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Kubuntu 11.04

May 10, 2011
By

The release of Ubuntu 11.04 has garnered an enormous amount of attention, mostly due to the inclusion of Unity as its default desktop environment. But, as with any new version of Ubuntu, there are alternatives available and one of the most prominent is Kubuntu. Kubuntu 11.04 is a KDE-based distro that might work well as a substitute for those who are uncomfortable with Ubuntu’s Unity.

I know that there are some folks out there who are die-hard GNOME users or who might otherwise view a KDE-based distro with a suspicious eye. I urge you to give Kubuntu 11.04 a chance. As you’ll find out in this review, it’s turned into a pretty darn good desktop distribution. It’s definitely worth a look for anyone who hasn’t settled on a preferred distro or who might be questioning continuing on with his or her current choice.

Desktop

Desktop

What’s New In This Release

Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

Plasma & KDE Applications 4.6.2
Samba Filesharing
New Language Selector Module
Printer Configuration Bug Fixes
OwnCloud
Phonon GStreamer Backend
GTK Oxygen Theme
Patience game included
Enhanced DVD Installation
LibreOffice is the default office suite

If you aren’t familiar with KDE 4.6, you might want to spend a few minutes reading the release announcement. There’s also a Kubuntu features tour that will help get you started with this distro.

The Samba filesharing is definitely cool. Just right click a folder in Dolphin and select properties to share it on your network. This is an excellent tool that should make it easy even for total Linux newbies to share files over their networks.

I detest dealing with printer problems. In fact, I hate printers in general because they always seem to run out of ink or otherwise cause me headaches. The bug fixes for printer configuration are quite welcome. I appreciate anything that minimizes printer headaches.

OwnCloud is an interesting file storage tool, but I suspect that most desktop users will probably not want to bother with it. It’s not a managed cloud service like Ubuntu One. You have to set it up on your own hardware and manage it yourself. That said; check it out if it interests you.

The GTK Oxygen theme is a nice touch in this release. It makes GTK applications like Firefox fit in better when running on your KDE desktop.

As with Ubuntu itself, I’m very happy to see LibreOffice as the default office suite in Kubuntu 11.04. If you haven’t spent any time with it, check it out.

LibreOffice

LibreOffice

Hardware Requirements & Installation

Hardware Requirements
Here’s what you’ll need to run this distro:

The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu 11.04 is 384 MB of memory for Ubuntu Desktop. Note that some of your system’s memory may be unavailable due to being used by the graphics card. If your computer has only the minimum amount of memory, the installation process will take longer than normal; however, it will complete successfully, and the system will perform adequately once installed.

The minimum memory requirement for Ubuntu Server 11.04 is 128 MB of memory.

Systems with less memory may be able to select “Install Ubuntu” from the boot menu to run just the installer, rather than the whole desktop, or may be able to use the alternate install CD.

Installation

Kubuntu 11.04 is a live CD distro; you can simply opt to boot off the CD and run it without having to install it. The welcome screen gives you the option to install it or run it off the CD.

The install itself is a breeze and should be no problem for anybody. The screenshots below walk you through the install, from beginning to end. Please be aware that you can install third party applications (flash, etc.) and download updates while doing the install (see the Install 1 image). I highly recommend doing this since it will save you time later on.

Try or Install

Try or Install

Install 1

Install 1

Install 2

Install 2

Install 3

Install 3

Install 4

Install 4

Install 5

Install 5

Install 6

Install 6

Install 7

Install 

Booting & Login
Here’s what the boot menu and login screens look like:

Boot Menu

Boot Menu

Login

Login

The Desktop
The Kubuntu 11.04 desktop is uncluttered, all you’ll find when you boot into it is the Desktop Folder and it’s empty by default. So there are not tons of little icons infesting the desktop. The panel at the bottom contains the kicker button, if you right click this you can switch to the classic KDE menus and use that instead of the sliding menus. Also on the panel is a folder link to places on your system, multiple desktops, show the desktop, clipboard, volume, networking, date/time and a panel configuration button.

Menu

Menu

Classic Menu

Classic Menu

Desktop

Desktop

 

Toolbox

If you click the toolbox icon in the upper right corner you’ll get quick access to the following: Add Panel, Add Widgets, Activities, Shortcut Settings, Desktop Settings and Lock Widgets.

Kubuntu comes with a nice selection of desktop widgets that serve a variety of purposes. You can browse these to add the ones you want or click Get New Widgets to obtain more for your system.

Widgets

Widgets

 

Get New Widgets

Themes
Air is the default theme and you can get more by clicking the Get New Themes button. When you pull up the Get New Themes menu you can search or browse for additional themes. You can also order the themes according to newest, rating, most downloaded and installed.

Themes

Themes

 

Get New Themes

Wallpaper
The default wallpaper is a funky bluish color with somewhat surreal images on it. There are no other wallpaper included with Kubuntu but if you click the Get New Wallpapers button in Desktop Settings you’ll find a bunch of other ones that might tickle your fancy.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper

Get New Wallpaper

Get New Wallpaper

Bundled Software

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

Games
KPatience

Graphics
Gwenview
KSnapshot
LibreOffice Draw
Okular

Internet
Akregator
BlueDevil
KMail
Kopete
KRDC
Krfb
KTorrent
Firefox Installer
Quassel IRC
rekonq

Multimedia
Amarok
Dragon Player
K3b
KMix

Office
KAddressBook
Kontact
KOrganizer
KTimeTracker
LibreOffice (Spreadsheet, Drawing, Presentation, Formula Editor, Word Processor)
Okular

Software Management
KPackageKit has gotten much better over the years to the point where it’s a pretty good software management tool. Applications are broken down into the appropriate categories and you can also search for them if you want. In the left side you’ll see three options: Get and Remove Software, Software Updates and Settings. The settings tool lets you change your update settings, and configure repositories (among other things).

Software Management

Software Management

Software Management 2

Software Management 2

Software Settings

Software Settings

Adding & Removing Software
When you find an application you want, click it and you’ll see more information. You can opt to click the install button or click the More drop down menu to see more info on dependencies, etc.

System Settings
The system settings menu contains lots of different options for you to configure your system to your liking. Click the kicker button on the panel to access the System Settings control panel.

System Settings

System Settings

Sound and Multimedia

YouTube & Flash
When you go to install Kubuntu 11.04 you get the option to install flash and other third party software. I recommend that you do so or you will have to install it later on. I opted not to since I prefer to see the default selection of software so I can include that list in the review.

Since I didn’t opt to install flash, YouTube videos did not run. So make sure you click the little check box (see the Install 1 screenshot in the install section of the review) for third party applications while doing the install.

YouTube

YouTube

Multimedia Applications
The selection of multimedia applications installed by default is quite modest. Amarok, Dragon Player, K3b and KMix are all you get. However, there are quite a lot of multimedia applications available in KPackageKit (Kubuntu’s software management application) so you should have no problem finding what you need.

Multimedia Applications

Multimedia Applications

Dragon Player

Dragon Player

Problems & Headaches
KPackageKit has improved but it still lags behind the Ubuntu Software Center. You won’t see user ratings and reviews in KPackageKit. This is unfortunate because it can be very helpful to know what other users think of an application before taking the time to install it yourself. I hope that a future release of KPackageKit contains these features since many people (myself included) have really come to expect to see what others think of an application.

Beyond that, I found nothing really to complain about. Kubuntu 11.04 ran very well for me, I had no problems with speed or stability.

Where To Get Help
Please take a moment to register for the DLR forum; everybody is welcome. Feel free to post a message in the forum and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction. The forum contains discussions about Linux, as well as 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 where you’ll find documentation, community help and even professional support services.

Final Thoughts & Who Should Use It
Kubuntu 11.04 is an excellent alternative to Ubuntu 11.04. I strongly suspect that some disenchanted Ubuntu 11.04 users will be taking another look at Kubuntu 11.04.

If you’re a KDE hater than obviously Kubuntu is not going to appeal to you under any circumstances, but if you are able to keep an open mind then I think you might find yourself enjoying it immensely. The Unity controversy has really made me glad that generic Ubuntu is not the only game in town for those who love the whole “buntu” thing. Ubuntu’s loss just might end up being Kubuntu’s gain as dissatisfied users defect away from Ubuntu because of Unity.

Kubuntu 11.04 is appropriate for beginner, intermediate and advanced Linux users.

What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments below. Visit Eye On Linux for Linux opinion columns and distro quick looks; visit JimLynch.com for other technology coverage.

Summary Table:

Product: Kubuntu 11.04
Web Site: http://www.kubuntu.org
Price: Free
Pros: KDE & Plasma 4.6.2; new Samba filesharing; printer configuration bug fixes; new language selector module; GTK Oxygen theme.
Cons: KPackageKit still lags behind the Ubuntu Software Center, user ratings and reviews are not available.
Suitable For: Beginner, intermediate & advanced Linux users.
Rating: 4/5

 

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28 Responses to Kubuntu 11.04

  1. Alexis on November 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Ok, so after reading several reviews I was convinced to try Kubuntu as I've always preffered KDE over Gnome, but never made the switch as there was always a bunch of buggy stuff that just ruined the experience.

    So after install I find this version no different:

    Everthing looks OK but

    1- My Atheros wifi card is recognised (AR922X) but refuses to connect (never gets through authentification), redering te whole system completely useless.

    2- The NVIDIA Drivers won't install, although this I can live with it's still disapointing as everything works just fine in Gnome.

  2. David on October 19, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    I've been using Kubuntu for several years now. I've just reinstalled ll.4 having been on 10.10 for the past year or so. I'm finding a lot of problems with 11.4, not least of which is that it is so slow by comparison to previous versions. Its also got a lot of bugs, such as GIMP not opening in Oxygen (lots of web posts on this). Right now I'm actually thinking of going back to 10.10 which was fast and bug free. I'm not an expert but I consider myself, after using Linux for about 10 years, fairly adept at most things. I've spent a lot of time 'sorting' out problems with 11.4, whereas 10.10 worked 'out of the box' with no input from me at all.

  3. DWally on August 26, 2011 at 5:13 am

    Recently changed from Linux Mint (have used 11, Debian both 64bit) to Kubuntu 11.04, and am highly impressed! This is the first time I have tried KDE and it's fantastic! Wasn't sure if I'd like it, having used the "old" style GNOME 2 DM and knowing my way around it blindfolded. Tried Unity on Ubuntu 11.04 and thought it was useless and counter-intuitive/productive. KDE is so customizable, with widgets, different desktop styles and wallpapers for each available desktop making it very usable and useful. Liking the single-click to open stuff too. And it looks a treat! Not quite as fast as LMDE, but so far has been plenty quick enough and very stable, with no coughs or splutters. Lots of 'buntu packages available too. Everything worked fine on my laptop from the first boot, no problem with printers or joystick, sound and web-cam worked fine, NVIDIA drivers a snap to install via jockey. So far, everyone that has seen it has been impressed. I may hunt around and jump ship to another distro in the future (I do because I can, they are all free and excellent, and it's the best way to find the right distro for you) but at the moment I am quite happy to keep looking at the eye candy and use this great OS. May stick with KDE permanently. Very highly recommended.

  4. Whoozy on July 18, 2011 at 1:12 am

    Kubuntu 11.04 looks nice and is easy to handle. Only the drag'n'drop functionality is application dependant and not implemented well. Also to open files out of a samba share is no fun.

  5. Jim Lynch on May 28, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Hi Narish,

    I'm delighted to know that DLR has become such a helpful resource to you. It makes feel really good and gives me motivation to continue to write reviews. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate it.

    Yes, we are blessed with some great contributors in the forum and here on the comments for each review. They are so very generous in sharing their knowledge and expertise. I learn a lot reading their posts too.

    :smile:

  6. Narish on May 28, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Jim, As always you do a thorough review with clear images on Distros. This is the first site I look for to get a review about a Distro. Your site has helped me a lot choosing the right Distro for myself, as I am new to Linux.

    Thank you for taking the time to do all the precise and informative reviews,

    and there are good people at the DLR Forum willing to help a newbie like myself….Linux rocks and save money(for students).

    Best Wishes to you and the Linux community.

    Narish

  7. ScottK on May 27, 2011 at 10:30 am

    Fans of Muon will be glad to know that Kubuntu has selected it to be the default package manager for the next release, 11.10.

  8. Brian Masinick on May 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Jack Hoff wrote:

    Unity is awesome. I really don’t know whats wrong with have of you. It seems to me to be the best Linux OS around by far, and easily the one that might make it into the mainstream, if not maybe Joli OS after some tweaking.

    Unity is easy to use and simple, I will give you that. It is also bound to improve, and if the direction is to provide something that the consumer can really use, that is good too. But I wouldn't try to rush it in its present state out to mass consumers, but perhaps in a year or so, when the 12.04 LTS release comes out, Canonical will be poised to go in that direction.

    In the meantime, and even alongside it, Kubuntu definitely has a place – for those who want something more powerful and flexible. To me, that is where the KDE camp wins. I really wonder why somebody doesn't start with something like either Enlightenment or fvwm-crystal, customize and extend it and turn it from a uber-geek kind of thing into something really fast and simple. Both are really flexible, but in their current state, are something only a geek would go for, but they are closer to something fast and simple that I think a grear environment could be made, and I wonder why we keep inventing stuff when some awesome stuff is already out there?

  9. Jack Hoff on May 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Unity is awesome. I really don't know whats wrong with have of you. It seems to me to be the best Linux OS around by far, and easily the one that might make it into the mainstream, if not maybe Joli OS after some tweaking.

  10. Eddie Wilson on May 12, 2011 at 3:48 am

    I've been trying to buddy up to Unity since it's release. I do like it and I do think that with some more training that it can be a productive system. However at this time I find Kubuntu 11.04 more easy to use. Even tho many years ago I started out with KDE, Knoppix, there will be a learning curve with the new KDE. :smile: Unity will get better with time and I do believe it's the wave of the future. At this time however I find Kubuntu 11.04 solid, very usable, very polished, and as good a KDE distro that I've seen. Nice review and thanks.

  11. Eddie Wilson on May 12, 2011 at 3:37 am

    vb wrote:

    Hmmm, people positive about KUbuntu! OMG! I have a Kubuntu 11.04 something here in front of me and I have seen more crashes in last 2 days than I saw in my 6 Months with Ubuntu. Heck! I haven’t seen as much blue screens in 3 yrs with Win 98 that I saw in last 2 days with this Kubuntu!

    This system is useless! I am using this only to test some dev apps on the LATEST kubuntu distro!

    Firefox can’t stay alive more than 5 mins! Even Bash has crashed. Mozilla might have banned my IP because of the 40+ crash reports I filed throughout the day! It’s sad really since Ubuntu is also going Unity way and I didn’t like Unity. XFCE time now! The miserable mouse of XFCE’s gonna get a friend!

    You must have a bad install or maybe a detective download. You are the first person that I've really heard that has some problems. One sure thing is you are the exception and not the rule.

  12. Neal on May 11, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I haven't tried Kubuntu since 7.4

    I have heard such good stuff about it and your review helps me decide whether I want to give 11.4 a shot. I think I will….It seems to have some of my favorite kde software in it already.

    Thanks

  13. John Henry Junior on May 11, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Brian Masinick wrote:

    That’s funny, I believe both of my systems have Intel graphics, and the one I am on right now definitely does. Here is the info:

    Have you tried to use dual head ? Try to dock your laptop and use external monitors … you may be greeted with some beautiful black screen(s) (of death) – there are quite many complaints about that.

  14. michael king on May 11, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I had unity running before the release and Its on one desktop PC but after a few weeks my own conclusion is that I cannot work with it day to day…This is the beauty of Linux that I get to choose. I did a fresh install with my separate /home partition intact so I kept my files and even settings for firefox etc.. now I am running Kubuntu 11.04, It runs beautifully, and once I removed the widgets and changed the menu to KDE Classic and now this 7 year long gnome user is very happy!

  15. Brian Masinick on May 11, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    John Henry Junior wrote:

    Well, unfortunately Kubuntu xorg and Intel driver (at least) is VERY VERY BUGGY ! So if you don’t have an on board Intel chipset, you may think it’s all roses, but if you do … trust me, you WILL revert back to Maverick cause in its current condition Kubuntu 11.04 is a disaster. Also, laptop docking with Kubuntu 11.04 is hopeless.

    One thing that bothers me A LOT: dual head support on KDE/Kubuntu 11.04 in the year of 2011 is A J-O-K-E !!! Why on Earth is it in there (KDE control panel) when it can NEVER detect that you have 2 monitors ? SHAME on developers for not addressing that for so many years and instead wasting time with useless gimmicks ! Shame on them !

    As for me, I will wait for another 2-3 months before trying Kubuntu 11.04 again in a hope that at least the major bugs will be squashed. Truth to be told, right now there is insignificant difference between Natty and Maverick running KDE 4.6 (and all other backports form PPA) – so why would I upgrade anyway ?

    In my opinion they should extend the release cycle to more than 6 months since it’s crystal clear that the distribution is not receiving enough testing before it’s released.

    Enough said.

    That's funny, I believe both of my systems have Intel graphics, and the one I am on right now definitely does. Here is the info:

    inxi -F

    System: Host debian Kernel 2.6.38-5.dmz.1-liquorix-686 i686 (32 bit) Distro Debian GNU/Linux wheezy/sid

    CPU: Dual core Intel T2080 (-MCP-) cache 1024 KB flags (nx sse sse2 sse3) bmips 6917.44

    Clock Speeds: (1) 1733.00 MHz (2) 800.00 MHz

    Graphics: Card: Intel Mobile 945GM/GMS 943/940GML Express Integrated Graphics Controller bus-ID: 00:02.0 X.Org 1.10.1 Res: 1440×900@60.0hz

    GLX Renderer Mesa DRI Intel 945GM x86/MMX/SSE2 GLX Version 1.4 Mesa 7.10.2 Direct Rendering Yes

    Audio: Card Intel N10/ICH 7 Family High Definition Audio Controller driver HDA Intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0

    Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture Version 1.0.23

    Network: Card-1 Intel PRO/100 VE Network Connection driver e100 v: 3.5.24-k2-NAPI port 4000 bus-ID: 04:08.0

    Card-2 Broadcom BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN driver b43-pci-bridge bus-ID: 03:00.0

    Disks: HDD Total Size: 160.0GB (6.7% used) 1: /dev/sda WDC_WD1600BEVS 160.0GB

    Partition: ID:/ size: 19G used: 11G (57%) fs: ext3

    Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 40.0C mobo: N/A

    Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A

    Info: Processes 125 Uptime 56 min Memory 341.0/2015.5MB Runlevel 5 Client Shell inxi 1.4.98

    I am using Debian Sid right now, but I have Kubuntu 11.04 on this box too, ran it from Alpha 2 all the way through release, still have it, and never once had a video or graphics issue.

    I was very pleased with it, and when I want to use KDE I do not hesitate to use it, especially since Kubuntu is even more current than Sid right now when it comes to KDE.

  16. John Henry Junior on May 11, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Well, unfortunately Kubuntu xorg and Intel driver (at least) is VERY VERY BUGGY ! So if you don't have an on board Intel chipset, you may think it's all roses, but if you do … trust me, you WILL revert back to Maverick cause in its current condition Kubuntu 11.04 is a disaster. Also, laptop docking with Kubuntu 11.04 is hopeless.

    One thing that bothers me A LOT: dual head support on KDE/Kubuntu 11.04 in the year of 2011 is A J-O-K-E !!! Why on Earth is it in there (KDE control panel) when it can NEVER detect that you have 2 monitors ? SHAME on developers for not addressing that for so many years and instead wasting time with useless gimmicks ! Shame on them !

    As for me, I will wait for another 2-3 months before trying Kubuntu 11.04 again in a hope that at least the major bugs will be squashed. Truth to be told, right now there is insignificant difference between Natty and Maverick running KDE 4.6 (and all other backports form PPA) – so why would I upgrade anyway ?

    In my opinion they should extend the release cycle to more than 6 months since it's crystal clear that the distribution is not receiving enough testing before it's released.

    Enough said.

  17. Brian Masinick on May 11, 2011 at 5:34 am

    I am positive on Kubuntu 11.04, and I've seen none of the crashes and issues that one person complained about. It makes me wonder if those kinds of things are peculiar to particular hardware that is not well supported. In general, overall comments I've seen about the Ubuntu family as a whole are that the Ubuntu installer has much better than average hardware support.

    In the past, I've seen a lot of ranting and complaining about the quality of Kubuntu. I have not seen nearly as much of that recently. Personally, I have had really good results with it, nothing at all to suggest that there is a quality problem. I found one defect during testing, a regression that caused stability issues with the Seamonkey Internet Suite. Firefox was, and remains, as solid as a rock, no crashes, no instability, and greatly improved performance over past releases.

    All that said, I get the same stability with a somewhat lighter footprint when I use Xubuntu, and for me, right now I find Xubuntu to be the best of the Canonical backed buntu family. I would like to see it reviewed and compared to the others in the family. Of the "Big Three", right now I'd rate 1. Xubuntu, 2. Kubuntu, and a big drop to 3. Ubuntu. I have not tried the less well known Lubuntu for 11.04. In the past it was fine, quite fast, but I prefer distributions that build off Lubuntu, such as Peppermint OS One, rather than running Lubuntu directly. They are all OK, but I think Ubuntu needs some work. Hopefully the 11.10 release will bring some nice improvements so that the next stable release in the LTS series, 12.04, will be as solid as a rock. They have a year to straighten it out; hopefully they will do so by then.

    In the meantime, Xubuntu gets my preference in this family, slightly edging out Kubuntu, a close second.

  18. vb on May 11, 2011 at 3:46 am

    Hmmm, people positive about KUbuntu! OMG! I have a Kubuntu 11.04 something here in front of me and I have seen more crashes in last 2 days than I saw in my 6 Months with Ubuntu. Heck! I haven't seen as much blue screens in 3 yrs with Win 98 that I saw in last 2 days with this Kubuntu!

    This system is useless! I am using this only to test some dev apps on the LATEST kubuntu distro!

    Firefox can't stay alive more than 5 mins! Even Bash has crashed. Mozilla might have banned my IP because of the 40+ crash reports I filed throughout the day! It's sad really since Ubuntu is also going Unity way and I didn't like Unity. XFCE time now! The miserable mouse of XFCE's gonna get a friend!

  19. Phil on May 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    Jim – I liked your review, and it is enough to see me again go for the install and try as the thing I like about "buntu" distros is the support from forums and the range of repositories available.

    I am afraid to say that Unity still needs a lot of sorting out if it is to become the default OS so I again return to KDE. KDE has always been my preference excepting that Kubuntu in the past has not been up to same standard as the Gnome version – so I have generally run Ubuntu as OS complimented with A KDE OS of some sort – usually PCLinuxOS or SimplyMepis or similar. I will now give Kubuntu another run, firstly in VirtualBox and if it has picked up as it appears it may have well done then I am all for it. On package management I definitely would recommend installing Muon Software Centre and Package Manager. It has the benefits of Ubuntu Software Centre look and feel and seems so far to be stable.

    Thanks again for a good overview of Kubuntu – enjoyed it.

    …Phil

  20. Brian Masinick on May 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    davemc wrote:

    I did try KDE4.6 on Debian Sid. Liked it so much it is my main DE now over Squeeze’s KDE4.4, which is also very excellent. Sid is afterall the source for each Ubuntu point release with the exception of LTS releases (which use Testing snapshots instead of Unstable), so it is nearly identical to Kubuntu 11.04 give or take.

    I am curious: Where did you find and install the packages for any implementation of KDE 4.6? The only (partial) implementation that I know of is in Debian Experimental, but not Debian Sid. Both Sid and Squeeze, as far as I know, both still have KDE 4.4.5, unless it changed just today. I am pretty certain that I updated Sid today and I do not remember seeing a new version of KDE that brought it up to 4.6.anything.

    I have fooled around with KDE 4.6 using Experimental. Most of it works, but there must be a reason that Debian hasn't promoted it; I am guessing that time is one reason, limited resources another, but possibly because they want to test and repair defects in 4.4.5 in Squeeze and/or Wheezy, and want to test them in Sid first. I've seen quite a few updates to KDE 4.4.5 in Testing and Sid – up to 4.4.5-9 in a few cases.

    Please share with me where you are finding KDE 4.6. Is there a full backport or something available? I just don't see it in the regular Sid repo, as of Tuesday morning.

  21. davemc on May 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    I did try KDE4.6 on Debian Sid. Liked it so much it is my main DE now over Squeeze's KDE4.4, which is also very excellent. Sid is afterall the source for each Ubuntu point release with the exception of LTS releases (which use Testing snapshots instead of Unstable), so it is nearly identical to Kubuntu 11.04 give or take.

  22. Eddy on May 10, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Very amateurish review. You say a few words about something, then "very cool". You could have elaborated a bit more about certain things.

    Desktoplinux reviews? More like joe six pack's blog.

  23. bsmith1012 on May 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Muon package manager and software center is much better than kpackagekit. It should work well in Kubuntu if you want to check it out.

  24. Thor on May 10, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Kubuntu 11.04 with KDE 4.6.3 Try it. It is Awesome. I run 3 systems. Windows 7, Linux Mint, and Kubuntu. I just dumped windows 7. KDE exceeds it by far in performance and looks. was only keeping 7 for eye candy. But it is behind now. Linux mint just got dumped as well for kubuntu 11.04. Best KDE distro hands down. Tried SUSE but it way to laggy compared to when i loaded kubuntu on same system. And mint KDE is not polished enough for me as Kubuntu is. Cheers to Kubuntu for the awesome polish and stableness released in this addition.

  25. Argyris on May 10, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Don't forget that Linux Mint 11 is coming out at the end of May. The Mint team decided to stick with GNOME 2.32 and didn't implement Unity. I think that's a smart move, considering the backlash against Ubuntu's decision. I've personally gotten used to Unity, though I think it's still rough around the edges. Anybody who wants the underlying improvements of 11.04 and dislikes Unity, but who doesn't quite want to jump ship to a KDE-based distro, should consider waiting for the new version of Mint.

    That said, I'm getting the bug to try something new again. I might just do a VB install of Kubuntu 11.04.

  26. Anon on May 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    People that don't like Unity or Gnome 3, should give Pinguy OS 11.04 a try.

  27. Alex on May 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm

    I don't like Unity and GNOME 3 is even worse. That's why I tried Kubuntu and so far I find it to be extremely awesome. Still have to get used to all the differences and find out about all extra features in KDE. So far with every minute using it I like it more. Kubuntu (and KDE) team has realy done a great job. I don't see myself returning to Ubuntu anytime soon.

  28. Brian Masinick on May 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Hi Jim! Good review.

    My take: those minimal hardware requirements probably will work pretty well for Kubuntu as well as Ubuntu with 384 MB of RAM and probably a 1 GHz processor as bottom end. I got KDE up and running a few years ago with mild swapping, and that was with KDE 3.5.9 and also with KDE 4.2.4. Last I tried, I could run both KDE and GNOME in 256 MB, but that was nearly two years ago, so 384 MB is rock bottom for a memory requirement; even 512 MB is pretty light unless you rarely run more than one app at a time; otherwise 1 GB of memory is a more practical limit, based on my own usage.

    However, on a system with 2 GB of memory, unless I fire up a lot of stuff, I rarely find myself over 400 MB and even less often over 500 MB unless I run many apps or start up a VM; then I can easily exceed 1.1-1.2 GB or more of memory.

    Regarding KDE, I think with KDE 4.6.2 you missed some of the different ways it can be set up. You can set one workspace to display a straight desktop view, another to display a folder view, another to use a "Newspaper" view, and another one that is handy, the "Search and Launch" view, which allows you to access menus on the desktop – and you can click and check which of those menu categories you want to include, and which you don't, so it is handy.

    By setting up different work spaces with different views, you can very nicely customize your work spaces. When you add, not only what is available in the default desktop, but install wallpaper views and other features that come from the KDE Look project – and are easily accessible straight from the desktop customization menus, there is a lot more that you can do with KDE than with any other desktop, and Kubuntu 11.04 has all of these features.

    Some of this is overkill and is not always needed, and for that reason, I often use Xubuntu instead, which I hope you also review soon. But Kubuntu 11.04, from my perspective, beats the pants off Ubuntu for a full featured system; there is nothing I can't do with Kubuntu, and with the optional PPA (Personal Package Archives) that can be used to further extend Kubuntu and the other *buntus, this is even more true.

    Very solid, usable environment. I was not expecting it to be ultra stable, but it has been a pleasant surprise with no glaring issues immediately obvious.



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