Ubuntu has long been the face of desktop Linux, known by many, even if they are not entirely familiar with the concept of Linux itself. However, in recent years, Ubuntu and its parent company, Canonical, have made some controversial decisions that haven't resonated well with parts of the Linux community. So, what can you do if you appreciate the Ubuntu base, its package repositories, and tools, but you don't necessarily agree with all of Ubuntu's decisions and changes? Well, you can explore Ubuntu-based distributions that diverge from some of Ubuntu's choices. In this article, we will delve into the most intriguing Ubuntu-based distributions that allow you to keep the familiar while avoiding the aspects you may not like.
Debian: The Ubuntu Foundation
Before we dive into Ubuntu-based distributions, it's important to note that Ubuntu itself is based on Debian. If what you appreciate about Ubuntu is the APT package manager, extensive software repositories, and you desire a pure KDE or GNOME experience without Canonical's influence, Debian could be a solid choice. Debian offers stability through its LTS releases, and you can even replicate the Ubuntu GNOME experience by installing the Yaru theme and icons, along with the dock and desktop icons.
Linux Mint: Ubuntu Minus the Controversy
Linux Mint is an excellent alternative if you want an Ubuntu-like experience without some of the controversial elements. Based on the latest Ubuntu LTS release, Linux Mint removes Snap packages and offers a customized Cinnamon desktop, which can be replaced with the standard GNOME desktop if desired. Mint also provides a suite of graphical tools for comprehensive system management.
Rhino Linux: A Rolling Release Alternative
Rhino Linux takes a different approach by offering a rolling release model. It doesn't provide major version upgrades but continually updates the Linux kernel and essential applications. The default desktop environment is XFCE, but you can easily switch to Ubuntu's GNOME through the package manager. Rhino Linux even introduces its own package manager, "Rhino Package," allowing you to install Debian packages, Flatpaks, and more.
Pop!OS: A Ubuntu-Based Twist
Pop!_OS, developed by System76, uses Ubuntu LTS as its base and enhances it with driver and Linux kernel updates. Pop!_OS provides a unique desktop experience with a dock, app launcher, and auto-tiling features for more efficient window management. Snaps are replaced with Flatpak, and it's well-maintained, making it a solid choice for those who prefer Ubuntu LTS with some extra polish.
Tuxedo OS: A KDE-Focused Ubuntu Alternative
For KDE enthusiasts seeking an Ubuntu alternative, Tuxedo OS delivers the latest KDE apps and desktop environment directly from KDE Neon's repositories. While it primarily focuses on the LTS base, it offers access to extra repositories for more recent kernel and driver updates. Tuxedo OS is known for its up-to-date KDE experience, making it a worthy choice for those seeking the latest KDE features.
Distributions Not Recommended
Several other distributions, like Zorin OS and Elementary OS, offer Ubuntu-based experiences. However, Zorin OS is based on an older Ubuntu LTS release, which may not suit users looking for the latest software. Elementary OS, on the other hand, has a unique Pantheon desktop but imposes limitations on installing non-curated software, which might not align with typical Ubuntu user expectations.
In conclusion, while Ubuntu remains a dominant player in the Linux world, it's essential to consider alternative distributions if you disagree with certain decisions or want a slightly different experience. The distributions mentioned in this article provide Ubuntu's solid base while allowing you to tailor your Linux experience to your preferences. Whether you seek stability, the latest desktop environments, or a rolling release model, there's an Ubuntu-based distribution to suit your needs.