Ubuntu is a user-friendly Linux-based operating system with several desktop variants and a widely used server variant. It is easy to install and use making it a great choice for new as well as experienced Linux users.
Regular and LTS releases
Ubuntu is released in two main flavors, LTS (
Support) releases every two years and regular releases every six months. Some base system packages will get slightly outdated in the LTS as time passes from the release but it is not very noticeable since desktop applications like web browsers, media players and so on do get updates. We recommend that novices go with the LTS release.
Choosing installation images
There's the official Ubuntu images from Canonical which are named plain
Ubuntu. These install a base system with the touchscreen notebook desktop GNOME on top. Then there's community editions like Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Mythbuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, UbuntuKylin, Ubuntu MATE, UbuntuStudio and Xubuntu. Confused by all of those flavours? Don't be, it's all the same Ubuntu base system with different optional packages installed as part of the initial installation process. You can install the packages you need to run the KDE Plasma desktop on any Ubuntu installation regardless of which flavor was used to install.
There's quite a few distributions "based" on Ubuntu such as
- Linux Mint - https://www.linuxmint.com/
- "Based on Ubuntu" means they've changed the wallpaper and some icons and added one or two distribution-specific packages. It's basically plain Ubuntu with a skin.