Kubuntu, for better or worse

My two days with the Kubuntu 11.04 beta have been a mixed bag, with some trivialities that needed addressed, but mostly positive experiences.

I can honestly say that after about 48 hours of learning what equates to what in k-series software, there’s quite a bit I like, and some things I don’t.

For one thing, I feel a preference for KPackageKit over the obtuse Add/Remove software tool in Gnome Ubuntu, although I don’t really know if they equate or not.

KPackageKit seemed to be better prepared to find and install things, while the Gnome add-remove tool used to be vaguely useful, but took a giant step backward a year or two ago. Nowadays I just go straight to Synaptic.

Rekonq, if that’s the right name, almost supplanted Firefox for me, except that I had problems with its ad blocking system, and I unfortunately prefer an ad-less Internet.

I did, for a short while, use them side-by-side though, and didn’t find either one to be tangibly superior.

On the other hand, I had major problems with the screensaver in Kubuntu. Enabling any screensaver would behave as normal until I moved the mouse or otherwise tried to waken the desktop.

At that point the machine would fall back to a tty screen, flicker twice, then return to the login screen — killing everything that was running in the background, as well as the network connection.

After the first or second stunt, I just disabled the screensaver altogether.

Every desktop comes with its eccentricities though, and my homemade ones are no exception. And years of experience have taught me that 90 percent of these weirdnesses come at my own hand.

I still think, as I have long thought, that anything KDE comes up with is heads and shoulders above Gnome in terms of attractiveness and flexibility.

And so long as the Gnome philosophy says I can’t be trusted, then I’ll probably continue to avoid it. That, and its unnecessary weight, are the least attractive points about it.

So Kubuntu wins points this time around. Next, I’m going to revisit an old acquaintance.

I am cringing, even as I type.

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10 Responses to “Kubuntu, for better or worse”


  1. 1 przxqgl 2011/04/19 at 11:55 AM

    i use xscreensaver and have had extremely good luck.

  2. 2 Moose 2011/04/19 at 2:11 PM

    Xscreensaver is the way to go for me. In my experience Kubuntu is the best of the *buntus. KDE distros don’t seem to differ as much as Gnome, Xfce or Lxde ones.

  3. 3 darkduck 2011/04/19 at 5:18 PM

    I prefer KDE over GNOME too. But for different reasons…

    http://linuxblog.darkduck.com/2011/03/kde-or-gnome.html

  4. 4 koleoptero 2011/04/19 at 8:07 PM

    If only kde would run properly on my laptop :( I find it much more flexible and attractive too. And I agree with you completely on rekonq.

    You’ll find xubuntu may have some extra weight (in reference to how light it could be) but they’ve turned toward lightweight alternatives since the last version so there’s hope. I don’t blame the xubuntu devs for still loading the gnome-settings-daemon because it’s needed for some stuff I think improve the desktop too, like the gnome-media package that provides the gnome-volume-icon thing (which is superior to alsamixers and xfce-volume-things). The indicators though are a horrible choice.

  5. 5 lefty.crupps 2011/04/19 at 9:31 PM

    I love the KDE desktop, but I’d like to warn people that Kubuntu doesn’t do a very good KDE desktop. For all of the resources that Ubuntu puts into the Gnome desktop and polish, KDE does not get that effort and polish. I am sure the Kubuntu people work hard but just be aware, Ubuntu users, the Kubuntu isn’t a great implementation. For a good KDE, check out Mint KDE, SimplyMepis, Debian Testing with KDE, Aptosid, SuSE…

  6. 6 Kaleb 2011/04/20 at 2:06 AM

    I may be dense, but what is the old acquaintance?

  7. 9 パウェウ Soltys 2011/04/21 at 11:55 PM

    Strange thing that screensaver kept dropping you to tty. I was using KDE a while ago on my gentoo machine and never noticed any problem. I think it’s something distro-related.

  8. 10 Cian 2011/04/22 at 3:27 AM

    Arch’s KDE is pretty decent. For one thing it runs on older machines.


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Some recent desktops


May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
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Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
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