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Ubuntu Alternatives

Ubuntu is described as 'community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It contains all the applications you need - a web browser, presentation, document and spreadsheet software, instant messaging and much more' and is a leading operating system in the os & utilities category. There are more than 100 alternatives to Ubuntu for a variety of platforms, including Linux, Windows, BSD, Self-Hosted solutions and Electrum. The best alternative is Linux Mint, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Ubuntu are Debian, Manjaro Linux, Fedora and elementary OS.

Ubuntu alternatives are mainly Operating Systems but may also be Linux Distros. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of Ubuntu.
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Ubuntu iconUbuntu
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  • Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a community developed, Linux-based operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. It...

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  1. Windows 7 icon

    Windows 7

    • Windows

    Windows 7 is the successor to Windows Vista . The new OS introduces a compelling combination of welcome innovations and much-needed polish. Windows 7 is built with the codebase from Vista and is a minor upgrade (6.

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    Discontinued

    Mainstream support for Windows 7 ended on January 13, 2015. Extended support with security updates ended on January 14, 2020.

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    Windows 7 vs Ubuntu opinions
    This alternative is disputed. Windows 7 is still a legitimate alternative to Ubuntu, but it might have issues that some users think are important.

    Windows is not UNIX based OS

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    1
    JohnFastman

    Alternative to Ubuntu? Windows is a) not Linux, b) not open source, c) makes huge profits form underwhelming performance, d) nothing like as customizable e) next in line from Microsoft to be abandoned for security updates. Ubuntu isn't the best, but Win7 isn't even slightly the best alternative to THAT.

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  2. Debian icon

    Debian

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Windows
    • Linux
    • Windows S
    • BSD
    • Self-Hosted

    The Debian Project is an association of individuals who have made common cause to create a free operating system. This operating system that we have created is called Debian.

    ⚫︎ CustomizableDebian is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
    ⚫︎ Rolling ReleaseDebian supports updates that are continuously rolled out, rather than in batches of versions.
    ⚫︎ No TrackingDebian will not track or use your personal data.
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    Debian 9 gnome.
    Debian vs Ubuntu opinions
    Most users think Debian is a great alternative to Ubuntu.
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    JohnFastman

    Ubuntu and it's derivatives (Mint, Kubuntu, KDE Neon, ElementaryOS, Xubuntu, Lubuntu) are all based on Debian. All are compatible with .deb software packages. All are easier than Ubuntu to setup. But Debian has a greater loyalty to the ideals of free and open source software.

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    johndoee

    ubuntu is based on debian (debian is the father of ubuntu)

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    5

    It doesn't let you install proprietary drivers and doesn't have a GUI to manage these drivers like Ubuntu or Mint has, due to its philosophy. That's a thing people forget to mention when saying Debian is the option for Ubuntu or even Mint, so it isn't.

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    campbellbrendene

    Very fast and responsive compared to Ubuntu, especially at boot. Core packages are updated more frequently than on Ubuntu, also.

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    1

    There are no GUI (graphical ways) to install drivers and language packs. Everything should be done using the terminal. 2. Their website is very confusing for newbies to understand 3. The main ISO doesn't have proprietary stuff included, like proprietary drivers 4. You can use ppas like Ubuntu 5. No snap support as default 5. Complex installer 6. The packages are very old to maintain the stability, it can be very annoying for the users that want the most modern version of the programs first.

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    -4
    Buster_Blue

    It's what Ubuntu is directly based on. It also isn't as hard to use as it used to be. I'd say that anyone who isn't completely new to Linux should be able to use it just fine. Though I'd recommend sticking with the stable branch of Debian if you are still relatively new, then moving to the other branches later on.

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    5
    SriramaKumar

    Debian is actually mostly like Ubuntu. In fact, Ubuntu is based off Debian. I think other distros like Fedora are literal alternatives to it.

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  3. Linux Mint is one of the most popular desktop Linux distributions and used by millions of people. The purpose of Linux Mint is to produce a modern, elegant and comfortable operating system which is both powerful and easy to use. Latest: Uma (20.2).

    ⚫︎ CustomizableLinux Mint is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
    ⚫︎ Ad-freeLinux Mint doesn't contain any form of external advertising.
    ⚫︎ No TrackingLinux Mint will not track or use your personal data.
    ⚫︎ Dark ModeLinux Mint supports dark mode for comfortable usage in low light conditions.
    ⚫︎ Privacy focusedLinux Mint is considered a privacy friendly alternative.
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    Linux Mint vs Ubuntu opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Linux Mint is a great alternative to Ubuntu.
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    imjohndoe

    Works right out of the box. Good compatibility

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    4

    faster, more responsive and less heavy on resources

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    4

    It's just a Ubuntu derivate like a thousand other distributions, nothing special other than Cinnamon desktop and a Windows-like looking-and-feel.

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    -3

    I love linux mint! Easy to use, easy to setup and i love the design!

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    CeesT

    More polished and Windows-like than plain Ubuntu. Cinnamon comes with Nemo which shows file creation dates as well as modification dates.

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    franklinwang36

    It has no enough technical support. Do settings as in slackware?

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    0

    Derivate of it, comes most close to it

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  4. macOS is a Unix-based operating system, developed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is designed to run on Macintosh computers, having been pre-installed on all Macs since 2002.

    ⚫︎ Privacy focusedmacOS is considered a privacy friendly alternative.
    ⚫︎ Chromecast SupportCast your content to a Chromecast connected device with macOS.
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    macOS vs Ubuntu opinions
    This alternative is disputed. macOS is still a legitimate alternative to Ubuntu, but it might have issues that some users think are important.

    This is what rich people use in their daily driver.

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    -3
    operfeito11

    only works well on mac, and even then its bad. and its proprietary. a family member uses it, and i tried it to see if i liked it. i did not.

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    0

    Not privacy focused. Proprietary platform. macOS is expensive (because hardware), Ubuntu is free.

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    2

    It's paid for, proprietary and runs only on Apple hardware.

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    3

    Worst alternative after Windows if you want games, even Linux is better than macOS.

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    3

    Proprietary, with limited hardware support. Poor support for developers.

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    12
    johndoee

    if you have money, macos is the best os

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    -32
  5. Fedora creates an innovative, free, and open source platform for hardware, clouds, and containers that enables software developers and community members to build tailored solutions for their users.

    ⚫︎ CustomizableFedora is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
    ⚫︎ No TrackingFedora will not track or use your personal data.
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    Fedora 23 (GNOME)
    Fedora vs Ubuntu opinions
    Most users think Fedora is a great alternative to Ubuntu.
    9y0xwefhpw

    Albeit Fedora is supported by bigger company (Red Hat), it does not spy on users like Ubuntu. Fedora comprises only freedom software except for firmware (which can be resolved by freed-ora) unlike Ubuntu. Cleaner upgrade than Ubuntu.

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    5

    it sues the same interface snap can run on it and openjdk and java se rduntimeare just as buggy on it than ubuntu

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    1
    mlemmark

    It's not as stable as it's Ubuntu, it often breaks during an update, its package manager is just to slow to search, install and update packages when compared to APT (Debian/Ubuntu) or Pacman (Arch/Manjaro). Fedora is a distribution focused for testing, for developers, not for normies.

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    3

    Fedora doesn't come with proprietary codecs, drivers and applications installed by default is a headache to get them to work and install. Not suited for newbies, but for devs or people that know how to deal with such problem.

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    0

    The Fedora project is not done with the original concern of creating Linux distro, at least not for the general public, it is an experimentation laboratory for a corporate linux and people are its guinea pigs. It is a bad concept compared to other know-how, skills, in other distro's that have a company branch. So ordinary people like me, go your way, unless you're masochistic.

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    3

    It doesn't have proprietary codecs and drivers pre-installed like Ubuntu. It's hard to install it, not for newbies.

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  6. Windows 10 is a personal computer operating system released by Microsoft as part of the Windows NT family of operating systems

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    Windows 10 vs Ubuntu opinions
    This alternative is disputed. Windows 10 is still a legitimate alternative to Ubuntu, but it might have issues that some users think are important.
    LinuxDoge

    not free, not private, not Linux

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    Ubuntu is a open source, free software, while windows is opposite, it's not even Linux. While moving from Ubuntu, Windows should be the last option, even Mac is better.

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  7. elementary OS is a free, fast and aesthetically pleasing operating system based on Ubuntu .

    ⚫︎ Lightweightelementary OS consumes less device resources compared to similar apps.
    ⚫︎ Distraction-freeelementary OS has a distraction-free mode for when you need to focus.
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    The boot screen
    elementary OS vs Ubuntu opinions
    Most users think elementary OS is a great alternative to Ubuntu.

    Delivers a beautiful graphical interface. Offers basic apps to play your music, videos and view pictures, designed around 'Less is more'. However, it is still based on Ubuntu, and so it can do the same things. Need advanced functionality? whip out the terminal and install any package supported by Ubuntu.

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    10
    mlemmark

    They are "open source" but makes everything to act as they weren't by not letting users fork their store, their DE, their applications easily in other distros. They want a walled garden where only their distro has such features. This is why you don't see other distros using their DE, their "curated" set of applications. It's everything (mostly) stuck in their distro and when you try to install it elsewhere, it demands stuff that only works in their system.

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    It treats flatpak as dangerous and makes the users afraid to download non-curated apps. The distro also doesn't allow the user to customize or change the theme without needing to add third-party stuff that isn't even on the official repos (on purpose) and often breaks each new version.

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    6

    It's Ubuntu-based, however you cannot use PPAs, there is no way to install .deb packages by clicking, you need to download stuff from their Store to make it work and the newbies won't know it. It's very limited in customization, takes a long time to make new versions compared to Ubuntu is always late in updates. It lacks many applications which isn't good when you try to make a OS for newbies.

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    11
    JohnFastman

    Elementary and Ubuntu are Debian-based Linux distros. Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu. Different UIs (Elementary uses Pantheon, Ubuntu uses Unity). If it work on Ubuntu, it will work on Elementary. But Elementary are a team of designers and lag behind in terms of security. It's also oversimplistic for anyone but complete beginners in Linux.

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  8. openSUSE icon

    openSUSE

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Linux

    openSUSE is a free and Linux-based operating system for your PC, Laptop or Server.

    ⚫︎ CustomizableopenSUSE is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
    ⚫︎ Rolling ReleaseopenSUSE supports updates that are continuously rolled out, rather than in batches of versions.
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    GNOME desktop in openSUSE Leap 15.2.
    openSUSE vs Ubuntu opinions
    Some users think openSUSE is a great alternative to Ubuntu, some don't.
    mlemmark

    Patterns are the main reason for me to not recommend openSUSE for people that want to have full control on what is installed and doesn't like a bloated system

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    openSUSE is so hard for newbies that people have created Gecko Linux (as an user-friendly and out-of-the-box derivate of openSUSE).

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    7

    It doesn't have proprietary codecs and drivers installed by default like Ubuntu. To use it, you need some knowledge and it's very limited in packages compared to Debian and Arch-based distros.

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  9. Manjaro is a user-friendly Linux distribution based on the independently developed Arch operating system.

    ⚫︎ Rolling ReleaseManjaro Linux supports updates that are continuously rolled out, rather than in batches of versions.
    ⚫︎ LightweightManjaro Linux consumes less device resources compared to similar apps.
    ⚫︎ CustomizableManjaro Linux is easy to customize with themes or similar features.
    ⚫︎ No TrackingManjaro Linux will not track or use your personal data.
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    Manjaro 19.0 Kyria (Xfce)
    Manjaro Linux vs Ubuntu opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Manjaro Linux is a great alternative to Ubuntu.
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    JohnFastman

    Manjaro Linux has got the point where it's more user friendly than Ubuntu, in my opinion. Particularly in the XFCE (official) and MATE (community) builds, the pamac/pacman package manager is utterly great to use and draws software not just from Manjaro repositories but from Arch's AUR, which has something like 60k+ software apps. Despite being based on Arch, Manjaro is very user-friendly and the community support is fantastic.

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    Arch based, many great software's via official repositories, and a rolling release means you won't lag behind in software. It is very stable and easy to use with many of the popular desktop environments.

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    5
    mlemmark

    A good distribution, but often breaks during an update, to use it, you need to be aware of new changes in their forum. It says it's for newbies, but it doesn't differs so much from Arch. Since it's a rolling-release/bleeding-edge distribution, it is not as stable as Linux Mint, Ubuntu and so on.

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    5
    1. Arch-based 2. Easy to install 3. Care about stability even being a rolling release kind of distro 4. It has GUIs for installing kernel, drivers and complex language packs 5. It has Pamac which is the most complete package manager/store in the Linux with supports and have access to the official repo, AUR, snap and flatpak. 6. it has different desktop environments for your taste 7. Good performance on games 8. It has minimal versions for tinkers.
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    9

    Manjaro Linux has a pleasant environment for the new user. It is also a great option for those who have a computer with basic hardware.

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    Best alternative for gaming. No data collection. (Ubuntu collects user data.) Manjaro has a very friendly community: https://forum.manjaro.org and +manjaro:matrix.org Manjaro is rolling release, Ubuntu has to be reinstalled (as distro version upgrades usually doesn't go well). Manjaro has more software available in the Software Manager than Ubuntu.

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    9
    oomelyannaoo

    Stable, well documented, easy to use. Has everything Ubuntu has, but with more stability and less resources-consuming embellishments.

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  10. Xubuntu icon

    Xubuntu

    • FreeOpen Source
    • Linux

    Xubuntu is an elegant and easy-to-use operating system. Xubuntu comes with Xfce, which is a stable, light and configurable desktop environment. It is based on Ubuntu Debian Linux.

    ⚫︎ LightweightXubuntu consumes less device resources compared to similar apps.
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    Xubuntu 19.10
    Xubuntu vs Ubuntu opinions
    Almost everyone thinks Xubuntu is a great alternative to Ubuntu.

    Xubuntu is nothing more than Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop environment and fewer included packages. I think it's far superior because it's faster than easier to use than Ubuntu.

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    JohnFastman

    Xubuntu is Ubuntu in almost every way. The difference is that instead of Ubuntu's Unity desktop, you get the XFCE desktop, which - in my opinion - is much better. But it's certainly faster on older/slower computers.

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    mlemmark

    Linux Mint Xfce makes a better alternative which a set of apps that makes sense, a great system updater, GUI to manage kernels, GUI to help fixing bugs, especially related to the repository. Mint also respect the user privacy, doesn't force snap, let the user have the choice. Mint Xfce has custom theme and user-friendly look-and-feel.

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Showing 10 of 172 alternatives