The 10 best Ubuntu-based Linux distributions of all time

Ubuntu, the Debian-based Linux operating system, has been around since 2004; it has since spawned some great distros which are, in turn, based on Ubuntu source code.

These distributions continue to achieve varying degrees of success for serving various use cases. The following list of community-run Ubuntu distros is the current cream of technology.

Without further ado, let’s find out what makes each of these Ubuntu-based distros work.

Linux Mint Desktop Interface

Linux Mint, released on August 27, 2006, has dominated the hearts and minds of users since its launch. Mint is available in three versions, including Cinnamon, MATE, and XFCE desktop environments.

It offers a robust software package ecosystem consisting of Firefox, VLC media player, Thunderbird, LibreOffice and more. It has a highly functional, navigable, and aesthetic user / UX interface that caters to Linux novices.

However, the frequent operating system updates available since the launch of Mint 19 could frustrate many users.

To download: Linux Mint

Related: Tips for Customizing Cinnamon Desktop on Linux

Elementary Linux operating system desktop interface

Elementary OS appeals to Linux and non-Linux users alike with its pantheon macOS-inspired desktop environment. The rich user experience is relatively easy to grasp and remember.

It offers a compact set of software packages to reduce post-installation bloating. However, you can quickly fill the desktop with software and apps from the dedicated software store, AppCenter.


Elementary provides an easy-to-configure Ubuntu LTS-based distro with plenty of customization options. His asset Stack Exchange Support Community turns out to be a great help for Linux newbies.

To download: Elementary bone

Zorin OS desktop interface

Windows users who want to switch to open source can easily orient themselves in the Zorin OS desktop environment. Zorin OS is extremely lightweight compared to other Ubuntu based Linux distributions.

The availability of bundled software packages for office productivity and media editing makes Zorin OS a versatile option among contemporaries.

Additionally, Zorin Lite can easily mimic your traditional macOS-based desktop UI experience, especially when dealing with low hardware configurations. Rest assured, Zorin OS enables seamless desktop transitions between desktops using the Barrier app.

To download: Zorin OS

Pop! Desktop interface  BONE

Pop! _OS, developed and supported by System76, is another Ubuntu-based Linux distribution that is finding favor with multimedia professionals looking for lightweight, open-source operating system solutions. This Debian-Ubuntu distribution has a GNOME-based desktop environment with a clean, flat and intuitive user interface.

The distribution is highly accessible and customizable, allowing stable execution on a diverse list of hardware configurations. It is one of the few Linux distributions on the market that is highly compatible with NVIDIA / AMD graphics hardware, making driver updates easy.

These factors prove that Pop! _OS is a great economical solution for esports.

To download: Pop! _OS

Linux LXLE OS Desktop Interface

LXLE is a fast, feature-rich Ubuntu distribution that claims to be feature-heavy but relatively light on resources. Its user interface is pleasing to the eye and works quite well on desktops with outdated graphics hardware.

Surprisingly, the distribution comes with many applications without overloading the base machine. LXLE has a fast boot time, and with its stable performance, the distro is marketed as another suitable open source alternative for Windows.

To download: LXLE

Kubuntu desktop interface
Image Credit: Wikipedia /Wikipedia

Kubuntu is a user-friendly Ubuntu distribution for Linux users looking for alternatives to Windows and macOS. It bundles a KDE Plasma desktop instead of the standard GNOME environment.

Users can expect a powerful file explorer and a visually lush graphical interface. Kubuntu’s long list of software packages provides you with an interesting list of essential free software.

Kubuntu’s documentation and support make it the perfect operating system for programming, business productivity, and home use.

To download: Kubuntu

Lubuntu Desktop Interface

Lubuntu offers a distro filled with apps, which comes with comprehensive documentation so users can understand all of its features in no time. Lubuntu’s dark and minimalist user interface is a throwback to modern desktop themes.

The distribution’s modest game support reflects its graphics prowess. Lubuntu comes with MPlayer, LightLocker, Firefox, and even word processors and calculators to boot, with more app packages available for easy download and installation.

Lubuntu uses LXQT, which is supported by a series of lightweight, modernist applications to ensure fast processing and low hardware requirements.

To download: Lubuntu

Xubuntu desktop interface

Xubuntu, like some of its counterparts, is another performance-centric, Ubuntu-based Linux distro. It features a highly customizable XFCE desktop environment and the main inspiration behind the name of the distro.

This distro has an excellent selection of ready-made software packages for users. Xubuntu continues to be the epitome of open source, community-driven operating systems, with stable execution intended for a wide variety of uses, from document processing to image processing.

The latest Impish Indri version was released in October 2021 and continues to be a stable release, with backend support until June 2022.

To download: Xubuntu

Linux desktop interface Ubuntu Budgie

Naturally, this distro bridges the gap between the Budgie desktop environment and Ubuntu computing. Its sleek macOS-inspired user interface classifies it for fast navigation and seamless transitions.

It comes with a ton of nifty software and widgets to boost productivity without any unnecessary baggage. Its updated support for Budgie-Nemo integration and 4K desktop resolutions makes it a viable Linux distro.

To download: Ubuntu Parakeet

KDE Neon is an Ubuntu-based distribution offering a complete KDE desktop environment. It is very malleable, as it incorporates a wide range of hardware configurations, making it another candidate for enabling gaming on Linux desktops.

Neon combines the aesthetics of Windows and macOS and bundles them together for enhanced effects and functionality. Nonetheless, Neon’s USP is its primary cloud-based laptop offering that can work seamlessly on any smart device, from smartphones to TVs.

To download: KDE Neon

Choose between different distributions based on Ubuntu

Linux users are spoiled for choice, given the plethora of open source options available in the Linux lineup. There are a few convenient and stable distributions available on the Internet, each promising to meet varying individual interests.

Depending on your current need, you can choose an Ubuntu-based distribution that meets your immediate needs. Rest assured, you won’t be disappointed with the results, as switching to Linux is a rewarding long-term journey.


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