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New to Linux - Difference between Ubuntu Server and Debian?

Hello All!

I am new to Linux and looking to setup my first Linux server for some hosting of applications. I see there is many Linux server variations, Ubuntu Server, Debian, etc. I’ve read a few guides that linuxbabe created and he has done one for both Ubuntu Server and Debian. Is there any advantage to using one server OS over the other? Is one better for specific applications?


Debian and Ubuntu are very similar if used as a server distro. Ubuntu is based on the Debian Testing branch. The main differences are:

  • Debian is more stable.

  • Debian ships with older packages compared to Ubuntu.

  • Ubuntu tends to have better package support from third-party software vendors.

For mission-critical projects, it’s preferable to use Debian as it’s more stable. You can also use Ubuntu LTS for production servers and set up high availability. You don’t have to stick with one distro, though. You can use Debian for one project and use Ubuntu for another project.

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Thanks LinuxBabe! I appreciate the information. If I plan on running a VPN server utilizing wireguard or openvpn, would you not recommend Ubuntu 20.04? I’m not sure what would be considered mission-critical projects!

Thank you!

You can use Ubuntu 20.04. If you don’t know what’s a mission-critical project, then it’s probably not a mission-critical project.

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