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Difference Between Ubuntu and Linux

linux-dbUbuntu vs Linux

Are you a Windows or a MAC person?

This question is often asked among personal computer users. Both are tremendously popular Operating Systems (OS), but true techies have knowledge of other systems, or at least take other systems into consideration. Linux is a less known operating system, but nevertheless threatens Windows and MAC manufacturers, mainly because they are free.

Linux is actually a generic name used to refer Unix-like operating systems. However, it is distinct due to its use of the ‘Linux Kernel’, which was originated by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linux is the foremost example of an ‘open source software’. The programming or source code is freely used, modified and redistributed.

Linux systems can be installed in various computer hardware, such as smartphones, laptops, PDA, and so forth. The use of Linux is very prevalent in servers. It is even reported that in 2008, at least 60 percent of web servers worldwide was run on Linux operating systems. Although Linux may not match the popularity of MAC and Windows in the desktop market, Linux has been steadily increasing its popularity in the area. The reason for the increasing awareness of Linux operating systems for personal computing use, is mainly due to the Ubuntu distribution.

Ubuntu is based on Linux, a project initiated by the South African, Mark Shuttleworth. It is in fact just one of the Linux distributions, or ‘distros, along with Fedora, Suse, Mandriva and Debian. To date, it is perhaps the most popular one, as it was claimed to be most used type of Linux based OS in desktop installations. The name ‘Ubuntu’ was from an African ideology, which means ‘Humanity towards others’. Ubuntu provides a user friendly and stable OS which is targeted towards the average computer user. It boasts simplicity, and ease of installation as well.

Linux had already been around for quite some time when Ubuntu was announced in 2004. The reception of Ubuntu as a new distro was like no other before it. A lot of users and developers took interest in it, and from that very good take off, it has become the most popular desktop distribution of Linux. This popularity even boosted its improvement and development to become a very fierce competitor of proprietary systems in the market today. Due to the funding of the extremely wealthy Ubuntu originator, the project started the right way, and was followed up in an even better manner. Ubuntu CDs are actually shipped for free to interested users, and this is probably one of the things that helped boost its prominence.


1. Linux is a generic term referring to Unix-like operating systems, and it has various types of distributions; Ubuntu is just one of them.

2. Linux started in 1991, while Ubuntu took off in 2004.

3. At first, Linux use was predominant in servers, and it was the release of Ubuntu that made a lot of people consider using the Linux system on their desktops.

4. Linux is based on the Linux Kernel, which was written by Linus Torvalds. Ubuntu, on the other hand, was based on the Linux system, and this project was initiated by a multimillionaire named Mark Shuttleworth.

5. Other Linux distributions include Fedora, Debian, Suse, Mandriva, and so on. The most popular of all, particularly in desktop installations, is Ubuntu.

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  1. Nice clarifying article. FYI, a “MAC” is Media Access Control address, basically the hardware address of your networking card, unique in the world. The Apple computer is called a Mac.

  2. very gud site for comparison and for knowledge purpose.
    Thanks for making this site….

  3. Because Linux includes the source code for the operating system, you can see how the OS works just by downloading it? You could also build your own operating system using the Linux kernel ?

  4. Thanks for clarifying my doubts !
    Its really confusing for me. Thanks for sharing this awesome article.

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