[ The previous revision of this question didn't get much response and was incomplete because it did not include the derivatives, at least one of which also has editions. I have revised it to hopefully be more complete and I have switched it to a community wiki. ]

Note: If you have a suggested set of tags to identify the various Ubuntu editions and derivatives I would recommend posting them as answers so that they can be voted on and discussed.

Current usage on Ubuntu.com

On the official Ubuntu website the term "edition" is used to indicate the various formulations of the main distribution.

In the past Ubuntu Netbook was also known as the "Netbook Remix" but Jorge Castro noted that this usage has been officially dropped in the latest releases.

The official website divides the known derivatives into several groups:

  • Recognized (significant contributions to the overall project)
  • Localised (support for languages not included in the main CD release)
  • Other (see the derivatives wiki for more lists)

It seems reasonable to limit this discussion to the main Ubuntu distribution and the recognized derivatives. Based on the derivatives wiki an attempt to be more inclusive could easily become quite confusing. The recognized derivatives are:

  • Kubuntu - Ubuntu with the K Desktop environment
  • Xubuntu - Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop environment
  • Ubuntu Studio - Designed for multimedia editing and creation
  • Mythbuntu - Designed for creating a home theatre PC with MythTV
  • Edubuntu - Ubuntu for education

According to the project website Kubuntu has two editions:

  • Kubuntu Desktop (usually just "Kubuntu")
  • Kubuntu Netbook (also known as "Kubuntu Netbook Remix")

The Edubuntu derivative doesn't appear to have editions in the same sense as it's siblings but that project does produce several "application bundles" including one that is intended for installation onto a Kubuntu-based system.

Current usage on the Ubuntu Stack Exchange

Desktop Edition

The desktop edition appears to be mostly tagged as has been deprecated.

We assume questions on the site apply to the Desktop edition unless otherwise tagged or it is obvious.

There is also but it's unlikely these refer to the Desktop edition, more likely the concept of a "desktop" (desktop background, etc).

Netbook Edition

These are tagged with some tagged .

Server Edition

redirects to

Kubuntu Desktop

At the moment, Kubuntu Desktop questions are tagged with either or (and both in a few instances).

Kubuntu Netbook

There are a couple of questions tagged . Most questions tagged netbook are referring to the main distribution (as noted above).


Questions relating to the XFCE-based derivative are tagged with either or (and a few with both).


Questions regarding the home theatre derivative are tagged with . However, there are more questions tagged with . The former should probably be a synonym of the latter.


There are a small number of questions with

Ubuntu Studio

There are a very small number of questions with

  • What about kubuntu, xubuntu, and edubuntu? Should they just be kde, xfce, and edubuntu respectively? Commented Aug 23, 2010 at 4:23
  • @Marco Ceppi I have expanded and revised my notes in this question to include the derivatives.
    – moberley
    Commented Aug 26, 2010 at 15:32
  • Do we have consensus on all this yet? I've found a few tags lying around and I'd like to make sure I'm doing it right. Commented Sep 13, 2010 at 0:35
  • @JorgeCastro I haven't been on this site in a while, and haven't had time to review the usage of the various tags. Looking at the number of questions for each tag is the only real way to measure consensus; most people aren't going to vote on a taxonomy question on the meta site. I would suggest using whichever tags have the highest question count.
    – moberley
    Commented Sep 16, 2010 at 5:20
  • There are 54 "kubuntu-desktop" for 13 "kubuntu", 5 "xubuntu-desktop" for 21 "xubuntu" and 2 "lubuntu-desktop" for 12 "lubuntu". We should get rid of them, without having to edit each one (cluttering up the front page) Commented Jan 24, 2011 at 21:37
  • This question is now almost 8 years old. Can we please update it and the answer to account for new streams including Ubuntu Live Server, Ubuntu Core, and Minimal Ubuntu? Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 2:21

3 Answers 3


Here is a suggestion based roughly on current usage:

  • ubuntu-server (synonym server-edition)
  • ubuntu-desktop (synonym desktop-edition)
  • ubuntu-netbook (synonym netbook-edition)
  • kubuntu (synonym kubuntu-desktop)
  • kubuntu-netbook
  • xubuntu
  • mythbuntu
  • edubuntu
  • ubuntu-studio
  • 1
    In this scenario it might also be useful to set kde as a synonym of kubuntu and xfce as a synonym of xubuntu.
    – moberley
    Commented Aug 26, 2010 at 15:31
  • 2
    I do not agree. Ubuntu is not using vanilla xfce or kde.
    – ddeimeke
    Commented Aug 26, 2010 at 15:52
  • @ddeimeke I left those suggestions as a comment qualified with "might also be" because I wasn't sure. It seems likely that usage of the kde tag here refers to the version supplied by the Kubuntu project. That's certainly my understanding from looking at the questions, but I recognize there may be subtleties that I've overlooked.
    – moberley
    Commented Aug 26, 2010 at 16:43

Since the "ubuntu" is redundant and we discourage that maybe we should drop that and go with desktop-edition server-edition netbook-edition

For sure we can drop "unr" and any mention of the "netbook remix" as those terms are deprecated in newer versions, though I suspect there are plenty of people using old UNR happily.

  • 1
    Would you then put something like ubuntu desktop-edition or kubuntu desktop-edition? Commented Aug 23, 2010 at 21:48
  • I don't think that using double tags like that is a good solution (especially given the apparent consensus against ubuntu tag as discussed earlier), but I'm not sure what the best solution actually is. It is the difficulty presented because "Ubuntu" is both the name of the whole enterprise and the differentiator between the editions based on Gnome and KDE.
    – moberley
    Commented Aug 24, 2010 at 4:51
  • GNOME = Ubuntu Desktop Edition
  • KDE = Kubuntu Desktop Edition
  • Unity = Ubuntu Netbook Edition (Lucid/Maverick+) & Ubuntu Light
  • UNR = Ubuntu Netbook Remix (<=Karmic)
  • Plasma-netbook = Kubuntu Netbook Remix
  • Foundations = kernels/X11/toolchain/linaro
  • Server = redirect to serverfault.com ? Unless it's about byobu or setting up deb mirrors/proxies
  • branding = "How do I get back to [x|k|studio]ubuntu wallpaper/login screen/plymouth"

The idea is that "Ubuntu Desktop" question will most likely be about GNOME/GUI apps & desktop environment. Similarly "Kubuntu" question would want an answer for KDE/Qt apps. Similarly netbook-remix'y should only deal with those customised UI's instead of general app questions.

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