I can’t help but notice reading through these fora that the number of problems and quirks encountered on Ubuntu servers seem to outnumber the rest combined. That makes me wonder why so many people use it. Mind you, I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t. I’m just curious what the attraction is.
All of my public Web servers run CentOS. I’ve used Debian for file servers, but never on a public server. That’s more a matter of familiarity with CentOS and other RH-based distros than for any other reason. I actually like Debian, especially its stability. But I’m more familiar with CentOS and can’t think of a good reason to switch.
I’ve also used Debian as a desktop system from time to time (along with practically every other distro at some point or another), and I’ve used a few Debian-derived forks. Of all of them, Ubuntu is my least favorite. It seems to have more conflicts and quirks than any other distro I’ve tried other than Manjaro.
In fact, I think of Debian / Ubuntu in much the same way as I think of Arch / Manjaro. I like Debian and Arch, but I don’t care for Ubuntu nor Manjaro, for much the same reasons: Too much stability is lost in the forks, in return for … well, nothing, really.
What I’m saying is that I can build a system on top of Debian or Arch and it will do everything I need it to do AND will be stable and relatively conflict-free. Or I can install a default Ubuntu or Manjaro and it will be buggy as hell. On either system, I’ll wind up spending more time in the terminal fixing what the fork screwed up than if I’d just built on the unforked upstream FOSS distros to begin with.
Which brings me back to Ubuntu server. What exactly makes it more attractive than other options, especially Debian? I don’t read a lot of posts about Debian problems here. Debian, in my limited experience, is rock-solid. I also don’t read a lot about CentOS 7. CentOS 8, yes; but that’s to be expected to some extent on a new-ish release.
I also should mention that I’m still running CentOS 7; and unless I knew that a server I was building today would have a mission extending past 7’s EOL, I would still use 7. Why? To minimize aggravation. I have enough aggravation. I don’t need any more. Let others squish 8’s bugs while I happily plod along on 7.
So why Ubuntu? What does it have that Debian (or RH, CentOS, Fedora, Arch, etc.) doesn’t?