The most popular Linux distribution, Ubuntu offers different OS versions for various devices like desktops, servers, tablets and phones. The desktop version, a fork of Debian, is very stable, particularly due to the number of active users, and provides a lot of features out of the box, so you can start working without having to install hundreds of drivers, tools and software first. For a lot of people, Ubuntu is the most competitive free OS to Windows and Mac.
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Pro Use it on almost any device
Not just for laptops - Ubuntu was designed with tablets and touchscreen devices in mind, and with phone support on the way. Ubuntu also has Long Term Support releases, as well as a version oriented toward servers, so you can use the same OS at work or on mobile as you do on your desktop.
Pro Good PPA repositories available
PPA repositories allow you to install the latest version of your preferred software while keeping the rest of the operating system "stable".
Ubuntu is designed to be used by everyday people. Because of that, Ubuntu has tried hard to make a user interface that's intuitive and looks pleasant and clean.
Pro Great long term support release schedule (2 years)
This allows for users to always have a new supported release available without long unkown wait times in between.
It‘s one of the most stable Linux Distros.
Pro Wide range of software out of the box
The default apps available in Ubuntu cover the gamut of most anyone's needs. From music, video or office applications Ubuntu has an app that will cover the users needs.
Pro Just works out of the box
Lots of support for hardware, lots of pre-installed software, and a smooth install process means less time downloading drivers, less time digging through configuration files, and less time deciding on software to use just to get up and running. It also means less time digging through forums looking for support.
Pro Perfect for collaboration on open source projects
This is probably the best option when collaborating on open source projects in hardware. This is mostly because packages and tools are readily available via software center.
The setup for personal use is simple enough for anyone to achieve, and can easily be modified to act as a server. Programs and all features are easy to find and use, and first-timers can easily pick up on how to use it.
Pro Dedicated software center
The Ubuntu Software Center offers a GUI interface for installing new apps which is extremely easy and welcoming for beginners to Linux. But it should not be used by more advanced users since the method of installing through the terminal is much faster and easier after one is used to it.
Pro Company behind it
This means that the system must run well, otherwise they will lose money.
Pro Good UI for small monitors
Because the menu usually is in the title bar and the launcher auto-hides, the whole screen can be used by an application.
You can get up to date and stable apps right inside the snap store (Ubuntu Software). The snap store has official snaps provided by major publishers, so you can get most of the software you need without having to add third party PPAs to your system.
Pro Looks good
Ubuntu looks clean even when running from a LiveCD.
Pro Cares about stable drivers
Pro UTF-8 is the default character encoding
Beginning with Ubuntu 5.04, UTF-8 became the default character encoding, which allows for support of a variety of non-Roman scripts.
Pro Unified search
Type any query into the Dash Home, and search will look through files, stores and web-pages to find what you are looking for.
Pro Has a clean Gnome interface
Gnome has lot of extensions available and can be custmoized rather easily.
Pro Runs at low resources
Run far faster than Windows on Dell laptop.
Pro Support Active Directory
As of Ubuntu version 21.04, Active Directory is supported out of the box.
Pro Beautiful font rendering
Ubuntu has one of the best font rendering on Linux. It is thanks to how good the Ubuntu fonts are crafted by the Ubuntu team.
Con No rolling release
New Ubuntu versions are released two times a year, during this period almost all software receives only security updates and minor bug fixes.
Con Relatively high system requirements
The default GNOME desktop environment is a resource hog which requires hardware accelerated graphics rendering in order to run smoothly, making out of the box Ubuntu unsuitable for low end systems and older hardware. Even mildly aged hardware, you'll get far better performance out of a lighter desktop environment like LXDE or XFCE.
Some people pointed out that updating Arch is a high risk affair. And one should carefully read forums before doing it. The same is true about Ubuntu. Making system updates (like it was with 10.04 to 11.04) that screw so many things up became a routine. Even LTS releases should not give confidence that it will work.
Con Binary incompatible to Debian
Ubuntu releases are based on Debian testing/unstable, however, unlike other Debian-based distributions they are not binary compatible due to different libc versions, so you can't install Debian packages in Ubuntu and vice versa.
Con Splits the Debian community
The most packages are imported from Debian but Ubuntu uses own bug trackers and develops its own patches.
Con Snaps advertised as native packages in apt
When you try to install a normal Firefox package, it instead installs a Firefox snap.
Con Extremely un-customizable
Con Doesn't shutdown/standby properly on Lenovo laptops (b, e & g series) and desktops (Thinkcentre)
Ubuntu has some serious issue with some Lenovo laptops and desktops. Sometimes, it doesn't shutdown correctly.
Con A tweaked Gnome version
Instead of original Gnome desktop with Ubuntu you get a tweaked Gnome and most of the tweaks makes user experience worse.
With the removal of Unity, there is no point in choosing Ubuntu over Debian anymore because everything else is imported from Debian to Ubuntu.