The difference between Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server

The difference between Ubuntu Desktop and Ubuntu Server

Ubuntu is open source operating system for computers. It is a Linux distribution based on the Debian architecture. It is usually run on personal computers, and is also popular on network servers, usually running the Ubuntu Server variant, with enterprise-class features. Ubuntu runs on the most popular architectures, including Intel, AMD, and ARM-based machines. Ubuntu is also available for tablets and smartphones, with the Ubuntu Touch edition.

Our article about desktop and ubuntu server, so what's the different between those editions?

The first difference is in the CD contents. The "Server" CD avoids including what Ubuntu considers desktop packages (packages like X, Gnome or KDE), but does include server related packages (Apache2, Bind9 and so on). Using a Desktop CD with a minimal installation and installing, for example, apache2 from the network, one can obtain the exact same result that can be obtained by inserting the Server CD and installing apache2 from the CD-ROM.

The Ubuntu Server Edition installation process is slightly different from the Desktop Edition. Since by default Ubuntu Server doesn't have a GUI, the process is menu driven, very similar to the Alternate CD installation process

Most people noticed that the difference of packages Server and Desktop versions have, but no one pay attention that these two versions have quite different configurations. The problems of miss-use versions caused by different configuration are elided or ignored.

The Server version is meant for server. Here are at least two things that affect you when you use Server version as your daily terminal console box: It is optimized for the server, assuming always has a wired network, always are power on (it does not reboot often). So your box will have much longer boot time. If you use WiFi only machine (most new style laptops do), the Server version of Ubuntu boot-up procedure can hang on there for 3 to 5 minutes, because lot modules on server depend on network when load it, but at that stage, WiFi network is not available yet, indeed, the Server version default setting doesn’t come with whole WiFi package.

These are only two little things that could catch you and give you headache. Try searching online for Ubuntu hangs on boot…. The solution for that is cumbersome and not clean. oh, I did not mention the users you created on Server version on terminal console won’t shown-up on Desktop login GUI if later you add Desktop packages, nor the GUI Users manage utilities. …. just another issue in the list.

So I will say Server and Desktop version are different enough that you do not miss-use them, although you can add packages to get certain features from other version, you will encounter problems caused by different configuration.

Although by saying that, I would suggest to use Desktop version for most of case, adding Server packages to Desktop version won’t affect much of your daily usage experience. You can easily change setting to disable GUI and use it as Terminal console. Use the Server version for server solely.

>> Also you can read: The difference between Ubuntu and Debian

>> Also you can read: What should you do if you lost all your data in ubuntu