Ask UbuntuWhat are the main advantages of Ubuntu over other Linux distributions?
[+23] [15] Bakhtiyor
[2010-07-28 22:16:42]
[ distribution advantage ]

One advantage per post in order to vote for the best advantage.

(3) This will be an interesting post, as I've never really seen any Ubuntu vs. other distros post; always Ubuntu vs. Mac/Windows. - Ross
There is not one "best advantage". I'd say it's a combination of factors that make Ubuntu preferable (not better) than other distros. - lamcro
(1) This is a question where the only answer can be in opinion IMHO. - mfisch
[+26] [2010-07-28 22:25:49] Weboide [ACCEPTED]

Ubuntu is for human beings. It is very User Friendly.

The main asset of Ubuntu is that the creators and developers made this distribution easy to install, maintain and use.

(7) And that's why people should try to give instructions to others for completing a job through the UI and not through any cryptic terminal command. - Shubh
(13) I have to disaggree: both options should be given. The command line version is often much quicker to execute and we cannot assume that everyone reading the answer will want to use the UI. Terminal commands are not that cryptic, but I'll admit they can scare some users off. I suggest we give the UI option first, and the command line version second for those who just want to do a quick copy/paste. I created a question for the purpose of continuing this discussion :… - jfoucher
(3) @Shubhkarman It's not always possible to use the UI.. - Source Lab
(1) If you like user friendly, linux mint is 1 up on ubuntu. Although it is derived from ubuntu. - Evan Plaice
[+19] [2010-07-28 22:32:11] Tyler

It's popular.

  • When companies support linux, they usually provide a .deb for the latest Ubuntu release
  • Most tutorials out their for linux are geared towards Ubuntu
  • and a lot of other things that popularity brings

(2) -1: Being popular is not an advantage per se, since it does not explain why it became popular. Its a consequence of the advantages, not one of them. - MestreLion
It's relevant that there are other reasons that led to Ubuntu's popularity; however, once it is, that's definitely a huge advantage in of itself (make whatever analogy to other OSes, programming languages, etc., you need to). - Chan-Ho Suh
[+18] [2010-07-28 22:41:51] Ross

Ubuntu has a very large community, giving users much better support than some other GNU/Linux distributions.

(3) IMHO, this is the strongest advantage of Ubuntu. The community is sufficiently large and diverse enough to provide a lot of detailed and easy to understand knowledge to newbies as well as scare off the scary *nix trolls who haven't shaved their neck beards in a decade and think it's fun to tell new users to copy/paste :(){ ':|:& };:' (forkbombs) and 'sudo rm -rf' into the command line for fun. Everybody, including the original developer, starts out as a newbie sometime. Treating new users in s derogatory manner is unacceptable. Ubuntu fixes that issue for linux. - Evan Plaice
[+15] [2010-07-28 22:18:43] George Edison

It has an easy-to-use package management system.

(6) Well, every distribution thinks its own package manager is easy to use... - David Zaslavsky
(5) @David: That doesn't mean it's true. - George Edison
(2) Agreed, but the point is, an easy-to-use package manager is not really an advantage over other distributions, if many other distros have it. - David Zaslavsky
(3) @David: Many don't. - George Edison
Putting asides the merits of different package management systems, technically isn't this a Debian advantage? Ubuntu leverages off Debian in a lot of ways and this is one of them. - Chan-Ho Suh
[+12] [2010-07-29 09:45:48] Tim Post

Ubuntu is truly a developer's operating system (in addition to being a great general desktop OS).

That doesn't mean that Debian and others are not equally fine when it comes to development, its just a matter of preference.

With Ubuntu I have:

  • Easy installation of almost every library under the sun, usually much more current versions than other distros offer.
  • Advanced package management, building both .deb and .rpm packages in a single build is quite easy
  • A wide selection of editors / IDE's
  • Mercurial is a supported package (big plus for me)
  • Easy apt-get source [package] access to code, using the familiar Debian build system

The other thing I like, and why I go with Ubuntu over other apt based distros is the people behind it. Canonical, almost all of the time, does not get invasive with their patches (aka 'special sauce') when packaging upstream code. They also don't do crazy 'cherry picks' from bleeding edge stuff just to get a feature into the next release. Its one of the few instances where things stay current, but not bleeding edge current.

Finally, I like the predictable release cycle, convenience of Launchpad PPAs.

In essence, its all the stuff that makes Debian a fantastic Developer's OS, with the addition of a predictable release cycle, extra polished packages and the convenience of Launchpad.

(2) This. Windows 7 isn't bad but it sucks for development. - Tyler
[+8] [2010-07-28 23:19:48] yevhene

It just works .

(2) I second that. Of every distribution I've tried (not many, but I've had my fair share), this one definitely worked the best with some of the obscure hardware on my laptop. I guess it's an outcome of the community, but ultimately it's the reason I use it: It just works. - Jono
[+8] [2010-07-28 23:35:40] thebwt


Community is the heart and soul of this distro. Whether you are part of the loco teams or just like to browse the forums occasionally, you will find that Ubuntu's community is vast and friendly.

From the get-go Ubuntu has focused on this aspect, and that is why Ubuntu has gotten where it is today. There is none of that Elitism that used to permeate the Linux communities. This mindset has now spread, however, so Ubuntu isn't the only one with the quality, it was simply one of the first. The code of conduct was Ubuntu's main stance that initiated this.

[+8] [2010-07-29 01:54:31] lamcro

Usable for non geeks

I'd say it is their intention of making linux usable by non-geeks.

My wife, mother and mother-in-law are all computer-illiterate, yet they use Ubuntu with no problem.

[+5] [2010-07-29 01:58:00] lamcro

Multiple languages.

Most people I know only speak Spanish, or prefer it, so it is a good motivator that it comes in my native tongue.

[+5] [2010-07-29 11:06:49] Rodrigo Carvalho

The option to upgrade every 6 months or every 2 years, so people that prefer a stable system over a up-to-date one have an option too.

[+5] [2010-09-10 08:12:25] Evan Plaice

You can buy a computer with Ubuntu preloaded on it

It may not seem like such a big deal but the introduction of cheaper netbooks with Ubuntu preloaded has dramatically changed the Linux community (for the better).

Sure, there have always been a lot of developers using/hacking/extending the Linux ecosystem but there has never been a *nix distro as user-centric dominated community until Ubuntu arrived. With the influx of new users who bought netbooks with Ubuntu preloaded, the community shifted focus from providing the most powerful tools to providing the best user experience on a *nix platform.

What resulted was, the netbooks with Ubuntu being sold appealed to parents looking for a cost effective option when it came down to purchasing netbooks for their kids. Which led to the Ubuntu community gaining a large numbers of younger hackers and introducing them to the open source development culture. If McDonalds taught us anything it was, "get 'em while they're young". Fortunately, for *nix, this resulted in the community getting a massive influx of new blood and the preachy cultist followers of Stallman crawled back into their caves to continue hacking on their niche distros, and the world rejoiced in a sigh of relief ;)~

In short, *nix finally found a way to attract a sustainable user base to feed its developers and bring a distro out of the clouds and onto the desktops of the average user's home.

Side Note: For the generations x and y (about mid-late twenties) having a birthday party at McDonalds when we were kids was about the coolest thing a kid could ask for because you'd get to see some douchebag dressed up as Ronald McDonald in person. Those were the days before Mickey D's had massive kids playgrounds.

<propaganda>It kind of makes you sick to imagine that McDonalds massive sprawling evil empire wasn't built on the backs of hard work but small kids</propaganda>

[+4] [2010-07-29 20:52:59] delux247

Ubuntu has very good hardware support "Out of the box".

Many other distros don't. Other distros like Mint and Jolicloud have good hardware support, but they are both based off of Ubuntu.

[+2] [2010-07-28 22:55:50] TheLQ

package management system

I would have to say the package management system is what draws me to Ubuntu over any other OS. Its quite large with alot of different apps, and easy to add third party repository's. Its great.

[+2] [2010-10-20 16:46:32] Stefano Palazzo

It looks fantastic

Albeit after years of brown, which would quickly be replaced by horrible themes made by amateurs (remember enlightenment?).

Now, when I'm at uni having people looking at my screen, ever so discretely, I'm quite happy to show off something that just looks so much better than any other (Mac, Windows) desktop.

(2) lol whatever. i have terminals and ppl tell me omg so old fashoned but i dont care. screw ur butons :) - Ярослав Рахматуллин
[+2] [2011-06-23 16:20:57] dAnjou

A somewhat different reason/advantage:

Ubuntu is mainly under control of one person (you know who ;P). He makes the main decisions. And although most decisions are very polarizing, they cause much progress in the Linux world. While other distros crawl like a snail, Ubuntu is like a fresh breeze in the FLOSS world.
Another thing is: Ubuntu makes it much more attractive for commercial/proprietary Software to be available for Linux in terms of making this software more accessible and visible (=> section "For Purchase" in the Software Centre).

And this here is a concluding sentence that says nothing because I have nothing left to say :D