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Redhat vs Ubuntu: 15 Fundamental Facts You Must Know

There are hundreds of Linux distributions out there. It’s hard enough to know everything about all the distros. If you’re already a Linux user, you should know the most used Linux operating systems. Redhat and Ubuntu are two of the most used and well-known Linux distros. Redhat is an open-source, community-supported enterprise Linux distro focused on commercial applications. Ubuntu is also a community-supported open-source Linux distro. Now, you may be thinking about which one is better. If you haven’t used any of them yet, I think this article can help you. The best way to pick the better one is to compare them with each other. Today, I’m going to write about some important facts about Ubuntu and Redhat. And, we’re going to compare which one is better. So, let’s start with the Redhat vs. Ubuntu comparison.

Redhat vs. Ubuntu, Which One Is Better?

It’s always tough to choose the better ones from the top two Linux distros, regardless of your experience. Before exploring the Redhat vs. Ubuntu conflict, you should know some basic information about Redhat and Ubuntu. It’s going to help you understand the further discussion.  

Redhat started its journey initially as Red Hat Commercial Linux in 1994. Then in 2000, it came in the market as the RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). RHEL began to use the package management system RPM first. Now it’s available in two desktop versions and five server versions. RHEL is an open-source distro, but its redistribution requires a paid subscription.

On the other hand, Canonical Ltd. released the first version of Ubuntu on 20th October 2004. It’s actually based on the Debian architecture. Debian is a Linux kernel-based operating system. Unlike Redhat, Ubuntu is entirely free for all.

Redhat vs. Ubuntu: Deep Down into the Core

Here, I’m going to share the 15 interesting facts you should know before choosing the better one between Redhat and Ubuntu. I hope these facts can actually help you to select the perfect Linux distribution for you. Let’s get started.

1.  System Requirements

Let’s start with the Redhat vs. Ubuntu comparison with their system requirements. The desktop edition of Ubuntu requires 25GB of hard disk space, a 2GHz dual-core processor, and 2GB of RAM.

In the meantime, the system requirements for Redhat vary from version to version. For version 5, Redhat requires 4GB hard disk space and 1GB RAM (recommended 2GB RAM). Version 6 requires at least 6GB hard disk space and 2GB RAM. Redhat has requirements of 2GB RAM and a minimum of 10GB hard disk space for its version 7. But for better usage, 20GB of hard disk space is recommended. The better your hardware configuration, the better their performance.

2.  Installation & Subscription

The installation process for both Redhat and Ubuntu is very easy. They use their specific installers. To install Redhat, you can choose the installation process from different methods. You can install Redhat with a bootable RHEL DVD, USB flash drive, or a CD-ROM using a hard drive or via an NFS server. But the official re-distribution of Redhat requires a renewable subscription.

You have to purchase the subscription and renew it per year.  This RHEL subscription starts at $349 each year. The Redhat also offers you RHEL Add-Ons, a bunch of software collections, RHEL developer workstation with the entire developer toolset. But they are not free. You can get them for $299 and $499. The amount varies with the service level agreements.

On the other hand, you can easily install Ubuntu booting your computer using either a USB flash drive or a DVD containing the required Ubuntu version. And, it’s not going to charge you for any support.

3.  Basic Interface

Another fact of the Redhat vs. Ubuntu battle is the architecture they are based on. Redhat is a Linux-based distro with its RHEL architecture. Meanwhile, Ubuntu is based on Debian architecture. These architectures are totally different.

You can install both Redhat and Ubuntu with a default Gnome GUI. Their first look and feel are a little different. For example, Ubuntu comes with a desktop containing two panels. The left panel is a dock-type panel where you can find active application icons. The top bar has two different areas for running app windows and notifications as well.

At the same time, with Redhat, you can see two bars, top and bottom, and some default application icons at the left on the desktop. The bottom bar contains the windows for running applications. And you can find two buttons on the top bar named Applications and Places.

4.  Redhat vs. Ubuntu Performance

Redhat vs. Ubuntu, you can’t say which one performs better. Both of them provides great performance in different aspects. For example, Ubuntu gives more priority to focus on the latest features and versions for the particular usage.

There may be some security and stability issues with Ubuntu. But, you can use it on different devices and servers like desktop computers, tablets, and even on some smartphones. It also offers a user-friendly interface, frequent updates, and a leading edge.

On the other hand, Redhat doesn’t come with feature richness and frequent updates. But it’s highly stable, reliable, and lightweight. RHEL enables SELinux by default. SELinux is a security module of the kernel. Its mechanism supports access to control security policies.

5. Software Manager

Another fact of the Redhat vs. Ubuntu battle is that they have their own software management system, and they’re different. Well, it’s obvious, as you already know, their basic architectures are different.

Redhat uses its own software manager Redhat Linux Package Management, RPM. And Ubuntu uses the APT (Advanced Package-management Tool) package manager of Debian. You will get different software packages for your computer from here. These package managers provide software packages compatible with their respective operating systems.

You can download, install, or remove any software from here. Both of them are easy to handle. Surprisingly, the Ubuntu package manager APT is a powerful tool for software management. Even their features are user-friendly and almost the same.

Note: Ubuntu and RedHat support other software packages like Snap, AppImage, or Flatpak regardless of their different architectures base.

6.  Software Sources with Useful Options

Redhat and Ubuntu come with their own software sources. You can get some applications from there. Both of them offer you to download and install apps easily with the version you require.

Ubuntu provides you with its own software center with a very user-friendly GUI. It helps install new applications very easily. You can also install apps from the Ubuntu package management system APT via the terminal emulator using the accurate command line. It’s a faster way to install apps.

Ubuntu software center contains more than 40,000 applications of different types. It also provides a massive repository. With a variety of apps, Ubuntu smoothly attracts users more and more.

At the same time, Redhat offers you its software center, Red Hat Software Collections (RHSCL). It has Redhat support. RHSCL provides a huge number of Redhat compatible apps with the latest version. You can also install apps via the yum command but don’t forget to use the exact command line.

7.  Necessary Software Out of the Box

No one will ever prefer to use such a distro that has no default application. It’s one of the basic demands of every user. That’s why the operating systems come with some basic default applications, including net-browser, photo viewer, music or video player, and more. And, with Redhat and Ubuntu, you can even change them.

Redhat comes with the Mozilla Firefox browser, Cheese webcam app, Videos as a video player, and Libre Office Tools by default with the Gnome GUI. Ubuntu has the default apps such as Mozilla Firefox web browser, Rhythmbox music player, video player, Image Viewer for photos, and Thunderbird as a mailing app.

8.  Redhat vs. Ubuntu: Beautification of GUI

Graphical User Interface, in short, GUI, is one of the important facts to know about the Redhat vs. Ubuntu comparison battle. The GUI of an operating system helps a user to get comfortable with a new system. Its beautification makes you feel easy with that system.

In the case of Redhat, Gnome is its default GUI. It comes with the Gnome Tweak Tool. This tweak tool gives you options to customize the desktop environment in your way. It supports beautiful themes for your desktop environments.

At the same time, Ubuntu also provides Gnome Tweak Tool as its default desktop environment is based on Gnome. And it also comes with a bunch of beautiful themes and icons for your desktop. But to download and install them, you need to add the Gnome Shell Extensions first. After that, you can install a new theme and icons via Gnome Tweak Tool.

9.  System Customization

The system customization of Redhat and Ubuntu relaxes the Redhat vs. Ubuntu battle a little. That’s because both of the distros provide the same customization. You already know that you can customize the appearance of your system from the Gnome Tweak Tool.  

Both Ubuntu and Redhat support another way to customize the computer. You can customize your computer from the settings. You can modify your desktop, display, color, background, notifications, date-time, privacy, keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth, and many more from here. Ubuntu and Redhat offer you to change your computer and make it look and feel in your way.

10.  Redhat vs. Ubuntu: Desktop Environments

Is Redhat vs. Ubuntu battle still bothering you? Okay, don’t worry. Let’s check which one supports various desktop environments better, Ubuntu or Redhat? Well, both Ubuntu and Redhat come with Gnome as default desktop environments.

Redhat comes with both Gnome and KDE desktop environments. It will give you the option to choose a desktop environment before the installation. Besides, Redhat supports more desktop environments, including MATE, Cinnamon, and Xfce as well. You can download and install these desktop environments via yum (Yellowdog Updater Modified).

Meanwhile, from the very beginning, Ubuntu had been using Unity as the desktop environment, which was developed by Canonical Ltd. But the latest version of Ubuntu comes with Gnome as its default desktop environment. Moreover, Ubuntu can also support other desktop environments like KDE Plasma, Xfce, MATE, LXDE, and Budgie.

11.  Software Update and System Upgrade

The options for software updates and system upgrades in Redhat and Ubuntu are different from each other. This fact helps with the Redhat vs. Ubuntu comparison conflict. Let’s see the available options.

Ubuntu provides a software update utility tool. It will help to check if there’s an update available for any app. Users can easily update the apps from here. It’s a faster way of checking updates than most other software. Moreover, you can also update the software and system via the Terminal command-line tool.

On the contrary, Redhat comes with two options to check for updates and install them. It provides a software update option inside the system tools. You can update software from there, or you can check for an update using commands via yum. If there’s an update, you can install it using the command-line tool.

12.  Release Cycle

The release cycles of Ubuntu and Redhat are different. Actually, Redhat doesn’t maintain a fixed cycle to release a new version or update. The latest version of Redhat was released on April 10, 2018. It takes a few months for an update to come as Redhat doesn’t offer frequent updates. And the time for the new version release varies from one to four years till now.

In the meantime, Ubuntu has maintained a scheduled released cycle with frequent updates. It releases a new updated version after every six months with entirely free support.

13.  Redhat vs. Ubuntu: Corporate or Business Use

Honestly, this is the most confusing fact of the Redhat vs. Ubuntu battle. We know that both Ubuntu and Redhat provide high performance. Redhat is mostly an enterprise Linux distribution. Its main priority is to maintain the large enterprise functions. The developer developed it exclusively for the corporate world. Large enterprises use RHEL because of its high stability and security.

No offense that Redhat comes with high security and compatibility with different enterprise applications. But at the same time, most of the server users use Ubuntu Linux distribution. Some of the enterprise customers believe RHEL is more compatible with corporate usage. Again, some others choose Ubuntu over Redhat. Even I’m confused with the Redhat vs. Ubuntu comparison.

14.  Gaming Experience

Redhat vs. Ubuntu, which one is better for games? Well, both the distros support playing games on the computer. You just need to choose the games compatible with the particular distro. But, here, we’re trying to solve the Redhat vs. Ubuntu confusion. So, let’s get straight.

Redhat is such an operating system that primarily focuses on corporate functions. It was developed for business support exclusively. On the contrary, Ubuntu is a Linux distro basically for personal usage. And playing games on the computer regularly is definitely not a part of the business purpose. So, according to this perception, Ubuntu is the better option for playing games on the computer.

15.  Community Support

Well, you know, both Redhat and Ubuntu are open-source and community-supported Linux distributions. Ubuntu has great community support. And that’s also entirely free. You can get support online from Ubuntu Forums and also Ubuntu Wiki. Besides, Ubuntu has corporate support from Canonical as well as official support from Ubuntu.

Redhat also has both community and commercial support. Even it provides official support with a paid subscription. This official paid support separates it from the other Linux distro. It’s especially for those large enterprise users who demand professional vendor support and can afford it. Otherwise, no one wants a paid official support for personal usage.

Redhat vs. Ubuntu: Who Wins the Battle?

We’re trying to sort out the Redhat vs. Ubuntu conflict. But the main fact is, the whole conclusion depends on the user demand. The need for an operating system varies from user to user. Some of the users will say that Ubuntu is better. Again, some will say Redhat is better. It actually depends on you.

Before choosing one distro, first, you have to know what you want. Which one can fulfill your demand? You should go with the right distro that perfectly matches your requirements. If you’re a new user, you should try both of them. That will be the best way to realize which one is perfect for you. If you’re not willing to pay for the Redhat official support, go with Ubuntu. It won’t disappoint you.  

Drop comments below and let us know your opinion, suggestions, and experience with Redhat and Ubuntu. Your feedback will help us improve. If you like this article, don’t forget to share this on social media.

Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan
Mehedi Hasan is a passionate enthusiast for technology. He admires all things tech and loves to help others understand the fundamentals of Linux, servers, networking, and computer security in an understandable way without overwhelming beginners. His articles are carefully crafted with this goal in mind - making complex topics more accessible.


  1. CentOS is (from a practical point of view) being virtually killed off by RedHat. This was no surprise, it was just a matter of time. However, before EOL for CentOS 8, expect “Rocky Linux” to replace CentOS. Do not confuse CentOS stream with actual CentOS, they are not the same. So yes, RHEL will continue to have a “bug-by-bug”-compatible peer in the form of a free distribution. It just can’t be called CentOS anymore. And will probably not accept much influence from RedHat per se. Most supercomputers and other high-end HPC shops use RHEL / CentOS / Scientific Linux or similar, not Ubuntu. RHEL is a high-end (as in scale-out) distro, so reviewing gaming and average desktop use-cases for RHEL/CentOs/Rocky would be like comparing a truck to a train to a ship. Overlapping, but also quite different, use cases.

  2. And a big difference (the major one in fact) that you forgot to mention is that RedHat is using old kernels and is thus not suited for modern desktop – even Ryzen Gen 1 cpu haven’t been regression tested YET in CentOS 8.
    Ubuntu is much better in that way and hardware support is also MUCH better out of the box.

  3. I find your article to be rather disingenuous and misleading. Not trying to be hateful, but I think readers should have the facts. Here is what I find wrong:

    1. Red Hat is not a community supported distro, it is a commercially supported distro by Red Hat, Inc.
    a. To that end, Ubuntu proper is not a community supported distro; it is commercially supported by Canonical. The Ubuntu flavours ARE community supported.
    2. Red Hat Enterprise Linux does not cater to average desktop users; it caters to enterprises.
    a. If desktop users want a Red Hat product they should use Fedora, which is probably what you should have compared
    3. You do not have to pay hundreds of dollars for Red Hat products. All of them are available in CentOS, whose board is at least half Red Hat employees. You can also compile the software yourself, for free, as it is open source.
    4. Ubuntu does not hand out support for free. You can read their documentation and troubleshoot yourself for free; they charge for support. How could they be a company if everything was handed out for free?

    Again, I hate to be negative about your article but I think some of the homecooking you do for Ubuntu takes away from your credibility. Ubuntu and Red Hat both make excellent products.


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