Kubuntu 10.10

This week can definitely be summed up as Canonical Week, first with the release of Ubuntu 10.10 and then the release of its sister distros (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, etc.). This time around I took a look at Kubuntu 10.10.

My impression of the last release of Kubuntu wasn’t very positive. Well imagine my surprise when I finally got a chance to look at Kubuntu 10.10! It’s got some great changes in it that make it a definite upgrade for current Kubuntu users, and that also make it worth looking at by non-Kubuntu users.

What’s New In This Release
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

Combined Desktop/Netbook ISO Image
Ubiquity Installer Changes
KPackageKit Improvements
New Browser – Rekonq
New Ubuntu Font

The combined ISO image is a nice touch that will save some downloading time for those who wish to use Kubuntu as a netbook OS, as well as a desktop OS.

The changes to the Ubiquity installer are quite good. I’ll have more to say about them in the installation part of the review.

I was thrilled to see that KPackageKit has finally come into its own as a software manager in most respects. See the software section of the review for my detailed comments. Suffice to say, it’s a huge improvement over previous versions of KPackageKit.

Rekonq is Kubuntu’s new browser, it sports a new interface that is designed to save space and minimize clutter. I spent some time using Rekonq and found it to be tolerable but nothing that would woo me away from Firefox or Chromium (the Firefox installer is also included with Kubuntu so you can install it from the Internet applications menu, and you can get Chromium from KPackageKit). I can’t see myself actually using Rekonq as my default browser, there’s just nothing in it that makes it better than Firefox or Chromium.

Konqueror is also available via KPackageKit if you prefer to use it instead of rekonq.

Another thing I don’t like about Rekonq is the bundled ad blocker. The Kubuntu developers have irresponsibly decided to bundle an ad blocker into Rekonq. This is a terrible thing to do and has the potential to adversely affect content producers since most web sites rely on advertising revenue to survive. It’s one thing for a user to decide to use an ad blocker, that is his or her choice (hopefully they will wisely white list the sites they really enjoy so that those content producers can survive financially). But it’s another thing entirely for a distro developer to do it.

Somebody at Canonical needs to have a few words with the Kubuntu development team and have the ad blocker either removed from Rekonq or turned off by default. I suspect that this has not caused Canonical any headaches because most people are probably unaware of it. Well the time for that is over. Canonical needs to make a decision about whether it wants to support the web economy or not. Bundling an ad blocker like this is pretty much a slap in the face to content producers, even if Rekonq isn’t used by very many people.

Shame on you Canonical. It’s time for you to reverse this awful decision.

The new Ubuntu font family looks as good in Kubuntu as it did in Ubuntu 10.10; kudos to Canonical for including it.

Hardware Requirements & Installation

Hardware Requirements
Here’s a list of what you’ll need to run Kubuntu 10.10:

1 GHz x86 processor
512 MB of system memory (RAM)
5 GB of disk space
Graphics card and monitor capable of 1024×768
CD-ROM drive
Sound support
Internet access

Installation
Kubuntu uses the Ubiquity installer. When you first boot into it you’ll see a welcome screen that gives you the option of whether or not to install Kubuntu or try it as a Live desktop (see the booting section to see the screenshot of the welcome screen).

The first install screen gives you the option to install third party software and to download updates while the installer runs. I opted to do both during my install and I’m glad I did. It’s a very helpful time-saver to have the third party software and updates installed by default instead of having to do it after the installer finishes.

Once the install starts you can view a slideshow of Kubuntu features while the install completes.

The screenshots below walk you through the install, from beginning to end.


Booting & Login
Here’s what the boot & login screens look like.

I love the new Welcome screen, as I did in Ubuntu. It’s slick and it makes it easy for newbies to understand that they can simply load the Live CD desktop and try Kubuntu without actually installing it. I think other distros should copy this welcome screen; Canonical did a great job with it.

The Desktop
The desktop itself seems pretty much unchanged, for the most part, in this release. Kubuntu’s Message Indicator Plasma Widget is now on by default though, for IRC and IM applications.

One of the things I hate about KDE in general is its sliding menus. You can easily change that by right-clicking on the Kicker (K) icon on the panel and choosing the classic menu. I did that and it made it a lot easier and faster to navigate the menus. I don’t know who thought sliding menus were a good idea in KDE, but it was an awful initial decision and it still is. Please change this, KDE developers. It just irritates the hell out of me when I see them still included.

You can see the difference between the default and classic menus in the screenshots below.

Admin Tools

System Management
To access the admin tools, click the K button on the panel and choose Settings then System Settings. The tools are broken down into the following categories:

Common Appearance & Behavior
Workspace Appearance and Behavior
Network and Connectivity
Hardware
System Administration

It’s quite easy to find your way around the tools, even if you’re a complete newbie to KDE and Kubuntu.

Bundled Software

Here’s a sample of the software included in this release.

Games
Games Available in KPackageKit

Graphics
Gwenview
KSnapshot
Okular
OpenOffice.org Drawing

Internet
Akregator
bluedevil
KMail
Kopete IM
KPPP
KRDC
Krfb
KTorrent
Firefox Installer
Quassel IRC
rekonq

Multimedia
Amarok
Dragon Player
K3b
Kmix

Office
OpenOffice.org
KAddressBook
Kontact
KOrganizer
KTimeTracker
Okular

One rather obvious omission from Kubuntu is the KOffice suite. KOffice includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, graphics tools, etc. OpenOffice.org certainly is enough for most people, but let’s not forget that some folks might use Kubuntu because they prefer KDE applications. KOffice is available in KPackageKit though, so you can easily install it if you really want it.

Another glaring omission is the lack of GIMP or any other serious image-editing program. Ubuntu itself includes Shotwell to give folks a tool to manage and edit photos. Unfortunately, there doesn’t see to be any equivalent bundled into Kubuntu. This omission is rather puzzling, but there are plenty of image editing tools in KPackageKit. GIMP is there as is KolourPaint, Krita and many other helpful tools. Still, something of significance really should be included with Kubuntu in future releases.

Software Management
KPackageKit is Kubuntu’s software manager. Frankly, I have not liked KPackageKit at all…until this release. KPackageKit has finally come of age and come into its own as a software manager.

It has been changed to use aptcc on the backend and it is now possible to find individual packages by searching by name. You can also easily browse categories of applications. I remember hating KPackageKit each time I looked at Kubuntu, but with this release those days are finally over and it has made using Kubuntu much better. You can even see screenshots of applications before you install them.

These screenshots will give you a look at the new KPackageKit. What a difference one release can make in a software manager!

Adding & Removing Software
To add or remove software, just find it in KPackageKit and click the Install or Remove button. Then click Apply and your changes will be applied.

I found KPackageKit to be a pleasure to use in this release. It’s something I’ve been waiting to see in Kubuntu for a long time, and now that it’s here I couldn’t be more pleased with it. However, there’s always room for improvement even in the best software management tools. It would be nice in future releases to be able to rate and/or review software packages, similar to the Software Manager in Linux Mint, etc. I suspect we’ll probably see that kind of functionality at some point. Until then this release of KPackage Kit is still a tremendous improvement over prior release.

Sound and Multimedia
YouTube & Flash
When I did my install, I opted to have third party apps installed. Flash seemed to be included with that, so my test YouTube video worked fine.

Multimedia Applications
Kubuntu 10.10 comes with a number of multimedia programs including Amarok, Dragon Player, K3b and KMix. There’s also a ton more available in KPackageKit, so you should have no problem finding whatever you need.

When you first start Dragon Player, you’ll get popup message asking if you want to install video & MP3 encoding tools. It doesn’t take long to install them, so I recommend that you do if you find that you require that kind of functionality. See the screenshots below for details.

 

Problems & Headaches
One of the things I harped on last time (probably too much) was that Kubuntu is rather ugly looking compared to Ubuntu. That, unfortunately, has not changed in this release. You won’t find the same gorgeous desktop colors and finesse in Kubuntu that you see in Ubuntu. Kubuntu is still more of an afterthought in terms of desktop branding than Ubuntu. I’m not going to penalize Kubuntu for this, but I do want to point out that it’s still a shame that Kubuntu is rather drab and plain looking compared to Ubuntu.

The other big annoyance I encountered was Rekonq’s ad blocker, but I already covered that in the beginning of the review so I’ll skip ranting about it again.

GIMP or some other image editing program needs to be added by default to Kubuntu, and it would be nice if KOffice were also included.

As I noted earlier, I’d like to see user reviews and ratings included in a future release of KPackageKit. It would be the icing on an already sweet cake.

My overall experience with Kubuntu 10.10 was quite good. It seemed very stable and I did not see application crashes, bugs or other headaches while I was using it.

Where To Get Help
Please take a moment to register for the DLR forum (registration takes less than a minute and you can login with your Facebook account if you want); everybody is welcome. You are welcome to post a message in the Linux Help section and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. The forum contains discussions about Linux, but also many other topics. Please stop by and say hello when you have a chance.

Drop by the forum to get help, talk about Linux or just hang out.

You might also want to check out the Kubuntu support page, which contains link to free documentation, community help, paid support and a technical answers system.

Final Thoughts & Who Should Use It
I’m much happier with this release of Kubuntu than I was with the last one. It’s made some great strides in software management, installation and readability (thanks to the Ubuntu fonts). It’s a much more worthwhile distro and is catching up to Ubuntu itself (though it still lags in some things such as desktop theme, branding, etc.).

I definitely look forward to the day when Canonical starts to treat Kubuntu as equal to Ubuntu in every way. KDE users certainly deserve that and I think it will come to pass eventually.

This release is pretty much a no-brainer upgrade for existing Kubuntu users, there’s plenty here that will improve their overall desktop experience. Those who are interested in learning more about Kubuntu should also consider it; it’s definitely worth a download.

Kubuntu 10.10 is suitable for beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.

Click to the next page to view this distro’s full image gallery.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments below. Visit the DLR forum for more discussions. Visit Eye On Linux for more Linux coverage.

Summary Table:

Product: Linux
Web Site: http://www.kubuntu.org
Price: Free
Pros: New Ubuntu font; KPackage Kit improvements; installer changes; new Rekonq browser; combined desktop/notebook ISO.
Cons: Still rather ugly looking compared to Ubuntu; Rekonq browser includes an ad-blocker turned on by default.
Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.
Summary: Kubuntu 10.10 sets a new standard for this distro; it’s almost (but not quite) as polished as Ubuntu itself.
Rating: 4/5

 



Comments

  1. Dave says

    You can keep the newer KDE menu and just turn off the sliding behavior — I think it's in System Settings > Desktop > All Effects, but I don't have my KDE machine handy to check. It turns off the sliding for the notification panel as well (which I found annoying).

  2. Brian Masinick says

    Regarding appearance, I just checked up on some of the wallpapers that I had added some time ago – probably during the 10.04 release, and I changed to a few of them to try them out. I've been using a background with Yoda from Star Wars that I like, but this evening, I tried out a few scenic backgrounds, and settled on one with a dirt road, some green grass alongside it, a large tree with plenty of green, and a canal or small river to the right. Very nice! There are a couple of really nice field pictures available, a few that even look a lot like the nice looking Windows XP background that's been around for years, and plenty of other stuff. Kubuntu and KDE are definitely not lacking if you want to mess around with the appearance! Who cares about the default appearance anyway? I only keep the default appearance if they are REALLY GOOD. These KDE backgrounds and wallpapers are nicer than most default setups. NOTE that you can get really nice wallpapers and all kinds of other desktop effects in KDE, GNOME, or XFCE – each of them has a "Looks" site: KDE Looks, GNOME Looks, and XFCE Looks. Other window managers and desktop managers undoubtedly have something similar. Customizing appearance should be the last thing we worry about in any distro in my opinion.

    After upgrading Kubuntu 10.10 tonight, I continue to be very happy with it!

  3. ActionScribe says

    Having something like AdBlocker installed and running by default is a security enhancement. Some day in the future when XSS and other attacks are no longer a real and legitimate concern I will feel more comfortable allowing cross-domain content appearing willy-nilly in the pages I'm viewing. Until that day I consider such content on a strictly opt-in basis.

    It is not uncommon for attacks to come through ad content–the embedded advertising infrastructure is a perfect delivery vector. I'm not willing to support content producers if their monetization system jeopardizes my security.

  4. Brandon S. says

    I upgraded 10.04 to 10.10 during the PC phase, and everything worked perfectly.

    I haven't tried tried the new KPackageKit, but I found another PM called muon that works more like Synaptic. Muon's advantage IMO is the ability to purge software (including verious temp files) from the system, like in Synaptic.

  5. says

    „Ubuntu itself includes Shotwell to give folks a tool to manage and edit photos. Unfortunately, there doesn’t see to be any equivalent bundled into Kubuntu.“

    What about Gwenview „a simple image viewer“? And simple in KDE context means something completely different than in GNOME context :wink:

  6. Craig says

    Really excellent review…and couldn't agree more Kubuntu 10.10 is an excellent release..I'm a former gnome person who finally got turned on to KDE using Mint 9 KDE….In the past, i liked Kubuntu but didn't feel it was smooth and polished enough…That's all changed with this edition and i absolutely love it and staying with it too…

    KPackage Kit is a huge improvement on 10.10….i didn't even feel any need to install Package Manager…

    Just one point i don't agree with you about…as others have mentioned here, i am also a BIG FAN of the KICKER Menu….especially with desktop effects activated, it has a nice cleam and translucent appearance and i find it very attractive and easy to use!

    I have my Favorites on the main page on the kicker, and when i want a less frequently used application, i just start typing it into the search bar, and there it is! Very fast and convenient…. :wink:

  7. Mark says

    >Does package kit offer users choice of s/w installation BEFORE the install ? I tried 10.04 recently and it only showed the installed packages after d/l and install, thereby offering me no control whatsoever over what goes in.

    Where did you get this from? KPackagekit, exactly like the GNOME package manager equivalent, shows you a list of all packages from enabled repositories, and which packages of those are and which are not installed.

    You can select the ones which are installed to be removed, and you can select ones which are not installed to be downloaded and installed.

    You action the selections by clicking on "Apply". Only then are selected packages either removed or installed.

    You are given a set of checkboxes which allows you to control which repositories are, and which are not, enabled. You can add new repositories.

    In what way does Kpackagekit fail to give you anything other than complete control?

  8. Oldcode says

    I get only impression from this article that the person is a gnome user and a nitpicker on person preference. Just try Kubuntu. I spent years bashing this distro to come back and see the flawless work and effort put into it. In my Opinion of just not using it for little and/or being a Gnome only.I for one use equally Gnome and KDE. I found it is Ubuntu that will need to catch up to Kubuntu. Even on distrowatch kubuntu with all the negative reviews of the past has hit 1k+ 7th place mark(that with there backpast history is a milestone. All I can say is Load it. Try it. The distro Speaks for itself.

    Kubuntu FTW hands down.

    I am using KDE 10.10 using Firefox, Running dual moniters, EVEonline, Wow, printing service with HP since beta without a single flaw and low system resources used. Little more the Gnome, But to sweet to pass up

  9. vasu says

    Does package kit offer users choice of s/w installation BEFORE the install ? I tried 10.04 recently and it only showed the installed packages after d/l and install, thereby offering me no control whatsoever over what goes in.

    I find opensuse's yast package manager to be the most advanced/intermediate user friendly tool. Ubuntu is trying to take advantage of users who don't know better – it doesn't necessarily make it a better distro for newbies – in fact they even use gnome ( a loud UGH ! from a technical and political standpoint) – why would I run a desktop rabidly promoted by commercial crooks ( RH, novell and canonical) with the express intent to control it ( as most gnome developers work for these goons), if I avoid windows and osX for the same reason ?

  10. Ian says

    I'm with you on the ad-block topic. I basically view people who use ad-blockers as thieves, or at least as people who like to come to a party and not buying their own drinks.

    I mean, they like to surf the web, they like to read free content and yet they don't understand that content creators have to live too. They don't understand that because of ads the free content is there. I mean, how twisted is that?

    p.s.

    Kubuntu is much more beautiful than Ubuntu in my opinion. And I absolutely LOVE the sliding menus.

  11. Dan says

    I quit reading at your anti-adblocker screed. Guess what? No one wants to see ads on the net. If you need them to survive, get a real job.

  12. Mark says

    Your issues:

    1. Sliding menu – easy enough to install and add to the panel the "Lancelot" menu. Enable the Lancelot option to show the categories in the panel. This will give you multiple menu start icons in the panel, rather than having "tabs" on the menu. Lancelot can be configured to give two or more colums instead of "sliding". Once you are happy with the Lancelot menu, the default Kickoff menu butto can simply be removed from the panel like any other widget.

    2. Lack of GIMP – work around is to install either Krita of the whole of Koffice. Krita is nicer than GIMP for raster graphics "paint" type of use cases (Karbon gives you a nice vector graphics editor as well).

    3. Photo editor – To handle digital photos, install and use digiKam. This is better than Shotwell, and better than using GIMP for photo editing.

    4. Kpackagekit – you could always search for packages in Kpackagekit by name, for a long while now. Didn't you find it in previous releases or something? The new Kpackagekit is simply a re-arrangement of the Kpackagekit GUI for functions that were already there.

    5. Kubuntu is rather ugly looking compared to Ubuntu – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would have called this the other way around. If you don't like the defaults, change the themes, there are a lot available.

    6. Ad blocker – an ad blocker is a boon from a user's point of view. A huge positive, rather than the negative you seem to be claiming.

    Cheers.

  13. davidd says

    @ Brian Masinick:

    Wow – You are absolutely correct. Your posts here have the effect of giving us two reviews at once. :)

    I'd like to lean slightly towards Mepis because it includes Open Office, and is clearly put together with extreme care, but it is old (2.6.32). OTOH, even though PCLOS is truly excellent in many respects and more current, it has trouble with the very popular newer Intel PCs – getting 3D to work with the integrated graphics [Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD (GMA HD) or whatever you want to call it].

    Probably my expectations are unrealistic, but it seems that I3/I5/I7s have been around for a long time now (and SSDs too).

    If Kubuntu has 3D working with Intel onboard graphics, then regardless of other concerns, that is significant progress and might elevate Kubuntu's status up to the level of other leading KDE distros.

    correction to my other post… Digicam appears to include the functionality that was formerly in Showfoto. If Kubuntu includes Digicam, it includes a fairly capable photo editor.

  14. Brian Masinick says

    davidd wrote:

    Those who advise having adblocker “off” by default say alot about their personal priorities. To make such a “feature” an important complaint… that is a stretch.

    In the past, KOffice was inappropriately named. The suite had no business in a professional office and probably not even with a serious student. A suggestion that KOffice can now replace Open Office needs to be supported by a list of specific improvements that make it absolutely clear that KOffice can be used in an office. How about at least a link to a thorough, credible review that shows that KOffice will give a desktop user an experience roughly equivalent to the more popular office suite alternatives?

    Otherwise… nice review! I’ll download as soon as I cruise through the Kubuntu forum.

    Isn’t Showfoto in Kubuntu 10.10? It’s my wife’s #1 photo editor (yes, she does need GIMP occasionally too). Putting my wife at the keyboard without Showfoto is asking for trouble.

    Desktop people who are concerned about browser privacy and security, and actually study the options, will choose Firefox. Two reasons:

    – Better Privacy

    – NoScript

    Actually, when I see a distro without Firefox, I suspect that the distro is aimed primarily at Linux users rather than at the greater universe of desktop computer users. Lacking Firefox, I’m reluctant to give a Kubuntu CD to a Windows user and say, “Here, try this!”

    You may be right, Davidd, about being reluctant to give a Live Kubuntu CD to a Windows user to try it out, but I am not sure that I would really give very many distributions to a Windows user to try out. If I really wanted to convince them to try it, I would demonstrate it to them, but I would first find out what kind of things they do, then I would either find a distribution that had the things in it that they wanted, or I would configure a distribution to have the applications and tools that they would appreciate using, and demonstrate it to them. If they liked it, then I would install and configure it for them (at least once). If they were really interested in learning more, I would coach them, or if they were really just a basic user, I'd try to set things up as simply as possible.

    Right now, PCLinuxOS, overall, is probably the best play for most would-be Windows converts. I'd nominate SimplyMEPIS, except the current version is based on Debian Lenny, and therefore it may not work with some newer systems (but as soon as Debian Squeeze becomes available, that will have newer hardware support, and the next SimplyMEPIS release will pick that up).

  15. davidd says

    Those who advise having adblocker "off" by default say alot about their personal priorities. To make such a "feature" an important complaint… that is a stretch.

    In the past, KOffice was inappropriately named. The suite had no business in a professional office and probably not even with a serious student. A suggestion that KOffice can now replace Open Office needs to be supported by a list of specific improvements that make it absolutely clear that KOffice can be used in an office. How about at least a link to a thorough, credible review that shows that KOffice will give a desktop user an experience roughly equivalent to the more popular office suite alternatives?

    Otherwise… nice review! I'll download as soon as I cruise through the Kubuntu forum.

    Isn't Showfoto in Kubuntu 10.10? It's my wife's #1 photo editor (yes, she does need GIMP occasionally too). Putting my wife at the keyboard without Showfoto is asking for trouble.

    Desktop people who are concerned about browser privacy and security, and actually study the options, will choose Firefox. Two reasons:

    – Better Privacy

    – NoScript

    Actually, when I see a distro without Firefox, I suspect that the distro is aimed primarily at Linux users rather than at the greater universe of desktop computer users. Lacking Firefox, I'm reluctant to give a Kubuntu CD to a Windows user and say, "Here, try this!"

  16. says

    Hi Kale,

    You raise some valid points, that's why whitelisting is so important. It's always a good idea to whitelist the sites you really enjoy, especially the smaller ones like DLR. We don't have the backing of big corporate money, so the only revenue stream is the ads that appear on the site.

    Cookie blockers and other non-ad-blocking privacy tools can be a big help, while also letting readers keep the sites they enjoy whitelisted.

  17. Kale says

    I have to disagree about the ad blocker. Sites are aggressively including including ads and tracking cookies, sometimes up to a dozen for a single site (ICHC comes to mind). Thus this is the people taking action against these sites. If the sites don't want to have everything preemptively blocked, then they can offer a screen of options for the user to pick and let them decide if they want the ads.

    Otherwise, the ad blocker is the way and I applaud the decision. I do agree that smaller, worthwhile sites should be compensated so something needs to be done there.

    On the other hand the big MSM sites are worthless anyway, so let them fail.

  18. Brian Masinick says

    I found what didn't work right with rekonq:

    1. The VBulletin forum for DLR.

    2. GMail. If I downgraded to basic GMail, I could get it to work; otherwise it would time out.

    Beehive forums did work though and they would run well. I believe this site here uses WordPress whereas the DLR Forum uses VBulletin.

  19. says

    LinuxCanuck wrote:

    I disagree about rekonq. It works well for me. It is fast and does everything that I want. Chromium or Firefox could not be bundled, as there is no K in either. :)

    I even like the ad blocker feature. It is a waste of bandwidth and time to have uninvited and annoying ads tie up resources. I don’t care about ad revenue loss. Advertisements are a plague on TV and now on the internet. Ordinary users need tools to fight back against big business. If one wasn’t provided then users would demand an add-on. Let’s get real. Ads are not free. The costs are passed on to us in the end. I would rather pay for no ads than have them. Not everybody is capitalist or wannabe, so spare us your anger as it is wasted on me and I wager most other given the popularity of ad blockers.

    I am a long time KDE user and think that KDE 4.5 is the best yet. Kubuntu’s implementation of it is solid. It boots fast, is stable, has the best installer ever, is well supported and of course it has access to the deepest repositories anywhere. What more could you want?

    BTW, please note that the image ads have been carefully placed so as not to appear directly in the article text. I am painfully aware that ads can be annoying, so I've tried to have them on the blog in a way that does not piss off my readers.

  20. says

    Jellmoo wrote:

    I don’t suppose there are any hints that Kubuntu is or will soon be sharing features like Ubuntu One?

    Hi Jellmoo,

    I have not seen anything about Ubuntu One, hopefully it will be added at some point to Kubuntu.

    nks wrote:

    One thing about the sliding menus – I really really love it and simply hate the classic one. The best thing about the sliding menus is that i can simply type the name of software/recent items and simply click or press enter.

    But what kind of menu should be there is very much the matter of taste and should be left for the users to decide. So, the best thing about KDE is that a user have both the options just a ‘right click away’.

    nks

    Yep, nks, choice is a beautiful thing! :smile:

    jjkshk wrote:

    the kde kickoff menu is much better than the classic on. i agree that overall theming is not as nice looking, but spending a couple minutes and getting nicer icons and cool transparency themes-kde looks amazing.

    Yes, it's great that we can add whatever we want, jjkshk. Still would be nice to see Kubuntu on totally equal footing with Ubuntu though.

    LinuxCanuck wrote:

    I disagree about rekonq. It works well for me. It is fast and does everything that I want. Chromium or Firefox could not be bundled, as there is no K in either. :)

    I even like the ad blocker feature. It is a waste of bandwidth and time to have uninvited and annoying ads tie up resources. I don’t care about ad revenue loss. Advertisements are a plague on TV and now on the internet. Ordinary users need tools to fight back against big business. If one wasn’t provided then users would demand an add-on. Let’s get real. Ads are not free. The costs are passed on to us in the end. I would rather pay for no ads than have them. Not everybody is capitalist or wannabe, so spare us your anger as it is wasted on me and I wager most other given the popularity of ad blockers.

    I am a long time KDE user and think that KDE 4.5 is the best yet. Kubuntu’s implementation of it is solid. It boots fast, is stable, has the best installer ever, is well supported and of course it has access to the deepest repositories anywhere. What more could you want?

    Hi LinuxCanuck,

    The ads are there to pay for food, rent, heat, health insurance and other necessities. I assure you that I am not getting rich through them, I am simply getting by financially (and even that is tough sometimes). I'm sure you are probably aware of the bad economy here in the US. Many people, myself included, do not have full-time jobs.

    The work I do here on DLR and my other blogs keep me housed, fed, etc. So thanks if you can turn off your ad blocker while you are here, I really do appreciate it. I have a page up that talks about the ads:

    http://desktoplinuxreviews.com/about-ads-ad-block

  21. LinuxCanuck says

    I disagree about rekonq. It works well for me. It is fast and does everything that I want. Chromium or Firefox could not be bundled, as there is no K in either. :)

    I even like the ad blocker feature. It is a waste of bandwidth and time to have uninvited and annoying ads tie up resources. I don't care about ad revenue loss. Advertisements are a plague on TV and now on the internet. Ordinary users need tools to fight back against big business. If one wasn't provided then users would demand an add-on. Let's get real. Ads are not free. The costs are passed on to us in the end. I would rather pay for no ads than have them. Not everybody is capitalist or wannabe, so spare us your anger as it is wasted on me and I wager most other given the popularity of ad blockers.

    I am a long time KDE user and think that KDE 4.5 is the best yet. Kubuntu's implementation of it is solid. It boots fast, is stable, has the best installer ever, is well supported and of course it has access to the deepest repositories anywhere. What more could you want?

  22. jjkshk says

    the kde kickoff menu is much better than the classic on. i agree that overall theming is not as nice looking, but spending a couple minutes and getting nicer icons and cool transparency themes-kde looks amazing.

  23. nks says

    One thing about the sliding menus – I really really love it and simply hate the classic one. The best thing about the sliding menus is that i can simply type the name of software/recent items and simply click or press enter.

    But what kind of menu should be there is very much the matter of taste and should be left for the users to decide. So, the best thing about KDE is that a user have both the options just a 'right click away'.

    nks

  24. Brian Masinick says

    Jim Lynch wrote:

    Hmm. Good point about Rekonq, Brian. Perhaps they should have waited a while?

    At this point, I really don’t understand why they bothered. Firefox and Chromium fit the bill nicely and don’t require any extra effort on the Kubuntu developers part.

    So you’d think that one of them would be the default browser.

    Yeah, I can't remember for sure if I was able to submit a defect report against Rekonq or not. I may play with it in the release, and if I find some defects, formally make certain that I have issued defect reports. The one reason to include it would be the fairly tight integration with KDE – and as a result, the fairly small size of the image itself, but unless it rapidly improves, it is not going to even keep pace with Arora or Midori, two other Webkit based browsers, not to mention Epiphany, the GNOME project's Webkit browser entry.

    Frankly, I am not sure why the desktop environment (DE) projects bother with Web browsers. Yes, perhaps in certain cases, tight DE integration gets you one or two features. I've not seen any clear advantages, and only DE geeks that get into every nuance of their favorite DE even know how to take advantage of them. Konqueror was never a winning browser, though it has been a good file manager. Arora, another KDE and Webkit browser, seems to have stalled; not sure it's even going to continue. On the GNOME side, Epiphany was a decent Mozilla Gecko based browser, and they seem to have done a decent job bringing it to Webkit, but it's not a "got to have" kind of browser either, though it is pretty simple and fast.

    File managers? Sure, there seems to be some merit to offering a file manager that works closely with the actions, formats, and characteristics of a particular DE, and they tend to be fairly small in size and apparently easy to create – there are a ton of them out there. Browsers? I just have not seen any compelling reason, at least so far, to use the browser that comes with ANY DE, not just the KDE DE.

  25. says

    Hmm. Good point about Rekonq, Brian. Perhaps they should have waited a while?

    At this point, I really don't understand why they bothered. Firefox and Chromium fit the bill nicely and don't require any extra effort on the Kubuntu developers part.

    So you'd think that one of them would be the default browser.

  26. Brian Masinick says

    Jim, I agree with you that this is a good release. I did not share the concerns you had with the previous Kubuntu release, but I, too, have been quite pleased with what I have seen so far in both Kubuntu and Xubuntu 10.10 releases.

    The one issue I have with Kubuntu is the choice of Rekonq as the default Web browser. It simply is not ready to be the default, whether or not it has ad blocking enabled (I disable it as soon as I notice it enabled on sites where I want to allow ad clicks for revenue generation). My issue is that Rekonq simply does not work right, and during the Beta testing, I was alarmed to see that – and I think I may have mentioned that, either in the DLR Forum or in one of the other forums that I like to visit.

    Other than that, the default software is reasonable, especially given that they are trying to fit modest core software onto the system, and that they have a rich repository collection of applications.

    I've been liking KPackagekit too, and I've been using it quite a bit on KDE based systems, but primarily on Kubuntu. It's done everything I wanted it to do, and it makes more sense to me that the jumble of Adept alternatives (which are also available). I can see having multiple commands and interfaces in the apt-get and dpkg realm, but KPackage makes much more sense these days than Adept, and I see the future days for Adept limited, and Kubuntu seems to recognize this.

    Performance of Kubuntu 10.10 is good, in line with most of the other desktop systems that I use. I would certainly recommend someone looking for a new KDE based system to consider this one. Other worthy alternatives would be PCLinuxOS (probably the best alternative out there), and if you don't mind a little bit older software, Mandriva 2010 Spring or OpenSUSE 11.3 are also good choices. For aging, but really stable software, SimplyMEPIS 8.5 is a good choice, but in that case, my opinion there is to wait for their next release when Debian Squeeze comes out. If history repeats itself, that will be the most stable KDE platform there is, and though not cutting edge, current enough to be a great system for 2011. Right now though, I'd look seriously at Kubuntu and PCLinuxOS. If for some reason you just can't stand Kubuntu, then openSUSE would likely be more palatable, but for me, I tend to prefer Kubuntu.

    The 10.10 release, overall – at least for me – has proven to be more stable than I initially expected it to me – no issues for me at all. That will probably not be the case for everyone, which is why I have listed a few other distributions to look at if Kubuntu doesn't work as well for you as it has for me.

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