Ubuntu variants allow you to remain within Ubuntu while finding the exact options and sub-community you prefer.
However, all the official variants share both Ubuntu’s repositories and release schedules — that is, new versions of each variant are generally released within a week or so of the official Ubuntu release.
Currently, Ubuntu recognizes six official variants. Three — Edubuntu, Mythbuntu, and Ubuntu Studio — are defined by their purposes. Specifically, Edubuntu is focused on education, Ubuntu Studio on multimedia, and Mythbuntu on MythTV.
Three other official variants are distinguished primarily by their choice of desktop: Lubuntu uses LXDE, Kubuntu KDE, and Xubuntu Xfce. It’s within the three desktop-defined variants that general users can look for alternatives to the main Ubuntu interface of Unity on top of GNOME.
AbulÉdu is a French Linux distribution, specifically designed for data processing in educational establishments. Originally based on Mandrake Linux, the most recent releases are based on Debian GNU/Linux and KNOPPIX.
Alinex, developed by the Universidade de Évora, is a Ubuntu-based Portuguese Linux distribution designed for the students of the university. It includes an easy installation program, complete localisation into Portuguese, and all the necessary software the university students might need to develop new applications.
APODIO is a Linux live and installation DVD with a large collection of open source audio and video software, as well as graphical utilities for making system administration as simple and intuitive as possible. It is based on Ubuntu.
AriOS is a user-friendly, Ubuntu-based distribution containing extra applications, multimedia codecs, Flash and Java plugins, many tweaks and a unique look and feel.
ArtistX is a Ubuntu-based bootable DVD containing many free multimedia software packages for audio, 2D and 3D graphics, and video production. The goal of this project is to showcase the variety of multimedia software available on the GNU/Linux platform and to enable creative individuals to accomplish their tasks with the help of Free Software.
Asturix is a desktop-oriented Linux distribution based on Kubuntu. Some of its features include easy-to-use design, integration of social and micro-blogging networks, integration of popular web-based applications, and ability to legally download and play music via Jamendo.com’s free download service.
7. Aurora OS
Aurora OS started its life as Eeebuntu, an Ubuntu-based distribution optimised for ASUS Eee PC and other popular netbooks. In June 2010 the project was renamed to Aurora OS, with a goal to become a more general Linux distribution for the desktop with user-friendly features.
8. BackBox Linux
BackBox Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution developed to perform penetration tests and security assessments. It is designed to be fast and easy to use. It provides a minimal yet complete desktop environment, thanks to its own software repositories, which are always updated to the latest stable versions of the most often used and best-known ethical hacking tools.
BackTrack is an Ubuntu-based distribution with a collection of security and forensics tools. It was created by merging Auditor Security Linux with WHAX (formerly Whoppix).
10. Baltix GNU/Linux
Baltix GNU/Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution designed primarily for Lithuanian and Latvian speakers, as well as other users from Europe’s Baltic region. Besides standard software found in an Ubuntu release, Baltix also includes a variety of educational programs, games, vector graphic and diagram drawing software, WINE integration for running Windows applications, office clipart, and internationalisation features for the supported languages.
Bardinux, a project of the Office of Free Software at the Universidad de La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain, is a Kubuntu-based distribution. It follows Kubuntu’s long-term support release and is designed primarily for the students of the university.
12. Big Linux
Big Linux is a Brazilian Linux live CD with support for hard disk install and localised into Brazilian Portuguese. It is based on Kubuntu.
BlankOn is an Ubuntu-based distribution developed by the Indonesian Linux Mover Foundation and BlankOn developer team. It is an Indonesian distribution that includes a variety of software that is widely used by consumers in general, such as office programs, financial applications, Internet applications, drawing (both vector and bitmap), support for various multimedia file formats, as well as other interesting programs.
14. Bodhi Linux
Bodhi Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution for the desktop featuring the elegant and lightweight Enlightenment window manager. The project, which integrates and pre-configures the very latest builds of Enlightenment directly from the project’s development repository, offers modularity, high level of customisation, and choice of themes. The default Bodhi system is light — the only pre-installed applications are Midori, LXTerminal, PCManFM, Leafpad and Synaptic — but more software is available via Bodhi Software Center, a web-based software installation tool.
CAELinux is a live DVD Linux distribution dedicated to computer-aided engineering (CAD) and finite element analysis. Based on Ubuntu, it features a full software solution for professional 3D FE analysis from CAD geometry. It includes the Salome 3D pre/post processor, Code_Aster non-linear/multi- physics FE solver, Code-Saturne and OpenFOAM CFD solvers, Elmer multiphysics suite, GMSH, Netgen and enGrid 3D meshers, GNU Octave, Rkward, wxMaxima, Scilab, and more.
CAINE (Computer Aided INvestigative Environment) is an Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux live distribution created as a project of digital forensics. It offers a complete forensic environment that is organised to integrate existing software tools as software modules and to provide a friendly graphical interface. The main design objectives that CAINE aims to guarantee are: an interoperable environment that supports the digital investigator during the four phases of the digital investigation, a user-friendly graphical interface, and a semi-automated compilation of the final report.
Linux Comfusion (previously known as Uberyl) is a desktop Linux distribution that combines an Ubuntu base system with the latest 3D desktop technologies on a live DVD.
18. DEFT Linux
DEFT (Digital Evidence & Forensic Toolkit) is a customised distribution of the Ubuntu live Linux CD. It is an easy-to-use system that includes excellent hardware detection and some of the best open-source applications dedicated to incident response and computer forensics.
19. Dream Studio
Dream Studio is an Ubuntu-based distribution containing tools to create stunning graphics, captivating videos, inspiring music, and professional websites. Some of the included and pre-configured applications include Cinelerra (a powerful non-linear video editor), Ardour (a professional digital audio workstation), CinePaint (a tool for motion picture frame-by-frame retouching), Blender (a 3D graphics application), Inkscape (a vector graphics editor), Synfig Studio (a vector-based 2D animation software), Kompozer (a complete web authoring system), and many others.
dyne:bolic is a GNU/Linux distribution running from a CD and able to recognise most of your devices and peripherals: sound, video, TV, network cards, firewire, USB devices and more. It is shaped on the needs of media activists, artists and creative individuals, a practical tool for multimedia production. You can manipulate and broadcast both sound and video with tools to record, edit, encode and stream, all using free software!
EasyPeasy (formerly Ubuntu Eee) is an Ubuntu-based distribution for netbooks. It uses Ubuntu Netbook Remix graphical user interface and includes open source as well as proprietary software.
Edubuntu is a partner project of Ubuntu Linux, a distribution suitable for classroom use. The aim is that an educator with limited technical knowledge and skill will be able to set up a computer lab, or establish an on-line learning environment, in an hour or less, and then administer that environment without having to become a fully-fledged Linux geek.
23. elementary OS
elementary OS is an Ubuntu-based desktop distribution. Some of its more interesting features include a new GTK+ and icon theme for GNOME, the Midori web browser, new applications developed in-house (e.g. Dexter, an address book and Postler, an email client), and Nautilus Elementary, a simple file manager.
24. ESUN Linux
ESUN Linux is an Ubuntu-based distribution containing free software for enterprise management. Developed at the University of Tarapaca in Chile, the project’s goal is to deliver a new alternative to students, teachers and the community at large. The distribution includes software for enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM), project management, accounting, electronic commerce, human resources, office and database.
GnackTrack is an Ubuntu-based distribution and live CD featuring a collection of utilities for penetration testing.
26. Greenie Linux
Greenie Linux is a Slovak desktop distribution based on Ubuntu and optimised for users in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Created as an operating system for every-day use, Greenie Linux combines a set of applications for home use, out-of-the-box functionality and Ubuntu repositories. The goal of this distribution is to create a user-friendly desktop system and a useful live CD.
Guadalinex is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu and developed by the government of Andalucía (Junta de Andalucía) in Spain.
Helix is a customised distribution based on Ubuntu with excellent hardware detection and many applications dedicated to incident response and forensics.
29. Joli OS
Joli OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution. It is geared towards extreme user-friendliness so that any computer user can install it with just one click. Besides the standard ISO image, the distribution is also provided as a Windows executable file which can resize an existing Windows partition and install Joli OS as an alternative operating system. Other Joli OS features include heavy orientation towards web application and services, online backup option, web-based software installation interface, inclusion of proprietary hardware drivers and non-free media codecs, and extensive social networking features.
Karoshi is a free and open source school server operating system based on Ubuntu. Karoshi provides a simple graphical interface that allows for quick installation, setup and maintenance of a network.
31. Kiwi Linux
Kiwi Linux is a modified Ubuntu live CD for the i386 architecture. It includes Romanian and Hungarian localisations, multimedia codecs, encrypted DVD support, Flash and Java plugins for Firefox, PPPoE GUI for accessing local Internet services (Clicknet and RDS) and write support for NTFS partitions.
Kubuntu is a free, user-friendly Linux distribution based on KDE’s desktop software and on the award-winning Ubuntu operating system. It has a biannual release cycle and at least 18 months of free security updates for each release. Besides providing an up-to-date version of the KDE desktop at the time of the release, the project also releases updated KDE packages throughout the lifetime of each release.
33. Linux Caixa Mágica
Caixa Mágica is a Portuguese Linux distribution for desktops and servers. The project’s early versions were based on SUSE Linux and later on Mandriva Linux, but starting from version 16 Caixa Mágica is built from Ubuntu. It features the GNOME desktop environment.
34. Linux Deepin
Linux Deepin (formerly Hiweed GNU/Linux) is an easy-to-use Chinese distribution based on Ubuntu. Its features include preconfigured Chinese applications and tools, such as Chinese (simplified) input method called Yong, the Evermore office suite, Chinese-English and English-Chinese dictionaries, and Chinese (simplified) TrueType fonts. It also features a customised start menu, a Mac OS X-like application launcher, and other usability enhancements.
35. Linux Mangaka
Linux Mangaka is a desktop Linux distribution originally designed primarily for the fans of Japanese Manga and Anime, but eventually evolving into a complete, beginner-friendly operating system with complete multimedia support. Based on Ubuntu with GNOME and Google desktop, the distribution includes a large variety of programs for graphics design, many freely available Google applications, a number of games, and an innovative set of desktop themes.
36. Linux Mint
Linux Mint is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose goal is to provide a more complete out-of-the-box experience by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java and other components. It also adds a custom desktop and menus, several unique configuration tools, and a web-based package installation interface. Linux Mint is compatible with Ubuntu software repositories.
LinuxTLE is a community Linux distribution developed in Thailand and designed for the Thai speaking audience. The early versions were based on Red Hat Linux and Fedora Core, but starting with version 8.0, the developers have chosen Ubuntu as the distribution’s new base system.
LliureX is a project of the Council of Culture, Education and Sport at the Municipality of Valencia, Spain. The LliureX distribution is an Edubuntu-based live and installation DVD with support for Valencian (a dialect of Catalan) and Spanish. It is intended as an operating system for educational institutions in the Valencia region. LliureX uses exclusively Free Software and is distributed free of charge.
Lubuntu is a fast, lightweight and energy-saving variant of Ubuntu using the LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) desktop. It is intended to have low-resource system requirements and is designed primarily for netbooks, mobile devices and older PCs.
40. Madbox Linux
Madbox Linux is a lightweight, Ubuntu-based Linux distribution featuring the Openbox window manager, the SLiM display manager, and a simplified desktop configuration system.
41. MAX: Madrid_Linux
Madrid_Linux, or MAX for short, is an GNU/Linux distribution created by the Council of Education of Madrid, Spain. It is a live operating system based on Ubuntu. Besides the ability to boot the operating system on any computer, the distribution includes a graphical installer with an option to resize FAT or NTFS partition and create space for installing MAX on a hard disk.
MoLinux is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution developed by the government of Castilla la Mancha in Spain.
Monomaxos is an Ubuntu-based distribution whose purpose is to provide a complete out-of-the-box functional Linux operating system by including browser plugins, media codecs, support for DVD playback, Java, Flash and other components. It also adds a custom desktop and menus, and a modified Wubi installer for making installation very easy. Monomaxos is compatible with Ubuntu software repositories.
moonOS is a complete, Ubuntu-based distribution featuring the LXDE and Enlightenment 17 desktop managers and imaginative, original artwork. A project created and designed by Cambodian artist Chanrithy Thim, moonOS is intended as an operating system for any desktop, laptop or virtual machine.
Mythbuntu is an Ubuntu-based distribution and live CD focused upon setting up a standalone MythTV system similar to KnoppMyth or Mythdora. It can be used to install a standalone frontend, backend, or combination machines. Mythbuntu uses Xfce as its default desktop and provides a graphical Control Centre to configure the system.
Netrunner is an Ubuntu-based distribution with a focus on desktop computing. It boasts a carefully tuned KDE 4 desktop with many integrated GNOME applications to offer users a selected mix of popular and powerful applications.
47. Nexenta OS
Nexenta OS is a free and open source operating system combining the OpenSolaris kernel with GNU application userland. Nexenta OS runs on Intel/AMD 32-/64-bit hardware and is distributed as a single installable CD. Upgrades and binary packages not included on the CD can be installed from Nexenta OS repository using Advanced Packaging Tool. In addition, source based software components can be downloaded from network repositories available at Debian/GNU Linux and Ubuntu Linux.
NexentaStor is an enterprise-class unified storage solution built upon the foundation of the open-source file system Nexenta Core Platform, including the ZFS file system. NexentaStor adds to the open source foundation a complete set of managed features, including ZFS and synchronous block level replication, integrated search, console and graphical user interfaces, and optional advanced features, such as management of storage for leading virtualised environments, enhanced mapping and management for Fiber Channel and iSCSI environments, and active/active high availability. A free “developer’s edition” based on the most recent stable Nexenta Core Platform is available free of charge for users with less than 4 terabyte of used disk space.
Nova is a user-friendly, desktop-oriented Linux distribution developed by the University of Computer Sciences in Havana, Cuba. In the product’s early days the operating system was based on Gentoo Linux and Sabayon Linux, but starting from version 2.1 the developers have chosen Ubuntu as the base system.
Otakux is an Ubuntu-based distribution designed for “Otaku”, a Japanese term used to refer to people with obsessive interests in anime, manga and video games. It comes with a custom theme and includes support for most media formats out of the box.
PC/OS is a user-friendly desktop and server Linux distribution based on Xubuntu. Some of its most interesting features include support for popular browser plugins, addition of packages for multimedia production, content creation and software development, and a BeOS-like desktop theme. PC/OS comes in several editions, including OpenDesktop, OpenWorkstation and WebStation.
52. Peppermint OS
Peppermint OS is a Lubuntu-based Linux distribution that aims to be lightning fast and easy on system resources. By employing Mozilla’s Prism technology Peppermint integrates seamlessly with Cloud and web-based applications. The distribution’s other features include automatic updates, easy step-by-step installation, sleek and user-friendly interface, and increased mobility by integrating directly with Cloud-based applications.
53. Pinguy OS
Pinguy OS is an Ubuntu-based distribution targeted at beginning Linux users. It features numerous user-friendly enhancements, out-of-the-box support for multimedia codecs and browser plugins, a heavily tweaked GNOME user interface with enhanced menus, panels and dockbars, and a careful selection of popular desktop applications for many common computing tasks.
54. Poseidon Linux
Poseidon Linux is a GNU/Linux distribution designed for academic and scientific use. Although based on Ubuntu, it enhances its parent by adding a large number of applications for GIS/maps, numerical modelling, 2D/3D/4D visualisation, statistics, tools for creating simple and complex graphics, programming languages and more. The usual software for daily use, such as office suite, Internet browser, instant messaging and chat clients are also included.
Puredyne is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution aimed at creative people. It provides a number of creative applications, alongside a solid set of graphic, audio and video tools in a fast, minimal package. It includes software for everything an artist might need – from sound art to innovative film-making. Puredyne is optimised for use in real-time audio and video processing and it distinguishes itself by offering a low latency kernel and high responsiveness needed by artists working in this field.
56. Qimo 4 Kids
Qimo 4 Kids is a distribution of Linux, derived from the popular Ubuntu, customised for use by children ages 3 and up. It comes pre-installed with free and open source games that are both educational and entertaining, with many more educational titles available for download from Ubuntu. The interface of Qimo 4 Kids has been specifically designed to be easy to navigate by the youngest of users.
57. Redo Backup & Recovery
Redo Backup and Recovery is an Ubuntu-based live CD featuring backup, restore, and disaster recovery software. It centres around an easy-to-use graphical program for running bare-metal backup and recovery on hard disk partitions, as well as on external hard drives and network shares. The CD also includes several popular data recovery programs and a web browser.
Runtu is a Russian desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. It features full support for Russian and a variety of extra applications, tools and media codecs.
Sabily (formerly Ubuntu Muslim Edition) is a free, open source operating system based on Ubuntu. Its main feature is the inclusion of Islamic software, such as prayer times, a Qur’an study tool and a web content filtering utility.
60. Super OS
Super OS (formerly Super Ubuntu) is a modified version of Ubuntu with the goal of making it more usable, in particular for users without an internet connection, while trying to remain compatible with Ubuntu. Features compared to Ubuntu include better multimedia support, improved Internet experience (aMSN, Opera, Flash), App Runner, and other software, such as Java, Ubuntu Tweak and live USB creator.
Suriyan is an Ubuntu-based distribution developed by Thai Open Source, an organisation that aims to promote free and open-source software in Thailand. The project’s primary goal is to develop an easy-to-use alternative operating system with complete support for the Thai language.
62. Trisquel GNU/Linux
Trisquel GNU/Linux is a 100% libre Ubuntu-based Linux distribution. Its main purpose is to provide an operating system for varied audience, including home and office users, educational institutions, multimedia workstations, etc. The project is managed by independent developers and is partially funded by donations.
Tuquito is a Ubuntu-based distribution and live CD made in Argentina. It features automatic hardware detection, excellent support for scanners, web cams and digital cameras, and compatibility with MS Office file formats. It is designed for beginners and intermediate Linux users.
64. TurnKey Linux
TurnKey Linux is an Ubuntu-based virtual appliance library that integrates some of the best open-source software into ready-to-use solutions. Each virtual appliance is optimised for ease of use and can be deployed in just a few minutes on bare metal, a virtual machine and in the cloud. The growing list of virtual appliances, each of which is available as a CD image or virtual machine image, include Bugzilla, Django, Drupal, File Server, Joomla, LAMP, Magento, Mantis, MediaWiki, MoinMoin, Moodle, MovableType, MySQL, Openbravo, phpBB, PostgreSQL, ProjectPier, Rails, Revision Control, StatusNet, Apache Tomcat, Torrent Server, Trac, TWiki, vtiger, WordPress, Zimra and others.
UberStudent (“uber” meaning “productive” in Latin) is an Ubuntu-based distribution on a DVD designed for learning and teaching academic computing at the higher education and advanced secondary levels. UberStudent comes with software for everyday computing tasks, plus a core set of programs and features designed to teach and make easier the tasks and habits common to high-performing students of all academic disciplines. Lifelong learners, as well as any sort of knowledge worker, will equally benefit. UberStudent is supported by a free Moodle virtual learning environment.
Ubuntu is a complete desktop Linux operating system, freely available with both community and professional support. The Ubuntu community is built on the ideas enshrined in the Ubuntu Manifesto: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customise and alter their software in whatever way they see fit. “Ubuntu” is an ancient African word, meaning “humanity to others”. The Ubuntu distribution brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the software world.
67. Ubuntu Privacy Remix
Ubuntu Privacy Remix (UPR) is a modified live DVD based on Ubuntu. Its goal is to provide a completely isolated working environment where private data can be dealt with safely and to protect data against unsolicited access. Networking is intentionally disabled and saving data to mounted volumes is not allowed. The live CD is not installable to hard disk.
68. Ubuntu Rescue Remix
Ubuntu Rescue Remix is a GNU/Linux live system which runs from CD or USB Flash device. It provides the data recovery specialist with a command-line interface environment equipped with some of the best free and open source data recovery and forensics tools available.
69. Ubuntu Studio
Ubuntu Studio is a variant of Ubuntu aimed at the GNU/Linux audio, video and graphic enthusiast as well as professional. The distribution provides a collection of open-source applications available for multimedia creation.
70. Ulteo Application System
Ulteo Application System (Ulteo AS) is a Debian/Ubuntu-based Linux distribution created by Gaël Duval, the original founder of Mandrake Linux (now Mandriva Linux) and co-founder of MandrakeSoft (now Mandriva). It is a hybrid, network-oriented and mostly automatic computing system that ships with hundreds of applications and innovative features. The basic version of the Ulteo AS provides a choice of applications for daily use, such as Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice.org, etc., but can be easily extended with a set of applications from the Ulteo panel. It also provides document and panel content synchronisation capabilities between a local installation of Ulteo AS and Ulteo Open Virtual Desktop.
71. Ultimate Edition
Ultimate Edition, first released in December 2006, is a fork of Ubuntu. The goal of the project is to create a complete, seamlessly integrated, visually stimulating, and easy-to-install operating system. Single-button upgrade is one of several special characteristics of this distribution. Other main features include custom desktop and theme with 3D effects, support for a wide range of networking options, including WiFi and Bluetooth, and integration of many extra applications and package repositories.
wattOS is a fast desktop Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Using the lightweight Openbox window manager as its default user interface, the distribution strives to be as energy-efficient as possible so that it can be used on low-specification and recycled computers.
xPUD is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution and live CD/USB image consisting mainly of a web browser and a media player, with a simple user interface on top. The goal of the developers is to create an operating system which is extremely lightweight and fast-booting, includes applications for daily use, and has an intuitive, easy-to-use desktop interface.
Xubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Ubuntu. Unlike its parent, however, Xubuntu uses the light-weight Xfce desktop environment and is optimised for lower-end machines. The distribution includes only GTK+ applications where possible.
Zentyal (formerly eBox Platform) is a unified network server that offers easy and efficient computer network administration for small and medium-size businesses. It can act as a gateway, an infrastructure manager, a unified threat manager, an office server, a unified communication server or a combination of them. These functionalities are tightly integrated, automating most tasks, avoiding mistakes and saving time for system administrators. Zentyal is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and runs on top of Ubuntu.
ZevenOS is an Ubuntu-based GNU/Linux distribution with focus on providing a fast and easy-to-use system with BeOS-like user interface and support for older hardware. The distribution is built on top of a recent Linux kernel and includes a large number of popular open-source software applications for office use, multimedia playback and software development. ZevenOS also ships with MAGI, a tool for starting applications and managing the system.
77. Zorin OS
Zorin OS is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution designed especially for newcomers to Linux. It has a Windows-like graphical user interface and many programs similar to those found in Windows. Zorin OS also comes with an application that lets users run many Windows programs. The distribution’s ultimate goal is to provide a Linux alternative to Windows and let Windows users enjoy all the features of Linux without complications.