This website measures the power consumption on default Ubuntu server vs default Debian server, which finds that Ubuntu consumes about 8 watts, while Debian consumes 14. Since Debian includes non-free firmware, is there another reason for Ubuntu's lower power consumption?
Part of the reason Ubuntu has gotten a reputation for being easier to install is that it has contained a lot of non-free firmware for a long time. That site even says so (indirectly though).
As @StephenKitt mentions in a comment that post is so old that the Debian installation should have been based on Debian Buster (Debian 11), and non-free firmware only became included in Debian Bookworm (Debian 12).
And in any case firmware is unlikely to be the reason for such a massive difference.
I don't have the time to read through his entire blog (or whatever it is), so I'm just going to point out two major problems:
- He doesn't explain how he installed Debian
- He doesn't explain how he made the measurements
The tweet claims both are minimal, but we can't know. And "Debian Server" is not a well defined things, so the Debian might have had quite a few more things running.
My conclusion: That is as usable as a comparison between apples and oranges.
In Linux, power management is completely user-configurable. Without knowing how the power management was configured in each case, the comparison is meaningless.
It is possible, for example, that Ubuntu's default configuration sacrifices performance for efficiency whereas Debian's default configuration sacrifices efficiency for performance. That is, assuming that the default configuration was even used.
It is also possible that the author configured the Debian system wrong. Or, the author configured the Ubuntu system for power saving but not the Debian system.
Or, the author did the measurements wrong.