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Kubuntu Linux, a review (#news_183) - Comments

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Kubuntu Linux, a review

Posted 15 December 2009, 6:02 PM
Back in May I wrote a blog post reviewing my experience using a Mac for 1 1/2 years. I brought up quite a lot of things I didn't like in that article, and as we know Mac fans don't usually like to consider there being anything imperfect coming from Apple ;) – so I tried to post it on dzone and it was voted heavily down. I believe that everything should be criticised so we can all have better…

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Linux is fine, it's the Distro you used, Kubuntu is known to be utter mess and crash more than Ubuntu.

Experiment with some others, remove the security features such as apparmor or SE, as they are knwon to cause such issues as not saving prefs etc..

I use FreeBSD and switched to Win7 not long ago as I missed playing games and all that.

Most of those issues are Kubuntu Issues and not Linux and KDE issues


I thought I should add that most of those issues negative issues can be attributed to Kubuntu itself and not KDE and Linux. Some of those issues are linux and KDE issues, but most aren't.

I had my Terabyte external hard disk plugged in, and the Linux installer tried to scan it, but really slowly. It would have taken hours if I let it go right through. I eventually realised what was happening and unplugged it, but I don't think I should have had to do so or at least to second guess what the system was really doing to take so long.
  This is a fine example of a Kubuntu issue. In Arch Linux I have never experienced this kind of slow behavior.

'Deprecation warnings'.
  Again a Kubuntu issue.

You know.. I was going to go through that list and respond to each issue, but most of them would be Kubuntu issues. For example, KDE should only use around 300 MB of RAM and on many distros that is the case, however on Kubuntu I have seen it use more like what you were experiencing. Many other issues can also be attributed to Kubuntu such as display errors and what not are not present in most other KDE distros.

There are some issues that are not Kubuntu related. PulseAudio for example is a pain no matter what distro you are using. However there are distros that don't use pule audio which completely removes that problem. Also the thing with kwallet, unless you set it up right to save and keep your password will always want to reauthorize upon log in. It is meant as a security feature but is annoying as heck.

Anyways, the point of this is that while there are some issues many of what you experienced are not the norm for linux and KDE. Kubuntu is unfortunately the forgotten red-headed step child. It is kept locked away in the closet and treated with lackluster response by the Ubuntu group. Kubuntu is simply a community project with no real strong developer support, and as a result is rated as one of the worst kde based distros.

If you really wish to give kde and linux a fair review, I strongly suggest taking a look at other offerings. Mandriva an openSUSE both are wonderful KDE and are easy to use. If you don't like the distro upgrading every so many months, then you might want a rolling release distro. Sidux and pclinuxos are both regarded as easy distros that provide a good kde desktop and are mainly rolling release.

Now if you don't mind reading and getting your hands dirty, Arch Linux is a wonderful rolling release distro that provides a modular vanilla kde package as well as a communtiy made KDEmod package. Both are extremely excellent kde packages and would be the lightest of all kde desktops. But do note that Arch only gives you a basic system with a command line only. Using the Beginner's Guide however and if you know your system, you can install a full fledge KDE system in the matter of a couple hours or less. Pacman is a strong selling point to this distro which makes updating and maintaining the system fast and easy with a simple command: pacman -Syu.

Another DIY rolling release distro is gentoo. Portage is a wonderful tool, but beware, it can take a week to set up a kde distro here. In gentoo you basically compile the system from scratch, and while this can have its speed advantages, now days on most modern systems this is not noticed.

Oh yeah, never forget the holy distro of all distros, slackware.

Anyways, I urge you to next time review one of those and see if you still find as many faults as you did with Kubuntu.

Thanks Mythus. I think you are right, as Philip also pointed this out to me too. It's a shame, I love the idea and community/corporate strength of Ubuntu, and I love KDE – a real shame that Kubuntu isn't working out.
I actually have worked around most of my problems now, I think the only issues that are serious to me are my Webcam won't work and I can't get DVD's to play. The Webcam is ancient so I don't blame that, and I probably will work out how to make the DVD's go when I care enough to debug it.


To make DVD's work in kubuntu you simply need the kubuntu_restricted I believe. You should be able to find it within your package manager. Kubuntu, like Ubuntu, does not come with codecs preinstalled. You may also want to look into installing VLC. VLC tends to pull in what is needed by default most of the time and is a good qt based media player.

That, at least, is usally an easy fix. :)

It is a shame that Kubuntu is not treated as it should be. KDE is a wonderful DE, but Kubuntu with all of it's ugly patches and what not cause all kinds of problems that reflect badly on KDE. After all, as you demonstrated, when most people think of KDE they think of the distro they are using, and for a great many that would be Kubuntu.

Having such a strong commercial support behind it seems like a great bonus, however in the effort to try and make Linux as much like Windows/Mac so that new users can hopefully use it easily, they have introduced so many more headaches. Like Pule Audio for example… it is a big mess and removing it from (k)Ubuntu is no walk in the park. However if you use other distros that don't use pulse audio, you find that for the most part, audio works as it should and that also is a decent audio framework.. not perfect, but decent.

Anyways best of luck with Kubuntu! It can be a decent distro once you work out the odd issues.. but I still contend that there are many better distros should you really want to explore the power of KDE and Linux. And for what it's worth, using KDE on top of regular Ubuntu works better than Kubuntu.

Last edit: by mythus

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