More and more users are encouraged to give Linux a try. And, with the arrival of Windows 11 and users who, because they do not have TPM 2.0, will not be able to install it, the number of users who will decide to give this system a chance will increase considerably. However, Linux as such is not something that we can install on the computer, but what we do is install a distribution that adds packages, boot drivers and everything necessary to be able to function. However, there are many different distros, each with its own pros and cons. So which one should I choose?
Although there are many Linux distributions, actually the best known, and the ones that are used the most are always the same. On the one hand, we have Ubuntu, which is probably the best known, but we must also take into account Linux Mint, Arch Linux (for more advanced users), Debian , Fedora, Manjaro, etc.
Today we are going to see the reasons why we should choose a distro like Debian before Ubuntu, despite being less known.
Why choose Debian?
The first thing to keep in mind is that very few distributions are built from scratch. In the case of Manjaro, for example, it is based on Arch Linux. And Ubuntu, despite being the most popular, is a modified version of Debian by Canonical.
Debian is a much purer distribution than Ubuntu. And this translates into better performance and greater stability , as well as much more widespread support. While we have to change Ubuntu version every 6 months, each Debian version has 3 years of normal support, and two more years of LTS support. The latest version of this distro, published in August 2021, will have updates and support until 2026. Also, if we install the “testing” version we will have a rolling release distro that will always be up to date (although we lose that extra “stability” of the we’ve talked about).
This system comes by default with a pure GNOME desktop , without modifications or other changes as other developers, such as Canonical, usually do. In addition, we can very easily change the desktop we want to use without any problem.
Another of the strong pillars of Debian is that it is committed to 100% free software . While Canonical includes some proprietary packages in Ubuntu, this distro only comes standard with 100% free software and drivers. If we want, we can install proprietary drivers (such as those from NVIDIA) without problems, but, as standard, everything is free software.
In addition, the Debian community is much larger than Ubuntu, it has excellent documentation, and everything we can do in Ubuntu, and other similar distros, can be done in Debian.
If we want to test this new distro, we can download the latest version from the Debian website . This system is also available for a much greater number of platforms than others, being able to find images for 32 and 64 bits, PowerPC, ARM, MIPS, PA-RISC, IA-64 and many more.
Ultimately, the decision on which system to use must be ours. If we want to keep it easy, or we have never used Linux before, then Ubuntu is still more accessible to take the first steps. But if we have experience, or we want to build a server that is as stable as possible, then our choice would be Debian.