I am relatively new to Linux operating systems and I'm trying to find out more about them. Unfortunately, I cant find a whole lot of good sources about them. Right now I get a bit confused and mixed up with all the different Linux options out there

Can anyone tell me the difference between Ubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu?

  • There's other options than ubuntu - ubuntu is based off debian, and there's other families of distributions as well
    – Journeyman Geek
    Dec 20, 2012 at 14:04
  • @MalwareManiac: SE has an AskUbuntu forum, they may well have a wealth of info over there
    – Simon
    Dec 20, 2012 at 14:08
  • @Simon thks will have to check that out Dec 20, 2012 at 14:29
  • 1
    @MalwareManiac: Welcome, Merry Christmas
    – Simon
    Dec 20, 2012 at 14:46

2 Answers 2


The main difference is the default window manager. Xubuntu and Lubuntu are usually used with older and less powerful computers. In detail:

Ubuntu comes with Unity a shell running over the GNOME Desktop environment. Unity is mean to be easy to use for most users.

Kubuntu uses KDE as the default desktop environment. KDE has got a lot of configurations and graphic effects and is good for power users who want to costumize a lot their environment.

Xubuntu uses XFCE a very clean desktop environment. XFCE is easy to use and uses less system resources than KDE and Unity (Gnome).

Lubuntu uses LXDE as the the window manager. LXDE is designed to work well with computers on the low end of the performance spectrum such as older resource-constrained machines.

All the versions of Ubuntu share the same packets and packet manager (apt-get), and they releases follow the main Ubuntu release (every 6 months). The release name is composed as year.month, so for example 12.10 is the release of October 2012.


The only difference is the default window manager they include:

  • Ubuntu: Gnome
  • Xubuntu: XFCE
  • Kubuntu: KDE
  • Lubuntu: LDXE

However, since they all use the same package manager and default Ubuntu package repository, it's entirely possible to "convert" a given Ubuntu installation to another one of the variants listed above (and vice-versa) by adding & removing the correct packages.

  • +1 for a good answer but the other one has a bit more info Dec 20, 2012 at 14:28

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