Goodbye Kubuntu, I’m Staying With Ubuntu. Here’s why.

Saying Goodbye to Kubuntu
I said goodbye to Kubuntu two weeks ago when I replaced my KDE desktop with Gnome and I haven’t looked back. It feels at the same time invigorating and betraying. Like I’ve left a former love for my new fling.
I had been using Kubuntu as my main OS for over three years, having started with v 5.x and migrated along all the way to 9.x. When the Kubuntu folks decided to abandon KDE 3.5 and jump to the new experimental KDE 4.x, I felt as though I was using a beta product, as opposed to the solid well-built OS that I had come to love.

Very Happy with Ubuntu Instead
But make no mistake, Ubuntu is a better distro. The Gnome environment is very straightforward. Yes, there are less gadgets. But how many flying windows and 3-D animations do you really need on your desktop?
As a developer, and entrepreneur, most of my day is spent either on Evolution (email), Firefox or in Terminal windows, developing and monitoring my servers. I’ll check some spreadsheets on Office and occasionally play some music in the background.

Kmail vs. Evolution  (Side by Side)

Kmail on KDE
Kmail on KDE
Evolution on Gnome
Evolution on Gnome

Sure, Kmail is nice, but I like Evolution better. Why? I can’t explain, it’s just a feeling that the software is more-baked. Evolution had a more elegant interface.   Evolution doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as Kmail, but their handling of Signatures, HTML formatting, and general ease of use beats out the more extensible Kmail.  Both include calendar, memos, tasks, and contact management.

Music on Gnome vs. KDE
I like Amarok. Or should I say, I liked Amarok. Amarok 2, not so much…but that’s a different subject.
Still, Amarok 2 runs just fine on my Gnome desktop. There’s an Ubuntu (Gnome) version of Kaffeine & Xine. Mplayer works fine from Terminal on Gnome. No feeling of loss there at all.

Terminal and Konsole are essentially the same. IMO, the connection to external networks on Gnome is much more intuitive than on KDE. On KDE, you must use Dolphin (awful. no offense, but just awful), create remote network connections, and then return to Dolphin when you want to reconnect. On Gnome, you simply select from the main desktop menu – Places…Connect to Server. The newly connected server appears in your places menu thereafter.

The rest
Firefox, Open Office, Gimp, etc… all perform the same on Gnome as they did on KDE. With the possible exception that KDE Firefox seemed to crash more often.

Ubuntu handles all of my requirements pleasantly and without overhead. I’m very happy to say that I have a new love.

12 thoughts on “Goodbye Kubuntu, I’m Staying With Ubuntu. Here’s why.”

  1. Some stellar reasoning you got there, bro.


    Oh wait, every KDE app beats the shit out of its gnome counterpart. Dolphin destroys Nautilus, Kmail integrates so nicely with KDEPIM there’s no reason to pass it up, Amarok is simply the best, K3b is unrivaled, yakuake is so convenient and has no substitute, and plasma is like a very enhanced GDM that runs on the lightning-quick qt4.5. Dont even get me started on the virtues of Kate.

    Try using KDE4 and see what you think. Also try using a real KDE distro. Clearly you’re only in it for the eye candy, so youll probably like it more.

  2. not too constructive, no, but he is right — Kubuntu isn’t a very good KDE desktop at all; there are much better options out there. Debian for one, which is my distro flavor of choice. Free software is still Free Software, so enjoy Gnome, just don’t let others use it 😉

  3. You are right Kubuntu sucks!
    Ubuntu (gnome) is ok.
    But if you want to use KDE or must have, chose Fedora 11.
    Unfortunately the KDE implementation in Ubuntu is very bad.

  4. Yeah, isn’t it like Kubuntu is the bastard child of Ubuntu? I tried it once too and didn’t last long. All fair to KDE though I think it will feel finalized around 4.5 much like the 3.5 series. And the change from the entrenched 3.5 to 4.0 was so drastic that many popular apps from KDE 3 still aren’t in 4 yet. Ubuntu for a functional desktop environment is probably the best choice right now.

  5. I consider Ubuntu to be the Linux desktop standard distro for the free world. Just like corporate America accepts Red Hat or Suse as the server standard. Gnome is the best distro for corporate standard desktop usage as it more closely resembles Windows and therefore has less of a learning curve to train employees.
    Kubuntu is a unpolished attempt at taking advantage of the Canonical package on KDE. It isn’t yet in the same league as it’s Gnome counterpart.

  6. Yes, Kubuntu is a stepchild. If you want JDE, as I do, there aare better distros. I dropped Kubuntu in favor of Mandriva 2009.1 and couldn’t be happier. It’s much more polished and includes things like unified Control Center including network setup that make things so much better.

  7. This is akin to you leaving your supermodel wife for a fat ugly chick with a wart on her nose! Kubuntu, unfortunately, is a poorly built afterthought. It doesn’t receive near that attention it’s bigger sibling gets. However, KDE is far superior in most areas.

  8. Distributions that you should try if you *really* want a good KDE desktop (in no particular order):

    Mandriva 2009.1 – very well organized and gives you a default KDE desktop that is so nostalgic 🙂
    Pardus – Although the latest one is still in Alpha, this distribution is built completely around KDE and KDE/Qt apps. Boots faster than Ubuntu (seriously!)
    openSUSE – Both KDE and GNOME versions are given equal love and it shows. A bit sluggish to boot but otherwise it always has the latest and greatest software.
    Chakra – Again, this is still in alpha but its built on Arch Linux. Very fast!
    PCLinuxOS – I read less than 24 hours ago that they are finally building KDE4 packages. That will make it a serious contender to the above list.


  9. Ken, the vast majority of PCLinuxOS users have not taken well to KDE 4. They just, recently, had a major release, followed by a big update, that took the majority of that small community’s resources. KDE 4 simply had to wait. I think with the upcoming release of KDE 4.3, the PCLinuxOS community might just be ready to embrace KDE 4.

    BTW, PCLinuxOS has recently begun quarterly updates to the ISO, so when KDE 4 gets release, you should be able to download an ISO with it already on that, shortly after the release.

  10. Not to get off topic but I noticed the KDE 4 folder in the PCLinuxOS repository is starting to get populated with KDE 4 packages. I suspect it will be announced in a couple of days.

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