Difference between Linux and Ubuntu

An operating system is a software that lies between the system’s hardware and software. It controls everything in a computer. An OS is very crucial in a computer. There are many OS available. Linux and Ubuntu are one among them. Both Linux and Ubuntu are open−source software and are available for free. Their code is available for all and users can modify it.

Linux is based on Unix kernel. Ubuntu is one of the distributions of Linux. It is developed based on the Linux kernel. This is the main difference between these two. Both Linux and Ubuntu are highly secured and can’t be affected by any kind of malware.

Linux Operating System

Linux is a free and open−source operating system created and designed by Linus Torvalds in 1991. Linux is a derived form of Unix. It is free of cost making it available for all users. It is open−source, means that the source code of Linux is available for all users. Users can add additional programs or modify the existing ones so that it can perform various other functions.

Linux uses monolithic kernel. It runs both kernel and user services in the same address space. It has many distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux mint, Fedora etc., Linux is written in C language and assembly language. It is more machine friendly meaning that users find it difficult to interact with it compared to other OS.

Linux has become the largest open−source software in the world. It is a family of operating systems that runs based on Linux kernel. It provides high security and is mostly used for hacking purposes.


  • It is an open−source OS, so the source code is available for all.

  • It is available for free of cost.

  • It is a safe OS as it provides high security.


  • It can’t run most of the windows programs.

  • Most of the internet service providers doesn’t support Linux.

  • Linux is hard to understand and difficult to learn for most of the users. Depending on its distributions, the difficulty level varies.

  • It’s very hard troubleshooting a problem

Ubuntu Operating System

Ubuntu is an open−source operating system and a free distribution of Linux. It was developed by Canonical Ltd. in 2004. It is extended from Debian family of Linux. It releases for every 6 months. It is used in computers, smartphones and for servers. It is written in C, C++, C#, Java and Python. The main reason for developing Ubuntu is to make it user−friendly.

Ubuntu is built around the Linux kernel. It is best operating system for cloud computing. It has both command line (CLI) and graphical user interface (GUI). Users doesn’t need to install it in their systems. They can run them live from their pen drives. One can easily run their OS in other’s system also.

Ubuntu is available in three editions: Core Edition, Server Edition, and Desktop Edition.

Ubuntu has many inbuilt features. They are:

  • Office software − used to prepare documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Similar to MS Office

  • Email

  • Web browsing

  • Free applications, etc.


  • It is open−source and free of cost

  • It is more secure

  • There is no need of installation. We can run it directly from a pen drive

  • It is user friendly

  • There is no need for anti−virus

  • Free upgrades

  • Less system requirements


  • It has several compatibility issues. Sometimes, it doesn’t allow us to connect with any other external devices

  • There are other distributions that are better than Ubuntu

Linux vs Ubuntu

The following table highlights the major differences between Linux and Ubuntu:





Linux is an open−source software derived from Unix

Ubuntu is also an open−source software which is derived from one of the Linux distributions that is Debian

Developed by

It was developed by Linus Torvalds

It was developed by Canonical Ltd.

Released in

It was released in the year 1991

It was released in 2004

Programming language used

It is written in C and Assembly language

It is written in C, C++, C#, Java and Python

Ease of use

Linux commands are difficult to remember. Beginners find it hard to learn

It is user friendly and easy to understand


It has command line interface

It has both command line and graphical user interface

Used in

Used in It is used in servers, personal computers, mobiles, embedded systems etc., Ubuntu is used in IoT, cloud computing, servers and personal computers

Ubuntu is used in IoT, cloud computing, servers and personal computers


It is more robust and secure

It crashes sometimes

System requirements

Linux has more system requirements as it is used for high computing

It has minimum or no system requirements


Server and embedded

Core, desktop and server


Ubuntu is beginner friendly and simple operating system. Its GUI makes it user friendly. One can start with Ubuntu before learning Linux as it is more complex and has more system requirements. The main difference between these two is that Ubuntu is built around the Linux kernel where Linux is the core operating system.

Updated on: 01-Aug-2023


Kickstart Your Career

Get certified by completing the course

Get Started