Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Monday, May 24, 2021 at 10:33

There are Ubuntu and Android two similar but distinct computer operating systems. The main difference lies on Ubuntu being known for desktop while Android being known for phone. There are other differences such as Companies behind, how Publishing done, Hardware Architectures supported, actual Systems inside, and more. 

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Companies & Developers

Android is developed by Google and Open Handset Alliance. This consisted of Google and hardware manufacturers including Dell, HTC, Intel, LG, Motorola, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony and the others. This means Android is developed by a team of software developers and hardware manufacturers altogether.

Ubuntu is developed by Canonical and the community. This means Ubuntu is developed by a team of software developers alone without hardware manufacturers.



Android price is included in each device price or alternatively can be downloaded gratis at the website. 

Ubuntu price is gratis to download from the website or included in each bundled computer price.



Android is mass produced as a part of smartphones and devices alike by Samsung, Oppo, Vivo and other manufacturers. People know Android mostly by buying devices with Android preinstalled. 

Ubuntu in general is not mass produced as PCs or laptops by manufacturers but rather made available online to download via the internet. People know Ubuntu mostly not by buying computers with Ubuntu preinstalled but rather installing Ubuntu by themselves to their computers.

Hardware Architecture

Android is specifically and originally developed for ARM computer architectures which is the central processing unit of smartphones and devices alike.

Ubuntu is mainly developed for x86 computer architectures which is the processor of PC and laptop as well as ARM, formerly PowerPC,  s390, and now RISC-V.


Android is a stand alone operating system with the kernel, Linux, added. Bradley Kuhn suggested a proper naming of it to be Android/Linux. Android is an independent composition and not a distro derived from another distro.

Ubuntu is a version of GNU/Linux that is variant of GNU operating system with Linux kernel added. Ubuntu is a distro derived from another distro called Debian


Android in general is identified by spread icons look and sliding animations. The appearance is designed based on touchscreen ways of working and not mouse click.

Ubuntu is identified by spread icons look with two black panels on top and left. The appearance is designed mostly based on mouse click mixed with touchscreen ways of working. 


Application Installations

Android users install more applications mostly by Play Store. Alternatively, users may install them by their package files in .apk format. There is one repository but no mirrors.

Ubuntu users install more applications mostly either by Ubuntu Software or APT. Alternatively, users may install them by their package files in .deb format. Ubuntu has repository which is divided in four rooms (main, restricted, universe, multiverse) and also has mirrors of the original repository which are available in multiple countries.

Built-in Applications

Android applications at minimum are Google Play Store, Chrome, Gmail and YouTube without office suite.

Ubuntu applications at minimum are GNOME Apps consisted of several dozens of apps with LibreOffice as office suite and Firefox & Thunderbird for internet purposes.


By crossplatform here it means Ubuntu as a desktop origin has a phone edition and on the other hand Android as a phone origin has a desktop edition. The phone edition of Ubuntu is called Ubuntu Touch (the software) and Ubuntu Phone (the device) which is today sold worldwide by PinePhone. The desktop edition of Android is called Android-x86.

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.