Elementary OS

Elementary OS vs Ubuntu OS

Linux is one of the most popular open source operating system families. With each passing year, the rate at which Linux is growing in demand is also gradually increasing. This rapid growth that Linux has seen in recent years is likely because this operating system is not only powerful but also super smooth and extremely fast.

Unlike other OS, such as Windows, Linux is less resource hungry, lighter, and has fewer vulnerabilities and bugs. Without any strict governing bodies dictating rules and requirements, Linux is easily customizable. With so many Linux distributions out there and no rules to govern them, each distribution has its own set of specific users and characteristics.

From among the huge collection of Linux distros, Elementary OS and Ubuntu have the largest Linux communities. Both systems have their own pros and cons, and each suits user needs in its own unique way.

In this article, we will be looking at some of the key differences between Elementary OS and Ubuntu.

What Are Elementary OS and Ubuntu?

Ubuntu, a Debian-based Linux distro, is one of the most popular Linux distros out there. This is apparent from the fact that Ubuntu has one of the largest open-source communities. Developed by Canonical, Ubuntu is known for its stability and security. Particularly, Ubuntu is known for its LTS (Long Term Support) releases, which guarantee five years of support without going through the hassle of running a full upgrade every few months. After every two years, a new release is published that makes up for any bugs or vulnerabilities in the old version. Ubuntu has one of the most user-friendly interfaces that is easily customizable and gives off a more modern, sleeker vibe compared to other Linux distros. Ubuntu itself has various “flavors,” each of which provide a different set of attraction for users.

Elementary OS is regarded as one of the most beautiful Linux distros, having a UI that has been greatly inspired by Apple and resembling that of Mac OS. Since this distro is built on Ubuntu, it inherits many of Ubuntu’s great qualities, including a smooth, user-friendly interface.

Elementary OS is also Debian-based, so functionalities and packages for different sets of stuff are easily available for users. However, since it is a stripped-down version of Ubuntu, Elementary OS lacks the support of many of the repositories and packages offered by Ubuntu.

We will now be looking at some of the key differences between Ubuntu 20.04 and Elementary OS Hera 5.1 in more detail.

1) Performance

Performance is one of the key factors behind the success of an operating system. In a world where everything is moving at such a rapid pace, it is imperative that an OS run smoothly and quickly. In terms of performance, Ubuntu seems to be the winner in terms of performance, as it uses less CPU and memory resources, as shown in the images below.


Elementary OS:

This is one of the best improvements in the new Ubuntu version, making the OS smoother and slicker. The Elementary OS desktop contains a number of animations and transitions that are pretty demanding, in terms of resources, which is why this OS consumes so much CPU and memory.

2) Desktop Environments

“Desktop Environment” refers to the menus and icons you use to select and install applications. The default desktop environment of Ubuntu is Gnome, while that Elementary OS is Pantheon. In terms of visual design and presentation, Pantheon is the clear winner, with a Mac-like design style, a sharp and beautiful UI experience, vibrant wallpapers, and crisp, colorful icons.

The Elementary OS Dock has beautifully aligned wallpapers that also look pleasing to the eye.

The Ubuntu 20.04 Dock has improved on previous icon designs but the visual is clearly lacking when directly compared to the Elementary.

The applications menu of Elementary OS looks neat and runs smoothly.

Although the applications menu design has not changed much in Ubuntu 20.04 from its older version, the performance of this OS has greatly improved, as it is now much faster than before.

Ubuntu Applications Menu:

Ubuntu 20.04 has updated previous themes and file icons, replacing the old blue and green style and giving the theme a touch of aubergine, which has certainly given the OS a more modern vibe.

On the other hand, the themes and icons in Elementary OS give off a more elegant feel, as it is simple and pleasing to the eye. And, just like Ubuntu, Elementary provides users support for connecting to the cloud and different network servers.

3) Software Support

As Debian-based distros, both Ubuntu and Elementary OS support .deb files and have a large collection of packages and repositories available in their official repositories. However, Elementary OS falls short in this area as because, as a stripped-down version of Ubuntu, this OS lacks support for many Ubuntu software and packages.

However, in the latest Elementary version, the app center – Hera – has greatly improved. Now, the app center loads much faster, uses less memory, and is much more polished than its predecessor.

Moreover, Elementary has also integrated with Flatpak, an open-source packet management software, making up for its lack of support for many Ubuntu packages.

Ubuntu, on the other hand, has also greatly improved the services of Ubuntu Software, making it more accessible and refined.

Furthermore, Ubuntu has also integrated more snap applications inside of its official repository through a package manager created by Canonical for Linux. Snap applications are automatically updated and offer more security than non-snap alternatives.

In Conclusion, Elementary OS or Ubuntu?

Both of these Linux distros are among the most popular and most stable versions of Linux, and both have a large community to back them up. Ubuntu offers a more solid, secure system; so if you generally opt for better performance over design, you should go for Ubuntu. Elementary focuses on enhancing visuals and minimizing performance issues; so if you generally opt for better design over better performance, you should go for Elementary OS. Both, however, are polished distros that will satisfy the needs of their users and are top notch choices as Linux operating systems.

About the author

Zeeman Memon

Hi there! I'm a Software Engineer by degree, Blogger by skills who loves to write about tech, develop websites & do SEO. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn.