Kubuntu Netbook Edition 10.04

I recently took a look at Ubuntu Netbook Edition, this week I decided to review its KDE-based counterpart Kubuntu Netbook Edition. As you’ll find out in this review, the two sport radically different interfaces (and I’m not just talking about wallpaper). Which is better for a netbook user? Read on to find out.

Kubuntu Netbook Edition uses the Plasma Netbook interface. Plasma Netbook is geared toward small devices and the interface is very different than desktop KDE. You can use “Search and Launch” to launch applications, or you can browse for applications. You can also search your email, contacts and some web sites. I’ll have more to say about Plasma Netbook in the desktop section.

What’s New In This Release
Since this release is 10.04; it shares some of the same new features as its desktop counterpart. Rather than regurgitate all of them here (since I covered them in the desktop review), here’s a link to the Kubuntu site that lists the new stuff in 10.04.

Firefox running in Kubuntu Netbook Edition, after being installed.

OpenOffice.org comes with Kubuntu Netbook Edition.

The live CD desktop.

Hardware Requirements & Installation

Hardware Requirements

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to run Kubuntu 10.04:

  • Intel Atom processor @ 1.6 GHz
  • 512 MiB of system memory (RAM)
  • 4 GB of disk space
  • Screen of 1024×600 resolution
  • Graphics chipset with support for visual effects

Installation

The install is as easy as any other Kubuntu or Ubuntu OS. It’s also very fast. The screenshots below walk you through the install process, from beginning to end.

Booting & Login

Bootsplash & Login Screens

The bootsplash screen has the new Kubuntu logo on it. The login screen lets you choose between KDE and a failsafe.

Beyond that, there’s not much to the login screen. You won’t find any of the sort of branding that you see on Ubuntu Netbook Edition. The login screen is sparse, with the default Kubuntu wallpaper featured prominently in the background.

Kubuntu Netbook edition boots pretty fast, and it shuts down just about as fast. Given that this distro is designed for netbooks, it performs exactly as it should.

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Comments

  1. Brian Masinick says

    I can’t speak to how this would work in a netbook and I don’t have it in my Virtualbox right now, but I’ve run builds like this in the past and they have worked pretty well for me. I have had good success with two distros out of this LTS family: Kubuntu 10.04 (briefly ran Lubuntu 10.04, also installed Ubuntu 10.04) and I also have Peppermint OS One (recently updated) installed.

    Peppermint, with the light environment, is quite snappy; I’d expect a light KDE environment to be pretty snappy too.

    If I get a chance again, I’ll take a closer look at this. Meanwhile, should I get a netbook or tablet, I’d consider this one (though with the tablet I may be more inclined to do with Android or ChromeOS).

  2. tlmck says

    I tried these back in May just after they came out. While I am not a fan of Kubuntu, I would say they did the best job on this remix. I also had crash problems, but I was running in VMWare Player. In addition to the Plasma interface, I had random app crashes. Also, switching between open apps is not intuitive at all. It took me a while to figure out.

    I also had set the resolution to mimic that of a 10" netbook, 1024×600. The Ubuntu remix seemed to handle it just fine, but it took a few tries for Kubuntu to get it.

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