Blog Post

Why Does Kubuntu Suck?

Why does Kubuntu suck? I don’t think it sucks. However after reading a lot of comments recently on the Internet about the death of Kubuntu and KDE (sarcasm there) a lot of people think it does. I read stuff like:

  • Kubuntu is the worst distro ever!
  • Kubuntu has been dead since day one
  • Nobody cares about Kubuntu anyways

If you are one of those people who have said something like the above recently, why? I want solid reasons and I don’t want to hear stuff like:

  • Kubuntu doesn’t have Ubuntu One – neither does the KDE-based distro you switched to
  • There isn’t a Kubuntu for Android – besides a YouTube video and a couple of fanboy sites, Ubuntu doesn’t either :p Oh, and neither does your KDE-based distro :)
  • DO NOT, AND I MEAN DO NOT, RESPOND IN A 1990s Linux User KIND OF WAY! (thanks to my buddy Jorge Castro for showing me and preaching about it lately).

If you use another distro because of issues with Kubuntu, why? What caused you to switch, and by switch I mean recently, not 2 years ago.

Okay, before you start flinging this fanboy crap at me, note the following. I really haven’t contributed to Kubuntu nor KDE in well over a year (personal life is pretty cool when you come up from your parent’s basement and shave your neck (that’s for my buddy B-HUMP)). Also, my daily systems are as follows: Debian (servers), CentOS (servers), openSUSE (KDE), Fedora (KDE), Arch (KDE & DWM – be careful, their screenshots forum is more than enough to cause addiction), Linux Mint (KDE & Cinnamon), and Kubuntu. You want fast? You use Debian or CentOS servers (headless) or Arch with DWM. You want slower, then use KDE, GNOME, or Cinnamon (which is kind of hot by the way) on any of the other distros I use. To back up why I use these machines (multi-boot on my big desktop) is because I have clients that use them, and trying to support openSUSE from a Kubuntu box isn’t always the easiest. Also, I like building packages in a native environment and not in chroots. Oh, and another reason, is I like playing with them in the cloud while testing crazy hardware in remote data centers for clients. I started playing with Linux Mint recently to see if any of the problems I experienced with Kubuntu were there or not (they are there too unfortunately), plus everyone has enjoyed the Mint lately.

Please don’t respond with a fanboy or tin-foil hat on. I hate moderating comments, but I have no problem making you look like a bigger douche bag than me :) OK, so the reason I want to know the above, is because I am seriously thinking about getting back into the development swing of things in Kubuntu and KDE. Maybe you can motivate me to make Kubuntu not suck, or at least build beautiful caskets, since many think Kubuntu and anything KDE-related is dying. Did I just feed the trolls? Probably, but trolls need love too!

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  • Guest

    I am a devoted KDE user and spent long years with Kubuntu before finally switching over to Arch Linux. Why? 

    First of all, I like the rolling release model. I like having the latest KDE packages from day one.Then updating Arch never caused breakage for me… at least nothing serious or nothing I couldn’t fix. With Kubuntu I had severe, unfixable breakages on updates (that means I had to reinstall the OS), some even caused me heavy data loss from Kontact.

    And most importantly, Arch is way more simple and easy to maintain. And it is customizable from the ground up, which means there are no decisions that have been already made for me… like which browser is installed by default or which office suite… or if I want to have a constantly running and very hard to remove bluetooth application in my system tray on a computer which doesn’t have bluetooth… same thing for the printer applet… and network manager… I don’t want a full blown network manager on a home desktop PC which will never ever get connected to anything else than my router.

    So all in all, KDE is still the greatest desktop out there, but Kubuntu is really far from being an ideal distribution or something that brings the best KDE experience.

    • Rich Johnson

      That’s exactly the type of answer I was fishing for! Thank you!

      Yes, totally agree on the rolling releases myself. That is hands down my favorite thing about Arch as well. As for updates & Kubuntu breakages, yeah, I know that happened quite a bit in the past, but I don’t know as of late. Myself I have been lucky to not have those issues. I used to ‘dist-upgrade’ and never do upgrades from release-to-release the “proper way”. As for Kontact, I haven’t been using it. Not for the fear of losing data, but because it is slow for me. I have a gob of email, multiple labels/folders, and I use GMail. For me, nothing beats Thunderbird for a GUI client.

      To be honest, for me, Kubuntu is just as easy to maintain than the others, specifically Arch. Yes, I do enjoy the customizable from the ground-up approach myself, however in the spirit of Kubuntu, that approach doesn’t work, because of its ties with Ubuntu and wanting to always make things much easier for the new user. Interesting you brought up that bluetooth app in the system tray. I do remember that as a problem myself, or more of a pet peeve I guess you would say. I just checked my desktop, which doesn’t have bluetooth running, on a fresh install (today actually), and Bluetooth isn’t running. I guess that has been fixed, or did I just find a bug? :D Network Manager, or as I call it Network Mangler, is a royal PITA. I can kind of agree with you on not wanting it, or possibly even needing it, on a home desktop PC. Last time I looked at the NM code, I wanted to join the employees at Foxconn and leap for my life. Printer applet, I hate everyone that is out there. None of them work the way they are supposed to. I live in a house where the printer/scanner are connected to a Windows machine. Have fun with that one. Though, I just installed a network printer and it found it. But…Of course there is a but, it doesn’t name the device correctly in the ‘Device URI’. It doesn’t format spaces to %20, but instead to just 20. That doesn’t work.

      Thanks again for the comment and the really good examples. Printer applet is something I wouldn’t mind tackling since it would be scratching my own itch in a few ways.

      • Guest

        Maybe some of these things are fixed in 11.10, which I haven’t installed. I switched to Arch on all my computers some time after 11.04 came out.

        I would also add to my list the simpleness of creating packages to Arch. I have made some personal customizations to my system which I keep around as PKGBUILDs, so I can easily apply them to any installation, at any time. It’s simple, easy and just works. On the other hand, trying to create a Debian package was quite and overwhelming experience for me.

        • Rich Johnson

          Oh yeah, packaging in Arch is way simpler. Almost as easy as rPath/Foresight was, actually very similar. The reason Debian/Ubuntu packaging can be so overwhelming is because of all of the crazy policies and legalities. Though these policies and legalities are what make Debian (dpkg) popular as well as RPM in the enterprise space. Though in the end, I still feel deb & rpm are the superior package types for many reasons. In terms of development, I never thought that easier meant better.

          • Guest

            I agree that deb is superior and that easier isn’t necessarily better. But I think, that when you start to develop something, it should be as easy as a few commands issued on the command line to wrap it into a package and test it in your system with the package manager taking care of clean upgrades, removals, etc from day 0 effectively. Later you can add the more sophisticated details to your package, like all the policies and legalities… but getting started should be fast and easy.

  • Roger

    I can’t speak to Kubuntu but I can speak to distros in general.  As a user I want to know that my interests are taken into account and important, especially through actions and conduct, not just words. 

    The way Linux distros have come and gone over time has followed a repeatable pattern. Some people notice that the existing distros are not paying attention to some detail.  So they make a new distro paying the required attention.  It gathers faithful users and everyone is happy.  But then that distro keeps spreading and at a faster rate than people doing work on it.  Their coverage gets thinner and thinner, until some people notice not paying attention to some detail.  A new distro is born and the cycle repeats.

    • Rich Johnson

      “As a user I want to know that my interests are taken into account and important.” I would agree on this 100% if the distribution wasn’t a community-based distribution, or 99.9% community-driven. This is the type of thinking from users that really caused me to burn out on Kubuntu & KDE a little over a year ago. I understand you, don’t get me wrong, but I think it is unfair to expect such a thing when the people working on it are doing it because they enjoy doing it, and not because they are paid to do it or make everyone happy doing it. The reason a lot of people get involved in the development in the first place is to scratch their own itch. Your itch might not be the same as mine, so what motivation do I have to scratch yours as well. Believe me, I would love to be able to scratch everyone’s itch, but it is impossible.

      You are 110% correct on the entire Linux distro thing. It has been going on since Linux came out, and it will never go away. One reason is a lot of people push this “opportunistic development” which is supposed to make it easier for people to get in to development. The easier it gets, the more distros you get, and the more distros you get, the crappier they all get, because the channels of communication become so flooded with nonsense. I am already seeing this in the Android community. Just go to XDA or Rootzwiki and check out the different ROMs. You have people there crying because someone borrowed someone elses APK or code to build their ROM.

  • Paweł S

    I’m using Kubuntu since few years (with some breaks) and there are few things worse compared to other distributions:

    1. blackscreen logout bug that isn’t fixed for months/years.
    2. another kdm related bug that prevents me to provide password for new user
    3. I experienced plasma crash on friends laptop with Kubuntu 11.10 (not updated), but it can be related to graphic drivers or xorg bugs.

    I didn’t experience such problems in Arch, Fedora and Mageia. I’d love to see Kubuntu using systemd, but I understand you want to stick as close as possible to Ubuntu, so maybe in future. I hoped Kubuntu will become a flagship and official KDE distribution, but since the last Canonical decision I doubt it will happen. Perhaps, it will still be possible to provide LTS?

    To be fair I have to name things I love in Kubuntu:

    1. outstanding number of packages and ppa’s.
    2. KDE packages are divided nicely
    3. you provide updates to KDE packages :>
    4. system is ready for work out of the box
    5. games run much faster that in Unity, because KDE can suspend compositions
    6. it’s the best SYSTEM I’ve ever used.

    Thanks for your great work!

    • Rich Johnson

      Ahh yeah, that blackscreen bug. I remember looking at it a couple of years back. I can’t remember exactly where the change occured that causes it these days. I don’t know the KDM new user password issue. I have’t experienced it and just a couple of days ago setup a few boxes for a client where I created new users and was able to login with them. Plasma crash, let me guess, Intel graphics? Yeah, Ubuntu screwed us all with that crap. They had to push on to the new stuff and they load all kinds of NVIDIA mesa overwrite crap that causes me to get pissed myself. 99% of the time I am fine, but there is those couple of times where plasma or kwin will crash, and I have to enable compositing again.

      I haven’t tried Mageia, but I know my Intel issue with Kubuntu has been reproduced in Fedora. I haven’t had it happen yet that I remember in Arch, though I don’t know if they are using all of the updated drivers.

      I hope the Canonical decision will push people to Kubuntu to help make it great and create a buzz as a “piss off” to Ubuntu/Canonical :) As for LTS, the community has said they will continue to support LTS in the future for 3 years. Xubuntu and Edubuntu have been doing it, so I don’t see why Kubuntu can’t. Only time will tell.

  • Mark

    I am using Kubuntu since Feisty now, but I have to admit, I have never really liked it. This has little to do with the Kubuntu-Part, altought there was this early shipping of KDE4 and Kmail2 which annoyed me. My main problems are related to the underlying Ubuntu and its release policy. I get the impression that they release without fixing even severe bugs which come up during testing. So basically every release comes with a new surprise about something which does not work correctly anymore and worked fine in the previous release: networking, graphics, 3G, suspend/resume. Installing a new version always requires 3 months until the most severe things are fixed, but not some things are not fixed, so you are forced to update to the next version if you want them working. This is an endless cicle of annoyance. The main reason why I am still using Kubuntu despite this annoyances: It is Debian based and there is fresh KDE available. Kubuntu guys would make me happy if the either provided KDE updates for a longer period for the last version of Kubuntu or even better help provide fresh KDE packages also for Debian. Although, I have to admit, in that case, I would be gone as a Kubuntu-User immediately.

    • Rich Johnson

      I have to admit, the early shipping of KDE4, was pushed big time by me. I went nuts wanting to get it out there so Kubuntu could be a KDE4 platform for people to start working on. That is also about the same time that Harald started his project neon stuff. Yeah, we pissed a lot of people off back then with some of our nasty hacks no doubt. Kmail2, I never really used it, just tried it from time-to-time. Nothing beats Thunderbird for a GUI app for Linux anyways, especially if you use GMail. Yeah, Ubuntu/Canonical screwed us many times with their releases no doubt, especially in the graphics department. I use Intel products so I have never had an issue with suspend/resume, though I know the NVIDIA and ATI folks have, and that goes for everyone pretty much. As for the longer period of KDE updates, the best you will get is going to be from the Kubuntu PPAs. There isn’t a lot of community developers to begin with, so it is difficult to keep supporting the various earlier releases. Maybe someone will figure out a way to automate all of that and get that working, I know I saw talk about it as recently as Monday. We shall see.

      • ScottK

         Actually we ship all the point releases in -updates now.  From 10.04 on you can get the current KDE update for the associated Kubuntu release directly from the official repositories, so there is no more to provide.

  • Michael

    I use KDE since I’m using linux, which is mm…8-9 years + various tries the years before. And used a lot of distros, the main one has been gentoo for 5-6 years. I then moved to kubuntu because it’s everything much simpler. I still do a lot of things using the shell, but at least I don’t have to waste days for install the os, wireless, various devices, encryption, and so on
    Compared with gentoo I can say that it’s quite slower, probably because I had a very minimal version without a lot of things that are loaded. I wanted to try the kde mint version, but they don’t have an autosetup for encrypt the disk, which is very useful.
    So for now I don’t think that kubuntu suck :)
    One things I’d love is some file like the gentoo’s world, where you have all the installed packages, there is a command trough apt IIRC, but it put dependencies too. Just for when you reinstall everything, one time every few years :)

  • kane

    A critique I often read in reviews of Kubuntu is that people say that it does not get a enough artwork polish, compared to openSUSE or Chakra or Mandriva. This adds to the “unloved stepchild” image, they say.

    Personally I don´t think that´s correct. I assume that 99% change the wallpaper anyway. And vanilla Kubuntu does look good to me.

    A couple of times I had problems with the Ubuntu base (update–>grub messed up, live cd fix grub…i hate this). 

    I´m quite happy with Kubuntu.

  • tanghus

     I actually love Kubuntu. They have new releases coming out very fast, and they don’t make any significant branding like e.g. SuSe does.
    The things that annoy me are Ubuntu related. From the top of my head: it’s virtually impossible to get rid of Plymouth, outdated *webkit packages that breaks Konqueror and rekonq (that may have been fixed; I had to give up using them).

  • Burillo

    Like many here, i am an avid fan of KDE. I’ve been using it since beginning of KDE 3.x days, i’ve been (and still am) very enthusiastic about KDE4, i was one of those people who “got” the KDE4.0 and it’s “non-release” status, the one who patiently waited for 4.2 and have been using 4.x ever since.

    I started out on Mandrake 8.something (before it became Mandriva), then moved to Ubuntu and for a good while Kubuntu was a distro of choice for me (since 6.10 or 7.04, whenever Kubuntu was introduced). However, 11.10 was the last version i used. A couple of moths ago i decided to check out Chakra and burnt a LiveCD. Next thing i did was replace Kubuntu with Chakra on my “emergency HDD” (a HDD i keep around in case i need to fix something (e.g. recover bootloader) or install/recover Windows 7. Then, last months, i reinstalled everything on my machine, and Kubuntu was replaced by Chakra too.

    What i absolutely love about Kubuntu? It’s incredibly complete. Massive repository, PPA’s, great community. Think of any program, Kubuntu’s got it in either repo or PPA. Can’t remember last time had to “make install”. It’s also very polished. Fonts display right, oxygen-gtk works flawlessly, so Firefox doesn’t look like it’s from Windows 95 era, lots of things you can configure graphically. This is what kept me using Kubuntu all these years, and this is why i always recommend Kubuntu for people wishing to try out Linux. Chakra has a long way to go before it reaches the same level of polish and completeness, so i wouldn’t ever recommend it to someone who’s just starting with Linux.

    What made me switch to Chakra? First of all, Kubuntu is SLUGGISH. Over time it becomes monstrous and barely responsive. In the end i even switched off Strigi just to be able to use my desktop again. Chakra is FAST. It should be, since it’s born out of Arch and in the beginning even shared the repositories. Chakra installation i have on my machine right now is incredibly snappy even with all the plasma eye-candy, Strigi and whatnot. I expect it to slow it down with time, but Kubuntu never was that fast in the first place, and got even slower with updates/upgrades.

    Second, since Ubuntu 6.06 (the first Ubuntu i ever used) i’ve had a flawless upgrade only once – from Kubuntu 10.10 to 11.04. Every other time (6.06 to 6.10, 6.10 to 7.04… etc. all the way up to 11.10) i ended up either reinstalling from scratch or reanimating my system with aptitude because either upgrade broke/crashed halfway through, or it did finish, but broke my desktop. Chakra, i installed from a LiveCD i burnt in November (release 2011.11), updated everything to Archimedes (2012.02) without any hickups, without any slowdowns, without breakage – it just works as if it was freshly installed. I noticed that even on Kubuntu, updates didn’t break my system – upgrades did. So i switched to a distro that doesn’t have any upgrades as such, and so far am extremely happy.

    A bonus point for Chakra – plasma “blur” effect never worked on Kubuntu neither with proprietary driver, nor with nouveau. On Chakra it worked out of the box, and the nouveau driver performed better than it ever did on Kubuntu – i was even able to play Quake 3 on wine.

    Some of the shortcomings of Chakra – i still can’t make all the fonts look nice in web browsers, there aren’t many packages available, package management in its current state sucks (not the command-line pacman, but the Appset-Qt). To be honest, i’ve been spoiled with years of running Windows and Kubuntu, so despite i am not afraid of command line and can even bring up a dead system with no internet connection or X (Kubuntu upgrades taught me that), i am very reluctant to use command line. It’s so lame to use command line in 2012. This is where Chakra is currently lacking.

    Chakra also lacks Kubuntu’s polish – you know, little things like some menus in Kicker being empty, graphical wizards not doing anything or outright crashing, difficulties to install and use things like wine, this whole “bundles” business – stuff like that. But i can live with these as long as the rest of the system is responsive, beautiful and functional at the same time.

  • none

    I left (k)ubuntu land after 11.10 since I ran into issues after the update: Lots of small things like my run-of-the-mill netbook no longer shutting down, graphic glitches while it booted. Small stuff, all of which I could easily fix myself. I had similar experiences with all updates since about 9.10 and am under the impression that they are getting worse with each upgrade, not better. Ubuntu seems to me to be concentrating on bling nowadays, focusing their resources on stuff like unity and whatnot and no longer worry about overall quality of the distribution.

    I moved over to Arch and am a happy camper again. The rolling release thing they have is really nice.

    I also dropped KDE during that move: I went overboard with the “trying something new” and am using xmonad with gnome now. That part is somewhat annoying me though, and I am considering to switching back to KDE as a base for xmonad;-) Xmonad rocks though, I will stay with that for a while I think.

    I hope you’ll not consider me flaming… so far I was told I am flaming whenever I mentioned that I am no longer happy with the quality of ubuntu in general. I do not mean to flame, but I am not a native speaker, so maybe I come across more inflamatory than I want…

    PS: The famous ubuntu community was never as friendly as the arch guys to me. Ubuntu might be great for beginners, I can’t judge that, I came to ubuntu after using debian for years… The very different community is a nice bonus I got from the switch.

    • Rich Johnson

      You aren’t flaming the least bit. You have very valid and factual arguments on why you don’t use Kubuntu anymore. I hope nobody can fault you for that because I sure know I can’t.

      • none


        You are the first person I vaguely associate with *ubuntu that says so. 

        Ever since I first became unhappy with the overall quality I kept trying to ask ubuntu developers about it whenever I ran into them at conferences, etc. and was repeatedly told that quality is not an issue and that I was trying to undermine the hard work of developers.

  • JR

    1. Canonical repositories; reliable, shared with commercial spin
    2. Community council; closer to the users
    3. PPA build system
    4. Bugs in KDE programs are handled by beloved-by-all DrKonqi
    5. Offers very up-to-date KDE via unofficial PPAs

    1. Subdistro to Canonical’s so some core stuff is outside community council’s influence and may be more to the benefit of GNOMEbuntu or perhaps even complicate KDE
    2. Community-driven; no funding to pay fulltime developers
    3. Apport doesn’t want to report non-KDE bugs if it detects you’re not running Ubuntu proper (at least this was the case a year ago or so)
    4. Boot still isn’t flicker-free on KMS graphics, no pretty login theme (Canonical, not Kubuntu-specific)
    5. Default plasma layout is simply awful

  • Roberto Alsina

    “Kubuntu doesn’t have Ubuntu One” today means mostly “Dolphin doesn’t have a Ubuntu One context menu”.
    I am looking at doing a Ubuntu One Kipi Plugin soonish as a personal project, should not be terribly hard.

    • Rich Johnson

      Shows you how much I follow Ubuntu and Ubuntu One stuff :)  Great work and I will be interested in the kipi-plugin no doubt.

      • Roberto Alsina

        It’s been a long path, but the ubuntuone-control-panel-qt package (and ubuntu-sso-client-qt) are already in precise, so it’s getting closer to finished ;-)

  • Jorge García Rodríguez

    Ey, guys, this is serious. I’m really considering stop using Kubuntu or KDE if you don’t fix it once and forever. I really think many, many people thinks the same that I do: I hate the bouncing icon when you open an application. hahaha

    No, seriously, I started with Kubuntu after Ubuntu 11.10 because Unity and Gnome3 are causing serious problems to users with ATI (in fact, recent ATI cards). All I can say is that it has become a lovely, UX friendly, efficient and cute distribution.

    It doesn’t suck at all. It’s stable, it doesn’t have the problems that were released with 11.10 for Ubuntu and that aren’t still solved (95% of them relative just to graphics card). 

    • Anonymity is great

      To get rid of the bouncing icon, go to the KDE System Settings -> Application and System Notifications -> Launch Feedback and choose in the combobox under “Busy Cursor” something else than “Bouncing Cursor”.

  • Andrnils

    I’m currently running KDE on an ubuntu install (I have a tendency to switch distro, os and wm every few months)

    I don’t think I have anything specific that kubuntu does bad, my grief is with underlying policies and technologies:
     – rolling releases
     – lack of control, ie I need to have apace installed for some testing now and again, but why o why does it always have to started?
     – No easy way to revert to a working state ( where is my zfs ;) )
     – Why can’t I choose uid for my user on installation?

    Things I would love to see developed for KDE/Kubuntu:

    – A kcm-module for controlling kvm/libvirt
    – A kcm-module for controlling upstart and later on systemd services
    – A konsole plasmoid, so that I can have konsolewindow on my dashboard

    Perhaps not what you were looking for, but anyways.

    • Rich Johnson

      I like your kcm-module ideas, a lot actually. I swore there was a konsole or konsole-like plasmoid in the repos. I just checked, and there isn’t.

       * Rolling releases, I love the idea, but the power’s to be control that and not me :(

       * Ahh, yeah I run apache as well and don’t always need it started. Googling for it will get you an answer on how to fix that up.

       * As for reverting back to a working state & choosing uid during install, I don’t think has really been brought up much. I know the working state stuff has in the past, but nothing ever came out of it I don’t think, and this was from the Ubuntu side during UDS.

  • scroogie

     I think Kubuntu suffers a bit from the past. I used it when it was the new kid on the block, in 2006 or something, and it was really unstable. I was positively surprised by the number of packages. If I remember correctly it already included k3b and amarok and so on, but it really had stability and upgrade problems. After some months, I changed back to SUSE, and, to be honest, never tried Kubuntu again. I know its not fair, but it stuck in my mind as being unstable, and missing the polish that other Distros (esp. SUSE) put into KDE. Nowadays I’m using Chakra as well, though.

  • Richard Hartmann

    > be careful, their screenshots forum is more than enough to cause addiction

    Why not link that, then?

    • Rich Johnson
      There you go :)  The addiction will come if you enjoy really hacking on your system. My entire DWM configuration was built with love with the help of many Arch users (I am using DWM on a Debian box).

  • Xuetian Weng

    My linux life start with Fedora -> Arch -> Chakra. And now even become a packager of Chakra recently. I start using KDE from 4.1, and have meet some really hard time for KDE 4, but finally I’m still here.

    Well, for KUbuntu, I’d say I never use it for my daily life, but I have recommended it to my girl friend. And I was impressed by Kubuntu 11.04, and even gave a little talk to recommend to more people on my local ubuntu 11.04 launch party.

    But why I don’t use Kubuntu?
    1. Release model and repo management.
    As a skilled user, I found the only way to satisfied me is upgrade in time, and for chakra/arch it’s easy to attend KDE beta test in time. You might say kubuntu also have beta packaged, by neon, but I don’t like third party repo. That’s why I don’t use openSUSE. They use simply a different repo, and not easy to downgrade, nor upgrade to stable when stable version really hits the offical repo.

    2. Focus
    That’s why I really love chakra. I know chakra is not as easy as kubuntu to use, but that doesn’t matter for me. I finally learn that a distribution only focus on one desktop is so much important. Desktop will not be break by other desktop, not matter you use it or not.

    It can largely reduce the packager work if they don’t need to care about other desktop. For example, networkmanager. Say gnome3 requires 0.9, and kde isn’t ready for 0.9 but only a experiment branch support it. Those distribution also ship gnome will have to upgrade to 0.9, and KDE will break or unstable. Such things happened again and again and I really tried of this.

    I hope there will be more distribution like Chakra, only provides one desktop, no matter gnome, or kde, or some other desktop. So if there is a dpkg-based, KDE-only distribution, I may also give it a try.

    I think GNOME people would also like to see some GNOME-only distribution (not for GNOME-only application, GNOME desktop). One desktop distribution is really the right way to go. Easy for packager to manage, and easy for user. Packager for those large distribution are really wasting so much time.

    I learnt that input method default configuration got broken on kubuntu 11.10 default install, as a Chinese user, and even a input method developer (that’s why I really don’t like anyone break input method on any distribution, no matter who.), I simply cannot accept this, and that’s why I will never recommend 11.10 to my friends.

  • Nomenomen

    1. I do not really understand why you guys insist on using “KDE apps only” I mean GTK apps, like pidgin, gimp or semi GTK like firefox or thunderbrid where ubuntu do not have such problems with Qt (unity 2d, new ubuntu one). Of course I can understand (partially) problems with space on iso. But most KDE (core) distros like openSUSE, Mandriva/Mageia/PClinuxOS, ships with with GTK or semi-GTK especially with apps, where there is no good KDE/Qt equivalents like web browser.

    2. Package management issue (fixed since muon package manager) but with earlier versions it was a huge problem, even muon developer admit this:
    “Every single time we’ve jumped on the latest-n’-greatest piece of
    package management shininess, it’s never ended well. Adept 3 was decent
    in my opinion, aside from search accuracy and a somewhat scattered UI,
    but it was rushed to be made ready for release and really never stood up
    to the quality that Adept2 provided. Similarly, K/PackageKit was still
    young when we picked it up in Kubuntu 9.04, and while in 10.04 it’s not
    the disaster it was in 9.04, it’s still not as nice as a package manager
    could be.”
    This problem was/is connected with 1 and would be solved by shipping synaptic instead of adept/kpackagekit in earlier versions. As we have muon now, it is not a problem anymore. But bad feelings remains…
    And now similar situation is with ubuntu software center, which is far better then muon software center.

    3. No branding at all. KDE default look is great but you guys should distinguish from other KDE distros. Take openSUSE for example, they ship with mostly stock KDE, bur their visuals are very pleasant for aye ( default wallpaper, KDM theme…) or chakra

    Sorry for my bad english ;)


    • Paweł S

       Kubuntu not shipping not KDE packages like pidgin or gimp is it’s big advantage. At least for me. :) I don’t like to have my system bloated with gnome dependencies.

    • Samuel Sarette

      Lack of branding always upsets me about Kubuntu.

      I’m acually wearing a Kubuntu shirt I made myself, but the logo is hardly recognizable by people who actually use Kubuntu.

  • Mike

    I am actually quite new to Kubuntu. I started with Suse 8.2 and KDE and loved KDE. Then Ubuntu came along and as many I switched because for me so much worked out of the box. I disliked Gnome for the lack of options and functionality that I was used to from KDE but Kubuntu somewhat didnt work well at the time.
    I was excited when Kubuntu with KDE 4 was released but got frustrated with the bugs of the early KDE release and I went back to Ubuntu. 

    Just three month ago I was helping my brother with Ubuntu on his Laptop. He had problems with external monitors and I just installed the Kubuntu meta packages to see how the multi-monitor setting was done in KDE and I just got hit by the awesomeness of KDE again. I spend the entire night just in settings and playing with plasma widgets. It was the same feeling of excitement, and exploration that I had when I was new to Linux nine years ago!

    Since than I have looked left and right to see if there was a better KDE distro for me. But even that I would like a rolling release and more recent packages I still love the huge repos of the Ubuntu base, all the super fast to add ppas , the german community with the terrific wiki and the stability of the system.
    I notice a couple little bugs but these are mostly KDE and not Kubuntu related. But what I believe should be more in focus for Kubuntu are themes.
    I never liked the vanilla KDE look and I spend considerable time theming it. And here I have to say – oh boy it is a lot of work to really let KDE look different. There is like 20 places to apply changes on in order to create a coherent look.
    Maybe Kubuntu could offer 4-6 Theme packages that are very distinct from each other. Like Zorin OS is offering a Xp, Win7, Win2000 MacOs and Gnome look (not saying that I like these) that are very simple to apply.  Or like the bisigi Project, that put together very appealing gnome 2 theme packages that were available in a ppa.
    I know every serious users gives a *** about the looks if it is not productivity enhancing. But I think that beginners (and that is what the (k)ubuntus are aiming for right?) that stumble into Linuxland are either happy to have a somewhat familiar new home (windows look) or something exciting new and “cooler” than their friend’s system.

    So I can say that – at least the recent 11.10 of Kubuntu does not suck at all. I think it is a very strong distro and – correct me if I am wrong – maybe the “disconnection” from Canonical means more freedom to choose the direction.  I thank you and the other developers for the amazing job!

  • ianjo

    I’ve switched to Kubuntu on my main machines after a number of years running openSUSE, because I believe that it “sucks less”, but there are still a number of issues.

    I can’t really understand how or why issues such as the one where if you try to update all packages after a fresh install of kubuntu, you break your system because the package manager hangs in the middle of the instalation can take months to get solved.
    I’ve been using linux and debian for enough time that I know how to fix it, but c’mon, that’s not acceptable user experience at all.

    I also don’t like the focus on providing KDE-only apps, even when they are clearly broken or unsatifying. I know what the reasoning is, I just don’t like it. People who use rekonq are a minority. The muon-based software center is just too simplistic and featureless.
    Network-manager is fixed now, but took such a long time. During that time instead of shipping a working nm-applet, users had buggy networking.

    Also time-based releases glued to Ubuntu ones seem unsatisfying. I sometimes feel that a new Kubuntu release was not ready, and then a flurry of patches hopefully fixes it after release, but the “release broken, fix later” model for releases is very unsatisfying.

    On the other hand, there are also a lot of things I like about Kubuntu.
    Since it is still ubuntu, we still get packaging for many applications, and a lot of PPAs, and also many lower-level issues are shared and have common solutions.
    The installer is simple, and works.
    New KDE releases and applications get released to PPAs, so if I choose to do so, I can live a bit more on the bleeding edge.
    And you have to mess a lot less with the command-line. I’ve used gentoo, and many distros, and I know my way around, but my ideal distro is still something like the one in Nokia’s N900: I have a shell, and I have root, but not once did I need to use them to fix something, or because I had to. I just used them when I wanted to do something, not because I needed it.

    There are also some paper cuts, for which I started a blog, “Better Kubuntu”, where I explain some of the fixes I do as I go along, but which I hope will come out-of-the-box in future Kubuntu releases.

  • Another Guest

    Same here, although I never really used Kubuntu (using Arch now). I already got very annoyed by their choice of not having firefox installed by default right after trying it out last time (rekonq in honors, but I think for most users it’s not ready to replace firefox just yet — although I’d like it to). Then I think I had various other problems with it, like the network manager plasmoid not being able to connect to a wireless network… which could also be KDEs fault. I also think they used kpackagekit or similar as GUI package manager which is *awful* compared to that ubuntu software center (not that I’d absolutely need a GUI package manager, but hey — I’d use it if it worked well). If it already suffers from that ubuntu-brand I don’t really like, they could at least copy the few good tools ubuntu has added to debian. :)
    To put it more shortly, I had the impression they chose the software they ship and try to integrate with by GUI toolkit, not by functionality, stability, or usefulness. That’s not a good idea.I sure don’t hate Kubuntu, but I don’t really see a reason why I should use it. It comes with an awful choice of default software (for my needs), its packages are not *that* up-to-date for what I remember, and it doesn’t have rolling-releases and is likely to break on updating it. Debian is more stable and faster, and is easier to configure for me. Arch is much more up-to-date, and has a very active and competent community.

    Oh, and lastly, I don’t like *buntu in general. I somehow have the impression that the Debian people are doing much of the hard work for *buntu, and don’t get the glory they’d deserve. Also, I don’t like their… shallowness. Ubuntu makes your default desktop look cool in order to attract users, but for everything else they don’t really seem to care that much… at least that’s what I feel like when I use it.

    • donrobertson

      I agree that the Debian people deserve a lot of the credit, but before Ubuntu came along, Debian was not easy to use. I have not used it since so cannot comment on its current status.
      They used to have three repositories – stable
      , which was often very out of date, unstable, which was on its way to become the next stable, and testing, which was what most of the Debian people used. As a fairly experienced Linux user moving to Debian, I found it hard to figure out which repository to use – install unstable packages? Ummm, maybe.
      Also, they had some funny ideas about what should be standard. Not everyone wants a GUI – so you weren’t given the option while installing, and had to install one later using the command line. But a mail server was installed by default.
      Giving the user the maximum amount of choice meant a lot of things were not configured by default.
      When Ubuntu came along, people called it Debian done right. I don’t always agree with their choices – Gnome, for example – but you did get a system that did what most people wanted and worked pretty well without having to tinker – as long as you liked brown.

  • Phil Thane

    I’ve used Kubuntu as my default desktop for years, though with a brief gap when KDE4.0 made it unsuitable for work. I prefer KDE to Gnome, though Unity is pretty cool on my little old notebook. There are niggles though.

    Integration with other (non-KDE) software has got worse. LibreOffice for example doesn’t understand KDE’s save and restore desktop system so on reboot it has to ‘recover’ from an improper shutdown. Maybe it’s LO’s problem I don’t know, I’m a user and a journalist not a developer and I’d like it fixed.

    Integration between Kontact and Firefox has declined, clicking a mailto: link opens a Kmail window, but doesn’t paste in the address. Ideally it do that – and the subject too.

    The wallpaper on the login screen is dull and more importantly not easy to change. It would be good to match the desktop wallpaper automatically, or make it easy to change.

    Integration with Ubuntu One and Dropbox are both poor and depend on using Gnome’s Nautilus. I used to have a KDE/dropbox menu fix several versions back, but it no longer works.

    None is bad enough to stop me using it, but they stop me recommending it as vociferously as I once did.

    • brousch

      I recently blogged about getting a Dropbox public link in Dolphin – no Nautilus required.

  • Dave


    Thank you for having open comments – the bad news is that you’re gonna get a dump here – and sadly most of these are more KDE issues – feel free to pass them on. Also, I found this by following a link from the Planet Ubuntu feed – so I won’t be returning to check messages after mine. Before you ask, I work in IT and I like to fly under the radar – so I have logins to VERY few sites). KDE is one where, while I read the RSS feeds, I don’t have a login.

    FIrstly, I have been using Linux since 1996(?). After trying most Windows Managers, I find the configarability of KDE means I can set it up the way I like it for maximum productivity – nothing else lets me do this. I have used Kubuntu for a three(?) year period, and this is message is typed from Rekonq in Kubuntu 11.10 (which I installed as PCLinux was annoying me and Debian seemed to be missing a few packages I wanted). I am best described as a power-user – but I want something that works out of the box without too much farnarkling about (probably what all users want). I’m a net-admin with basic programming skills and (sadly) not enough time to put much back into open source.

    My main gripe with Kubuntu is Ubuntu’s security model. If anyone gets my password, a quick `subo bash` and they have root. I work in IT and I find this unacceptable. My old server was Ubuntu server, but with me removed from sudoers and root given it’s own password (needless to say it was headless without a GUI).

    Now for KDE (in a completely random order) …

    I have no idea why someone decided to over-complicate KDevelop4 (I suspect it is now an Eclipse clone). What was wrong with the KDevelop3? I’m a hack coder (small projects only – and a large number of half finished games :0)  KDevelop 3 was perfect – KDE4 started with failling to open any of my projects (QMake) and I still haven’t worked out the interface – I used Kate but the Build plugin has a very annoying bug – if the build KPart window is open, the key combination to start the build (ALT-R?) is also a tab short-cut – and so a warning message appears – I haven’t tried the latest version as I only installed 11.10 last weekend and tomorrow I will be installing SUSE instead to see how that goes (I used to use it but haven’t since the MS deal). Also, I now use QT’s SDK – almost a clone of KDevelop3 :0)

    My biggest gripe with the current version is Akonadi. I find the concept intriguing and I am not against it (if it works). However …
    I create an IMAP connector to my email server (on my LAN) and one core goes to 100% and stays there (I have left it over night (over 8 hours) in case it was indexing something – but it was still going the next morning). Add to this that while all the other connectors appear in Kontact, the IMAP doesn’t (yes I have mucked around in the Akonadi tools to no avail). This is the primary reason why Kubuntu will be deleted tomorrow. If it helps I’m on an AMD dual core 64bit Athalon X2 1800 with 1GB RAM (probably 4 – 5 years old). If this considered “legacy” these days, it makes Trinity look attractive – no distro that I have seen allows you to easily downgrade KDE to a version that works on my hardware (as a package) without trying to upgrade it again

    The other issue with Akonadi is that as soon as I login in it demands my KWallet password for IMAP (if that is configured).

    I tried to start typing this is Akregator (inside Kontact) but as soon as I pressed ‘N’ it went back to the Articles tab and moved to the next feed – very annoying to say the least – and a very silly bug that shouldn’t get past Testing …

    This version of Kununtu took over an hour for me to get the correct video driver working (GE Force 4?) and sound is still random – it works if I mute it and unmute it and move slider back to the top (I can do this from the default icon in the system tray) This is the first time I’ve had issues with sound (except for a version of Mandrake (yes that old) where I had to keep resetting the permissions in /dev.

    That’s all that comes to mind now. Obviously I’m an (anonymous) KDE fan – just that this is the first time I have had a chance to vent without creating a login (so again, thank you for the opportunity). I’m hoping some of this can be cleaned up (as I said, feel free to share).


    • Rich Johnson

      Hey Dave, if you are a Disqus user, you should eventually see a notification about my comment, even though you said you probably wouldn’t read it. Very good points you brought up and I agree with pretty much all of them. You are right about the dump of comments, but I have to say, they have all been very well thought out and presented by the commenters. Kudos to everyone for that! The only thing I didn’t really agree with is the security model and that if someone got your user password they could ‘sudo bash’. The same is true if they get your root password, but they wouldn’t have to use sudo. And with physical access to a box, unless you are using a bootloader password, the security model was just thrown out the door :)  Boot in single user mode, issue passwd, and you get to reset the root password.

      • Dave


        I did come back (briefly). Only to comment that OpenSuse has the same bug with email (IMAP takes processer to100% and doesn’t appear in KMail). I see others (who must have posted while I was typing) have also identified this as a known issue – so I will add my voice to the chorus “why, when we have something that works did Kubuntu (and others) ship something broken” – this is not how to win converts.

        Reminds me of a past issue – I convinced a friend to try Kubuntu on thier (new at the time) laptop. The Live CD worked fine, but after installing the wireless card didn’t work (drivers missing). I’m assuming bugs like this have been fixed.

        Needless to say, next weekend Suse goes and I’ll try something else (a lot of positive feedback for Arch appearing here – I’ll probably try that one). Id that fails I’ll go back to a Kubuntu LTE while Akonadi gets fixed.


  • Ernesto Manriquez Mendoza

    I tried to use Kubuntu in almost every release cycle, and I’ve settled on Chakra instead. The reasons are 2, basically.

    1. Kubuntu amplifies the issues with Nepomuk and Akonadi. For example, there were bugs that were reported to be fixed with Soprano 2.7.3, but Kubuntu shipped Soprano 2.7.0. I even filed a bug against Kubuntu to fix that broken packaging policy, but it got lost. Soprano, Akonadi itself, sometimes Virtuoso, and Shared Desktop Ontologies are not in their latest releases, and that, with an updated KDE like the one I can get through Kubuntu Backports, is FATAL. So users complain that Nepomuk and Akonadi sucks, but don’t know that there were fixes in the line, that they were already published, and that they were ignored by Kubuntu.2. This carries me to the advantages of the Chakra “half rolling release model”. It’s illogical that you a) ship a svn-snapshot release of $SOMETHING in Kubuntu; b) you freeze it; c) $SOMETHING releases their proper release 2 weeks before Kubuntu 12.4 is published; d) you don’t upgrade from your svn-snapshot to $SOMETHING’s release because you are in freeze. So I must do a PPA search and dance through Launchpad only to find a good soul who has packaged the proper release of $SOMETHING.Can you bring a saner release policy to the table? Like the Chakra one, for that matter?

    • Rich Johnson

      Unfortunately I doubt you will ever see a rolling release in the Ubuntu world, so that means Kubuntu too. I know there had been talk of it at a UDS or two years back, but nothing ever came out of it. The reason for the freezes are an Ubuntu/Canonical thing, but make sense in a lot of ways. I do agree though that if we are in freeze with a couple of weeks to go, we have 4.8 in the repos and 4.8.1 just came out, put it in! The counter to that though will be the whole QA thing. People love to package, they just hate to do QA. That was my biggest gripe during my tenure here.

  • Enrico Tagliavini

    Surely the default set of application is not always the best. For example why install rekonq as default web browser? It surely is not the most popular for kubuntu users imho. Firefox is likely the most popular, and quite surely the most feature complete, to not to say the best one supported under ubuntu. Same for kmail given the bad status of KDE PIM. The status of kdepim is not a fault of kubuntu devs of course, but if something doesn’t work quite well just install something else by default. Let me cite the excellent work done by the gentoo kde team about this. They supported kdepim 4.4 until kde 4.7/4.8 and masked the new one. Another questionable application installed by default is the kde frontend for networkmanager. Now is far better then few months ago, but in the past it was not ready at all. So use nm-applet the gnome version. I still use it on all my KDE machine. Fedora was doing that too. KDE is just great. This doesn’t mean what is not KDE/Qt is never better then the KDE counterpart.

    Another problem is the gtk style. In ubuntu 10.10 is broken even now for me (i tried 2 weeks ago on a friend computer which is sold with ubuntu 10.10 on it). i installed kde on that pc, switched to kdm and……. well kdm crashing at logout and I was unable to change the gtk style from the kcm. Ubuntu 10.10 is still supported for few months and you expect it to just work, and if it doesn’t well……. you are disapponted. Well i guess this is now solved at least. oxygen-gtk is a very good style and i guess kubuntu install and configure it by default.

    Now suppose you are a brand new linux user and you install kubuntu….. you have to face those problems and you have to install a lot of application alone. Sure it is very easy with the software center and so on…… but you expect to just power it on and run. Geeks are rare :)

  • Benjamin Kay

    In a way, I almost use Kubuntu. I use KDE from Debian unstable. There are two reasons: (1) I need stability more than I need the latest KDE toy. Debian’s vanilla “unstable” KDE packages are a bit out of date, but they are (ironically) way more stable than Kubuntu on my IBM Thinkpad. And (2) Debian unstable is rolling release, which is really, really helpful for a developer who needs the latest core libraries without breaking the entire desktop experience. Kubuntu and Ubuntu still don’t offer rolling release.

    I enjoyed Kubuntu while I used it and I’m grateful to the Kubuntu devs for all that they do, but the distro just doesn’t meet my needs anymore.

  • Seraphim2000

    Kubuntu doesn’t suck. Many years ago, the first Linux distribution I installed, was Caldera Linux with KDE 2.x. Later, I changed back to Windows, but not because of KDE, because of Caldera Linux itself. But I was amazed about the flexibility of KDE, until now!
    Last year I virtualized my Windows installation und installed Lucid Lynx Kubuntu, and until now it works like a charm. I am a Windows power user and I love Kubuntu every day. It’s fast, stable and extremely flexible.
    For my daily work as a web engineer I decided to work with Kubuntu. I tried Ubuntu before and missed many things, which KDE alredy integrates. I like the Kontact Suite and the Akonadi Framework with it’s simple but effective concept.
    On (K)Ubuntu I like the good hardware support (my NVidia dual monitor configuration ran already on the live system on USB!) and the easy package system.
    Sure, a pure Debian system can achieve this, too, but I want to work WITH my system, not ON my system.

  • Guest

    I left Kubuntu last October, and the main reason has already been mentioned several times: I prefer having up-to-date software, and the release cycle of Ubuntu is arranged in the most student-unfriendly way I can imagine. Release typically happen around a week after the lectures of a semester start, which makes it 4 months until I have the time to do a distro-upgrade – a PC downtime of several days is a disatser during the course of the semester, and experience with Kubuntu upgrades unfortunately shows that it usually takes some days until everything is working properly again. That’s not an option when I got university work to do.
    For some time, the KDE version in Kubuntu was often more outdated than I liked it to be, but that seems to be fixed now.
    I am now using Debian testing for half a year, and there’s one more point as I noticed only then: I had several bugreports (KDE-unrelated) in launchpad which never got any response. The Debian bug tracker is much more active, I got quickly connected to the rght (for example) linux kernel mailing lists, that was really impressive. Not to mention that I’m still having trouble with Launchpad itself ;-)

  • Guest

     I left Kubuntu last October, and the main reason has already been
    mentioned several times: I prefer having up-to-date software, and the
    release cycle of Ubuntu is arranged in the most student-unfriendly way I
    can imagine. Release typically happen around a week after the lectures
    of a semester start, which makes it 4 months until I have the time to do
    a distro-upgrade – a PC downtime of several days is a disatser during
    the course of the semester, and experience with Kubuntu upgrades
    unfortunately shows that it usually takes some days until everything is
    working properly again. That’s not an option when I got university work
    to do.

    For some time, the KDE version in Kubuntu was often more outdated than I liked it to be, but that seems to be fixed now.

    I am now using Debian testing for half a year, and there’s one more
    point as I noticed only then: I had several bugreports (KDE-unrelated)
    in launchpad which never got any response. The Debian bug tracker is
    much more active, I got quickly connected to the rght (for example)
    linux kernel mailing lists, that was really impressive. Not to mention
    that I’m still having trouble with Launchpad itself ;-)

    • Juani

      I switched (years ago) for the same reason.

      Oh, and because of little old bugs which were only on Kubuntu  (@ KDE 3.5 times).

      Actually after trying debian I went directly to Arch, mainly for its rolling release and AUR packages.

      • Rich Johnson

        Heh, KDE 3.5 times. Yeah, those were busy times, especially when Kubuntu had a very small amount of contributors. You could actually use one hand, and just a few fingers on the other to count up all of the active contributors to Kubuntu at that time.

    • Rich Johnson

      Great comment. I totally agree with bug reports and the slowness in or lack of responses or activity. I know a couple of years ago, Kubuntu decided that attempting to send everything upstream would help alleviate this problem. Like I stated in my post, I haven’t been contributing for more than a year, so I don’t know if this is still a problem. One thing I need to remember is that because “it works for me” doesn’t mean it still doesn’t have an issue.

    • ScottK

       If you’re using Debian Testing, you’re using an older release of KDE than is in the current release of Kubuntu:

       kde4libs | 4:4.6.5-2          | wheezy         | source

      4.7.4 (the same version that was released with Kubuntu 11.10 four months ago) is in Debian experimental.

    • khalafDQ

      Yes. One of the biggest “let-downs” of Ubuntu in general is the upgrade. It’s horrible.

  • Linux Canuck

    I have used Kubuntu from the start. I am a devoted KDE user, having started in Mandrake and then moving to MEPIS before becoming a Kubuntu user.

    I have used just about every distro and try new releases of every major distro. I am not  a fan of Canonical or Ubuntu and have sought reasons to leave the fold for three years at least.

    I keep on coming back to Kubuntu for a few reasons. I love the community. I advise on several forums. It is large, friendly and open. Not all communities are. Without mentioning names, I find some communities to be touchy, prickly, exclusive and not at all inviting. And they wonder why they are not growing.

    Another reason why I use Kubuntu is the large repositories and PPAs. I use a lot of desktop environments for diversion and install many applications, just because I can.

    The Kubuntu installer is better than on any other KDE distro. I hate Mandriva and openSUSE’s. Fedora’s is okay, but it is not nearly as good as Ubiquity. 

    I also like six month releases. It gives me something to look forward to. I will install mid-cycle for something to do, so am not afraid of installing from scratch. I run from early alpha on and even suffered through that during the move to KDE 3.5 to KDE 4. 

    I like the fact that KDE integrates well with other Canonical efforts such as Ubuntu One, Software Centre or I can run KDE applications if i choose. Choice is the key.

    I am excited about the separation from Canonical and Kubuntu being a community effort. I feel sorry of Jonathan, but think it is for the best. I do not like the direction the Ubuntu is headed. I force myself to use Unity (now on it for a week), but think it is wrong headed. I think having to type anything is ridiculous. The Dash and HUD are just plain wrong. It is okay for power users like me, but not for the everyday user who cannot remember application names, first time users or users of mobile devices where on-screen keyboards are a nuisance and not a help. One desktop to rule them all does not work for me.

    On my desktop computer I run Kubuntu where I have a large monitor and can multi-task to me heart’s content. On my smartphone and tablet  I have Android which I am happy with. Even the thought of Unity there frightens me. On my netbook, I run Unity or Kubuntu’s Netbook workspace.

    I have tried to leave because I hate having to defend Canonical and Ubuntu and their bad decisions, but have found no reason to leave Kubuntu itself. Now I do not have to defend Canonical and will stick with Kubuntu provided they do not follow Ubuntu’s bad design decisions. Krunner is fine for those who want it, but no HUD please!

    I respect Mark and team and their leadership and understand their mission. I just don’t see it as working and it is not for me.

    There no alternative to Kubuntu for me. I have run Arch, but I prefer Kubuntu with its six month cycle, huge community and access to the largest applications base. If I switched it would be to Fedora KDE, but Fedora is not committed to KDE and its development and Kubuntu is.

    • Rich Johnson

      You my friend sound exactly like me. Are you the Canadian version of me or something? :) Man, everything you said, I relate to 100% if not more.

    • Jaroslav Reznik

      “Fedora is not committed to KDE”

      Hey, we have Fedora KDE SIG, people commited to KDE, we try to contribute upstream more (yay, Lukas just finished uDisks 2 support for Solid) etc. :)

      But I’d like to say – all KDE distros rocks and I really like we are not competitors, but we can work together, that’s amazing!

  • indymike

    Here’s my take:

    I use Kubuntu. Because it is Ubuntu’s packages with a KDE GUI.  This is great because our servers use Ubuntu, so my Linux environment is largely identical to that of the servers. (I tossed MacOS off a Mac because I was getting sick of everything being 3% different from the command line.)

    Most of the problems with 11.10 are the same as other KDE distros… Akonadi and Nepomuk are fragile (they work, but easily fail and need time to fix).  Calligra / Koffice is included and is more often than not too buggy to be used for serious work.  Productivity apps need to work like furniture.  

    There needs to be a new user welcome app that lets user configure KDE for the way they will work and maybe show them around a little bit. KDE has so much to offer, but people often see it, and assume it is just a windows clone because of the start menu… when in fact it is a lot more.  There are some awesome features in plasma that are hidden from end users.  Things like the different desktop options, tiling window layouts, dashboards, widgets and  and so on.  

    Also, there are some core KDE technologies that users need to see to understand:

    kio slaves – one of KDE’s most powerful features is also one of it’s best hidden.
    file management – again, there needs to be a new user tutorial in Dolphin because of the hidden features (split windows, KIO Slaves, Nepomuk).
    Launching programs: K menu and Krunner both are awesome… but Krunner is something people need to discover. 

    So I guess my gripe is less with Kubuntu and more with KDE’s lack of training wheels.

    • Rich Johnson

      Calligra/KOffice isn’t included by default. Oh man, you aren’t lying about Akonadi/Nepomuk the least bit. I really don’t use the “semantic” desktop, so I always disable them on all of the distros I use :)

      You are 100% correct on the “training wheels” part if you ask me. I know myself and others have always talked about creating some sort of training wheels, and right now, I think you might have given me just enough motivation to start something like that, or help others with it if one is already started. Thanks for that comment!

  • Guest

    Why Kubuntu sucks? Well, first of all, I am using it on all my computers, even installed it on my father’s laptop (he is not a computer expert at all, mainly using firefox, kpat, and gwenview/digikam).

    What annoys me the most is shipping of applications which are not ready to use. Mainly I am talking about KMail2 here. Everyone knew that even with 4.7.0 there were severe problems with it. On the other hand KMail is one of the most important applications for me, so I need it to be stable. A working mail system is really crucial, basically for all users – not only for me. So I would have preferred it if 11.10 had been shipped with the old KMail and a ppa for KMail2. But I had no choice – so I am still at 11.04.

    My father however saw that an update was available and updated to 11.10. Now he is getting some warning message on logon about some akonadi ressource – a warning message where no-one knows how to get rid of because he’s not using the KDE PIM anyway (I found the pace to fix it somewhere in the system settings but that was in a place that a standard “user” would never have found)

    Then I remember getting a phone call that his network wasn’t working any more after an update. Don’t remember exactly what that was.

    And another thing: in KPat in some KDE release the new Egyptian style deck was the nice looking default. After an Kubuntu distribution (maybe 10.04 to 10.10?) update it was gone. Turned out that it had been moved to some kpat-extras package which wasn’t installed by default.

    And of course: there is the “famous” akonadi/nepomuk problem that these processes sometimes eat 100% cpu. Can’t tell how much this is KDE’s fault or Kubuntu’s fault, but this really really needs to be fixed or a work around has to be found. Users like my father don’t know programs like “top”, “ps” or “kill”, they just notice that the system becomes slow and maybe that the fan is louder than it should be. Actually, I consider this the most important problem.

    On one of my “not-so-important” computers I have 11.10 and KDE 4.8.0 running. Things have improved a lot, I have to say! Now I am seriously considering to also update my main computer to 11.10 and KMail2 once 4.8.1 is out.

    About SUSE: some years ago I was using OpenSUSE. One update broke my wireless network… (ok, was easy to fix – for me, a “user” ) It was in the early KDE 4 days. Also their distribution has been improved a lot since then.

    And finally: one comment here was ranting about KDevelop4 being worse than KDevelop3. First of all this has nothing to do with Kubuntu, and second thing: I just love KDevelop4, use it every day – and especially C++ support is absolutely GREAT!

    • Rich Johnson

      Yeah, KMail2 & Nepomuk, and Akonadi seems to be big ones for people. I have yet to really get KMail2/Akonadi working as good as Thunderbird does for me with my GMail account. Even though I haven’t been active in contributing for more than a year, I still stayed a part of the communities and during that time continued receiving email from the projects. I have a ton of email. Sure, I could archive most of it, but I haven’t worked something like that in to my workflow, so for the time being, Thunderbird it is, with Nepomuk totally disabled. The Nepomuk/Akonadi problems isn’t just Kubuntu, every distro has it that I know of, and it is noted upstream as well.

  • Jonathan Jesse

    Kubuntu sucks because there is so little nixternal around these days… It was awesome when there was lots of nixternal, but it is hard to find any nixternal at all :(

    • Rich Johnson

      Someone needs to lock that bastard in cage and poke at him to make him work.

  • aditirex

    My distro is better ! – this stupid iSheep attitude got in the blood of many linux users . 
    I have Kubuntu on 3 machines ( 1 desktop + 2 laptops ) and overall things are good . I tried when Natty was on beta several options ( suse , fedora , mint , aptosid ) and in the end came back to Kubuntu . It’s not perfect , but far from worst . I might give Arch a shot , interested how it goes on a laptop ( and critical would be battery life and 3G mobile ) . 

    • Rich Johnson

      It is funny you say that iSheep & Linux users line. Just a week or so ago on Twitter I posted a tweet asking if the Apple users were infiltrating the Linux news sites with comments. I too feel the similarities here, unfortunately it won’t go away, and it makes it difficult to work around the distractions at times.

  • T_U

    What about a counter-example ? I used tons of distros, and I eventually came back to Kubuntu because…

    – my hardware being maybe a little exotic, it only works 100% properly with Kubuntu, in particular sound devices & printers. I found work-arounds but never manage to get a perfect long-term experience with another distro, and have the feeling to leave too much mess tweaking

    – fonts rendering is much more to my taste in Kubuntu. I know I can build the *-ubuntu packages from AUR in Archlinux for instance, but for some reasons, it never yields the same result in every piece of app, and requires much tweaking that I never fully understand

    – VS Arch : sure, I love the KISS philosophy. But, even though it enabled me to understand some stuff by reading the documentation, I always have the feeling I’m not sure I have an optimal experience. So much has to be tweaked to get it worling on par with Kubuntu (yet faster, sure), I ‘m pretty sure  I lack many stuff. Some apps *always* eventually tend to mis-work, after a couple of updates. How can I dare say I “master” my system, when I basically just install tons of packages which in turn install 10 tons of dependencies and just tweak a couple of config files ?!

    – .deb and PPA support : make the life so much easier. Except if you end up adding tons of PPA to get all the latest versions, sure.

    – community – support – the fact I’m sure what works will at least continue to work until the next major release

    This being said : I wish I could use Arch fulltime without those drawbacks, would be like a dream to have a constantly up to date and community-managed system :-) ATM the only thing I miss in Kubuntu compared to Arch for instance is the libjpeg-turbo library which gives an absolutely amazing speed boost decoding pictures.

    • Rich Johnson

      Very good comment! I am a fan of the PPA support, but like you noticed, I too noticed that I tend to add a lot of PPAs as well. Sure, I get the latest updates, but this doesn’t make it that much easier on the end user.

      As for community support, I think Arch does an amazing job. One thing about Arch is that it seems to attract the more knowledgeable users. Sure, Ubuntu Help & Wiki have way more information, but I tend to find the information on things like the Arch wiki or forums, to be better. Sure Ubuntu has some correct ways to do things, but I feel in a lot of the ways that the Arch wiki & forums tend to show off the best way. As for wanting to use Arch full-time, you just have to commit. Eventually you iron most of the drawbacks out to make it work for you. This is true with pretty much every distribution out there.

  • brousch

    I started with Ubuntu when it first came out and switched to Kubuntu at around 7.04 because KDE was more configurable. I switched back to Ubuntu at around 9.04 because Kubuntu had become too unstable. I switched back to Kubuntu at 11.10 because I find Unity and Gnome3 to be too annoying and restrictive.

    I don’t actually use any of KDE’s big default apps other than Dolphin and DigiKam. Most everything I do is in Firefox or Chrome, and I use Pidgin for IRC and Jabber. I use Kubuntu because I can setup the panels, workspaces, and keyboard shortcuts exactly how I want them and it is stable.

    My biggest annoyance right now is with RAM usage in Kubuntu. Compared to running the same programs under Unity or Gnome3, Kubuntu is using at least 400MB more RAM. I’m always just on the edge of swapping with my 4GB laptop when I run my usual suite of applications (Firefox(Gmail, Google Calendar, Bitbucket, Google Docs), Chrome(Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google+, Hootsuite, Evernote, and Google Music), Pidgin, and several Konsoles). I have 50,000 photos in DigiKam and I have to shut down everything else to use it because it sucks up about 2.5GB of RAM by itself. Strigi really killed my performance, so it is disabled. On the plus side, this RAM usage has nudged me into using Vim more than Eclipse as my primary IDE.

    In summary, I’m very happy and impressed with Kubuntu other than using too much RAM for my GTK applications.

    • Rich Johnson

      What’s up homeskillet. I am kind of like you when you said, “I don’t actually use any of KDE’s big default apps..” I use mostly the terminal, always use vim, but use Eclipse when doing Android/Java stuff. Since you brought up Gtk apps, I agree. I think that could very well be the reason why I am not a big fan of LibreOffice since it is just so damn slow on my machines. Talk about something that never gets updated in previous releases, it is LibreOffice, and if I remember correctly, Canonical has paid developer(s) on that.

  • Yngve

    I wouldn’t say Kubuntu sucks. If it did, it wouldn’t be one of the largest (the largest?) KDE based distros. In the end, it really is that easy.

    The reason I switched from a Debian based distribution to an Arch based one (from Kubuntu to Chakra), was because I felt Kubuntu always was a bit of a 2. class citizen. I had also heard good things about Chakra having a very tight focus on building everything around KDE.

    Chakra still has a bit of rough edges, but for me their vision is much closer to what I want of my desktop than what I *felt* that Kubuntu was. It is dead easy to set up and nearly everything just works out of the box (well, that is, Tribe still can cause you headache).

    Further, the Arch build system is for me waay more useful than the Debian based one. That is my main argument for not going back to anything Debian. It took me a few to learn how to package a program in Debian properly. It took me less than one hour in Arch. That has nothing to do with Kubuntu/KDE as such.

    I don’t get how people have to fight and trash talk all projects they aren’t using themselves. Don’t you get that Ubuntu are mainly stealing users from the Windows platform to the Linux platform, making potentially more users for your Distro in the long run? Is it so terrible that they are trying to build a profitable business model for such a project? Don’t you understand that the Kubuntu community is trying to construct what is their vision of the perfect distribution? If we all encourage and learn from each other clever ideas and mistakes, we will all profit in the long run. It is the power of open source that everyone are free to do as they want, no need to discourage that.

    • Uddit S.

      Truest words I have read today. On a philosophical note, the statement you make really resounds with my mindset (which I would describestead of becoming important outlets for our shared passions.
      as perhaps laid-back and communal). On the other hand, the dominant collective voice we encounter on the internet is a reflection of a much more aggressive consumer-minded mentality. 
      As you hinted, the danger is that this predominant attitude leads to people treating open source projects as if they operated under the same environmental constraints as traditional participants in a competitive capitalist system. This applies not just to outsiders or users, but also to the developers and core communities that are the nuclei of every stable project. 

      So yes, we should all be able to celebrate each other’s visions/creations, and the journeys we take in their making — the natural accretion that gradually occurs from our separate actions is the key sustaining force for collective growth in our ecosystem. Without it, we would be as functional as a punctured car tire. 

      Making and sharing. If we as a community intrinsically believe in and practice a cooperative, positive existence, then we will transductively propagate this effect further into our ecosystem. Whether fostered by a shared interest or out of sheer genuine curiosity, more cooperation will cause surges in activity, speeding up the gradual accretion we so crucially rely upon. 

      KDE and company are probably the best functioning example of this I have seen yet. They have seen these same truths, and dipped their feet in the water with the Desktop Summit, leading to some good collaborations, but it’s only the beginning. For us to reach unprecedented potential, we not only need mingling between developers, but also our communities as a whole (they are an active part of our ecosystem!). Otherwise, our cooperative events will remain labor-some standalone phenomenons, instead of becoming important outlets for our shared passions.

      You could say that I’m wasting breath preaching to the choir, but blogs such as this work like a communal junction of sorts, so it’s important to embrace the core values that bind us together, and also to recognize the feelings behind them. 

      We all still have work to do, so let the world be a funnel for our positive energy :) we make ourselves, and together we all make each other.

      No apologies for being long-winded. I was feeling spouty, my fingers needed a good stretch, and I’m wistfully happy today. 


      • Susan Smith

        Wow, I got chills and waves of emotion and tears with that one. It reads like poetry and touches my soul. 

  • Paul M.

    kubuntu sucks because gstreamer0.10-plugins-good depends on lots of gnome packages

    • Rich Johnson

      HAHAHA! Amen brother, I feel your pain!

      • CTownOL

         But it doesn’t have to depend on Gnome packages. The Arch-based Chakra distro installs gstreamer by default stripped of its gtk dependenceis. Would it be possible to do this in Kubuntu?

    • khalafDQ

      The best way to use Kubuntu is to normally install Ubuntu. Then download the “kubuntu-desktop” package. This should give you what you expected.

      • Robert J. Bradlow

        “The best way to use Kubuntu is to normally install Ubuntu. Then download the “kubuntu-desktop” package. This should give you what you expected.”

        Not Really! If you do it that way you end up with a cluttered menu of Gnome and KDE apps plus duplicates and things that don’t work well on one side or the other. Say like the Ubuntu Software Center which now appears in KDE’s menu along with KpackageCrap…

        KDE gives you nothing in contrast to the easy and intuitive USC features with the glittery Noob shopping / browsing experience by category. I’m a Gnome user from years gone by because the whole point was to get the F away from winblows and I didn’t want something that looked, smelled or tasted even remotely like M$ crap… and of course I have a friend whom I’ve just turned onto linux, but he’s one of those Windows fanboys and wants the transition to be as Windowy as possible, so I suggested Kubuntu, now much to my horror since so much has changed and been dropped since my last encounter.
        So I gave him 10.04 but he later got nagged to death by kNotify or whatever you call it to upgrade to 12.04 which pretty much hosed his computer as far as he was concerned. But I explained that everything was still in fact there but he just couldn’t see the Grub menu anymore. WTF is that all about?! So I had to fix grub2 and all the other FU issues that the upgrade wrought like the No Network issue because the widget had to be added back to the panel kind of crap. How about the missing wallpaper!?! KDE… Yep! NO Training wheels!!!
        This was all over the phone in a painful 3 hour long session because 1. I don’t know KDE like the back of my hand, 2. I was dealing with a Senior aged person totally new to Linux (which he loves so far – except for these troubles) and to him the CLI is from outer space… explaining commands was as painful as verbalizing Morse code… space… dash as in Minus… A as in Apple, enter… oh, you misspelled something… etc.
        Now I’ve got his old P4 laptop that I installed K-Lucid on too, but the more I play with it the more aggravated I get because IMO Gnome has more intuitive features and common sense by far.
        Mind you I have not ventured past Lucid because of all the horror stories and issues I’ve heard about, plus the drastic ui changes I could give a rats A** about. I’ve got computers… w/o touch screens so i don’t want the abbreviated version of anything.

  • Jinesh K J

    Kubuntu is the best KDE-based distro you can get in the market. I have been a Fedora and OpenSUSE user in the past only to discover that they lag much behind Kubuntu in many areas. Kubuntu has the best of both worlds – Ubuntu and KDE. With the help of PPAs, I am able to upgrade my system to the latest KDE releases, and strangely without any issues at all. I wish Kubuntu all the best and promise to continue supporting it in the future.

    • khalafDQ

      +1. But Kubuntu lacks what is more important, Support. Although it has the potential to be the best GNU/Linux distro (and even best OS), nobody seems to like it enough to support. I wonder why. :(

      • Christian A. Reiter

        Blue Systems should be a good start. Let’s see what they are going to do with it.

  • Masterdany88

    kde rulez
    kubuntu too

  • Luca Tringali

    Hello everybody. I just wanted to let you know that, if you want Kubuntu as a “rolling release”, you just have to use project-neon repositories.
    This means that, if you want nightly builds you can have them. If you don’t want them… well don’t use project-neon packages.For more informations, look at:

    • ianjo

       I think what they mean by rolling release is about every package in the distro, not just KDE.

      And also I wouldn’t call a nightly build a “rolling release”. Rolling releases mean that you eventually get updated to the latest stable version, not that you are always on top of the latest unstable version.

      Just my 0.02 euro-cents.

  • blepom

    I tried Kubuntu once, but I missed having Firefox and other tools (plasma-nm, while it works great *now*, wasn’t as good about one year ago) installed by default. I ended up going to regular Ubuntu and installing the KDE packages I use, and booting in a KDE session by default. This method ends up working great and without any noticeable issues, and I get what I consider the best of both worlds.
    Just to try to explain, I didn’t find Kubuntu was “bad”, but it certainly felt “less”, and was less convenient during the installing time (read: the time it takes to download and install all updates and packages that aren’t included by default, adding PPAs and recompiling some git-obtained apps such as Krusader and Geany), and because it takes, comparatively, more time and bandwidth to obtain GTK apps in Kubuntu than it takes to get Qt apps in Ubuntu) in my case bandwidth and download sizes are a concern, for others it might not matter, but it was my personal motivation to leave Kubuntu on the side.

  • giowck

    Because Kubuntu uses stupid default settings like:

    – no menu change on hover in K menu
    – netbook interface instead of desktop interface on low resolution, here when changing back to desktop the layout is completely messed up, loike missing minimize icon on window decoration
    – Muon sucks, packagekit was a way better and more stable

    there are many more…

    • Rich Johnson

      Heh, I thought I was the only one that hated the no menu change on hover in the menu :) I haven’t used the netbook interface since my netbook died (almost 2 years now). I think I might have to check it out in a VM and look it over. Why does Muon suck? I don’t use any of the GUI package managers, because honestly, I think they all suck. Typing is generally faster than pointing & clicking, plus I know what I want to install and I don’t need to read other’s reviews on products I already know about. Unfortunately in the Linux distro world, GUI-based package managers are needed.

  • Nick Shaforostoff

    i use kubuntu on my netbook since 11.04. (I used Debian before).

    Comparing to Debian, it has latest versions of KDE, xorg/mesa, and linux kernel.
    The printing, suspend2ram is working out of box.

    I tried Fedora few months ago, but it didn’t have appmenu widget in the plasma-netbook panel (this is kubuntu-only project unfortunately), and i definitely like using apt-get in konsole more than anything else.

    What I don’t like about Ubuntu is that they try to replace upstream l10n with their own. In case of Russian language their translations are of poorer quality.

    • ulilicht

      can only agree to this, german translation is horrible, too. there are always popping up some english phrases. 

  • Eric Pritchett

    This is why I don’t like Kubuntu/KDE:
    1. The design is not always consistent, I really dislike the candy icons, the layout of the taskbar I don’t care for (i.e. the size, poisition, etc), the “start” button is harder to user than other menus.
    2. I don’t like the file menu (i.e. File, Edit, View, etc).  This is an issue across the board not just KDE, but I still don’t like it.
    3. Often times Kubuntu/KDE looks too busy.  This is often the case in the design of things (i.e. too many gradients, too many things being displayed like too many icons, file menu, corners on text boxes are too circular, and things being displayed in apps that don’t need to be).

    With that said I know a lot of thing things could be changed by the user, but if that’s the solution I think you’d be missing the point of it being the default design throughout the environment.  However, the thing I do like, which is why I’m using it, is elementary OS.  They’re really pushing not only consistency in their OS, but also all of their 3d party apps as well.  You can see an screenshot of their next version that will be based on Ubuntu 12.04 at .  I also like how they’re staying true to trying to only use GTK3 and using Vala as their programming language which you can see and feel the results on how fast the apps run (I like how lean they make everythign).  I also like how they’re staying true to “do one thing and do it well.”  In any case, I’m not sure exactly what you’re looking for, but there’s my thoughts.

  • nixternal-anonymous

    I used Kubuntu for about 2 years. I came to it from Ubuntu after maybe 2-3 years. I had respect, love and loyalty for the *buntu brand. It was solid, popular, and I felt good and safe using it. I switched to Fedora 16 about 3 months ago and just finalized migrating virtually every setting I could about a week back. Anything possibly related to *buntu in the last 5 years is now wiped and it’s a bad memory fading quickly.

    Will I ever switch back? Probably not and here is why.

    I remember using 2GB of memory and a single core pentium 4 processor. I had a cheap Nvidia FX 5200 graphics card and Ubuntu made it scream. I was hooked, Ubuntu worked, it was solid and I got familiar with the Linux community, ideas and principals. I fell in love, felt the freedom and felt like I belonged. I felt like I was at home.

    It wasn’t until KDE 4 came along that I started to get a taste of disdain in my mouth. The Kubuntu I switched to was solid (KDE 3.4-5) and I felt duped into a bait and switch when I got served KDE 4 with no choice. I loved how every 6 months we’d be on the leading edge (not bleeding edge) and that just smacked me right in the face but I stuck with it.

    KDE 4.4-5 comes along and I could finally say, I like where KDE is going. A lot of growing pains but it feels and looks like it could be worth it. Then, Kubuntu simply gets worse. I could never install any debug help for a crash. The Kmail2 migration was a failure. Getting my mic to stay working was a pain, search just didn’t work, Konqueror and Rekonq would always blame flash for my internet hell, my start up sound, sounded like a banshee screeching. Crashes became popular and inevitable in almost everything I did.

    Reflecting back I feel like my girlfriend whom I loved with all my heart straight up cheated on me.  I used to be so proud of the fact that in my first 3 years of using Ubuntu I never reformatted and reinstalled it. Then to take care of some of my problems during my Kubuntu crisis that would simply never go away, I opted for reinstalling. It got so bad, I opted for creating a new home user and copying over only what I absolutely needed.

    It only got worse.

    I went from so happy to so hopeless in 5 years. Whatever faith I had in Kubuntu is pretty much gone. From a super solid distro when KDE 3.4-5 reigned supreme, to a bug infested hobby  piece of junk, I was thinking of getting rid of KDE altogether.  I am so glad I didn’t and here is why. When I switched to Fedora, KDE worked exactly as I imagined it should. It worked, was solid, fast and 1/10 the bugs imho compared to Kubuntu. That was all I cared about and in my mind, I once and for all solved the problem. The problem was Kubuntu.

  • arnieswap

    I think Ubuntu’s implementation of KDE was half hearted. Pulse Audio was a pain in the neck and making long distance Skype/Google Talk became so unpleasant that i had to go back to other distro to do so. I have switched to KDE openSUSE and have not had a single problem ever since. On the contrary I have started liking KDE. Which was not a case under Kubuntu. I think most people don’t like KDE because of the bad experience they get through Kubuntu. At least that’s what happened in my case. 

  • Perran Trevan

    Kubuntu doesn’t suck. I’ve used it since 6.06 Dapper Drake with only brief tests of other distros such as SimplyMEPIS, OpenSUSE, Chakra and Ubuntu with Gnome 2 and Unity. They all ‘sucked’ more- especially the non-KDE one!

    I have experienced pretty smooth upgrades and have only recently done a complete reinstall. This fixed some problems I had with logging out so I didn’t mind, plus using a USB drive rather than burning a CD was really easy and quick.

    I must say, I have my own ideal default settings but I would have to set these up no matter what distro I was using. 

    I love the PPAs and Muon Package Manager. I don’t appreciate having Rekonq as default and always use Chrome.

    Most distros aren’t rolling releases and wouldn’t demand this from Canonical. However, due to the kernel power issues and thanks to the awesome ArchBang, I’m currently using a super up-to-date Arch-based KDE.

    Having used Kubuntu for so long, I don’t mind using the command line and editing config files the ‘Arch Way’. However, I do miss Muon and would love to be able to use it in Arch. Also though Arch is a rolling release, there’s no equivalent of Project Neon, where you can have the current stable and in-development KDE on the same machine.

    I’ll definitely upgrade my Kubuntu install to Precise Pangolin and as Kubuntu becomes more community-centred, I hope more pragmatic choices are made, even if that means a little less pure KDE.

  • Rodrigo Rosenfeld Rosas

    I’ve been using KDE and Debian unstable for more than a decade and I can say KDE rocks! KDE is the best desktop environment in my opinion even when compared to the newest OSX and Windows desktop environments.  Gnome in the other way is one of the worst I’ve seen, loosing from both Windows and OSX in user desktop experience. Yes, I’m talking seriously.

    But about 3 years ago my old company requested me to use Ubuntu as all other developers used Ubuntu. So, I gave Kubuntu a try, and the experience was really bad. It was very unusable with lots of bugs and crashing all the time. I never experienced this on Debian unstable.

    So, I think Kubuntu is one of the reasons for those who have tried KDE and found it too unstable. KDE isn’t unstable. Only the one packaged by Kubuntu. I don’t really understand the reason. At that time I had to go back to Debian unstable as the desktop was too unstable with Kubuntu to do serious work on it and I can’t use Gnome.

  • Fausto Xavier

    I was a Kubuntu user from Feisty to Hardy at that point I moved on to sidux because I was not ready for KDE4 yet. I have since stuck with sidux (now aptosid) and occasionally gone back to check on Kubuntu. What I have seen is it seems like Ubuntu never really cared about Kubuntu. Kubuntu is one of the slowest KDE distros and simple things to get working on the Ubuntu side tend to be quite a hassle for Kubuntu.

  • Bob

    “I hate moderating comments, but I have no problem making you look like a bigger douche bag than me”

    There is no danger of anyone looking like a bigger douche bag than you. People have complained about how Kubuntu packages were faulty for a long time (so complaints were from KDE side not because of Ubuntu functionality lacking) and I don’t think your insulting tone will help create any dialogue

  • Karthikeyan Kailasam

    I tried KDE (only KUbuntu) once in a while and had to switch back to GNOME (Ubuntu). This happened as recently as 2 months back as well. I always loved the work of the KDE devs (all new, innovative), but for me, the OS never sounded quite finished

    One big sucker was UI. Transparent and border less windows are a overkill. They are a distraction and come in your way. This post in PlanetKDE (just above yours) have a screenshot of shutdown screen. That was the ugliest UI I have seen in any recent OS (Win/Mac/Lx).

    Few applications are not so stable. To my surprise even Amarok was not working as I expected. And even complicated.

    Half working / still evolving application stack are like Icing on the cake.

    On the contrary, Ubuntu sounded simple, stable and beautiful. Get in, Get done, Get out.

    • Samuel Sarette

      Yea, my big issue is that Plasma has just failed as a useful, amatuer-developer-fuelled technology. It was coming from the great superkaramba stuff, so I don’t know what happened.

      There are little 3rd party widgets that are remotely good, things like the shutdown are hideous, and inside of an application, like amarok, it looks very out of place.

      None of the themes are decent except the official Air one, and you can’t have completely transparent widgets. I don’t need a damn border around the time!

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  • aanderse

    Get the facts straight: Kubuntu USED to suck.
    Kubuntu is great now!

  • Danni Coy

    I am a kubuntu user and have been for many years… I use it because It has worked best for me out of anything I have tried so far. I would make the following observations.

    1) KDE ships with software that is subpar (and some of this software is infrastructure stuff that most people would concider part of the OS: package management, connecting to a network, web browser. The goal for Kubuntu is to have a relatively lightweight highly integrated system based on KDE. When there isn’t a suitable KDE based component then the choice is to either use the best KDE based component available (which sometimes sucks) and the best component available even though it might not integrate as well with the rest of the system. Both choices have their pros and cons; Kubuntu choosing the former means that some people will concider it to suck because those components are sub – par.

    2) Default desktop isn’t that inspiring. I understand that a relatively conservative default might be good for a lot of people especially those on slower hardware but more attention could be default look and functionality. I don’t particularly care about this myself (since I will customise things to my liking as the first thing I do – but I have been using KDE/Kubuntu for a long time and no how to set things up the way I want them).

    3) There aren’t stable windows versions of most KDE apps. Gnome/Unity users have an easier time since there are more components that are already familiar to the user.

    4) Lots of little polish things. Control center for example uses the same Icons to represent different panels. There are at least 5 different control panels for controlling the look of the desktop (window manager theme, Application Widget look and theme, Colour Scheme, Desktop Widget look and feel) I like having all that control but surely something could be done for those of a less power user bent.

  • dantti

    To most distros are pretty much the same, some gets more testing (more man power) and backports things from KDE to fix bugs, but isn’t always good as when you are upstream you don’t “actually” know the downstream version if the bug was fixed or not.
    On the core side, what changes are package management and init system, which upstart / systemd and even sysvinit all serve well Linux users,
    So the package management is in my opinion the biggest difference, even Fedora and openSUSE doesn’t work the same way, which is why I loved working with PackageKit, now I can install Fedora, Arch, openSUSE, Kubuntu, Debian and don’t have to worry how to manage a package.
    I personally like apt but there are the ones that hate it (probably because they didn’t know how it works), when I’m on Fedora I feel a noob because I’m used to apt not yum.
    I didn’t like the Canonical change on it’s support but really none of my clients would ever use it (I’m theirs support). I thought about switching but hey, this works for me, if it doesn’t I can try to fix it!
    Kubuntu and many others are awesome distros, we have real people with real feelings on all of them, contributing for FREE the way they can, if Kubuntu doesn’t have Ubuntu ONE have you paid them to have it? nor Canonical but they don’t care, they need focus and Unity is their focus. If you have a company you surely wouldn’t spend it’s precious money and time on all sorts of projects just because they are cool.
    Yes, my software may suck (many people don’t like Apper), but have you paid me a cent? Just don’t use it as I don’t use GNOME and many other things I distlike, all have it’s goods and it’s bads, if the bads arguments are enough just don’t use it..

    In short if you can’t do better YOU suck :P

    ps nice posting nixternal ;)

  • Gareth

    I think Kubuntu’s biggest weakness is its name and lack of brand distinction from Ubuntu. 

    People are always going to compare it against its ‘bigger brother’ see that it doesn’t have the Ubuntu one and software center by default and come to the conclusion that its lacking.

    Personally i would seriously consider changing its name to something that doesn’t end in *buntu.

  • Redm

    I’m using KUbuntu since Breezy (IIRC). I was using Debian before that with self compiled KDE. It sounded promising to have an up-to-date Debian with up-to-date KDE ready to use. But ever since I’m concidering to switch to something else. Well, the first releases I was hoping for things to get better, but with the time I got disillusioned … And even though I often curse KUbuntu, I was just too lazy to switch up to now ;) … and I kinda doubt that other distros are really better, as many issues are KDE issues…

    So my main gripe is: Quality! 

    Ubuntu: This starts with the Ubuntu base. Every release comes with new annoying bugs or even intended breakages. They are usually never fixed within the release. They usally get fixed with the next release. But if you want to have the issue fixed you have to upgrade. Which gets you new problems for free… for fixes you have to wait for the next release, and so on… not even LTS releases are a safe bet…

    KDE: Also KDE itself has a quality problem. First and foremost immature, unreliable base technologies like Nepomuk and Akonadi. As awesome and promising they sound, so unusable they are in daily usage. Even if parts of it are not entirely broken, is it worth to e.g. tag, comment, rate my files or will the data be vanished soon anyway, e.g. because of a broken migration to some new backend? I simply have no trust in it, so basically I don’t use it. Which brings me to another point: if I introduce something new at least migration has to work. Migration to KMail2 was a complete failure for me.

    But also less complex software has quality problems, first of all Plasma. Almost every of the last releases had annoying bugs. Leave alone that promising technologies like Activties implemented only halfheartedly so that if you used them they are more pain than gain.

    KUbuntu: Now KUbuntu combines the above problems. I would expect the distribution to filter and keep severe upstream issues away from the user. Instead there are unfortunate decisions of replacing working solutions with unfinished cutting edge stuff. Latest example KDEPIM 4.7. It broke PIM entirely for me. Fortunately I didn’t upgrade my desktop machine to 11.10. … Even if a bug slips through, I’d expect fixes supplied to the users as soon as they are fixed upstream.  Latest examples in 4.8: amok running virtuoso due to some issue between Akonadi and Nepomuk, non working sleep by closing the lid… very annyoing, already fixed, but users have to wait until 4.8.1.

    I understand that this is also a question of man power. So I don’t want to blame anyone, but that doesn’t change the problem.

  • Davmor2

    Because of how tight knit the kde desktop and experience is, I don’t see much difference in any kde desktop. I must point out at this point that I’m a canonical employee and use unity. However I used to be the number one iso tester so I’ve seen kde 4 mature nicely. I still like to try it out from time to time. All I want to say is I hope you guys can keep up the good work

  • Johan Ouwerkerk

    I guess my main annoyances about Kubuntu
    (a) How hard it is to avoid pulling in half a GNOME desktop. This isn’t entirely Kubuntu’s fault but it sure doesn’t look nice when trying to install pure Qt apps like VLC…  Though is a lot less worse than it is on, say, Fedora where half a GNOME desktop is installed by default.
    (b) Additionally, kubuntu has a bit of an everything-and-the-kitchen-sink mentality towards installing stuff. Now this makes some sense, but unlike Debian which offers proper minimal images from which to start building, in Kubuntu the first thing to do is to throw out a lot of software I don’t want/need/isn’t properly functional.

    (c) And the main one: Ubuntu doing things which seem to make no sense, and Launchpad getting in the way when reporting real bugs. Packaging bugs can take a long time to resolve. (How long did the kdm package ship without appropriate settings on the home directory of the kdm user account, preventing kdm from remembering the last used session & username?) 

    Lately it seems that Ubuntu is moving further away from their own upstreams in all sorts of ways. Now this may not matter very much for kubuntu, but this streak of going it their own extends to the underlying base system (upstart/systemd) and from what I’ve seen in things like time-to-bugfix even trivial things like applying a single line Kernel patch to add a missing hardware identifier (2 or 3 years) and how long it took to get pulseaudio anywhere near (semi-) usable and so on… Additionally, I have seen talks/blog posts about how patches to Ubuntu somehow don’t seem to make it upstream. I’ve read about the Harmony saga and so on… 

    I’m not that confident that this sort of shenanigans are a good thing for the reliability of the base system and hence Kubuntu. Besides as a user running the development releases, I’m a bit of a fool for the more exciting technology/featureset and I’ve not seen a remotely convincing article why upstart should be preferred over systemd but in my non-expert opinion I’ve seen the reverse. Worse still, this going it their own extends even to more rational things such as standardising the base system. Sure these new standardised conf things are driven by systemd folks, and maybe not as relevant for upstart — but it is very relevant for ease of use, docs, the sysadmin and the developer.

    But I stay until I can either find another distro that would offer me packagemanagement with comparable ease of use & versatility as aptitude, the latest shiny shiny from KDE, kernels, devel tools and preferably the shiny shiny like systemd working OOTB.

  • Fitoschido

    This post is full of win!

  • Simion314

    Hi, I use Kubuntu  and it is OK, my main problem is with xorg and video drivers ,not a kubuntu/kde problem .

  • Anonymity is great

    Kubuntu is quite good, except that buggy dist-upgrader that I try to use to upgrade Kubuntu to the next version. That buggy python program crashes on me each time and I am using it since it was introduced (I didn’t try the last version because I didn’t upgrade to Kubuntu 11.10, especially to avoid KMail2). Each time it crashes in the middle of installing the new packages and I have to finish upgrading in the konsole.

  • Danteashton

    I gave up on Kubuntu because of quite a few…bugs, I left it about two months ago.

    1st, there is that whole ‘KDE has forgotten I have hardware’ bug which has affected all four of my machines (basically, it states it cannot find any sound hardware, and sometimes forgets about any trackpads/USB devices and ports)

    Then there is the Muon Software Centre; it’s better then KPackageKit, but not nearly as good as it could be. It’s inabilty to install things correctly (like Kubuntu-restricted-extras) is a real drag.

    Eventually, the problems with stability more or less ensure that I will have to reinstall the system after 5 months (at the very most, three days is my shortest record)

    That isn’t even dealing with other problems I have with Kubuntu; the networking subsystem, for instance, in 10.04 seemed to be unable to communicate with WPA2 encrypted wireless networks, and that was shipped as stable…it’s little things like that, just those tiny little quailty checks, which turns Kubuntu into a pile of poo (at least on my machines) and that really is a shame, because I love both Ubuntu and KDE.

    There are smaller problems, like the lack of Ubuntu’s Software Centre’s buyable apps, no Ubuntu One (and Dropbox is harder to get working then most),

    Most of the time, I’m not in a position to reinstall my OS, and Kubuntu’s constant crashing almost cost me my college course (I admit, that was by me not backing up in a month…but still)

    Linux Mint’s KDE Edition did solve a lot of these problems for me, I still had some stabilty problems, but when I last used it, they had little changes, like using the network utiltiy from GNOME instead of KDE’s.

  • Eric Mesa

    For me, I just found it wasn’t as cohesive an experience as KDE on Fedora and that it was a lot more crashy than KDE on Fedora.

  • starsunflowerstudio

    Well I read all of the comments here and also another thread about Jonathan Riddell. This post is the first news I have heard of what’s going on with Kubuntu.

    I’m going to try to respond without sounding like an airhead. I apologize in advance for rambling. Keep in mind that I don’t get out much, let alone converse with Linux users, or even geeky people for that matter. :) I’m just an average user.

    I haven’t been involved in the community and immersed in the deep workings of the packaging system for Kubuntu like the other commentators. If I am remembering correctly, I started out with Ubuntu at 6.10. I didn’t have the CD marked, and remember doing an install on another computer later on and and it was Feisty Fawn.

    Distro Hopping:

    Back then I did do some distro hopping and tried several different distros – took them for a whirl. I did try Kubuntu a couple of times but did not like the ui that much back then. You know what turned me off? The bouncing cursor, lol! Kubuntu still has a bouncy quality to it, but I feel that the ui is much more polished now. To me personally it almost has a bit too much going on though, specifically on a laptop with less screen real estate.

    The *buntus:

    I ran Ubuntu for about 3 years as my main OS and then went back to Winderz because it was affecting my relationship, lolol! I won’t get into that very long story, but the ironic thing is that my partner now runs Linux about 70-80% of the time!

    I’ve never run Kubuntu proper, always installed it after doing a default gnome install. I must say that over the past few years the Ubuntu/Kubuntu integration has gotten *way* better. Kubuntu or K apps that have been a must have for me: Dolphin (far superior than Nautilus IMHO) Gwenview (Awesome for batch cropping & resizing of images)

    I’ll keep that list short for now.

    I think that the K desktop should have come pre-packaged with Gnome for the *buntus. I may not know anything, but that’s just my lowly 2 cents on things. It seems like when I got Sabayon back in the day it had at least 5 window managers to choose from right out of the gate?

    In regards to upgrades, I must say that I never experienced any of the messy stuff. I typically would wait to do my major updates for at least 3 weeks to a month just to be safe. I heard the horror stories both on the Ubuntu *and* Kubuntu side and didn’t want to go there. I may be too much of a novice to be able to tell the difference as to which distro was more buggy, Kubuntu or Ubuntu. To me everything just *worked* for the most part really. The only issues I had with K was the Gnome/KDE integration. When I would switch to the K desktop some things behaved wonky from time to time, and vice versa. It may have been the way I installed Kubuntu though, as I typically did it from the command line after reading some tutorial. Sure there were little bugs here in there in both K and Gnome, but I have always been in awe of such a wonderful product brought forth to the people of this planet for FREE. My thoughts on it was always, “If you don’t like it – fix it!” Because you CAN.

    I’m way lagging behind these days though. On my laptop I have 10.04, and have been running the KDE side since I upgraded to 10.04 there. I’m also running 10.04 on my desktop. I used to stay up to date with the current versions. I’m terrified of this now because I don’t like the direction that operating systems in are moving in general. I believe that the desktop users should be able to keep their productivity power user stuff and not have icons the size of their palm shoved down their throat. I am a FAN of hierarchical menus!!! I always choose the *classic* menu. You can just browse to what you need in one fail swoop. Those with carpal tunnel symptoms from over mousing can appreciate a good ole classic menu.

    Ok, so I’m going to backpedal a little bit to the Fiesty Fawn days. Back then when I did try Kubuntu it did work, and I never had a problem with it. I was just a gnome girl back then I guess. I had gotten used to it, comfortable with it. Dolphin is what really made me think twice about which WM to use in ubuntu. I did play around with xubuntu quite a bit on older systems and always had fun with that. The only thing I ever experienced that was buggy with xubuntu was the panels crashing if you tweaked them too much.

    The only frame of reference I have to the other distros is from back then. I tried Suse before they switched package managers, and also Sabayon back before Entropy. I dabbled with Mandriva and a several others as well. With those distros I had more problems either installing packages or upgrading or doing basic tasks. Sure everything was pretty rough back then, but that stuff sticks in my mind. A lot of the distros I tried wouldn’t even install on my systems. I wasn’t the hardcore geek like those back in the days who had to buy special hardware and prayed to god & crossed their fingers that Xwindows would start.

    Despite the relationship issues that my partner and I had over “Linux”, he did and does have a zest for Kubuntu. Sure maybe it’s because he’s been a long time windows user, (some people compare K with Windoze) I don’t know. He did work on some *nix type of systems and run a mac (started computing on one and doing programming) in the very early days so he’s not a total windows guy.

    With that said, I must say that both Ubuntu *and* Kubuntu have been GREAT with hardware support and stuff working out of the box as I mentioned above. We had a good laugh when hardy heron was released. We had just gotten brand new thinkpads and wanted to make them dual boot. We didn’t get “media” with our systems and were really bummed about that. So we wiped them. My partner spent a total of 4 days (2 for each laptop) installing windows, gathering the drivers and such. It was a complete and total nightmare! Kubuntu/Ubuntu installed and was working COMPLETELY, FLAWLESSLY in a matter of 45 minutes at the most! We laughed and laughed and really savored that moment.

    I’ve always been in awe of the community and what everyone has accomplished. Uddit S.’ words just warmed my soul and literally gave me an energy rush/good chill up my spine. I really feel that there’s a great community and a certain spirit/soul going on beyond all of the ego dramas and the corporate bullshit.

    So do I think that Kubuntu sucks? No!

    I actually have been running it on my laptp for some time now. I did have problems with my trackpad from time to time and had to boot into gnome to resove it. I’m considering becoming a Kubuntu girl because I really dislike Gnome3 and Unity. I don’t know why, but to me it feels like “The Dumbing Down of America” sort of thing. I remember getting the creepiest vibe from my son’s vista laptop and the MSNBC media player or whatever the f* it was. It’s the first real feeling I felt in regards to the “Draconian Eula”. To me it seems like Ubuntu in general, well actually *all* the operating systems are trying to win a race and going crazy in the process. They aren’t thinking about users or useability, they are thinking about their pocketbooks and who can be the giant of the tablet/touchscreen market. Sure there will likely be many more touchscreens in the future, but I do not think that the desktop user crowd is going to shrivel up and die.

    So maybe this Kubuntu thing is good in a way. Maybe it’s going to pull a good strong distro out of the striving $ hungry corporate chains of mass ipeople bull sh**. What melted my heart and warmed my soul to the core were the sample ogg files and docs that used to come with ubuntu. I loved the Nelson Mandela video and also the Ubuntu is Humanity.

    I somehow miraculously landed tickets to Linuxcon back in 2009. It was definitely an interesting experience. You’ve got these fuzzy & nice developers who are doing all of the work, and then you have the guys in the super dressy clothes carrying a breifcase. Those “guys” were representatives for Suse and Oracle, etc. You know what? They were A**es!! They had the biggest attitudes and really turned a lot of people off. I will never run Suse because of what I witnessed at that convention. Mark Shuttleworth had a really cool vibe about him there, but these days even though I don’t know much about what’s going on – I don’t trust him, or the Ubuntu project. It’s not really any more than a gut feeling but I had to say it. Who am I to know anything? I’m just a lowly user.

    I think that the Kubuntu desktop is slick, it’s super nice, polished, solid for the most part. Like I said, it’s got a little too much going on for me personally on a small screen but I’d much rather have that, and a choice of a classic menu. You know what else I like? A pathbar in my file manager! And I’m not like the uber geeky type. I mean I’m geeky, but not like all of you guys. Even Windoze 7 has the ability to make the address bar give you a full path pretty easily.

    Just on a random whim I happened to install the consumer preview for windows8. I happened to be looking at the 100 gigs of disk space that had not been used in 2 years on my tower to the right. I browsed it’s contents and it was lo and behold an xp install. So I installed it. My partner had just installed it on his system 2 days prior to check it out. All I kept saying to myself is “What the heck?” Whyyy? I won’t go on a rant about that.

    It would be interesting to see actual user/consumer/people statistics on these new operating systems, like lots of real data. Who really likes what changes and why. Who doesn’t like these changes and why. Are most of the people out there just brainless sheeple that have no idea? Grandma is definitely not going to know how to find the “charms” menu, or do a search to find an app she doesn’t even know the name of in Ubuntu.

    I really don’t think it’s about pleasing the user anymore. It feels as though it’s all just a big marketing ploy to get users to buy things. Sure everyone has to make a living and survive. I feel as though they are sacrificing the productivity of corporate users who are the original bread and butter. Maybe the corporate users don’t matter anymore, it’s all about digital downloads and media?

    I apologize for writing a short novel here. Thank you for letting me get this off my chest. I would love it if the Kubuntu project keeps going. I as a user am on board with gratitude for the hard work and love that goes into the dev.

  • Jistanidiot

    I’ve been using kubuntu for two or three years now.  I’ve been a KDE fan since before the RH/Fedora split.  I finally got sick of being a beta tester for RH  as well as the lack of knowledge in the user forum.  

    The biggest problem (other than KDE4 is just now getting ready for prime time) is themes.  The themes I’ve downloaded from the theme manager have all sorts of problems.  Black on black popup text, transparency where you need a solid background, window borders don’t match the theme, etc.  All the other unresolved ssues I’ve had are related to the KDE 3->4 transition and affects all KDE distros and beyond kubuntu’s control.  Maybe even this themes thing is related and not under your control.  Kubuntu is the first distro I’ve used where I never had to compile a program myself.  Everything has already had a package in the repository.   I don’t think I use that many weird things, but several distros I’ve tried were missing things i use.  

    Finally the kubuntu forum has the right mix of knowledge and helpfulness.  Too many other distros’ help forum have either very knowledgabe people but are unable to transfer that since they’re all the RTFM types or more common (like Fedora) lots of people who want to be helpful but only know how to reboot to solve problems.  kubuntu’s forum has for the most part given me helpful answers in a friendly manner.  

    Overall I do not believe that kubuntu sucks and I appreciate the work everyone is putting into its development.

  • Michael

    I love Kubuntu. I’ve been using it since 2008, and I am continually grateful for the amount of care and attention that it receives. To even frame the discussion in terms of “sucking” does Kubuntu a disservice. It is an *excellent* piece of engineering, full stop.

    I now install Kubuntu on my newbie friends’ computers, and they prefer it over Ubuntu. 

    (The only detail I’d change to the stock install is to make the desktop settings default to “Folder view” to reflect the Desktop directory; it’s more in line with what they’re expecting a desktop to look like and function–icons on their desktop. The floating plasmoid folder view box confuses them.)

    I have thought about switching to another distro a few times, but I keep coming back to Kubuntu. Besides being based upon the Debian foundation, which is important for me, it has the friendliest implementation of KDE that I’ve found. I appreciate the polish that goes into it, although I probably don’t understand what that takes.

    Just don’t stop. Know that there are quiet Kubuntu fans out there who are very happy with your work.

    Thank you.

  • peufeu

    I used to love Kubuntu at the time of KDE3.5 which was excellent (perfect usability, speed, godlike configuration tool, Konqueror, everything just works, etc).

    When KDE4 came they replaced all this goodness with a steaming pile of unusable shit (Dolphin, Plasma, useless config tool, etc) plus mounds of bugs, it kept crashing, and when it didn’t crash it was slow as molasses.

    I concluded that KDE devs had lost their minds and switched to Gnome. Maybe they’ve fixed KDE4 since it was forced on me (about 2 years ago) but since the philosophy of the thing was to replace perfectly good stuff with crap, I don’t see how it could get better !

    Now it seems Gnome is going the same way, fortunately there is Linux Mint.

  • GreyGeek77

    I began using KDE in Sept of 1998 when the 1.0 beta was included with SuSE 5.3.   I’ve been a fan of KDE every since, even though I occasionally try other DE’s just to see how the rest of the world is getting along.  No other DE has had the power and ease of use that KDE has.   In Feb of 2009 I moved from Mandriva to Kubuntu, installing the 9.04 Alpha on my new Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E.   It fit like a silk glove and except for the occasional burp passing through Alpha and Beta and going on to Gold it ran very well during the next year.   In Jan of 2010 I installed the Alpha of 10.04.  It behaved the same way that 9.04 did.   Lucid is still on that laptop.   It has been faultless.    On Jan 3rd of this year (2012) I installed Kubuntu 12.04 Alpha on my new Acer 7739, this machine which I am now using.  It has been running very well despite the occasional burp, but its still in beta1.   I have been using it, and KDE 4.8.1, as my primary OS and DE every since, and I have not been disappointed.     I plan to stay with Kubuntu Precise Pangolin until the EOL of Precise in 2017.   By then I suspect that the Kubuntu dev team will jump upstream to base itself directly off of Debian.    Disclaimer:  I am an admin at, where even questions about Windows gets fair treatment and answers.

    Most people do not realize that the KDE dev crew didn’t have much of a choice when they were faced with either sticking with KDE 3.x or starting again from scratch with Qt4.   Trolltech announced that they were rebuilding Qt from the ground up rather than continuing to kludge stuff onto the Qt3 framework, which would have led to a “Rude Goldberg” mess and lots of artifacts and instabilities.     They also announced that except for bug or security patches they were discontinuing support for Qt3.     Another thing that people do not realize is that if KDE were to stay with Qt3 they would also have to maintain it and add to it as technical and hardware advances progressed.         This is more than the KDE dev crew,  or any other dev crew, could handle.   There are not enough people or resources to support two massive projects like Qt and KDE.   The supporters of Trinity (KDE 3.5) have discovered this. Trinity is an island that will gradually sink beneath the sea.

      I was using Qt3 at work at the time and was on the verge of dropping it because designing apps in the 3.x Designer was a royal PITA.   When Qt4 was released it used the standard C++ development model and was much easier to use in developing apps.   And, as a bonus, version control systems were back to versioning YOUR source, not the output of UI meta compiler, to say nothing of the vebose XML output of the Designer.

    Since they had to start from scratch the KDE dev crew took the opportunity to try other approaches for the KDE DE.   Some were good, some were bad, but the experience pointed out another thing about the Linux environment that a lot of people don’t seem to know or appreciate —  FOSS doesn’t pay beta testers, and developers are the worse kind of tester.   So, they rely on “release early, release often”, the mantra of FOSS development since the beginning.   The user gets the software and source for free in exchange for reporting bugs back TO the developer.  

    Unfortunately, not every Linux user has been doing so since the beginning, and may be unaware of their role.    They do not realize that most Linux/KDE developers do NOT live in their parents basement and code 24/7.   They have a life and the good ones stay good by keeping their lives balanced between family, work, play and FOSS development.   You do realize, don’t you, that almost ALL of the Linux & KDE developers are professional coders who have full time jobs that support their families?    That means they do not have time to sift through thousands of blogs and forums searching for posts containing even a shred of useful information concerning a bug or valid suggestions for improvement.   They go straight to bugzillas.   Even then, not every bug report contains useful tracebacks or adequate explanations of the problems the user encountered.   Also, not every suggestion for improvement is possible or even popular.   Improvements are based on the most popular suggestions, determined by votes of the users.   Also, not every bug gets fixed.  Bugs are triaged.   The serious ones are handled first, and in decreasing order of seriousness.   Some may not be fixed for a long time because they involve features that few people use, features that may be dropped in a future update or release.    What the blogs and forums usually contain are generally nothing but baseless rants, trolls from users of other DE’s, or pile-ons by users of proprietary systems.   Loud voices to be sure, but not in the numbers their loudness suggests.   It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools.

    RAJ, I hope you DO climb back in the saddle again, but if you do be sure to keep your life in balance so you can ride longer.   :-)

  • Patrick

     I know this is a little late in the game, but I’d like to put my two cents in. I do not dislike Kubuntu. In fact, I’ve just installed the Kubuntu Desktop on my ubuntu 12.04 Beta install. While a lot of things still crash (beta), I still enjoy the KDE experience better than Unity, Gnome Shell, and even traditional Gnome. Unity can be gotten used to, but it gets a little old having that bar on the side (too inconvenient for managing windows). Gnome shell is like the ADHD desktop that has everything scattered around, and you can’t see your open applications unless you go to “activities”. Then traditional gnome just takes too much space on the screen for me, and it’s all broken to  pieces since Gnome 3 came out.

    Kubuntu just seems featured, but quiet – if you know what I mean. Nothing is flying around the screen, and things are still accessible. Plus, you get the cube, and a nice-looking theme. Brown, orange, and purple are just not doing it for me.

    There are problems with it though. The default browser rekog-something or whatever it’s called tends to crash a lot. Kubuntu is also a little slow on startup. But kate has some nice features when compared to gedit. I think gnome has had more attention and resources, but KDE is very nice and feels fresh to use. Personally, Ubuntu One is, to me, a buggy piece of junk that functions much less smoothly than something like Dropbox. All I use it for is to back-up pictures.

    So Kubuntu is not junk. It’s a shame that Canonical is dropping funding, but it seems like they are going off to create an all-encompassing, sprawling OS for your phone, tv, and home computer. I prefer to have a PC OS on my PC, and Kubuntu seems to suit that role and still provide many features.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this.

  • Frankie-1

    The video card support sucks . I thought Windows was a bad system but Kubuntu and they’re video support is more bad than Windows.

    • T_U

      I am not sure to understand your point.

      1) Windows has, by far, the widest, most complete and fastest video cards support, for a simple reason : Nvidia, ATI & co have to support it properly otherwise they wouldn’t sell cards.

      2) “Video card support” in Kubuntu is exactly the same as in Ubuntu.

      3) Maybe you mean : Kwin performance compared to Compiz or Mutter ? Well, actually, this is a *very* efficient window manager, very fast with many effects, but, there are some cases where it may not work so well. For instance, I had to disable one specific window decorator animation, that didn’t play well with my nvidia driver. It made everything *extremely* fast afterwards (otherwise it was worse than any other window manager).

  • Donald

    Dude, I so wish you didn’t speak jebrewish here.. “You use Debian or CentOS servers (headless) or Arch with DWM”.. What the H is that? Explain please, with screenshots for us mortals.

  • Ciao

     have to manually install flash for firefox. after that it automatically upgraded and again not worlking. sometimes very easy tasks are so hard to make. i’m keeping it for now but thinking about another distro or win7.

  • Russell Schiwal

    I love how Kubuntu looks and feels, but it simply doesn’t work.  The Muon software center crashes, programs lock up and the integrated web browser doesn’t even make it up to blue screen of death standards.  I was thrilled when I discovered Kubuntu after my disappointment with the new gnome desktop, but now I prefer Xfce to all, because I actually like my computers to function.

  • Jean Pierre Vidal

    For me it’s completely the opposite way :) I’ve switched to Kubuntu 12.04 and got a working machine in a few hours :) !!! EVERYTHING WORKS!! In EVERY other Ubuntu flavour my machine sucked… nothing (but absolutely NOTHING) worked right, interfaces are buggy, not configurable at all… we could say “in other desktops, things are faster”… but NOT for me. Kubuntu is THE real solution at this moment for my Samsung 305V :D

  • Don

    I’ve used KDE since Kandalf, and Kubuntu since … well, rpm really sucked – worse  than dll hell. I have persevered with the KDE 4 versions since they came out, and think I have given KDE 4 a fair trial. But I am thinking of leaving it for something else. I don’t know if it is KDE or Kubuntu that causes the headaches but I am getting close to going to xbuntu  or giving Ubuntu a try. Or some of the distros mentioned below.

    The Pulse Audio debacle  seems to be over and I can get sound without tinkering now. SO that is good.

    But my machine keeps seizing up. I get huge amounts of disk activity, and the machine becomes unusable for fifteen-twenty minutes. I’ve turned off desktop search but it’s no better.

    Plasma has crashed several times today. That’s how I found this page – searching for a solution.

    rekonq – well, I got rid of that – it crashed too often as well.

    I don’t use Kontact or the symantic desktop stuff either – when I install I keep getting an error about folders for these not existing. Also a wee light bulb icon that tries to launch gsudo? gksudo? something that was not there.

    anyway – just gets tiresome after a while. And there we go again “Sorry, Ubuntu 12.04 has experienced an internal error. If you notice further problems, try restarting the computer”


    I don’t really care about having the latest versions of things. Usually. I no longer get a thrill out of fixing obscure problems and playing with themes. I just want to get stuff done, and too often I can’t. 

    On the other hand, love digikam, kate, dolphin.kipi plugins, being able to put toolbars where I want. 

  • Dave W. in Texas

    I’ve used Kubuntu 12.04 for a week now, and I absolutely love it. (I have the time to play with it now that my office has been shut down and my Senior Developer position has been eliminated by the Large Evil Corporation who bought out my employer last November). I write .Net apps for $, but this is how I play.
    Oh – I’m running it in VBox on a huge Gateway refurb (6GB mem, terabyte drive) 2 years old, and it runs just great! (Now that I finally got the Guest Additions installed correctly.)
    I have installed build-essentials (GNU C/C++ compiler stuff), SciTe, Komodo IDE, Node, CoffeeScript, Express, MongoDb, and some other cool toys and I’m havin’ a ball. All installs went smooth as glass. Doing a web app with my buddy, also laid off, but he has found a great new job at a large public sector apps company. I’m not even looking yet… don’t need to. Anyway, I think Kubuntu 12.04 is great. I am (seriously * 3) impressed with it. So far, have not had so much as a stutter out of it. (That wasn’t caused by VBox.)  Anyone that says it sucks, to me, is gonna get a serious ass-whoopin. Really. I mean it. Seriously. I’ve been doing this sh_t for 37 years. Seriously. Don’t F with me on this. 

  • joseph desrosiers

    Now, i use Kubuntu but the new Ubuntu GUI is disappointing. I never using Ubuntu One, every time when i was on Ubuntu, i uninstall UbuntuOne anyway! The Kubuntu GUI is very fully configurable but not Ubuntu. I feel like in jail on the Ubuntu.

    R.I.P. last Gnome, the best ever GUI for Ubuntu is dead. 

  • joseph desrosiers

    I have testing all others distro whit new GUI or KDE and Gnome, Kubuntu is only the fully stable and complete distro whit plenty of configuration advantages. based on the Best DEBIAN family Gnu/Linux, all the way, KUBUNTU save me! ;-)!

  • 2eurocents

    stupidest post ever. how old are you, 12?

  • lonnie higginbottom

    Dear Sir,
    When Ubuntu decided to create Unity, I was and am still not impressed. I switched to Kubuntu and love it and like you wish to learn how to contribute to the project. KDE is awesome and now that 4.8 is out I love it more and more each day. I just wanted to say if you have a leaning help us keep it alive as Ubuntu before Unity was my preferred choice and now Kubuntu after.

    Lonnie Higginbottom

  • donrobertson

    Posted a while back about why Kubuntu sucks – including saying I would get long pauses and a lot of excess disk activity. It was pointed out to me that, although my processor is 64 bit, I don’t have enough ram to run 64 bit – four gigs is recommended. So I have re-installed the 32 bit version, and don’t get the freezes. Have not noticed any in the couple of months I have had it installed.

    I had searched a lot for an answer to this problem with no useful results – perhaps this should be made more explicit on the downloads page?

    Plasma still crashes far too often – at least it crashes gracefully and does not take down all my running applications – and knetattach can crash. And the odd other thing.But not so annoyed with it I am thinking of changing to XFCE any more. :-)

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  • Mike

    Well, I first tried Kubuntu (12.04) and realized it sucked when it kept crashing every 5 or so minutes. O_O Then I switched to another KDE distro, PClinuxos, and it is MUCH more stable.

  • las;dkfj

    i never get past ten minutes with kubuntu
    i open up rekonq and it opens up 100+ gwenviews

  • Jon Seidel

    I’ve used Kubuntu for several years and WAY prefer it over Gnome. But I do have an issue with things that break and don’t seem to get fixed. I’m still using 10.04 (tried the 12.04 upgrade but it totally trashed my development machine!) and Kmail and other KDEPim apps suck up huge amounts of CPU – I’ve searched all over but can’t find any fixes and there are lots of complaints about this issue.
    Will I switch from Kubuntu? Probably not; too much work to move all my setup (I have Windows and Mac machines as well to support clients). Am I happy with the Kmail situation? No Way, but maybe that’s why other folks think “Kubuntu Sucks”

  • Win8_End_of_M$

    The drawback with Kubuntu – Repos not up to date with Canonical.

    Any of the times I have tried KDE, I ended up tossing it due to bugs.

    Recently installed Arch (4 hours to install with manual config files). Arch KDE 4.9.x seems responsive and I haven’t run into the bug problems like in the past. Hopefully they have fixed the bugs issue.

  • Johan

    I’m still running Opensuse 11.1 on my main computer. I love how opensuse gives so many options through yast and I absolutely adore KDE 3.5. It’s lightning fast, VERY efficient and always clear. I’m now at ubuntu 12.04 and the ubuntu interface is frustrating. The launcher makes it very hard to see which programs are actually running or just sitting there and having more than one window of the same program makes it already impossible to switch easily between them.
    KDE 3.5 lets me scroll through desktops (major plus!) and scroll through programs. Konqueror is very clear and scrolling through the tabs means my scroll wheel gets me anywhere and FAST! Customizable context menu’s, shading, always on top/bottom, all actions of clicking/scrolling on title bars configurable, very clean and efficient look, feel and workflow, KDE3.5 has it all. I’m not “upgrading” anytime soon unless some disto/window manager beats this.

  • o_sinclair

    I stumbled on this discussion searching for solution to a akonadi/nepomuk problem – day before yesterday suddenly all my searches and tags were, again, missing.

    Now that is a KDE and not Kubuntu problem. I have been a full time Kubuntu user since 7.04 and KDE 3.5. I skipped the “too early” versions of 4 as I use my laptop in production and to me at least nothing before 4.3 even half worked when I tried.

    I think Kubuntu is tops for most users except “tinker users” (and even for a lot of them as I have an unknown number of ppa added and compile Rekonq and so on) for reasons stated by others: an enorm mass of software available, a good user community (though ubuntuforums work better than kubuntuforums for me actually), you go on the mailing list for kubuntuusers and most of the time get at least someone making an effort to help you out.

    Being a long time linux user I have tried out OpenSuse (nope, did not like it one bit), had a stint with Fedora, looked at Mageia and lately Chakra. The last one might become a really good distro with time but for now Kubuntu is just way more polished and “able”. Though Chakra may be faster and at least one bug in Kubuntu 11.10 and 12.04 is really irritating me (AMD drivers for my card stopped working, proprietary ones that is) I still think for my work (support users, various projects, some web design etc) it works really well. I run 3 flavors of Windows in Virtualbox, I can use Teamviewer with Wine and and generally things work.

    Apart from Nepomuk going bonkers sometimes and lose all it’s data… by now I know how to recreate it is “just” irritating that a “core” technology is so fragile.

  • cmorticum

    Here is one SERIOUS reason Kubuntu sucks. Any time an upgrade to core system packages like kde-workspace/desktop or plasma occurs, the entire system breaks. It removes essential packages and doesn’t reinstall them. One has to do this through a recovery prompt. Perhaps this only happens with packages upgraded via the backports repo–I don’t know. But it’s it’s still a major bug in the way certain package upgrades happen. I’ve been using Kubuntu since version 9 or 10 days and this bug still hasn’t been fixed with version 12.10! I know, because it just happened again to me yesterday! I haven’t seen this sort of upgrade bug with any other distro, even when upgrading to unstable packages.

  • Aleix

    I use kubuntu 12.10 as a java programmer, clean beautiful interface and what’s amazing: really fast and responsive, faster than any gnome like stuff. I’ve read that’s due to some glibc optimizations, is that true, or is just kubuntu the fastest distro?

  • strycat

    Kubuntu doesn’t exactly suck. It is by far the best linux distro using KDE. The problem is that KDE 4 still sucks after all this time. I’m in the middle of downloading 4.10 right now. I think everything except submenus on the panel have finally been fixed (at least according to the bug reports I’ve been following). Hopefully that’s really the case, but I still really need panel submenus to work. So until that’s fixed kubuntu (And every other KDE distro) will continue to suck.

  • Alex

    I’m using Kubuntu 12.04 LTS. The notifications (the ones that popup in the bottom right corner of the screen) are always totally messed up, especially during file copying operations (where the window containing the text will constantly shift position and change size). The date and time settings crashes the control panel if i try to setup time sync (try to click it a couple of time applying settings and it will crash). The default configuration always have at least one launcher (Dolphin) that can’t be removed from the UI. I always have to delete it from the text configuration file inside my home folder. The “Default Applications” is messed up because i always end up finding “rekonq” as defaul tbrowser again, even though i completely uninstalled it. System tray flickers sometimes. KDE is really buggy, and it’s always been (i tried opensuse and fedora last month, same issues). In Kubuntu 12.10 (tried in VM) i even have a nasty bug on kmix that causes the whole system tray to flicker and move when a new pulse stream is created or removed. Those bugs are really annoying for me, but i still like KDE. I know it’s partly due to poor programming, but i think that we can partly blame who does packaging too.
    Long live KDE! =)

    • T_U

      This is exactly my feeling as well. I love KDE, I support it, I think its philosophy and development model correspond the most to what I like.

      However, it’s so frustrating sometimes. I encountered all the bugs you mentioned as well, and many more, including some which are still unfixed after many major versions (altough many people are trying to), especially with plasma indeed. And they also occured with other distros such as Arch.

      KDE is SO advanced and brillant to some extent, but sometimes it’s so depressing. I don’t understand why after 9 major versions, they still didn’t manage to stabilize the desktop. It’s been mostly working perfectly for years. I talked about this to some kde developers who agree with me. I remember 3 years ago I was thinking : NOW it’s gonna be perfect and brillant. Now, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone while I think it’s the best Linux desktop.

      What to do ? Why can’t developers unite and put the focus on stability / reliability ? What is wrong in the development model when some essential parts of the desktop remain broken for so long ?

      PS : Unity & others also suffer from many recurrent bugs… But usually the long standing ones just seem due to a lack of work to maintain a component x or y ; while in KDE, it seems some parts are broken then fixed then broken again some many times…

  • 3azz


    I am a user and certainly not an IT-expert. I am looking for functionality and stablity.

    I have always used ‘MS headache’, but stopped doing that, since it took away my attention from doing my work.

    I had the opportunity to look into apple via my work. I liked it a lot, until I wanted to buy one myself. (Why the hell do I have to pay for two laptops if I only get one?)

    So I started to try Kubuntu.

    I am using that for let’s say 6 months now and I am very, very satisfied. It is stable, quite good looking, functional and provides me everything that I need in an understandable manner. If I need support, a large community is available and helps me out on everything I need.

    Furthermore, all applications that I need are widely available for free!

    To me, Kubuntu is an awesome distro and one needs very, very good arguments to convince me of Kubuntu is bad, dead or sucks in any way.

    • donrobertson

      To paraphrase Winston Churchill, Kubuntu is the worst operating system there is, apart from all the others :-)

      Yes, there are things that annoy me. But then I need to use windows for a while, or give gnome a try, and realise Kubuntu is pretty damn good.

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