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Why I recommend Debian over Ubuntu by now

I recently noticed that I would clearly suggest Debian over Ubuntu to someone about to make that choice. A few reasons why:


  • The Chromium browser lagged so much behind Debian in Ubuntu recently, that payment on AirBnB would fail on Ubuntu (16.10) while working well on Debian; the update/fix took way too long.

  • The corefonts installer is broken (and not hard to fix) in Ubuntu (16.10). I would not recommend any of the workarounds I have seen, the bug is not fixed for two years. Affected a non-IT friend of mine.

  • The shutdown process of a freshly installed Ubuntu 16.04 took ages due to the cups-browsed daemon. Experienced that at a Linux install party.

  • PyCharm freezes soon after start-up on Ubuntu 16.10.

  • Right now Debian has PostgreSQL 9.6, latest alpha Ubuntu only has PostgreSQL 9.5 (while we want 9.6 features on the server at work).

  • The Debian community will like you way better if you are not actually on Ubuntu if you end up asking questions in the Debian channel at some point (say you have questions on Debian packaging).



  • After more than an hour of trying to convince the Ubuntu installer to do full disk encryption with LVM on a friend's notebook we switched to Debian… and the Debian installer did not only support it, it even made it easy.

  • The liburiparser1 0.8.4-1 package of Ubuntu bionic 18.04.x LTS(!) whose Standard Support with security updates ends 2023-04 — i.e. is still ongoing as of today — lacks patches for four CVEs that are clearly labeled as security fixes in the uriparser changelog. When contacting Ubuntu Security about it, their response was that "[.. s]ince the package referred to in this bug is in universe, it is community maintained. [..]" (emphasis mine). That is in line with what Standard Support is offering, and it was a good eye-opener for me on how little that actually is.

So much for now.