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:
Social Networking Features (Various Widgets)
New Look for Installer
Enhanced Network Manager
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 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.
Desktop & Apps
When I first booted into my Kubuntu Linux 9.10 desktop, two things greeted me. One was the Desktop folder which was opened and empty. And the other was a microblogging service menu. If you like KDE 4.3 then you’re really going to enjoy Kubuntu 9.10.
Please note that if you prefer KDE 3.5, a remix is available. I’m not going to do a review of it but wanted to note it here for those who are still not ready to make the leap to KDE 4.3.
Personally I find myself liking KDE 4.3 more now than I have in the past. I don’t know if I’ve just gotten used to it or what. But it’s easy on the eyes for sure and it’s a nice break from Gnome and some of the light-weight desktops. Even the sliding menus didn’t annoy me too much this time around.
Here’s a sample of some of the software that comes with Kubuntu 9.10.
DNG Image Converter
Gwenview Image Viewer
Krfb Desktop Sharing
Firefox (Comes with Firefox Installer)
Amarok Audio Player
K3b CD & DVD Burning
KMix Sound Mixer
Dragon Video Player