Skip to main content

How a Debian-Style Package System in Linux Works

Package Format.deb.deb
APT RepositoriesUses APT, has its own set of repositoriesUses APT with official Debian repositories
Release Cycle and StabilityRegular releases every 6 months; LTS every 2 yearsRenowned for the stability of its "Stable" release
PPAsSupports PPAs (Personal Package Archives) for additional softwareCan technically use PPAs, but they aren't native
Custom PatchesMight apply custom patches or configurationsTypically uses upstream software without many modifications
Derivative-specific ToolsHas some unique tools (like Software Updater)More native Debian tools without Ubuntu's customizations
ConfigurationMight have different default settingsMight have different default settings
CustomizationsUbuntu-specific patches or tweaks could be appliedDebian-specific adjustments might be present

Ubuntu is based on Debian and, as a result, inherits much of Debian's underlying architecture, including its package management system. Both Ubuntu and Debian use the .deb package format and the same tools (dpkg, APT, etc.) for package management. However, there are some differences between the two in terms of package management:


While both use APT repositories, Ubuntu has its own set of repositories separate from Debian. This means that the packages available in Ubuntu's repositories might be different from those in Debian's repositories in terms of versions or even availability.

Release Cycle and Stability

Debian is renowned for its stability, especially its Stable release. Ubuntu, on the other hand, has a regular release cycle every six months and offers LTS (Long Term Support) releases every two years. Because of these different focuses, Ubuntu might have newer software packages than Debian Stable, but perhaps not as recent as those in Debian Unstable or Testing.


Ubuntu introduced the concept of PPAs (Personal Package Archives), which allows developers to distribute and users to consume software packages outside the official repositories. While Debian can technically use PPAs, they are primarily an Ubuntu feature and are not native to Debian.


Ubuntu may apply its own patches or customizations to packages, making them slightly different from their Debian counterparts.

Derivative-specific Tools

Ubuntu has developed some of its own tools to enhance user experience, like the "Software Updater" GUI, which is more user-friendly than some native Debian tools.

Configuration: Some default settings or configurations might differ

between Ubuntu and Debian, even if the underlying package is the same.

In summary, while Ubuntu and Debian share a lot in terms of package management due to their common heritage, they are distinct distributions with their own philosophies, focuses, and features. As such, there are nuanced differences in how they handle packages, configurations, and repositories.

What Can You Do Next 🙏😊

If you liked the article, consider subscribing to Cloudaffle, my YouTube Channel, where I keep posting in-depth tutorials and all edutainment stuff for software developers.

YouTube @cloudaffle