Kubuntu Linux 9.10

Last week I took a look at the latest release of Ubuntu. This week I thought it would be great to continue with Kubuntu Linux 9.10. For those who aren’t familiar with Kubuntu, it’s basically the KDE version of Ubuntu (Ubuntu uses Gnome as its desktop environment).

Before I get into this review, I wanted to note the ongoing server problems DLR has been having. Please accept my apologies if you’ve been trying to access DLR or the DLR forum. DLR is growing and the additional traffic has caused some server overloads. My hosting company will be moving DLR to a more robust server (hopefully this week) and that might help. I have also installed the WP Supercache plugin. I thank all of you for your patience while we get the server/bandwidth issues worked out.

Please note also that I have added another page navigation plugin that will let you easily move between pages. Each page has a title so you can skip the parts of the review that don’t interest you. Just look below the regular numbered page links at the top and bottom of each review and you’ll see a handy dropdown menu. I hope it provides some value and makes navigation easier and more comfortable.

I have also added the Sociable plugin to make sharing DLR content easier. You’ll see icons for Facebook, Digg and other social networking sites right at the bottom of each article. Hope that helps for those who wish to share content that the enjoy here on DLR.

Okay, with that said, onto to the rest of the review.

What’s New In This Release
There’s a lot of great new stuff in this release. Here’s a list of some of what you’ll find in this release:

KDE 4.3
Social Networking Features (Various Widgets)
OpenOffice.org Integration
Ayatana Integration
New Look for Installer
Amarok 2.2
KPackageKit
Userconfig Returns
Enhanced Network Manager
GTK+ Integration
Firefox Installer

Some folks might not enjoy the social networking features included in this release but I liked them a lot. I have a Facebook and Twitter account so I find apps that let me access those two services to be quite useful and I’m glad to see them in Kubuntu 9.10. Note that if you are on Facebook you can become a fan of Desktop Linux Reviews.

The latest version of Kubuntu comes with social networking desktop widgets.

The latest version of Kubuntu comes with social networking desktop widgets.

The OpenOffice.org integration is nice but really didn’t matter too much to me. I use OO relatively sparingly these days as I write my columns for ExtremeTech using Google Docs most of the time and I write these reviews in WordPress. But I always like to have OO available just in case and it’s nice that it’s better integrated with KDE this time around.

The slicked up installed looked good too though I didn’t notice any significant change in terms of speed or ease of the install.

Requirements & Installation
I was unable to find Kubuntu-specific system requirements on the Kubuntu site so here are the general Ubuntu system requirements:

Bare Minimum requirements
* 300 MHz x86 processor
* 64 MB of system memory (RAM)
* At least 4 GB of disk space (for full installation and swap space)
* VGA graphics card capable of 640×480 resolution
* CD-ROM drive or network card

Recommended minimum requirements
* 700 MHz x86 processor
* 384 MB of system memory (RAM)
* 8 GB of disk space
* Graphics card capable of 1024×768 resolution
* Sound card
* A network or Internet connection

Installing Kubuntu is as easy as installing Ubuntu. This release has a gussied up installer that is more pleasing to the eye.

Unfortunately, as I noted above, I can’t say I noticed any speed improvement. For some reason Kubuntu takes a bit longer to install than Ubuntu. I’m not sure why but I’d like to see parity in terms of the installation. Though I may be nitpicking here a bit because it’s not like there’s a huge difference between the two. Kubuntu just seems to consistently lag Ubuntu while being installed.

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Comments

  1. steonet says

    @ MacLone:

    I agree with MacLone. Kpackagekit does not work. I tried to use Synaptic in Kubuntu but I had a lot of problems. Packagekit works fine in Opensuse 11.2 KDE: Kubuntu needs a lot of work to reach Opensuse, Sabayon, Pardus, SimplyMepis, eccetera.

  2. says

    Nice review you wrote!

    Two remarks:

    *Adblocking by default is certainly not a KDE thing, since the KDE adblocker is an optional Konqi plugn, available from extragear. Although I can understand the choice made by Kubuntu.

    *KDE is in now way related to firefox, so that installer also has nothing to do with KDE. Konqi isn't a good browser for modern javascript-heavy sites, so Firefox is a better choice there. However, Firefox depends on lots of GTK things, so putting it on the CD will remove room for other apps, so the Kubuntu Devs decided to write an installer.

    Oh BTW: I also would recommend a Mandriva Review, excellent distro, I'm using it for a year know, because *buntu tends to screw up KDE translations.

  3. says

    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    BTW, we had a slight database burp due to a dumbass that accidentally removed the database then had to restore it from a backup. So a few posts are missing from this review. My apologies for the error.

    I swear I only had 3 blueberry ales. :whistle: :biggrin:

    Please feel free to repost your comments and sorry about the database screw up.

  4. Eddie Wilson says

    Nice review. Kpackage kit worked with no show stoppers even tho I don't really like it. Overall Kubuntu showed no show stopper problems at all. Some minor problems were easy to take care of. As far as Kde distros goes I've tried several in the past month including sidux, Mandriva, OpenSuse (RC), and Kubuntu seems to work as well or better than most. If a person has to use Kde then its a good distro. Just remember that KDE4 still has a way to go before it can be considered prime time.

  5. Brian Masinick says

    Kubuntu 9.10 went through a pretty good testing cycle, based on tests of a couple of Alpha releases (I think I started this release with Alpha 3 in a Virtualbox). I also had an installed version of Kubuntu 9.04, so when this reached Beta (or Release Candidate, I can't remember which for certain), I ran an upgrade on 9.04, which allowed me to move to the software just prior to release, then after release, I ran another upgrade to get to the final.

    Observations: NTP (time server) support works now; I had reported a defect in the 9.04 time frame that did not get adequately fixed; they fixed it now. Upgrades from 9.04 seem to work well. This is not the first time that I have upgraded from one release to another. Canonical and the various Ubuntu family of products generally do upgrades well. Mandriva is one of the other distributions that also does upgrades well, and they also have a release coming out (Jim, that would be a good one to review too, 2010.0).

    You need not suffer with the "sliding menus" if you do not like the Kicker menu style. With KDE 4.3 you can revert to the classic KDE menus. In addition, tens of thousands of defects have been fixed, and KDE 4 can once again be considered stable.

    I had no issues with this release. I'd put it up against Mandriva 2010.0. My inclination would be to give preference to Mandriva; I think it makes a better development platform, but they are similar in ease of use. For more software available right at installation time, get Mandriva. For those who upgrade and add software using package updates, it makes little difference; both have HUGE repositories of applications available. Mandriva, to me, has much nicer art work; Jim usually prefers good art, so I'd give the edge to Mandriva there.

    Ubuntu sometimes has quality control issues on their rapid release versions with a lot of new features and better stability in their long term support releases (LTS). Mandriva suffers from quality control reputation issues. If cutting edge matters more than the possibility of finding defects, then both Kubuntu and Mandriva are worth a look. IF you want something more stable, wait for the next Mint or MEPIS release instead.

  6. MacLone says

    I could not even reload the resoulces list and package kit was empty all the time because a cache bug. If this is not a show-stopper i don't know what it is.

  7. Bill Julian says

    Based on what you say here, Jim, if I were going to the KDE 4.3 series as my preferred desktop, (I continue to prefer Gnome or Xfce) the distro would not be Kubuntu. sidux 2009-2 will not give you your desktop social widgets, but it will give you an otherwise quite nice and responsive rendition of KDE. And if I were going to bet, I would put my money on the next Mepis, which will run 4.3.3 according to Mepis fans. Mepis has a good reputation for being well crafted, so the annoyances that show in Kubuntu very possibly will not appear there.

    For non-Debian folks the next Suse (11.2 as I recall) is barely a week or so away. KDE people might want to see how it works.

    Ubuntu is Gnome-centric and in my opinion best used that way.

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