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I just want to know, what is the difference between ubuntu Minimal, Desktop & Server Editions? How they differ? is it by performance? If yes which one is recommended for a normal user and which one is recommended for a advanced user ?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The difference comes from the kernel and software installed.

  • Minimal: just the enough software to get you to a working command line. The kernel is normal.
  • Server: In pre-precise versions you had the choice to install the server kernel, which works with lower latency and with different task scheduler. This install still gets you to the command line
  • Desktop: Normal kernel, default selection of software, and you get the graphical user interface.

They only differ from the installed packages, which you can later easily modify. If you want to install a server, choose the server version, if you want to use it as a desktop, choose the desktop version. If you need more performance, compile your own kernel from source. Btw: if you want a lowlatency kernel in precise (this is a new thing) you can install the package. Your system will be more responsive but the cpu usage will be higher.

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+1 for a good answer –  Ringtail Mar 8 '12 at 16:41
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