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Kubuntu is a distribution which takes Ubuntu's base packages and adds to it the KDE desktop and a set of KDE applications. Although the two distributions are similar in many ways, their desktop and default set of applications are extremely different.
As I already reviewed Ubuntu 6.10, and most of what I said about it is also true for Kubuntu 6.10, I will focus on the difference between the two distributions: the artwork, the desktop and the default set of applications.When the announcement was made for the release of Ubuntu 6.10, I had a quick look at some of the mirrors and found out that the ISO files for Kubuntu 6.10 were there as well. In fact the announcement for the release of Kubuntu 6.10 came only a few moments later. Although Kubuntu started as an independent project, people from the two distributions quickly got to talk together and they now seem to work closely with each other.

Kubuntu is available in 3versions:

  • the Desktop CD, which is aLive CD with a graphical installer;
  • the Alternate Install CD, which gives system administrators a traditional way of installing the Linux distribution by booting on the CD and going through a text-based installer;
  • a DVD version.

The Desktop CD is the recommended way to install Kubuntu. It fits on a single CD which you can download as an ISO, Jigdo or torrent file from this address: http://kubuntu.org/download.php

You will find the MD5 sums within the FTP mirrors in order to check the integrity of the ISO file. Once the file is burnt on CD, you can booton it and use the “Check CD for defect”and “Memory Test” features to ensure nothing is going to go wrong during the installation.

The LiveCD automatically logs you in a KDE environment and there is an icon placed on the desktop which launches the installation. The installer is exactly the same as the one used by Ubuntu. Itis easy to use and convivial, and the installation takes approximately 30 minutes.

Inside Kubuntu 6.10

Artwork

Kubuntu has been my favorite distribution since I first tried it. However after each release I have been disappointed by the quality of its artwork. When Dapper Drake was released and Ubuntu unveiled the fantastic theme they had been working on, I was quite sad to see that Kubuntu hadn't changed one bit. In this release I was pleased to see that a few efforts were made.

The window decorations look much better than before and the distribution finally comes with a decent wallpaper. The default KDE style used in Kubuntu is still the same: Plastik. It looks nice, but I think the Polyester style would make Kubuntu look much better. The color scheme is better as well. The darker blue of the window decorations contrast with the light blue used for the wallpaper and the icons, this gives the desktop a bit of depth which Kubuntu was missing in its previous releases.


The default Kubuntu desktop

The GDM and boot splash screens were also greatly improved. Overall,although it is clear that efforts were made to make Kubuntu6.10 look nicer than its predecessor, we are still far from the quality achieved by other distributions.

Desktop

There are no icons or shortcuts on the desktop. A menu is accessible from the KDE bar and you can use it to see your home folder, your devices and to browse the network.


Storage Media, Network and Home (with a few added personal folders)

You can also do that from the default page that opens when you start Konqueror.


The default page for Konqueror

The menus are full of little applications, some of them I doubt I would ever use. Thanks to KDE sessions and system tray, a good variety of applets and the vast number of kio slaves that come with Konqueror you should be able to configure this desktop and make it more comfortable.However, by default, Kubuntu's desktop is not particularly good.

Default Selection of Software

Kubuntu comes with KDE 3.5.5 and mostly uses KDE applications.Konqueror is the default web browser. Firefox 2.0 is not installed by default. The default email reader is Kmail which is installed as part of Kontact. Kopete and Konversation are there for chat and IRC. Kaffeine is the default multimedia reader and Amarok 1.4.3 is there for listening to music.


Amarok 1.4.3

One KDE application hasn't made it to Kubuntu though: Koffice. For some strange reason Kubuntu's default office suite is OpenOffice2.0.4.

Package Manager

Kubuntu's package manager is APT. Aptitude is installed by default andyou can use the Adept if you're not comfortable with the command line. Adept is not as intuitive as Synaptic but it is fast, and oncey ou're used to its interface it is easy to use.


Adept

Networking

Konqueror provides a lot of kio slaves toconnect toremote servers and to browse the network. You'll have no problems accessing Windows shared folders for instance. Kbluetooth is also installed and allows you to connect and share files with Bluetooth devices.


The bluetooth Konqueror kio slave in action

By default, there is no applet for monitoring the network in the KDE bar and the Kubuntu configuration tool for the network is not very advanced. However, the hardware recognition is quite good and ifyou don't switch between networks or interfaces you should be ok.

Conclusion

Kubuntuis no less than Ubuntu with KDE: the most popular Linux distribution with the most popular desktop. It features the new KDE 3.5.5 and in some ways it comes with some of the best Linux applications there is: Amarok 1.4.3, Konversation 1.0.1 and Kopete0.12.3. Unfortunately, I personally think it made some wrong choices.For instance, it's a pity Kubuntu didn't take advantage of Koffice 1.6to replace OpenOffice 2.0.4 and give its users a fast and lightweight office suite. The default email reader and web browser also are not a very good choice. The first thing I do after installing Kubuntu is to get Firefox and Thunderbird installed. The artwork is a bit better than before, but to be honest, nothing is very impressive in this release.In fact, Kubuntu 6.10 looks very much like its predecessor. It benefits from the few innovations that were brought in by Ubuntu, such as upstart for instance, which makes the boot process faster. But overall, nothing much is new in this release. It's just an updated version of Kubuntu 6.06.
Rate This Article: poorexcellent
 
Comments about this article
Cool Dude
writen by: Jason on 2007-01-03 12:29:34
One thing you ignored were the changes under the hood. Try an older version of Kubuntu on a newer laptop and then try 6.10. A lot of the work was to support newer hardware and things like laptop buttons.
RE: Cool Dude written by Jason:
I agree
writen by: Tarlus on 2007-01-03 15:16:15
RE: I agree written by Tarlus:
Kubuntu is interesting but still not pol
writen by: Dallas Texas on 2007-01-04 09:24:23
[b]Kubuntu is interesting but still not polished and kludgey..[/b] - Why install Konquerer as the browser? WTF is that about? Put Firefox in there and be done with it. Sheesh - Can't the frigging Linux geeks agree on what common application installer? How many freek'n years and meetings does it take to resolve that one? - The article talks about the nice wallpaper, etc. Well, guess what? It sucks. It's about 10 years old. Get with it - it's2007 for crying out loud. Have these Linux pin heads seen OSX or Vista graphics interface?
RE: Kubuntu is interesting but still not pol written by Dallas Texas:
Coq
writen by: Chad Longstaff on 2007-01-05 10:23:44
RE: Coq written by Chad Longstaff:
Loving Kubuntu
writen by: scott_w on 2007-01-05 10:26:37
i use kubuntu 6.06 on my laptop and have 6.10 installed on my dad's computer. personally, i prefer it over ubuntu due to the KDE interface and its customisation options. i also prefer konqueror over firefox. i think the default theme could be improved (by whoring transparency) but overall it's a solid distribution. OOo is better than KOffice, so i'm glad of its inclusion. --- d3
RE: Loving Kubuntu written by scott_w:
I agree . . . mostly
writen by: Koppie on 2007-01-05 14:48:46
I agree that Kubuntu is the best distro. I still wonder why Ubuntu is so much more popular. Kubuntu comes with OOo instead of KOffice simply because OOo is better. I've used them both. Sure, KOffice is faster and has better KDE integration. But if you're looking for something that can go toe-to-toe with Microsoft Office, OOo is what you want. Kubuntu could always package BOTH, but that's a little intimidating to a newbie. Part of the whole Kubuntu/Ubuntu attitude is "we'll pick the best software for you." I also install Firefox right away. But don't underestimate Konqueror. It's much more than a web browser. Also, it's faster than Firefox (FF has performance problems in Linux). Indeed, Konqueror is one of the fastest web browsers on ANY OS. By installing Konqueror and not Firefox, Kubuntu is giving newbies an introduction to an excellent program that should not be overlooked. Anyway thanks for your review; Kubuntu does not get enough attention!
RE: I agree . . . mostly written by Koppie:
what the
writen by: wthe on 2007-01-06 04:35:28
RE: what the written by wthe:
why
writen by: why on 2007-01-06 04:45:53
w0w how about you don't complain; study *nix for 5 years day in and day out, contribute to the system and then talk. M$ looks better because hordes of time, money/assests, people, and hardware are all 'made' very specifically for windows X. The entire industry is run by and for M$. One, I think, would expect it to at least look better. That's why my gfx card isn't well supported, but it works (I can't play FPS, and I cry every night about it). *nix is more secure (i have yet to be exploited) and it's free (although I contribute)
RE: why written by why:
Images
writen by: N. Masood on 2007-01-24 17:59:45
Um, the images in the review don't work. What's up with that?
RE: Images written by N. Masood:
Kubuntu Yay!
writen by: FractalBrain on 2007-02-02 15:33:11
Greetings all: This is my quick story...hope its ok to add here...maybe it will help someone. In about two months I installed, set-up (and removed:-)...how fun) Fedora Core 6 32bit on a P3, Ubuntu 6.1 32bit (AMD64 X2 5200), Ubuntu 6.1 64bit (AMD64 X2 5200), openSuse 10.2 64bit (AMD64 X2 5200), and finally Kubuntu 6.10 32 bit (AMD64 X2 5200). I also built two computers. All of that with no previous knowledge about Linux (other than MacOS X *nix) and having never "built" a computer before. Sooo, needless to say, I have learned a lot and have spent a few nights up a little too late:-) As someone completely inexperienced and trying to learn quickly, I pick Kubuntu out of all of the distributions I tested. The *ubuntu core seems to be a good base and is not overflowing with "stuff" that seems to be present in Suse and FC6. Dont get me wrong, having stuff can be useful, but I want to set up the "stuff" myself so I know what is going on. Also, having less stuff means less room for stuff messing up. Smaller is somewhat better to me. However, openSuse seemed to have more functionality out of box. I also really like apt-get and the repositories. Seems like the *ubuntu team has really got a good collection together. Perhaps the other dists are easy as well, but not enough for me. KDE, I love it. Gnome Ubuntu actually seemed more complex. The GUI is simpler and more streamlined (good), but I found it a little too simplified in some cases. The KDE version seems to have a more complete collection of configuration apps...out of box. Finally a word on the 32 bit version. I was trying sooo hard to work with th 64bit version and convince myself it was the one to use...but I like my Sun Java being complete and Flash to work...without too much work. Im sticking to 32bit until Sun completes their 64 bit Java and Adobe completes their 64bit flash. Sooo, in summary, as a noob, I WORKED UP to really liking KDE and Kubuntu. Dont get me wrong, it took some learning to get it up and running. For other people just starting, plan to experiment for awhile, plan on trying out several distributions, try out 32bit if you need all of Sun Java and Flash. Oh an by the way, you might like Kubuntu. Have fun, get sleep, and remember to go outside! :-) Hmm, hope I havent gone on too long for a post to a post.
RE: Kubuntu Yay! written by FractalBrain:
Even PC-Vendors use Ubuntu
writen by: peter on 2007-05-01 15:25:44
<html><head><meta content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1" http-equiv="content-type"><title></title></head><body>I really Like Ubuntu festy Fawn and this will be the best release ever from ubuntu development team. <br><br>The new release includes many new features like an "Easy-to-install codec wizards", a "migration assistant" and desktop 3d (like in Windows Vista) effects.<br><br>Ubuntu is having a great breakthrough and even PC-Vendors (example <a href="http://www.qblock.eu">www.qblock.eu</a>) sell their PCs with this Linux.</body></html>
RE: Even PC-Vendors use Ubuntu written by peter:
--
writen by: wp on 2007-11-05 05:58:05
What is this babble about mere "cosmetics"? Who really cares? Trivial stuff -- and not as in "Geekspeak", where "trivial" equals "easy"; rather, as in normal, standard English, where it equals shallow, superficial and unimportant. It should have Ffox2 installed "out of the box", but it's good that OO is installed. One installs an operating system to do work and communicate with the world, not just to play games. Let play games who will.... Ku 7.10 will -- hooray!! -- install on an IBM ThinkPad T20!! And can run on a Medion laptop, so it can serve both NA and Eur. And a number of the in-built hardware buttons can work or be made to work. A very good step forward for a Linux distribution.
RE: -- written by wp:
so cool
writen by: caiboy on 2008-01-17 21:44:29
One installs an operating system to do work and communicate with the world, not just to play games. Let play games who will.... Ku 7.10 will -- hooray!! -- install on an IBM ThinkPad T20!! And can run on a Medion laptop, so it can serve both NA and Eur. And a number of the in-built hardware buttons can work or be made [url=http://www.seocai.com.cn]seo[/url] to work. A very good step forward for a Linux distribution.
RE: so cool written by caiboy:
linuxe
writen by: hamid hajati on 2008-06-02 01:45:19
RE: linuxe written by hamid hajati:
Running Kubuntu in Virtual PC
writen by: Jude Bodsworth on 2008-09-15 20:27:21
Looked at Kubuntu 4 a little while ago and was most impressed with the changes to the Linux systems. However have decided will still stick with XP but want to run Linux in Virtual PC mode. Could you please tell me what resources I will need to allocate to cover Kubuntu's needs comfortably. Am running 3 Ghz with 2 GB ram and adequate hddrv? Many thanks, Jude B.
RE: Running Kubuntu in Virtual PC written by Jude Bodsworth:

Comment title: * please do not put your response text here