what is the difference between ubuntu and ubuntu server? aside from server being command line only

are there services/software that exist on server that dont on the desktop edition?


the server version uses a slightly different kernel primarily - according to the ubuntu server guide the differences are

• The Server Edition uses the Deadline I/O scheduler instead of the CFQ scheduler used by the Desktop Edition.

• Preemption is turned off in the Server Edition.

• The timer interrupt is 100 Hz in the Server Edition and 250 Hz in the Desktop Edition

Other than that, you can essentially convert any version to anything else, by installing the right packages/package bundles

Update: there's no longer seperate server and generic kernel types. This answer is no longer technically correct, though at the time of this question and answer, it was.

  • i see terminology that i dont know, gotta read-up thanks! – Sarmen B. Apr 11 '11 at 4:43
  • wikipedia has articles on pretty much all that, if you need a primer ;) – Journeyman Geek Apr 11 '11 at 5:19

If you look at any flavor of Linux, you will notice that they all start from a kernel. From there, software is added (typically in packages). Each of the flavors has put together packages of software that they think will serve your purpose. Canonical is responsible for Ubuntu, and they use their community to make decisions on which packages make it into each distribution.

Ubuntu and Ubuntu Server are no different. They have software packaged together to create a distribution. The difference is that the Ubuntu community packaged Ubuntu Desktop to be used primarily as a desktop and Ubuntu Server to be used primarily as a server.

Of course, you can always add the desktop packages to server and vice versa.

I hate to put it so simply, but that is how they intended it to be.

EDIT: All the services/software exist on both desktop and server. You can even put the desktop on Server if you want to.

  • I think it's fairly obvious that they're different. The question is about how they're different, not why. – Brendan Long Apr 11 '11 at 2:54
  • Edited. I wanted to provide why as it helps to explain the reasoning behind the how. Thx. – Theo Apr 11 '11 at 3:01
  • I just wanted to add that unless the packages conflict, you can install both kernels at once and just boot up whichever one you feel like (not that there's any reason to). – Brendan Long Apr 11 '11 at 3:26
  • thanks for the comments, i was going to have one computer running ubuntu desktop and another running server but after noticing their isnt much of a different in the learning curve i just stuck to ubuntu desktop – Sarmen B. Apr 11 '11 at 4:41

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