The DistRogue

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Kubuntu: Nothing much has changed in 2 years

If you're reading this on Kubuntu, then I honestly feel sorry for you. It's not that I hate KDE (in fact, I love it, even v3.5), it's just how badly misused it is in Kubuntu.
My first experience with Kubuntu dates back almost 2 years, when I tried out the Kubuntu version of Breezy Badger. Now, I've decided to give it another try and see how far it's come in the past 2 years. I downloaded and installed the 7.10 Beta image, keeping in mind that the development branch is less stable than the main one.
The installer crashed at 86%. I'm not the only one with this problem, and after asking around on the #ubuntu+1 IRC channel, I learned that taking the live system offline during the install solves the problem. Okay, not Kubuntu's fault. It's not the install that annoyed me so much as what came after it...
I booted into a system running KDE, KDE apps, and nothing but KDE as far as the eye can see. This is exactly the problem that a lot of people have with Foresight, the zealous KDE- (or, in Foresight's case, GNOME-) centricism is absolutely crippling. I couldn't find Firefox or Synaptic on there, both of which are included in rival KDE-based distro PCLinuxOS.
The artwork has improved drastically since Feisty, but it's still not top-notch. The wallpaper is the biggest step up, using a more blueish color instead of the purple of previous releases. The controls now use a Polyester style, complete with animations. The window decorations, however, are the same old (non-transparent) Crystal windeco as always, and the buttons are still woefully in need of an update.
Performance? What performance? GLXGears reported in the 800s out of the box. That would be because the Strigi Desktop Search is turned on by default- not a smart move. Turning it off raised the number to 900, still not quite acceptable.
If you absolutely need a KDE-based desktop, my answer is still PCLinuxOS.
Pros:
-KDE-based :)
Cons:

-Slow
-Package selection needs refining
-Artwork still needs improvement
Friendliness: 4/5-
It's still an Ubuntu variant...
Performance: 2/5- Not impressive.
Features: 3/5- A narrow selection of programs at best. The Kubuntu packagers seem to have their own agenda.
Packaging: 3.5/5- Adept? Why not Synaptic?
Artwork: 2/2.5- Still needs work, but a step in the right direction.
Community: 2.5/2.5- Again, Kubuntu is based on Ubuntu.
Overall: 3.4/5- Kubuntu needs some major work done before it can be considered equal to Ubuntu.

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7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with you and feel like Ubuntu (gnome) has evolved much more than Kubuntu. I'm sure this will at least change when they shift to KDE4. That being said, I feel like your comment that sums the entire performance of the OS up to GLXgears is a bit weak.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The *buntu variants are really just a framework to configure a system from. Try Linux Mint if you want a more configured K/Ubuntu setup. Unfortunately, it seems LM is only available for i386.

Better yet, try various distros using KDE and investigate the different apps that are bundled to find out which you prefer. Then create an installation with your own preferences.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Akshun J said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

In my case, Ubuntu Gutsy failed to install correctly, while Kubuntu didn't.

I don't, however, see how they "cripple" KDE. They include only KDE apps, but the other apps are easily obtainable.

Ubuntu only includes GNOME apps, yet everyone is aware that Amarok is the absolute best there is for music playing. If thats not crippling, I don't know what is.

Adept is also perfectly suitable for installing packages, though I am not a fan of it for more complicated tasks.

have you seen Trackerd doing its work in Ubuntu? Watch the FPS's fall.

Not to flame or anything, but that was one of the worst reviews I have ever read of Kubuntu.

10:21 PM  
Blogger DJ Gentoo said...

It wasn't really supposed to be a review, just a brief overview. In my mind, Kubuntu out of the box is inferior to Ubuntu.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Chris_(medico_2001) said...

You should try Klikit-Linux, it is based on Kubuntu but without the restrictions you mention. (www.klikit.org) - Many consider it "Kubuntu on steroids", we see it more as "a distro for friends by friends"

3:27 AM  
Anonymous orlando said...

i had problems installing ubuntu 7.10:

. installer stalled at 5%

reboot and retry

. installer stalled at 85%

reboot and retry

. installer stalled at "importing documents and settings"

reboot and retry:

. SUCCESS!!

1:48 PM  

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