Server vs Desktop

Hello all,

So it turns out I installed Ubuntu 18.04 Desktop onto a VM and I’m wondering if I should switch to server.

This VM is for learning purposes only for now so I don’t care if I wipe and start over. Eventually I’d like to have full security lockdown running Unifi Controller/Video for Home usage only. I don’t need a GUI but I don’t know if I’ll ever use any of the server services because I’m using PfSense.

I don’ t even know what I’m asking. Is Server more secure…faster?


You can lock it down but this early in process I would wipe, and then install server OS, and then take snapshot in a good state then have fun. Learn but give yourself a good static base and take great notes. Or just do both have a desktop and server.

Server is just a light weight/stripped down copy of the desktop version. Doesn’t need the compatibility stuff like video and wifi drivers, a full desktop environment, etc. Much smaller install and a lot less crap running in the background.

For a server I just do an 18.04 install from the minimal CD and just select OpenSSH server when it asks what packages I want.

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A goal in security is to reduce your threat surface which means having less thing to attack. Ideally in a server environment you load only what is necessary and no more. Besides security, loading servers with only what is needed makes them much smaller and less packages to keep up to date.

Similar to what was stated above, I start with a minimal Debian install only adding SSH and tools such as TMUX and VIM for management. Then start the build process of that server of getting the necessary dependencies met for the software it needs to run.