This question has historical significance from the Ask Ubuntu Beta. It is not considered a "constructive" question, as per the FAQ.

My first question regarded a fresh install on my ubuntu box. Some great answers.

My housemate has a couple of Sun Ultra 20's that are unused. So I made the best box possible using the better components of each. It's sitting there just waiting to be loaded up with Ubuntu. The new system may become my primary machine; or maybe not; and will probably be set up as a home server. Also, almost certain to install LAMP to use as a WordPress and Drupal testing platform.

At the moment I am undecided as to which version of Ubuntu I want to use. The choice is between Kubuntu, Ubuntu, Ubuntu Studio, or Ubuntu server (with desktop added).

  • Kubuntu - Basically just to try out and develop knowledge of kde.
  • Ubuntu Studio - Because I like the media tools for photography, video, etc. Not sure that this one is even necessary since I can add whatever pkgs I want to ubuntu
  • Ubuntu - Just because it's familiar.
  • Ubuntu Server - And add on a desktop since I'm more of an artist by nature.
  • My question is, What are the pros and cons of these options?

    Thanks in advance.

    • By 'Medibuntu', I think you mean Ubuntu Studio. Medibuntu is a repository of restricted media codecs.
      – dv3500ea
      Aug 6, 2010 at 21:29
    • You're quite right. My memory failed me. With that in mind I wonder if there's any reason to go that way as opposed to adding the things I want to standard Ubuntu? I corrected and italicized in the original post.
      – wdypdx22
      Aug 7, 2010 at 0:40
    • Ubuntu Studio basically bundles a whole load of applications for media creation. However, you can install these from plain Ubuntu by installing ubuntustudio-* packages. It also uses a different 'realtime' kernel, but I believe this can also be installed from the repositories.
      – dv3500ea
      Aug 7, 2010 at 9:43
    • Linux Mint ;). Because it's Ubuntu but nicer. Sep 16, 2010 at 15:35

    6 Answers 6


    If you just use Ubuntu, you can install packages from the different flavours. You can install KDE on Ubuntu and GNOME on Kubuntu, so it doesn't really matter. I advise you install plain Ubuntu as a starting point and add the packages you need from there.

    • 1
      You and Source Lab gave basically the same answer, but I wasn't able to attribute the answer to both of you. What I'll do is install is install Ubuntu Desktop. But if I want to play around with KDE, is there a switch between that and Gnome?
      – wdypdx22
      Aug 7, 2010 at 0:15
    • 1
      @ wdypdx22: Yes if you have both GNOME and KDE installed, you can choose which one you want to start at GDM/KDM.
      – ricky
      Aug 7, 2010 at 5:31
    • @wdypdx22 The recommended package for GNOME is ubuntu-desktop; the packages for KDE, Xfce, and LXDE are kubuntu-desktop, xubuntu-desktop, and lubuntu-desktop respectively. Also, slight correction to @ricky's comment: In Ubuntu 11.10, LightDM has replaced GDM (though you can install GDM and use that instead if you wish). Nov 15, 2011 at 19:00
    • If you've installed multiple desktop environments with the -desktop packages and now you want to remove all but the one you've decided you like best, you can follow the instructions on this website for GNOME, KDE, Xfce, or LXDE. Nov 15, 2011 at 19:02

    You are just talking about desktop environments here. Gnome is popular and so is KDE. I personally use XFCE. You can use different Desktop Environments in same ubuntu. SO just experience yourself and know

    • 2
      +1 for XFCE. It is light weight and good looking at the same time :)
      – Rojan
      Aug 20, 2010 at 17:51

    I agree with the answers to use plain ubuntu; you can start from that and then install any kde or media app you want.

    That said, everyone's opinion on the different flavors/derivatives is different, so really if you are curious, I'd suggest downloading each in turn, trying them all out, and making up your own mind.

    I like using the plain stock ubuntu since I know that's what the majority of users use, so it's quite heavily tested. But each of the derivatives has its strengths.


    The beauty of Ubuntu is work w/ what you know and add what you need. So if as the last poster mentions you need the studio applications, then add them, or if you are a big fan of KDE or GNOME or specific apps to one DE or the other you can use them.

    Start w/ Ubuntu and then add the applications you want, you don't have to add the whole *ubuntu-desktop metapackage you can just install what you need


    Why limit yourself? Install one and add the others. You can select between them at login.

    I always install Kubuntu first because it has no Mono (not that I am hung up about it, but why install it, if you don't want it). Then I install ubuntu-desktop and search for mono-gac and remove it before I hit apply. I lose gbrainy and Tomboy in the bargain. Bonus! Then I add other desktop environments to top things up. You can't have too much of a good thing. Too bad you can't be in all of them at once. :)

    I do it just because I can. ;)


    I would recommend Mediabuntu and this is why:

    My friend is a graphic designer and musician. So he has recording equipment he uses and a Tablet. The tablet worked out of the box with Mediabuntu (and was configured properly and worked well with Gimp, etc). His recording equipment was also well received (though that was mostly hardware related). It was easier for him to remove the 4-5 applications he didn't need then hunt down packages and software he wanted.

    However Mediabuntu does have some draw backs. Not being an "official" "flavor" it may lag behind in development from the upstream - but this is rarely ever a major issue.

    • Don't suppose you have a link to a webpage/site? Google refuses to find Mediabuntu for me...
      – 8128
      Oct 30, 2010 at 7:17

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