even on hardware with limited resources. The choice of lightweight applications further complements the system's efficiency.
Despite its focus on resource efficiency, Lubuntu doesn't compromise on usability. It provides a functional and user-friendly experience, making it accessible to users of all levels, including those new to Linux. The latest version at the time of writing this guide is Lubuntu 22.04 with the LXQt desktop environment, which will be supported until April 2025.
Xubuntu is a unique amalgamation of Xfce and Ubuntu, offering a highly customizable experience for users. It combines the reliability of Ubuntu with the flexibility and versatility of the Xfce desktop environment.
One of the standout features of Xubuntu is its sleek and modern look. It provides an interface that's both visually appealing and easy to use. With numerous wallpapers and polished icons, Xubuntu ensures that your desktop experience is visually pleasing.
While focusing on style, Xubuntu doesn't skimp on functionality. It ships with a range of out-of-the-box applications to help you get started quickly, whether you're using a laptop, desktop, or even older hardware. The latest release is Xubuntu 22.04, based on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, offering compatibility and long-term support for users.
8. Ubuntu Budgie
As the name suggests, Ubuntu Budgie is a fusion of the traditional Ubuntu distribution and the innovative Budgie desktop environment. It marries the simplicity and elegance of Budgie with the stability and reliability of the classic Ubuntu desktop.
The latest release, Ubuntu Budgie 22.04 LTS, introduces numerous enhancements to elevate your computing experience. These enhancements include support for 4K resolutions, a new window shuffler for improved multitasking, budgie-nemo integration, and updated GNOME dependencies. These features make Ubuntu Budgie one of the best Ubuntu based distros for those who appreciate style and a modern user interface.
Ubuntu Budgie manages to strike a balance between a visually appealing interface and robust functionality. It's a testament to the power of combining the best of both worlds in the Linux ecosystem.
9. KDE Neon
Much like Kubuntu, KDE Neon offers the KDE Plasma 5 desktop environment. What sets it apart is its dedication to providing the latest KDE features on an Ubuntu base. It's perfect for users who want to stay at the cutting edge of KDE development while benefiting from Ubuntu's reliability and stability.
KDE Neon's latest version, KDE Neon 22.04 LTS, is rebased on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. This ensures that the distribution maintains a solid foundation, giving you access to the newest KDE features, enhancements, and improvements while enjoying the long-term support that Ubuntu LTS releases are known for.
If you're a fan of the KDE Plasma desktop environment and appreciate the latest developments in the KDE ecosystem, KDE Neon is the best of both worlds, combining cutting-edge technology with a dependable base.
In conclusion, the world of Linux offers a multitude of choices, and Ubuntu based distributions provide a great entry point for beginners and experienced users alike. The best Ubuntu based distros for you depend on your specific needs and preferences, whether you prioritize aesthetics, system resources, or a particular desktop environment. These top Ubuntu-based distros for 2022 cater to a wide range of use cases, making it easier to find the perfect fit for your Linux journey.