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Amazon Linux vs Ubuntu: What are the differences?

Amazon Linux and Ubuntu are two popular Linux distributions commonly utilized for web hosting, server environments, and various other purposes. Let's explore the key differences between them.

  1. Package Management: Amazon Linux employs the YUM package manager, which is native to Red Hat-based distributions. YUM provides a robust and reliable package management system, allowing for easy installation, updating, and removal of software packages. On the other hand, Ubuntu utilizes the APT package manager, which is native to Debian-based distributions. APT is known for its extensive software repositories and dependency management capabilities, making it an efficient tool for package management.

  2. Updates and Support: Amazon Linux is designed specifically for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is regularly updated and maintained by Amazon. It offers long-term support (LTS) releases, ensuring compatibility and stability for an extended period. Ubuntu, on the other hand, has a larger community of contributors and a more frequent release cycle. It offers both LTS and standard releases, providing users with a balance between cutting-edge features and long-term support.

  3. Default Software Stack: Amazon Linux is optimized for server environments and focuses on providing a minimalistic base setup. It comes with a slimmed-down software stack, including essential components such as the Apache web server and the MySQL database. In contrast, Ubuntu offers a more comprehensive software selection, including a wider range of pre-installed applications and development tools. It provides a versatile platform suitable for various use cases.

  4. Security Updates: Both Amazon Linux and Ubuntu place significant emphasis on security by regularly releasing updates and patches. However, Amazon Linux follows a strict security policy and may implement security patches more rapidly, considering its association with AWS. Ubuntu, on the other hand, has a well-established community-driven security team, ensuring timely updates and maintaining a high level of security.

  5. System Requirements: Amazon Linux is built to be lightweight and optimized for cloud environments. It has lower system requirements and consumes less memory and disk space compared to Ubuntu. This makes it a favorable choice for resource-constrained environments or instances with limited compute resources. On the other hand, Ubuntu offers a more feature-rich experience and may require higher hardware specifications to deliver optimal performance.

In summary, Amazon Linux is tailored specifically for Amazon Web Services (AWS) environments, offering seamless integration with AWS services and optimized performance for cloud-based applications. Ubuntu, on the other hand, is a versatile and widely-supported distribution suitable for a variety of use cases, from desktop computing to server hosting, with a large community and extensive package repository, making it a flexible choice for both personal and enterprise needs.

Decisions about Amazon Linux and Ubuntu

Ubuntu is much more faster over Windows and helps to get software and other utilities easier and within a short span of time compared to Windows.

Ubuntu helps to get robustness and resiliency over Windows. Ubuntu runs faster than Windows on every computer that I have ever tested. LibreOffice (Ubuntu's default office suite) runs much faster than Microsoft Office on every computer that I have ever tested.

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Jerome/Zen Quah

Global familiarity, free, widely used, and as a debian distro feels more comfortable when rapidly switching between local macOS and remote command lines.

CentOS does boast quite a few security/stability improvements, however as a RHEL-based distro, differs quite significantly in the command line and suffers from slightly less frequent package updates. (Could be a good or bad thing depending on your use-case and if it is public facing)

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Simon Aronsson
Developer Advocate at k6 / Load Impact · | 7 upvotes · 271.3K views

At the moment of the decision, my desktop was the primary place I did work. Due to this, I can't have it blow up on me while I work. While Arch is interesting and powerful, Ubuntu offers (at least for me) a lot more stability and lets me focus on other things than maintaining my own OS installation.

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Pros of Amazon Linux
Pros of Ubuntu
    Be the first to leave a pro
    • 230
      Free to use
    • 96
      Easy setup for testing discord bot
    • 57
      Gateway Linux Distro
    • 54
      Simple interface
    • 9
      Don't need driver installation in most cases
    • 6
      Open Source
    • 6
      Many active communities
    • 3
      Software Availability
    • 3
      Easy to custom
    • 2
      Many flavors/distros based on ubuntu
    • 1
      Lightweight container base OS
    • 1
      Great OotB Linux Shell Experience

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    Cons of Amazon Linux
    Cons of Ubuntu
      Be the first to leave a con
      • 5
        Demanding system requirements
      • 4
        Adds overhead and unnecessary complexity over Debian
      • 2
        Snapd installed by default
      • 1

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      What is Amazon Linux?

      The Amazon Linux AMI is a supported and maintained Linux image provided by Amazon Web Services for use on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

      What is Ubuntu?

      Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It also means ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. The Ubuntu operating system brings the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers.

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      What companies use Amazon Linux?
      What companies use Ubuntu?
      See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon Linux or Ubuntu.
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      What tools integrate with Amazon Linux?
      What tools integrate with Ubuntu?

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      What are some alternatives to Amazon Linux and Ubuntu?
      Debian systems currently use the Linux kernel or the FreeBSD kernel. Linux is a piece of software started by Linus Torvalds and supported by thousands of programmers worldwide. FreeBSD is an operating system including a kernel and other software.
      The CentOS Project is a community-driven free software effort focused on delivering a robust open source ecosystem. For users, we offer a consistent manageable platform that suits a wide variety of deployments. For open source communities, we offer a solid, predictable base to build upon, along with extensive resources to build, test, release, and maintain their code.
      Oracle Linux
      The Oracle Cloud offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, plus best-in-class database Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) from data centers throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more informati...
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      Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
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