Server vs. Desktop

There are generally two versions of Linux that everybody is going to provide. Whether you get Red Hat Linux, Ubuntu Linux, Fedora Linux, or whatever distribution that may be, they will normally have two versions of the distribution. One is going to be the server version while the other is going to be the desktop version.

The main difference between the server versions and the desktop versions of any of these Linux operating systems is that, the server version is a stripped down version if Linux. Why? Because they figured that if you are going to be installing a server, you know specifically what you want installed on the server. What this means is that there will be no graphical user interface in the operating system, and a lot of the tools that you use to administer Linux will not be installed automatically.

They figured that if you want the tool and you are installing a server, then you know how to install the tool to the server yourself. If you are just beginning to learn Linux, you are probably better off at this point in time to download the desktop version. The desktop versions of these distributions give you the graphical user interface right off the bat.

When you install the desktop version, you’ll immediately be able to navigate the operating system using the graphical user interface, much like Microsoft Windows or Mac OS. You will have desktop icons, folders that you can click on, etc. It’s going to function differently compared to Windows or Mac, so you still have to learn how to use Linux. But it’s going to be an environment that you are probably going to be able to understand as soon as you boot into it. After installing the desktop version, you are going to boot straight into a graphical environment. It is already going to have management tools installed, and you can play around and figure out how to use that graphical environment. That’s the main advantage of the desktop version over the server version of Linux.