Elementary OS vs Ubuntu OS [Detailed Guide]

One of the most widely used open-source operating system families is Linux. The pace at which Linux is rising in popularity is steadily increasing with each passing year. Linux’s rapid growth in recent years is most likely because it is not only strong but also extremely smooth and quick. Linux, unlike other operating systems such as Windows, uses fewer resources, is lighter, and has fewer vulnerabilities and bugs. Linux is easily flexible since there are no rigid governing bodies dictating laws and specifications. Since there are so many Linux distributions and no laws to control them, each one has its own set of users and characteristics. The largest Linux communities are found in Elementary OS and Ubuntu, which are among the many Linux distributions available. Both systems have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and they cater to users in different ways.

The key difference between Ubuntu and Elementary OS is that Ubuntu is designed for Linux newbies who need stable software and excellent out-of-the-box hardware support, while Elementary OS is designed for users who need an aesthetically pleasing distro. Ubuntu, a Linux distribution based on Debian, is one of the most widely used Linux distributions.

The fact that Ubuntu has one of the biggest open-source communities demonstrates this. Ubuntu, which was created by Canonical, is known for its stability and protection. Elementary OS is widely regarded as one of the most attractive Linux distributions, with a user interface heavily influenced by Apple and resembling that of Mac OS. Since it is based on Ubuntu, it inherits several of Ubuntu’s best features, such as a smooth and user-friendly design.

What Are Elementary OS and Ubuntu

Ubuntu’s LTS (Long Term Support) updates are well-known for providing five years of support without the hassle of a complete update every few months.

  • Every two years, a new update is released to address any bugs or vulnerabilities found in the previous version. In comparison to other Linux distributions, Ubuntu has one of the most user-friendly interfaces that are easily customizable and gives off a more modern, sleeker vibe.
  •  Ubuntu comes in a variety of “flavors,” each of which offers a unique set of benefits to users.
  • We’ll now take a closer look at some of the main differences between Ubuntu 20.04 and Elementary OS Hera 5.1.

1. Ability to perform

  • One of the most important aspects of an operating system’s success is its efficiency.
  •  In a world where everything moves at such a breakneck speed, an operating system must run smoothly and quickly. 
  • In terms of efficiency, Ubuntu appears to be the clear winner, as it consumes fewer CPU and memory resources, as seen in the images below.
  • This is one of the strongest additions to the latest Ubuntu update, making the operating system more fluid and slick. 
  • The Elementary OS desktop has a lot of resource-intensive animations and transitions, which is why this operating system uses so much CPU and memory.

2. Desktop Environments

The menus and icons you use to pick and install applications are referred to as the “Desktop Environment.”

  • Gnome is Ubuntu’s default desktop environment, while Pantheon is the default desktop environment for Elementary OS. 
  • Pantheon is the obvious winner in terms of visual design and presentation, with a Mac-like design style, a sharp and beautiful UI experience, vivid wallpapers, and clean, colorful icons.
  • The wallpapers in the Elementary OS Dock are beautifully aligned and appealing to the eye.
  • When compared to the Elementary, the Ubuntu 20.04 Dock has built on previous icon designs, but the visual is missing.
  • Although the design of the applications menu in Ubuntu 20.04 has not changed much from its previous version, the OS’s performance has greatly improved, and it is now much faster than before.
  • Previous themes and file icons have been changed in Ubuntu 20.04, replacing the old blue and green look with a touch of aubergine, giving the OS a more modern feel.
  • The themes and symbols in Elementary OS, on the other hand, have a more formal feel to them because they are plain and appealing to the eye. Also, Elementary, like Ubuntu, allows users to link to the cloud and various network servers.

3. Software Support

  • Both Ubuntu and Elementary OS support.deb files and have a wide range of packages and repositories available in their official repositories as Debian-based distros.
  •  However, since it is a stripped-down version of Ubuntu, Elementary OS falls short in this field since it lacks support for many Ubuntu applications and packages.
  • The app center – Hera – has been significantly enhanced in the most recent Elementary edition. 
  • Ubuntu, on the other hand, has significantly increased the accessibility and refinement of Ubuntu Software.
  • Additionally, Ubuntu has added more snap applications to its official repository, thanks to a package manager built by Canonical for Linux. Snap apps are more secure than non-snap alternatives since they are automatically modified.

Organization Name

  • Ubuntu: Ubuntu Distro is created by Canonical Ltd, a company based in the United Kingdom.
  • Type of Organization: Corporation
    • Elementary OS: A small group of UX experts with a strong emphasis on user experience founded the company.
  • Type of Organization: Corporation

Target use cases

Best Use-Case for a General-Purpose Distro: Programming (many IDE vendors support this distro)

  • Observations
  • As a workspace
  • Distro with a wide range of applications.
  • Beginner Linux Distro Best Use-Case: Media Consumption
  • Other Use-Cases: This distro can also be used as a workstation since it is based on Ubuntu.

Software Support

  • Ubuntu: 4/5 for out-of-the-box apps
  • 5/5 Software Repository
  • Most software vendors that support Linux can release packages for Ubuntu, and there is a huge selection of software in the official repo.

Elementary OS: 

  • 6 out of 10
  • 3/5 for out-of-the-box app
  • 3/5 for the software repository

Hardware supports


  • 7/10 Help for proprietary driver applications from third parties is excellent.

Elementary OS: 

  • Official driver support: 4/5 (out of 10)
  • Support for older hardware: 3 out of 5 stars

Release Cycles

  • Release period is set: Every two years, there are long-term support updates, and every six months, there are daily releases. The releases are based on Ubuntu’s Long-Term Support (LTS) release for Ubuntu
  • Timetable for release: Not set in stone; it will depend on when the features are ready for Elementary OS

The Linux Distributions World

The word “Distribution” is abbreviated as “Distro.” Since the Linux source code is publicly available, broad groups have formed to put together Operating Systems that are tailored to particular needs or goals.

These “basic needs/goals” can include, but are not limited to

  • generating documents
  •  developing applications and writing programs
  •  photo, video, audio, and multimedia-production-related editing
  • protect confidential data by protecting the operating system so that no one can break into it, or simply access the internet and consume media.
  • If a group of people just wanted to use their computers to access the internet, it would be pointless to provide them with programming tools. As a result, since each community’s needs and priorities differed, these communities began distributing designed images of this operating system that included all of the necessary resources.

The Main Factors of Comparison

The aforementioned factors are only a small sample of the hundreds of variables that distinguish distros. If you’re transitioning from another operating system to Linux, or if you’re selecting your next Linux distro and aren’t sure which one to go with, take a look at these top 5 decision-making factors.

Factor#1: Good Match with your Particular use-case

    • By use-case, I’m referring to the sort of work you’ll be doing on your computer. Because of the disparity in use cases, the Linux distro environment arose.
    • Ubuntu’s target is opposed to that of Elementary OS.
    • Let’s compare Ubuntu and Elementary OS in terms of targets, target users, and the best use cases for these distributions.
    • The goal for Ubuntu: To be the most user-friendly desktop/laptop operating system. 
    • Elementary OS: To create a distro that is both aesthetically pleasing and secure.
    • Target users: Users that are new to Linux and want a system that is simple to set up and maintain.
    • Elementary OS:  Users of Mac OS who are attempting to make the switch to Linux
    • Best Use Cases to Employ the Distro for Ubuntu: Programming is the best use-case (many IDE vendors support this distro)
  • Other Use-Cases: This distro can also be used as a workstation since it is based on Ubuntu.

Factor#2: Support for your favorite software

If your primary job requires you to use a particular piece of software or the most recent version of a piece of software, this becomes a deciding factor when selecting a Linux distribution. So, before you install a distro, make sure to check to see if that distro offers official support for your key software requirements. 

  • Out-of-the-Box support refers to the program that comes pre-installed with the distribution The elementary OS comes with very simple applications, and even those aren’t ideal, so if you don’t like them, you’ll have to look for alternatives. The standard edition includes all of the required equipment for Ubuntu
  •  Repository Support: Software that has been curated and is accessible on the official repositories A large number of software developers and publishers also release Ubuntu-specific software. Although the official repo is still in its early stages, you can use the command line to install all Debian packages.
  •  Release cycle type: This determines the trade-off between current software and secure, validated software Release period is set Every two years, there are long-term support updates, and every six months, there are daily releases. The releases are based on Ubuntu’s Long-Term Support (LTS) release.
  • Timetable for release: Not set in stone; it will depend on when the features are ready

Graphical Software Managers’ Availability

  • The package manager you’re using determines how simple it is to install and uninstall apps.

Factor#3: Hardware Support and Proprietary Driver Support

Officially, not all Linux distributions support proprietary drivers. You may or may not have open-source driver support from the manufacturers, depending on your computer’s hardware. This is particularly true when it comes to hardware like graphics cards and network cards. As a result, it’s a good idea to think about “driver assistance” when selecting your next distribution. 

  • The Distro’s Opensource vs. Proprietary 3rd Party Device Policy Open source software is the default, but third-party software may be selected during the installation process for Ubuntu. By default, open-source drivers are selected, but you can choose Proprietary during the installation phase if you prefer, as they are officially supported for elementary OS
  •  Major Corporations’ official driver support  Ubuntu 5/5 Several businesses support and release Ubuntu packages. 4/5 As an Ubuntu clone, Elementary OS appreciates the Ubuntu drivers.
  •  Support for third-party drivers from official repositories
  • Older hardware is supported 3 out of 5 Ubuntu no longer supports 32-bit processors. 3/5 for elementary OS Debian and Ubuntu have strong driver support, but there is no support for 32-bit processors.

Factor#4: Your level of expertise in Linux

The distro you need can differ depending on your level of Linux experience. This is due to the following reasons:

  • Ease of use: novice, intermediate, and advanced
  •  Paid customer service is available or not
  •  Online group support: excellent
  •  Documents available: excellent documentation, good documentation, adequate documentation, no documentation

Factor#5: Hardware Resource Needs

If you intend to run Linux on a machine with limited hardware resources, this is a critical consideration. This may be an outdated computer or a new one with subpar specifications. The following are some of the things to think about.

  • Weight Classification: Lightweight, Middleweight, or Heavyweight
  • RAM Requirements for a responsive system
  • Cpu minimum requirements


Both of these Linux distributions are among the most common and stable versions of Linux, and they are backed by a wide community. Ubuntu has a more stable and reliable environment, so if you choose functionality over aesthetics, Ubuntu is the way to go. Elementary OS focuses on improving graphics while minimizing performance problems, so it’s a good choice if you prefer better design to better performance. Both, on the other hand, are refined distributions that will meet the needs of their users and are excellent Linux operating systems.