Ubuntu – Can all flavours of Ubuntu 16.04 run the same programs

compatibilitydesktop-environmentsdistro-recommendationxubuntu

So I've a feeling this is a very noob question but…

Is the only difference between flavors of Ubuntu the graphical interfaces and installed packages? Will they all be equally capable of running 3rd party programs, i.e. Chrome, Dropbox, Android Studio, Steam, etc?

I've a new PC on which I live tested Ubuntu 16.04 and it runs fine. However, I don't care for Unity and if Xubuntu/Lubuntu are lighter weight does that just mean I'm just sacrificing visuals for performance? Ubuntu 16.04 is the commercial release(?) so is its specific set-up just a little more reliable? Don't quite get Linux yet,there's so much choice I'm confused!

Best Answer

To simply answer your question, yes, all flavors can run all programs. There are a lot of choices for types of Ubuntu you want. Each one provides a different purpose for the user. These can be seen on the official page for the different flavors:

  • Kubuntu - KDE Plasma Workspace
  • Edubuntu - Designed for schools
  • Xubuntu - XFCE Environment with light desktop environment
  • Mythbuntu - Designed for MythTV based PVR system
  • Ubuntu Studio - Designed for handling multimedia creation
  • Lubuntu - Fast, lightweight, energy saving, LXDE environment
  • Ubuntu GNOME - GNOME Shell instead of Unity
  • Ubuntu Kylin - Ubuntu targeted towards Chinese users
  • Ubuntu MATE - Simple, traditional desktop - GNOME 2 Desktop

After reading through this and possibly on some community recommendations, you can tell which one is for you. The difference besides style and pre-installed (note the difference between what it can run and what it comes with) programs is only noted in two official flavors:

  • Xubuntu
  • Lubuntu

Both of these flavors are more optimized for less intensive resource consumption. Although, they do have the same potential as the other flavors. Hope this answer helped you with deciding which one you should get.