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Why is choosing ubuntu distro and version important?

So we have distros like Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE... Also we have LTS and other versions inbetween.

I understand they have different desktop environments with whatever comes with that like file manager and so on. I have installed several into virtualbox just to see what they look like and even installed on the unity one cinnamon and xfce. So is there a reason to choose a desktop environment in advance other than ease of install of the DE and components? Why isn't there a combined image where you can choose the DE during OS install?

I understand that there is LTS every 2 years supported for 5 years and non LTS twice a year supported 9 months. But why is this important? What does support mean? Can't you just upgrade without reinstalling?

closed as too broad by DK Bose, karel, Pilot6, Charles Green, user68186 Jun 2 '17 at 14:14

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    Your question is too broad asking about LTS and support in an other question is a better idea. – Ravexina Jun 2 '17 at 9:16
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Each desktop environment has its own configurations, some part of them may not work together perfectly or there might be some conflicts, etc.

Each Ubuntu flavor has been designed to work as best as it can with that specific desktop environment, there are a lot of configurations and customization has been made to them.

It's up to user who decides which one is the best for him.

There is no combined image because nobody going to use it and it's going to have a huge size, instead! there is a network installer image, which make you able to choose your desired DE in installation process.


Support is important, it's the amount of time which you receive update for your installed packages, these updates solves a lot of problems, bugs, security issues etc.

And you can upgrade to a newer version.

  • Might be good to add a bit about DE families, like e.g. Unity and the Gnome DEs which share lots of common applications and libraries whereas e.g. KDE uses its own completely separate pile of specific libraries and applications. It could also be important to note that an installation that went through many release upgrades will have some old legacy stuff and might be less performing or stable as a fresh installation every now and then, depending on the circumstances. – Byte Commander Jun 2 '17 at 9:39
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There was/is at least one iso that had 4 or 6 different DEs on it, that you could try out the different desk tops(I forget the name). Most people tend to like use/like one DE over the others.

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