Kubuntu is a Ubuntu derivated Linux distro using KDE desktop environment. It has stable core of Ubuntu, with KDE packed on top of it. Kubuntu ISO is still under a CD size (700MB). Kubuntu is made for people who are fond of KDE desktop environment but want to use Ubuntu like user-friendly and stable desktop operating system.
“Kubuntu 11.10 is a grand example of friendly, fast, and beautiful software. We recommend it as the perfect OS for casual users, social butterflies, Linux gamers, software developers, professionals, and anyone interested in a free, open platform that is both beautiful and useful.” – Kubuntu
I live-booted Kubuntu 11.10 on VirtualBox system (with 1GB RAM). I used ISO named �kubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso’ (size – 699MB) to live-boot on VirtualBox system. Almost everything worked well during live-booting. Kubuntu 11.10 booted in around 1 minute on VirtualBox. It would have taken less time, if it had been on pen drive or had been installed on hard disk.
Kubuntu installation can be started using Installer present on desktop. You can start installation by opening shortcut named �Install Kubuntu’. Installation is simple and quick. Starting from the Language, you need to select Disk partition to install Kubuntu. Then, installer ask about time zone, keyboard layout and at last, user account settings. After then, files are copied on your hard disk partition and afterword, installation completes and you can start using Kubuntu on your system.
I found a bug in Kubuntu 11.10 which make its installer to crash in mid-way installation. Please check out the screenshots to see the errors thrown by the installer. Firstly, I got this error when I live-boo ted it on VirtualBox. So, I tested even from pen drive, but unfortunately, without any success. This shows that Kubuntu installer is only faulty or mine downloaded ISO was corrupted. I also tested the CD for defects using tool shown at live-boot screen menu, which showed no error in live filesystem, but error in a package (which is not installed by default during live-boot). Finally, it seems that installer is having problem.
Kubuntu bears KDE Plasma desktop environment and is equipped with KDE default wallpaper. I must say that Kubuntu team has removed wallpapers to decrease ISO size – Kubuntu comes with only one wallpaper – KDE default wallpaper. Kubuntu 11.10 is packed with Kubuntu-Low-Fat-Settings (configuration to speed up a KDE distro) which enhances the Kubuntu 11.10 booting and response time . But it decreases the animation effects and overall graphics appeal of the system, BUT, of course, you can enable effects manually.
KDE desktop environment is much better in terms of themes and artwork. You can easily select themes, window decorations, icons, cursor schemes, colors, etc from System Settings (available in App launcher – main menu). You can even install various of the decoration schemes and artwork directly in the settings app in KDE.
Kubuntu 11.10 don’t ships proprietary software or drivers. But still, it worked quite out-of-the-box on my Dell Inspiron 14. Nearly all of the devices were working without any help from my side. I prefer Ubuntu and it’s derivatives over other distros (which too don’t ships proprietary packages) like Fedora because of drivers support. My WiFi device don’t work automatically under Fedora without installing it’s drivers. I’ll suggest you to use Linux Mint KDE edition if you get problems with Kubuntu for your un-supported devices as Linux Mint is shipped with proprietary packages (NOTE: please check that you’re not breaking your country laws before using proprietary packages before using them).
Kubuntu 11.10 takes around 226MB RAM on fully loaded KDE desktop , when live-booted from CD in VirtualBox. Check out the screenshot to confirm the resource usage by Kubuntu 11.10 (0.22GB = 225.28MB). It come with lots of pre-installed apps for every general purpose use. But, of course, it don’t have MP3 and many other codecs because of proprietary issues. But, you can install them by installing kubuntu-extras package ( click here to install it ). You have Amarok music player, Kopete instant messenger, Firefox web browser, Dolphin file manager, etc to manage your everyday tasks. I must say that because of small ISO size, Kubuntu lacks some software (which are shipped with other KDE based distros) but you can overlook it easily if you’ve Internet connection on your system.
Kubuntu 11.10, being built on Ubuntu 11.10 can’t be doubted for security and stability. Kubuntu’s core is well-stable and regular updates is available from the Kubuntu community to keep you up-to-the-date. One of the main reason that people use Ubuntu or Kubuntu is the hope and availability of regular updates, which keep you secure from loopholes and people who go around loopholes, trying to gain from it.
KDE default management apps are there in Kubuntu. I suppose that KDE System Settings is well enough to manage your system. You can set your system in all aspects like power options, screen, keyboard, shortcuts, screen effects, partitioning, etc. Kubuntu has Muon Package manager for managing installed packages. It also includes Muon Software Center to help you install apps via single click.
Pros: Ubuntu based, Stable core, Readily updates available
Cons: Missing proprietary apps, Option of more apps are there in distros like Linux Mint KDE
Suggestion: Kubuntu is a stable distro to use as your regular OS.