Variants of ubuntu

At heart the variants are all the same. The difference comes from what components are delivered. The benefits of the desktop type applies to all types. There are other variants but these are the ones most used.

ubuntu desktop

Standard one for a single personal computer

Highly efficient operating system

Windows-like graphical user interface

Built-in applications that meet most people's needs

Large software repository for download

Can use RAID

Full power of the terminal command line and shell scripts if you want

Relative immunity from viruses

Each user can have a different shell to match the intended use



Cut down version of the desktop

For low-power computers

For people who don't need the command line power


ubuntu server

Used on a server that will support several computers

No graphical user interface

Different kernel adapted to needs of server

Different default software

Needs more knowledge

Has to be set up manually



Designed for a low-cost network for education

Uses very simple computers as thin client terminals

It is easier to manage software and users

Allows students to hack

Gives students a flexible and powerful environment


ubuntu media

Optimised for multimedia production


ubuntu cloud

Enables local or wide cloud networks to be set up


Mobile and tablet version

It is not clear where the development of these versions has reached. In 2013 Canonical tried to raise money to develop a mobile phone through crowd-sourcing but didn't reach the (very large) target figure. It is now working in partnership with an existing phone company. You can't buy the phone yet but there is information about it on the ubuntu site and you can register your email address to get information about progress.



(C) Peter Scott 2013

Last edit 26 December 2015