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Raspbian vs Ubuntu: Which is Best [Differences]?

Raspbian and Ubuntu are two of the most popular Linux distributions for Raspberry Pi. Both are great choices, but there are some key differences between them.

In this article, I’ll discuss the top differences between Raspbian and Ubuntu.

What’s Raspbian?

Raspbian (Rasberry Pi OS) is a Debian-based Linux operating system for Rasberry Pi devices. It is the official/primary operating system for Rasberry Pi.

Release date: July 15, 2012

Kernel: Monolithic

Package manager: APT (dpkg)

Developers: Mike Thompson, Peter Green, and Rasberry Pi Foundation

What’s Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is a free and open-source Debian-based Linux distribution used by over more than 25 Million people. It’s always said to be a very easy-to-use operating system for beginners who want to switch from other operating systems to Linux.

Furthermore, Ubuntu is more user-friendly than other distros like Kali Linux.

Release date: October 20, 2004

Kernel: Linux Kernel

Package manager: APT (dpkg), Snap, and GNOME Software

Developer: Canonical LTD

RaspbianUbuntu
It’s the official operating system for Rasberry Pi devices.Ubuntu is the most popular Linux distribution used by over more than 25 Million people.
Raspbian is based on the Monolithic kernel.It’s based on the Linux kernel.
Highly optimized for Rasberry Pi devices to provide better performance.Can run smoothly on any older hardware.
Comes with pre-installed applications for programming and education.Has a more modern and sleek user interface
XUbuntu has bigger community support than Raspbian.
Differences Between Raspbian and Ubuntu

Advantages and Disadvantages of Raspbian

Raspbian is the official operating system for the Raspberry Pi devices. Following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using Raspbian.

Advantages:

  • Highly optimized for better performance.
  • Provides regular updates for more features and security.
  • Raspbian includes a wide range of software for education, programming, and general use.

Disadvantages:

  • Can be hard to set up.
  • Lacks some features that are available in other Linux operating systems like Kali Linux and ParrotOS.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ubuntu

Ubuntu is the most widely used Linux operating system. Following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using Ubuntu.

Advantages:

  • Free to download, use and customize.
  • It’s very lightweight and runs smoothly on older hardware.
  • Comes with the security of Linux, which means you’re safe from viruses and malware.

Disadvantages:

  • Don’t support all the software.
  • Not as user-friendly as Windows or macOS.
  • Ubuntu is not made suitable for gaming.
An infographic showing the differences between Raspbian vs Ubuntu
Raspbian vs Ubuntu Infographic Comparison

Raspbian vs Ubuntu: User Interface

A good UI (User Interface) can make the operating system more visually appealing, which can make working with it more enjoyable for the user.

The bad design of the user interface can result in frustration and give users a negative impression. Good design of the user interface, on the other hand, can lead to happiness and satisfaction among users.

User Interface of Raspbian

The Raspbian user interface is incredibly simple and intuitive. It makes learning Linux, simple for beginners.

Screenshot showing the user interface of Raspbian
User Interface of Raspbian

User Interface of Ubuntu

The user interface of Ubuntu is more attractive than Raspbian. Ubuntu’s user interface is based on the GNOME desktop environment.

Screenshot showing the user interface of Ubuntu
User Interface of Ubuntu

Raspbian vs Ubuntu: System Requirements

To run and perform smoothly Raspbian needs a minimum of:

  • 1.2 GHz processor
  • 1 GB RAM (but 2 GB is recommended)
  • 16 GB SD Card

Ubuntu is a fairly light operating system thus system requirements are low as well

  • 2 GHz processor
  • 2 GB RAM (but 4 GB is recommended)
  • 25 GB of storage space

Raspbian vs Ubuntu: Performance

Performance is one of the most important aspects when choosing an operating system. The performance of any operating system depends on your hardware.

But, if we talk about which operating system is faster on the same resources. Then, Raspbian beats Ubuntu because it’s more lightweight and optimized.

Which is Better for Programming and Development?

Ubuntu is highly-recommended for programming because it gives more control and is highly customizable.

On the other hand, if you need a lightweight operating system that is easy to use, Raspbian is a good choice.

What is Raspbian Called Now?

Raspbian is now called Raspberry Pi OS. The name was changed to make it easy to understand that this operating system is specially made for Rasberry Pi.

Is Ubuntu Better Than Raspbian?

In terms of performance and ease-of-usability, Raspbian is better than Ubuntu. But in terms of features, control and interface Ubuntu is quite better than Raspbian.

Furthermore, if you want a specially designed operating system for the Raspberry Pi, then you should go with Raspbian.

Conclusion

After exploring the differences between Raspbian and Ubuntu, it’s clear that each operating system has its advantages and disadvantages.

Raspbian is a more lightweight option that’s designed specifically for the Raspberry Pi, while Ubuntu is a more full-featured option that’s available for a wide range of devices.

What do you think which operating system is better in the case of Raspbian vs Ubuntu? Let us know in the comments.