Ubuntu vs Ubuntu LTS, Which to choose?

Difference between Ubuntu & Ubuntu LTS – (Ubuntu vs Ubuntu LTS)

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Distros we come across. But there are too many versions and a myriad number of variants to choose from. This guide might help users to clear out the air and make a decision.First the Analogy:-

Ubuntu: Also known as the Standard Edition which is released twice a year.

Ubuntu LTS: Here LTS meaning the Long Term Support Release which means it will have a steady stream of both software support and updates for a period of 5 years. It is released after a period of two years at the moment.

Common Queries: Ubuntu vs Ubuntu LTS

What is Ubuntu?

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux operating systems which is funded and developed by the Canonical Ltd with the help of the Open-Source community. It is based on Debian, which is itself a popular Linux Distro. It is also one of the most recommended Linux distro for a beginner to Linux.

Why two different point releases for a specific version?

Design and Development of Ubuntu right from it’s early days days is done by the same methodology i.e. Ubuntu-16.04 / Ubuntu-16.10, where the Point Releases state the month of Release such as April for .04 and October for .10

The main version numbers indicating the Year of Release such as 16 stated here for the Year 2016.

Why is the LTS release done every two years or so?

In simple terms, it has been decided by Canonical Ltd. Previously it was for a period of three years but now it is for a period of two years to enable better set of latest features and updates to reach the mainstream public and also update the LTS branch a bit more quickly into the current update stream.

What about the other official Ubuntu Spinoffs and Flavours / Distros?

The main Ubuntu project follows the philosophy of development mentioned above and other Flavours / Spinoffs follow their own. The LTS variants and version for which it is released is not fixed, eg. KDE variant of Ubuntu viz. Kubuntu.

What are the main differences from a Consumer point of view?

Apart from the fact that the LTS releases have mainstream support for a period of two years, the LTS versions have better stability. The normal releases get newer features faster than the LTS ones.

What edition to choose then?

If you are a Normal Consumer:-

  1. Free Software.
  2. Easy installation.
  3. Faster Updates.
  4. Newer Releases.
  5. Early Support for Newer Hardware.
  6. Inbuilt system security out of the box.
  7. Pre-installed software applications and services.
  8. Low hardware requirements.

If you are a Prosumer / Developer:-

  1. Free Software.
  2. Better System Stability.
  3. Support for a vast majority of old as well as newer hardware.
  4. Software patches and support of 5 years for both the Desktop edition and Server edition of Ubuntu LTS.
  5. Ideal for Development and Production environments both as System stability and reliability is a Critical Factor.
  6. No need to constantly update system as well as application level dependencies.
  7. Even lesser hardware requirements.

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