There is a lot of difference between a Server OS and Desktop OS. Only a few Linux server distributions are commonly used for web hosting and app hosting which include Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu, REHL, AlmaLinux, Rocky Linux and openSUSE.
Ubuntu is a Debian derivative server distribution but Ubuntu is more popular than Debian. Ubuntu is composed mostly of free and open-source software but has non-free software. It runs on all major (64-bit) architectures – x86-64, ARM v7, ARM64 and IBM System Z mainframes. It supports ZFS (including snapshot capabilities) and has LXD.
Advantages of Ubuntu Server Distribution
- Ubuntu is free to use with optional paid support (Ubuntu Pro).
- Ubuntu is incredibly feature-rich.
- Easy to use over SSH even by the less experienced users
- It is stable and bug-free
- It provides long-term support (LTS) version, which provides five years of support.
- Ubuntu’s server software availability is commendable and also it supports PPA (Debian does not support PPA out of the box).
- The Ubuntu community is active and keen to provide extensive support
- A lot of online guides are available to install, and configure various web software on the Ubuntu server
Disadvantages of Ubuntu Server Distribution
- The optional paid support (Ubuntu Pro) costs high for the server
- Higher resource consumption than Debian
- The size of the operating system is big
- Ubuntu is not compatible with few hardware and software
- It is less secure out of the box than CentOS or Debian
- It requires more manual support to stay up to date
- Software/packages with non-free components
- Its use in companies is not very common. It is probably not considered “professional” unlike REHL or CentOS
- Many of the web hosts do not provide managed support for the servers running Ubuntu
- Conflicting business tactics
Ubuntu is suitable for personal projects, blogs etc because it is easy to use the PPA and many scripts, settings available on GitHub. It is risky to use for commercial works since the non-free parts including PPA may have complicated licensing terms.