Update 1:

Stable as in, less likely to crash or cause any issues when future updates or security fixes are applied.

Original question:

I was about to post this question in askubuntu.com, but wanted to avoid bias views infavour of ubuntu, as I am sure most people like ubuntu over at askubuntu.com.

My question is, if I wanted to do a minimal base command line installation of ubuntu 12.04 or debian testing (currently wheezy), which of these 2 is likely to be more stable over the next 5 years? 5 years because Ubuntu 12.04 will be supported for 5 years, and Debian testing is a rolling release afaik.

I think ubuntu 12.04 will be more stable for various reasons even though it's based on debian testing, but just wanted to find out from more knowledgeable people, if ubuntu 12.04 really will be more stable compared to debian testing?

So basically, I want to start off with a minimal command line install of ubuntu 12.04 or debian testing and add a minimal xfce to it using -without-recommends, and would like to know which of the 2 will be more stable as a desktop os, not as a server os.

  • 1
    This question is impossible to answer unless you can define what you mean by "reliable".
    – msw
    Feb 6 '12 at 15:03
  • Just updated my question. Thanks for pointing that out. Feb 6 '12 at 15:06
  • 1
    I think the names say it all: one is Long Term Support, so with a stricter standard of remaining bugs, the other is Testing, so packages come in more freely, just for testing purposes.
    – enzotib
    Feb 6 '12 at 15:09
  • Even if every single term in the question is defined, it remains speculative rather than factual. Feb 6 '12 at 15:58
  • I don't intend to begin the holy war but having used both Debian and Ubuntu for over a year now I would say Debian Stable beats Ubuntu <>. Again, people may differ in their opinion and experience but I am stating mine.
    – user14517
    Feb 6 '12 at 16:00

You misunderstand the word “stable” here. Stable has nothing to do with crashing. Stable means that the distribution does not change much. Debian and Ubuntu releases are all stable to the same level: there is an official release, and you can choose to apply subsequent security updates only, or major bug fixes only.

All Ubuntu releases are stable to the same extent. The difference between the LTS (long-term support) and non-LTS releases is that LTS releases are supported for a longer period, i.e. there will be official security updates and major bug fixes for a longer period.

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