Debian vs. Ubuntu for Server Use, Which One to Choose

Debian vs. Ubuntu

Choosing Linux as the server operating system is always a good choice for the hosting of your website. Nevertheless, Linux exists in various forms – distributions – each of which has its specificity and hence usefulness for different users with different requests. Two common distributions for Linux a Debian and Ubuntu. The latter, Ubuntu was originally based on Debian and it shared with it various features – but has, as well, a number of significant differences. 

Also, Ubuntu is often considered a better system for beginners, while Debian is preferred by more advanced users. To get you a clearer idea of what’s the matter with these two distributions and their features that are worthy of attention when we talk about hosting, we’ve prepared this short article.

What’s good about Linux?

Since both solutions are based on Linux, it will be great to learn a bit about its specificity of it first. So, Linux is a well-known operating system that is free and open source which means that it’s automatically cost efficient and that it offers great flexibility and customizability. It is more lightweight and less demanding to the hardware if compared to alternatives, and it provides you with high standards of security, as malware for it is much less “efficient” against it.

The open-source nature of Linux provided the creation of various distributions of it, among which we have Debian and Ubuntu. So, let’s compare the two distros and see which one will suit you best.


Probably, the most well-known difference between the two distributions is the model according to which they are released, with Debian provided with a stable model and Ubuntu with LTS (Long-Term Support).

The release model of Debian provides that it is supported within one year upon its release. The problem with this one is that you are dependent on stable releases and don’t know exactly when they are going to come out.

As for Ubuntu, the LTS means that each version is supported for five years. Also, the developers of Ubuntu provide that a new LTS version is released every two years. This basically means that if you opt for Ubuntu, you will be able to not worry about the support of your system for many years in a row.


Debian stable is really stable. But taking into account its stability, the software it is provided with is not always as new as possible – it’s usually a bit outdated. Mostly, it isn’t a big deal for the successful operation of the server, but anyway…

Another specificity of Debian is that its developers disregard proprietary software and never include it in default installation configurations. Instead, if you’ll want to use some proprietary software on your server, you’ll have to enable it manually.

Unlike Debian, Ubuntu developers do not ignore the proprietary software and include some pieces of commercial software in their repositories. Some users may not like or not need it, but this still facilitates the installation of a more broad range of software solutions.


Both systems perform very well. There are, however, certain aspects of stability that consist in the differences in the way both distributions are offered.

Debian is a lighter system, as it has less software usually included in it. 

Also, the Debian stable release model ensures that all releases are as stable as possible. They do not come out until the team approves them, so stability is guaranteed.

The releases of Ubuntu come out according to a schedule, so sometimes they can be more stable and sometimes less stable.


Support is an important aspect if you want to solve the troubles as fast and efficiently, as possible to ensure the stable development of your project. Both Debian and Ubuntu will provide you with decent and reliable support, but there is still a difference between the two systems.

Both distributions rely heavily on a vast community of users and volunteers, but Ubuntu, unlike Debian, is also supported by Canonical Ltd. which means a more reliable, professional, and prompt support service. 


Both Ubuntu and Debian are popular, efficient, and reliable systems with vast communities of users and developers, so there is no definite answer to which one is best. Your choice should depend rather on the features that are attractive to you, which is the specificity of your project or barely your taste and your style – stable or predictable updated, free or proprietary software, support from the community or from the company. Ubuntu is eventually more popular today, but Debian is more often preferred by more experienced users who like to be more flexible, have more control, and do have more technical expertise to solve a broader range of technical issues on their own. If this, however, is not your style, then we recommend checking out this Debian virtual server hosting offer. We hope that this article was useful, thank you for your attention, and have a nice day!

To Top

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This