An Inconvenient Truth

Are you tired of having to install Ubuntu Tweak every time you install Ubuntu to get the window button alignment you want? Are you tired of having random stuff appended to your emails? Are you tired of having decision made behind your back?

Maybe it is time that you switch to Kubuntu.

Kubuntu does not only not append stuff to your emails, it also provides you with the means to change things that you do not like about the default setup. And should you care to improve the defaults for everyone, then you can do so by taking part in the decision-making process. For Kubuntu discusses important changes before they get implemented.

You like system tray icons? No problem, in Kubuntu you can have them if you want.

You like window buttons on the left and the right? The button alignment heaven is only 4 clicks away in Kubuntu.

You use a netbook? No problem, Kubuntu has the right interface for netbooks.

You want to develop superb software? Kubuntu provides you with the best frameworks and tools.

You are a professional photographer? On Kubuntu you can follow a terrific work flow.

You need a professional PIM solution? You can get that with Kubuntu. In the near future even with improved Kolab integration.

You are addicted to music? Kubuntu thinks there is no shame in that and gives you the tools to enjoy that addiction.

You are into science? Kubuntu provides you with some excellent tools that you will come to love if you do not already.

You want the latest versions of this awesome software? With Kubuntu you have a quality option to upgrade.

Fundamentally Kubuntu recognizes that everyone is different and there is no one best way to arrange a computer system for everyone and so it supports the idea of being adaptable to what works for you.

113 thoughts on “An Inconvenient Truth

  1. I concur with the thrust of what you’ve said above and would add that the KDE community is amongst the most welcoming open source grouping I’ve encountered…and I’ve been involved on the fringes of open source projects for a very long time.

    Additionally KDE is powered by QT a programming language that is fully open source (was owned by Trolltech who were purchased by Nokia and then Nokia open sourced it in a complete and absolute manner…quite unlike Sun with Java.) This point is of note as it means that KDE is not at risk from patent problems in the same way as Gnome could be via its use of MONO. KDE is a completely safe alternative and even if you think there is little risk to MONO from MS no risk beats little risk every time.

      • AFAIK Nokia did change from GPL to LGPL, effectively enabling any proprietary developer to link against system Qt. This is the last thing that was lacking for a complete FOSS solution.

          • Less restrictions is less free? It fascinates me how some people manage to twist even the simplest logical statements unintelligible.

          • Public Domain is the most free thing you can find. LGPL is closer to PD, as BSD license is even more closer to PD. GPL is more isolated from PD, closer to close source software, so it is easy to see that your affirmation is wrong.

  2. As a KDE advocate and user for the last 5 years, I really want to agree with you. But I recently had to switch away from Kubuntu Lucid.

    1. Kmail crashed repeatedly when using a Kolab IMAP and separate POP resource.

    2. Akonadi is slower than the older vcard resources, and broken in Lucid. It doesn’t start with Kontact correctly, and after some hours of use it often stops displaying my addressbook entries.

    3. Kopete silently crashes, probably due to the Akonadi issues (I use metacontacts and addressbook links, clearly a mistake).

    4. All the wonderful speed of stability of Akonadi (severe sarcasm, sorry) is about to be brought to the rest of the Kontact PIM suite.

    5. Kwin since KDE4 has had problems with every unusual application from ClusterSSH to Virtualbox (try using focus-follows-mouse and seamless mode).

    6. Kmail STILL cannot compose HTML messages or forward them properly. The only people happy with this are the “Emacs vs Vi” crowd, but it still isn’t fixed. Stop making frameworks I don’t want or care about, and start making the basic software faster, reliable, and functional in a business environment.

    I love being able to customise. But the problem with that is that there are many, many options in Kubuntu, and the project has fewer users and testers. So all those unusual use cases are invariably poorly tested.

    Perhaps most damning, I can’t find any help in web searches for most of these problems. The frameworks and applications change so fast that any KDE advice written two years ago is worthless.

    For me, Kubuntu Lucid was an abject failure, and I really am not looking forward to additional Akonadi integration. I’ll consider Kubuntu again when it is stable.

    Apologies for the rant on your blog.


  3. Honestly while I use KDE (aka kubuntu) from time to time, and have my huge issues with GNOME and Ubuntu proper, I still think that this post proves something that is wrong with the community. Fragmentation.

    If we are promoting choice on linux, trying to make everyone switch to KDE kills it. So does openly showing up the problems of Kubuntu’s sister os, Ubuntu..

    In other words, adertising Kubuntu should not come at the expence of Ubuntu, or Fedora, or PCLinuxOS… etc. Let Kubuntu shine based on it’s own merit.

    That said, I must say though that I personally am often angry with the way Ubuntu devs and GNOME devs arrogantly ignore users, but while I hate that, I’m not going to run around telling everyone to switch…

    • Amen to that. Also, from watching the Xubuntu community, there’s is often not well-thought-through comments from users that have been made thousands of times. Involving people in a process is good, but it should take some effort for someone that expects other people to do the work to outline their thoughts, to ensure the manageability of the idea. I think this is what upsets some people in the Ubuntu process: they shout something at the Ubuntu Brainstorm website and then are upset that nothing happens, to name an example.

  4. You want an unuseable GUI for an Package Manager? No Problem! There is Kubuntu

    You want an unstable and unfinished GUI for an NetworkManager? No problem! There is Kubuntu

    You want an installer that needs 10 Seconds to react on your click? No problem! There is Kubuntu

    In my oppinion, KDE is much better than GNOME. It even works on my EeePC and my Mobile Phone with a memory usage of 80mb or even less (i dont know why people so often say it needs os much memory)

    But i use Archlinux. I tried Kubuntu Netbook Edition on my Netbook but it was that slow that it was nearly unuseable (650 MHz, 512mb)

    i showed Kubuntu some people. They really liked KDE but they hated the Distro itself (old and unstable NetworkManager Applet, KPackageKit in 10.04 is unuseable and the installer is just horrible)

    So KDE is awesome. Kubuntu isn´t. Next try with 10.10

          • I agree. Kpackagekit’s new interface in Kubuntu 10.10 is better than USC.

            It gives you simplicity and control and does not make you feel like you are slave to the machine 😉 as there are enough option to tailor it, if you want to.

    • As a note, most every current KDE distro including Opensuse is using the KNetworkManager applet… We’re using the new plasmoid that shares the same guts in 10.10, but if you are still experiencing problems with that it really is a KDE limitation…

          • There are issues with GTK+NetworkManager:

            1. It will disconnect your connection automatically if it finds another “stronger” Wi-fi.

            2. If often connects to both my ethernet as well as wlan networks! I have to manually disconnect one or the other – yes this is in 10.10! At least KNetworkManager is smarter where it chooses ehternet over wlan, if available.

          • I don’t think that it is smart to use only the cable connection when it is available. It depends of the preferences of the user. When I’m in my lab, I don’t want the computer to choose the cable connection instead of the wireless connection. The cable connection has restrictions to some kinds of services, like streaming, and I like to listen radio while I’m working.

            In fact, I also think that it is extremely useful to maintain both cable and wireless connections. Again, while in my lab I need to be connected to the wireless network, I also need the cable connection to use the printer.

            I don’t see how having the chance to use both connections can be a disadvantage. You can simply disconnect from one of them if you don’t want to use it.

      • > but if you are still experiencing problems with that it really is a KDE limitation

        Or maybe Kubuntu and e.g. OpenSuse are using different versions? Since Kubuntu 10.04 was released much earlier then OpenSuse 11.3 that sounds realistic, no?

    • LOL, Either he is Trolling for Microsoft or B he really has not tried Kubuntu 10.10.

      Kubuntu 10.10 IS THE FUTURE BOYS!

  5. I never used Kubuntu or Ubuntu.
    I use another distro.
    It’s not important what distro, if I say that, it can seem some kind of distro-war…
    The fact is that you described just some parts of KDE, where exactly is something kubuntu-related?
    Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s…

  6. A realistic truth: If all of the Ubuntu customizations bug you, switch to a distro that not only cares about, but often is upstream. Switch to Fedora.

    Note I’m completely serious and am saying this from my Ubuntu Karmic desktop using chromium from the chromium-daily ppa. As Canonical aligns themselves more against actually working with upstream on their interesting changes and whatnot, I see myself disagreeing more and more with them.

      • And if Canonical decided to follow the lead of Meego and move away from a gtk stack towards a qt stack in future consumer device oriented customization… is Kubuntu governance prepared to say ‘No’ to deep Canonical-led customizations in packages that impacted the KDE desktop in the same way that Canonical-led customizations have veered away from GNOME?

        Are the policies in place right now that would have prevented a Canonical paid developer from patching KMail or any other popular email reader to append a default signature string without first getting permission for Kubuntu specific governance to do it?


        • I do not think discussion on hypothetical things has much use. In any case I would like to state that Kubuntu has strong leadership and we have turned down Canonical changes in the past. Also our interest is not to say ‘No’ to changes from Canonical on general principle but find an approach that suites everyone’s need and still obeys our patching policy (which for the better part requires large changes to be applied upstream).

          As for the policy: No, there is no explicit policy in any case a policy only works as long as it is enforced by the right people. The Kubuntu community, just like the KDE community works on common consensus building and Canonical acknowledges that. Out of the 6 members of the Kubuntu governance board 5 have upload permissions for every package in the Ubuntu archives, out of those 5 only 1 is employed by Canonical. So if an arugable change were introduced without first having formed consensus in the community there would be 4 people to revert it within the hour.
          That said, it is not like any non-Canonical contributor could not as well introduce an arguable change. In which case the very same thing happens. “Reverted until discussed and decision reached.”

  7. Another inconvenient truth:

    KDE is not yet there, in fact its far far away…

    Compare Amarok vs. Banshee (or even Rythmbox FWIW), Kontact vs. Evolution (Google Calendar and Contacts Integration somebody?), Konqueror for a web browser??, etc. etc.

    Some time back KDE(3.x) offered the better applications, but this has dramatically changed. Kubuntu is like raw wood, compared to polished furniture delivered by Ubuntu. You know, what I prefer.

    • Yes, Ubuntu is more polished, and for a new Linux user I would recommend it over Kubuntu, but I myself have finally switched permanently to Kubuntu because of the reasons pointed out in this blog post, and Kubuntu is not as bad as you describe it.

    • Your rants are not corrected in KDE4 yet. You are comparing aging GNOME 2.x with KDE 4.x, which changed the platfrom from ground up. As for konqueror, its a non-issue as Chromium and Rekonq behave and work quite well within KDE. Also, Firefox is more or less desktop agnostic, so what’s the point? Same for OpenOffice (or LibreOffice 🙂

    • KDE 4.5.3 Blows Gnome back to the stone ages. And then turns swift and axes windows 7 like its a pup running for its mommy.

      I use Kubuntu 10.10. a year ago i would not touch kubuntu if u paid me..and i was one slamming it.

      I tried suse, kde mint, fedora kde. and it looks like a butched block from install to desktop compared to Kubuntu.

      Kubuntu new install tops it all by placeing a all visual install in index mix with high end graphics to picture and keeping it simple. Along with stableness is insane.

      If you have not tried Kubuntu 10.10. forgo what anyone says with a grain of salt and just install it, and try it yourself.

  8. All that is great but what about Kubuntu is just too unstable. I have tried it with past 3-4 releases, really wanting to like it but it just makes me go back to Ubuntu/Gnome because it doesn’t “just work”. In fact, it doesn’t work even after loads of effort.. It is too crashy, hangs up a lot, network doesn’t work properly…I can’t suggest Kubuntu to anyone just yet..

  9. I’ll give Kubuntu 10.10 a try again once it is released! I tried it a few times since the KDE 4 release, but there has been some big gaping holes in the usability that I don’t have in Gnome.

    Maybe it has improved and it will stick this time 🙂

    BTW, does compiz work on Kubuntu? Or does it have similar usability enhancements? If not, that will be a tough one for me.

      • But generally KWin supports desktop effects.

        With sufficient small definition of “supports”, unfortunately. Basically, the choice is between using KWin, with abysmal slow graphics, meaning the hiding the window animation has like 3 or 4 frames, with around one of my 3 cores doing essentially nothing, creating lots of unnecessary heat on the CPU. Switching off compositing and a while later on, or having the screensaver on, or using Kubuntu 10.10 makes everything slow to a crawl. Or using compiz. No noteworthy CPU usage. Comparing the graphics speed is a real eye opener, it’s just fluid. But then, compiz is not KDE. It eats various hot keys in an unpredictable way, Alt-Tabbing through Windows doesn’t work, Middle-Click to put a window in the background doesn’t work reliable (i.e. not if the window is not already active), and various other usability issues.

        Both options suck. KDE developer’s response to graphics suckiness is a collective “shrug, *we* did everything right” with a finger pointing to the graphics drivers. Color me unimpressed.

        So, I’m also trying again as soon as 10.10 is released. For me, the annoying issues with 10.04 are: * Xorg frequently (in case of a race, I assume) loosing the idea to which window a click should go, making the GUI unusable for all practical purposes * plymouth sometimes segfaulting, leading to a black screen instead of a login screen * plasmarc corruption on upgrade to 4.4.5 * irrecoverable favicon cache corruption after having used 4.5 * CPU usage widgets sometimes not showing anything, preferrable if there actually is useful information for the CPU core usage to show * kimpanel does not work at all (“use *this* GNOME applet” was the comment from a KDE guy) * printer applet using one full core after killing Xorg * no good music player * system tray incompatible with Qt3 applications (causes bogus empty window) etc pp. Somehow, a huge amount of polish is missing here.

        For 10.10, I can’t yet know which bugs are actually fixed, but so far I see: * graphics glitches * new ugly tray (yes, the idea with expanding into a menu is good by itself) with uglified icons * further degradation of graphics speed for kwin.

        Anyway. I like to use KDE and don’t like GNOME at all. But, as it looks like, even with KDE 4.5, I will not have a way to get things done without falling back to GNOME tools, because the KDE ones are simply inadequate, which is what keeps bugging me…

    • Compiz works on Kubuntu, but KWin also has compositing. Compiz is better in the flashy special effects department, but KWin also has the basics and it is a better window manager.

  10. Disclaimer: I’m a user.
    As much as I’d like to try Kubuntu (KDE) again. I’m never sold on the screenshots. I like the layout of the gnome desktop much better. I like the size of the mono icons better as well in the notification area. I also like the default tango-ified icons better. The taskbar looks too crowded and I’m not a big fan of the menu button and how it’s layed out. I’m not trying to troll or anything here, but I see avid KDE fans trying to push KDE now and again and it’s great…. it’s just when I look and have used KDE it looks too clutter (even the apps and there’s too many buttons everywhere). This brings me to my last point on what do I like or what do I want to see in a desktop and I feel like Elementary OS, Dan Rabbit and gang are creating what users really want. For example, apps with no menu bar (i.e. File, Edit, View, etc… amazing)… if you’ve seen his mockups they’re simple and to the point. However, when I look at KDE (and some parts of Gnome even though I think they do a better job) it’s like looking at a messy room and your brain can’t relax when you’re trying to do work. Anyway, comments like this usually go on the back burning and this will quickly become unnoticed and nothing will be done, but I thought I’d let you know my perspective to hopefully help sell KDE more to people like me in the future.

      • Jonathan,

        Right, but where do I draw the line between changing the notification system and everything else…. when does it become too much and I can just start using Gnome and get better results in terms of design and appeareance. I know you’re tyring to help, but hopefully I made my point clear in my parent post.

  11. Barring a few uncomfortable months when KDE4 was still buggy as heck, and I had to switch to Gnome for a while, I’ve been a Kubuntu user since “Dapper” and will continue to be one for a long time to come. Picking Kubuntu over Ubuntu back then was a mostly coincidental choice for me but since then, I’m glad I did. I enjoy it much better.

    That said– I want people to use what they want and works for them. The choice in desktop environments is one of the really great things about Linux in general.

  12. KDE 4.5 and Kubuntu rocks, I tried KDE after 1999 because I was sick of Pulse audio issues on Ubuntu, it is a revelation in every sense and a pleasure to use, tweak and customize, plus apps like K3B, KDENLIVE, K9, Ktorrent have no parallels in Gnome world.

  13. I quit using KDE when 4.0 came out for obvious reasons, and went back to GNOME. Stuck with GNOME for quite some time. Then I decided to install Arch and see what the new KDE 4.5 looks like.

    Will never go back to GNOME again. Unless, of course, KDE messes something up again.

  14. As I much as I really love Kubuntu, I does *not* run great on my netbook (Acer Aspire One with 1 GB Ram and 32 GB SSD). Compared to the Ubuntu Gnome desktop, it feels rather sluggish and in contrast to some remarks above it needs about 100 MB more RAM for the basic desktop compared to Gnome. Even under Maverick.

    But that should in no way discourage you to keep up your great work on Kubuntu. I just wanted to give feedback on that specific point.

    • The RAM usage discussion has been done a lot of times. In the end using RAM is not bad. You do not want your resources to go wasted, right?

      As for the sluggishness. I have observed this too on my Dell Mini 10 with the netbook interface of Kubuntu 10.04. The reason there was, as so often, the graphics driver. If using the Qt raster graphics system (also see a previous post of mine on this) overall performance was like 300% better. One can only hope the drivers improve at some point :/

      • Your problem is you bought a Dell, Try a vendor computer along with your free Operating system. Marketing works in alot ways to down the Free source:) Never buy a tagged named computer for many reasons to run open source at its finest. Don’t believe me….shell some small money on a Non Trademark computer and experiment for yourself:)

  15. I’ve been a KDE user since 1.x, a pretty long time. I’ve tried other DEs but none have stuck like KDE. It always had that kind of a lead idea or technology that kept up the interest despite all the bugginess, like kioslaves or kparts or more recently Plasma and Akonadi. To be honest I’m only glad that Kubuntu doesn’t mess with KDE like Ubuntu with Gnome. That’s because there’s no need to.

  16. The points in the original post are right, but you are only saying the good things, there are a lot of things which are not as good in kubuntu as in ubuntu,
    For example:
    -Stability, I’ve always felt that ubuntu is more stable, I may be wrong with it though.
    – 2d Performance(KDE) This has always been a problem for me in kde , this could be because propietary nvidia drivers, but it doesn’t happen with gtk (I heard it doesn’t use advanced features). I feel the desktop slow and unresponsive (maybe kubuntu should ship with some kernel patches for responsiveness?BFS?)
    -Related to above, nepomuk disk stress, Nepomuk still needs some work to be fast and to not bother the user. Even if disk index is off , there is always some strigi process consuming 20-30% of cpu all the time, or mostly.

    Note: I’m a KDE and kubuntu user and I really like both, but I think not only good things should be mentioned.

    • I have the same KDE version (4.4.5) on a Debian computer and on a Kubuntu computer.

      In Kubuntu, the regular scanning to check for changes in files takes a long time and is quite heavy, while in Debian it is very quick and I only notice it because of the systray icon that shows up.

      There´s clearly something wrong with nepomuk/strigi in Kubuntu. Unfortunately I still hadn´t time to try to track it down… Hopefuly it´s fixed in 10.10?

      • Thaigo,

        Make sure Nepomuk has enough memory allocated to it. System Settings/Desktop Search/Advanced Settings. Kubuntu may come with a smaller alotment by default.

        • Thanks for the tip. I´m currently traveling but I´ll try that as soon as I get back.

          Though even if that is the issue, it´s a bug to ship with a default memory allocation that is less than what is needed. 🙂

  17. My main problem with both (K)ubuntu is that they release in a very bad condition. It takes about 2-3 month after every release to get things working again by adding ppa’s which sometimes unfortunately introduce new problems. E.g. with KDE on Kubuntu at the moment no KDE player displays video (it did until a few weeks ago) and as a consequence of kind of automatically switching to pulseaudio it seems that I can not configure my second soundcard.
    But most of the problems are hardware not KDE related: It is either suspend/resume, something with networking (3g or wireless) or graphics that causes problems. I have mostly given up testing before release, because only few of these problems are addressed before release. The problem of (K)ubuntu seems to be that the pr is more important than a stable release. I rarely happens that a release is postponed.

  18. I say Debian netinstall, apt-get install kde-full.
    Ready for most tasks.
    I’m not a KDE user, but I’m a kde supporter.

    Well, I use okular, but just for printing pdf and PostScript files.

  19. A pretty poor highlighted points:

    -You don’t have to install Ubuntu tweak to change the button alignment. I haven’t counted the clicks but they aren’t that much more. But you are right that it isn’t as simple as it should be. (Though anyone is really free to change their desktop theme to something with right hand buttons in two clicks).

    -Ubuntu no longer appends things to emails by default. The community was heard.

    -The decision that was “made behind your back.” Is something that happens often in open source. Someone patches something simple they believe needs fixing and files a bug about it because it is a part of the development process. If every little decision needs made to be put up in front of the community before a bug is even filed well we would have a impossible amount of bureaucracy. Of course here there was an error personal judgement of how everyone felt about the “bug.” Again the decision was reversed in a completely open manner.

    Kubuntu was the first Linux distribution I used and it got me into Linux. It is a good distribution in it’s own right. But please do not attack other distrobutions like this. Criticism is good but to be real criticism in needs to be two things: 1)valid and 2)honest.

    • I did not criticize but referenced critics and pointed out the obvious: if you do not like what you use, use something else. Of course since I am developer of such a “something else” I would like the new something to be the one I create 😉

      Also, I personally believe that any critic has merit, be it valid or not. Most people do not criticize out of boredom (except trolls ;)) but becaue they perceive something as not suiting.

      So let me pick your first point, I agree, Ubuntu Tweak is not ultimately necessary to change the button order. It is however a very convenient solution. From my perspective if anything this indicates that whoever complains about having to install Ubuntu Tweak to change the button order is in need of a way to easily change the order, something Kubuntu, or KDE in particular provides.

  20. Though having developped parts of Blogilo, I have had my problem with pre4.0-4.3 as well. 4.4 in 10.04 improved things to a level which was actually a good working environment again. But having switched to 10.10 with KDE 4.5 packages now, things finally fall together again, especially KPackageKit in 10.04 was imo a nogo. Things work by default(tm) now and you can put your workflow to the test with all the options and possible tweekings. Even a radeon 5750 worked with opensource drivers and kwin composite by default (could improve still, but is a milestone already).

    btw, if you don’t like the many icons and default actions, you can tweek (and hide) every button in every toolbar, as well as every toolbar. You can even drag them around. This does not work in Gnome to my knowledge.

    But I would still not recommend KDE (and thus Kubuntu) to everybody. Some things that I’d like to see:

    1. A nice project would be a simplified KDE setup imo, maybe as alternative GUI setups (as they are mostly done in text files). One could even think of a GHNS service for specialized setups (including the KWin’s great features + scripts now), so you can download a setup which fits your specific workflow and arranges apps and toolbars + shortcuts accordingly (plasma supports scripting as well…).

    2. Another nice thing would be a windows switch effect comparable to gnome shell, which allows rearranging the windows and start new apps/docs by drag and drop in the otherwise wasted screen space. The functionality is imho already there basically.

    3. Another important gap is serious nepomuk *integration* and strigi default setups as this is a *really* important time saver. Amarok for example definetly should use nepomuk, so you can simply type a song title in krunner and play it without clicking around like hell. This would also lower the consumed memory as it otherwise runs its own db-server.

    4. Now that the Webkit-KPart works quite well, please reestablish Konqueror as a default browser. This isn’t some romantic dreaming, but the unbeaten mutual integration of great technologies is KDE’s main concept. I think of things like tagging webpages, using magnet-links in KIO embedded in Phonon/Html5 (works here already, but needs further work in KTorrent), Greasemonkey support for QtWebkit/KDEWebkit. You could then also integrate Plasma as a frame in Html with plasmoid using html again and being properly themed etc. … The Web (not necessarily www) will be the way to go for the future and losing the platform integrated Browser actually caps the flow of innovation. Konqui (with KDE integration) would also run on all platforms nowadays. It has been right to switch to firefox during the vanishing times of KHtml, but its time to put it back.
    Rekonq is no match to Konqui although it does some nice things, but why not do them in Konqui? Konqui is so much more powerful combined to Rekonq with KParts/splitted Windows etc. Just ship a chromified default web profile and improve the Url bar.

  21. I’m a long-time yet unmoved Kubuntu user. Face it, 80% of the time for 90% of users, the desktop is just the thin strip under the browser.

    * With only 1 GB of RAM, by the time Konsole, Firefox, flash player, Thunderbird, and Amarok are running, I’m one misbehaving daemon, unoptimized python utility, or bad Flash movie away from an unusably slow computer.
    * Nepomuk can never find my files, strigiclient often can’t.
    * All the little details of Dolphin’s file selection and navigation jar with Firefox and Thunderbird file dialogs, so I cringe every time it starts up.
    * KPackageKit works great until it stops working (I look forward toKMuon or Qapt or whatever)

    KDE/Kubuntu is a beautiful desktop environment with some powerful default apps that’s well laid out with features in depth. But again, it’s mostly just that thin strip under my browser. Much as admire the project’s goals and achievements, I’d probably be better off with Fedora Gnome or a Firefox-centric lightweight distro (does one exist?).

  22. Kontact as a professional PIM solution?

    it can’t even reply to html mails for about 8 years now or so – so it disqualifies itself in a cooperate environment, thats not what i call professional.

    inconvenient – but the truth

      • Not only Kontact but whole of KDE is office /corporate /workplace unfriendly.

        * Kopete has no support for MS communicator format (pidgin does with pidgin-sipe).
        * Kontact cannot talk to MS exchange calendar / contacts. I can use IMAP, of course.
        * Koffice seems reluctant to open MS Office documents (at least not as clean as
        * KDE4 proxy has not changes since 3.x! Yeah, the same thing is moved over without a change. Auto-proxy does not work and I still cannot assing a default username/password to my proxy login from KDE!
        * Nepomuk/Strigi/Akonadi, although excellent technologies, have not, so far, made our tasks on the desktop any simpler.

        Well, the above list would be a good start if KDE wants to get into the workplace desktop — and my view is that is what matter more than joe average’s desktop full of plasmoids and niggly little things all over the place!

        A humble request to KDE devs from a die-hard KDE fan (despite above misgivings): Please look at getting KDE to places where it *really* matters. Lift it up from “amateur” desktop user levels to a corporate one so that one can look at truly replacing a Windows desktop at workplace with a KDE one. Thanks.

        • For the better part you are assuming that a company must use Microsoft Products there, which IMHO is a bogus assumption. I know plenty of companies that do not require any interoperability with Microsoft products whatsoever.

          Anyhow, here you go: your most personal way of complaining 😉

          • true its all about submitting bug reports and giving feedback , but at the end of the day its no use at all if those bugs which are reports are just not seen as important ( check the epic discussion/ number of votes/rants that started in 2004 on )

            i fully understand that its more fun to code on funky stuff like plasma, kwin , whatever – its just nothing that can put kde on the map for professional use.

          • It is open source nothing is stopping you from doing something about it. The thing is that the day only has so many hours and if it is imap-loosing-mails vs. html-replies-dont work, latter will always loose (at least for me).

          • This seems to be an issue as well. Each time one points out a lack of professional protocols and tools in KDE, one is pointed to

            There is an open bug on Kopete, for example, for years about MS OCS protocol. There is also another one (open for longer) about Kmail and attaching a logo/photo with each email (as part of the signature!)

            Point is not Point is whether KDE project is serious about interoperability with protocols used at workplace. I am sure there workplaces that are MS-free but 90% are not. Despite mine being a MS-oriented company, I use Linux (and KDE) on my work desktop. However, lack of tools to sanely interact with MS protocols affects smooth ride.

            At the end of the day, one looks at KDE desktop as being very “cool” but GTK/GNOME apps appear to be serious about actually getting the work done, so to say.

            This is not a flame-bait but simply stating the fact that although KDE has the bling, the apps don’t measure up in a “real” world which, let’s face it, is MS-oriented. If it wasn’t, we would not have a dedicated KDE-on-Windows project 🙂

        • * Kopete is legacy imo. It hasn’t really improved since 3.5 and development speed seems to be very slow. The website is also orphaned imo. I guess we have to wait for KTelepathy to finally regain nice chatting capabilities and more interest in extending IM functionality.
          * KOffice will get improved MS import filters over the time now since the big brother Nokia has put it on the agenda for freoffice. Still MS compatibility is a bit wasted compared to important odf features imo as it will never be intended to work perfectly outside of MS Office.
          * Well, proxy setup could be definetly better, especially when you want to use different proxys for different things. I have had setup squid for that, but it is a bit overkill. For example I’d like to use googlesharing for all over kde without setting it as the only proxy.
          This is a typical KDE (especially KDE4) experience imo, where you have to wait a long time until the core technologies are setup and then you start to get the important features and polish (again).
          I hope this will never happen again in this dimension, as I have used Gnome in the meantime as well, as it just worked for many things by default(tm).

  23. Honestly, I like KDE. But every distribution that I’ve tried which used KDE was buggy (at least to some extent). On Kubuntu in particular:
    For whatever reason, the KDE system sounds often conflicted with other programs which were trying to use the sound system. This has been fixed of course (I think, anyway), but it was off-putting.
    It’s also a bit heavy for my computer (Kubuntu, maybe other distributions did it better), My 7100GS doesn’t perform really well with the nouveau drivers (but Gallium(3D) has been improving rapidly, of late), and so there were often graphic artifacts in KDE, even with most visual effects disabled.
    After logging in, sometimes background processes (and sometimes even foreground processes) would crash; this usually happened when the system was under load (just after booting), or memory was filling up. It’s a shame, because Qt is a fairly speedy toolkit.
    Kwrite is sluggish, IMHO. It does more than Gedit, definitely, but I can’t edit files as quickly and smoothly as with Gedit. The only time I have trouble with Gedit, is with large, single line files, while line-wrapping is enabled.

    In short, I haven’t had many good experiences with Kubuntu (or even OpenSuSE/KDE). Things seem to be improving, and I may test Kubuntu again soon. Here’s hoping for the best. ^.^

  24. Great post.

    Frankly, it’s more of a endorsement of KDE4 than Kubuntu.

    My problem with Kubuntu is that due to lack of resources compared to openSUSE, Mandriva and others, it lacks the polish / quality assurance of other KDE based distros.

    It’s not my opinion only, but easy to see by following bug reports, release notes, etc.

    However, its still an awesome showcase of KDE backed with the huge Ubuntu repo’s which make it worth the occasional frustrating moment.

    Looking forward to some 10.10 polish.

  25. Ok i tested the 10.10 Live CD and the installer is still slow as hell

    i dont know why but the Ubuntu installer is 1000 times faster. You click on the button and you see on the next screen. On Kubuntu i have to wait up to 20 seconds or more until he goes to the next screen
    The installation itself is the same speed as ubuntu but the installer/setup is still awesomely slow

    its nearly impossible to do partitioning with it! Really thats so annoying.

    I dont know why they developer cant do there job in that way. Maybe they should accept that they fail in Python and start to write an installer in an other language

    • So i aborted the installation. Really the time that Kubuntu needs to install, in that time i can install 5 operating systems. Even the SuSE installer, which is awesomely slow, is much faster!

      • I have installed 10.10 beta here on my 4 year old laptop and haven’t encountered your problems. Maybe it is a problem with your display hardware? I don’t say it is your fault, but maybe you could investigate to help it get fixed. The installer really worked well and I even have a customized partition layout setup on another pc.

        • Ok it seems like it had something to do with the mouse. If i dont move the mouse, the screen stays the same. If i move the mouse the screen changes Ö_Ö

          maybe it have something to do with the Input or Video drivers of X.Org

          and it seems like its different from VMs to Real Machines and so on…

          on the other two PCs i have i dont encountered the problem so it seems not to be kubuntus fault

          so i take back what i said. Kubuntu 10.10 seems to be very awesome.

          KPackageKit is 100023984092384092834times better than the version in 10.04

          They use this very awesome NM-Plasmoid instead of the standard (unuseable) KNetworkManager.

          Yeah everything was fixed… awesome! =)

  26. Most of the features covered are actually KDE4.x features, not Kubuntu Features.

    KDE runs on a heap of platforms, not just Linux, nor Kubuntu.

    Not going to slam Kubuntu, its a good place to start if you want to get into using Linux, however i moved to Arch Linux a long time ago – because this is one of the Distro’s that let you choose what you want and how you want it….not for beginners though..

    • Well (K)Ubuntu has its issues, too. But having used Gentoo and Debian for years, I have to say that it is a quite balanced approach (once KDE4 has matured, as it has now), so the post here is quite fitting to the current situation. The Debian package repository is unbeaten, because they put a lot of work into the maturing of packages and not only in the package manager. You can only overcome that with more people working on the package repos which nearly impossible.
      You might have sometimes more bleeding edge packages on Arch/Gentoo, but with the launchpad ppa system I’d say that even that is not the case anymore. So Kubuntu/Debian (see also Sidux if you like bleeding edge stuff) is exactly for power users + the benefit of being the system of choice for many sysadmins.

  27. While there is no doubt that KDE is a MUCH better desktop than GNOME, and furthermore Canonical’s cripled GNOME, it is also true that KDE is still lacking some support for some advance technologies much needed for modern desktops GNOME has had for a while, mostly due to its much wider corporate affiliated community of developers.
    I am talking about bluetooth, networkmanager, webkit and last but not least HAL depreciation.
    IMO the first version of KDE 4 which will (hopefully) be mostly desktop ready will be KDE SC 4.7 which these technologies will be part of.
    Although i dont know what is the case for webkit. That part seems to rely heavily on whats been done in the QT toolkit.

    PS. KPackageKit in 10.04 == worst GUI for package management ever.
    I dont believe that piece of software can magically become usable, despite of what people claim above.

    • KPackageKit has improved a lot, test it.
      *Bluetooth is now integrated again. (have tested it)
      *QWebkit is working quite well (rekonq,konqui). I am having issues with the flash player from time to time though 😦
      *networkmanager works here for both lan and wlan.

      • I’m using 10.10 beta and all is well. No problems with Flash. If you’re using 64 bit, you might want to install the native “Square” preview release. It works better than the wrapped 32 bit for me.

      • Im talking about KDE here, not what Kubuntu wraps up.
        None of these technologies is intergrated yet into KDE.
        All Kubuntu does is package development versions of bluedevil, knetworkmanager and kwebkitpart for konqueror.
        Bluedevil is still RC, knetworkmanager still hasnt got a stable release, or an alpha, or a beta, or anything, plus it works much less reliably that the GNOME networkmanager does, and webkit in QT is nowhere near webkit-gtk is.

        • bluedevil is being deployed in favor of not having a broken bluetooth stack in yet another release (in case you had not noticed, but bluedevil is being developed because kdebluetooth or kbluetooth or whatever its name was, is sort of broken and sort of ewww, so that the authors of bluedevil thought rather than maintaining something that would need a rewrite anyway, lets start from scratch…) also this is being coordinated with the bluedevil developers and from what I gather they are as execited about it as the Kubuntu team is, because now they can get real user feedback and testing on a broad basis. Basically the same is the case with KPackageKit, who’s main author is in close touch with us and actually suggested/requested/asked us to incorporate the improved KPK for Kubuntu 10.10 rather than the current stable version.
          KNetworkManager OTOH is a whole different story. For one thing, Kubuntu is not the only distribution to ship it, for another I have no idea why it never has seen a release. As it works now is that every distribution that uses KNM includes a reasonable well working version and then patches problems away while being in feature freeze (that is patches coming from upstream). The KWebKitPart is only packaged for testers convenience and not part of the standard distribution. What is more likely is that you mean libkwebkit, which is official component of KDELibs BTW and as such has a valid reason to be shipped. Also since no matter what the state of QtWebKit may be compared to foowebkit it still works reasonable better than KHTML.

          Now to wrap this up.
          I have no idea what you are talking about.
          Bluetooth support was long not-so-well-maintained and is about to see a new life, network mangement (which BTW is largely developed by employees of companies behind openSUSE, if that counts as a corporate affiliation?) is working reasonable well for me for like at least a year and I have no idea what your problem with webkit or HAL is.

  28. If anything, Digikam is a huge mess and not “professional”. It is way too complicated to use compared to real professional photography applications.
    Same goes for Kontact which might have a lot of functionality but is also totally screwed up User Interface wise.
    Currently the only KDE app which is straightforward to use and feature-complete is Amarok.

    • “Currently the only KDE app which is straightforward to use and feature-complete is Amarok.”
      Yes, but it eats around 50MB of RAM’s. Have you ever tried the abilities of Guayadeque?

  29. I like GNOME, but I’m quite skeptical about Ubuntu’s development – therefore I switched to Fedora.
    If there was a KDEmod Kubuntu, I’d give it a try.

      • There use to be KDEmod in Arch Linux, which was nothing more than splitted KDE packages which Arch itself didnt have at the time.
        Now this project is almost deprecated and its people are developing Chakra.
        I dont know what Zsolt would like to see though. KDE is already modular in Kubuntu..

        • What I’d like to see is the ability to remove unneeded components without borking the whole system, like the whole KDE PIM, Kopete, Konqueror, etc.
          On GNOME you can remove the GUI parts of Evolution, Empathy as a whole, and you’re not locked up with any browser.

  30. Apachelogger, I have only one question: is it KDE 4 finally able to handle CD/DVD automount? I was a KDE fan for long period, before the KDE 4 came into being, but moved to GNOME because it couldn’t fit to a simple request I have. I don’t like to waste my time with clicking on buttons and eye-candies, so I expect from a DE that when I insert a CD/DVD into a reader’s try and close the try, in few seconds it auto-opens with Dolphin or any other file manager. Also, I like to place a video DVD into the reader, and to lean back and wait until the movie starts in one of my favorite players. Is KDE version of Maverick capable of it? Can I do the settings such way, that I musin’t see those idiotic pop-ups? If not, I’ll stay with GNOME instead.
    Functionality over the look!

  31. I like KDE a lot.
    The thing is that Kubuntu seems to be getting worse with each release.
    10.04 is supposed to be an LTS stable release, but
    – every kernel update fucks up my NVIDIA XORG config and KDE no longer starts up.
    – 1 minute after starting Kontact, I get an error message telling me that Aconadi does
    not have resource agents.

    If things do not improve with 10.10, I’ll start looking for another distro.
    Any sugestions for a good KDE distro ?

    • 1 minute after starting Kontact, I get an error message telling me that Aconadi does
      not have resource agents.

      Why dont you just add Ressource Agents

      that seems to be more like an KDE Problem^^

      btw. the best KDE Distros are Gentoo and Archlinux

  32. Kruz says:
    September 30, 2010 at 21:55
    @Vamp898 From where do you have that information, can you provide a link? Customization is important, and if someone doesn’t want a program, he should be able to remove it without problems.

    Ubuntu is an distribution which should be easy to use. If Ubuntu would want to give you an optimized system with just what you want it wouldn´t pre-install that much

    You dont buy an care and remove stuff you dont wanted after you bought it right?

    I know that the fan-hype about Ubuntu get that large that people want to use it as everything. As an rolling-release distribution, as an kiss distribution.

    But the Philosophy clearly wants to give the user an easy to use and not optimized as possible system

    If you want optimisation you can use things like Archlinux

    • The main problem is that KDEmod is only present in Arch, and not any other distributions.
      KDE likes to mock GNOME that KDE is more configurable and customizable, but you must stick with the stock apps you get, or at least keep them installed even if you don’t use them at all. On GNOME while you don’t get as many configuration options as with KDE, or some ar hidden, you still can weed out software you don’t need and use something else instead if you like, without borking the whole DE.

  33. What is KDE lacking at most is the thing called simplicity:
    Last time I’ve used Kubuntu, i figured out I’ll have to learn a new program language if I want to do the settings in the media-manager. There are quite a lot of possibilities to define different kind of optical devices and storage media, but there is also an unworthy, useless logical language to program the behavior of things. Since there are no answers to my previous question, I guess, the media-manage is as wrecked as it was in former releases. Tell me if I’m wrong!

    • Media Manager? The default Music Player of KDE is Juk

      Juk have about 5 Settings, maximum. Its even simpler than Rakarrack.

      If you´re talking about amarok, thats not KDEs Media Player. That is just one media player for KDE beside all others. Ther standard is and will ever be juk

      and amarok doesnt have that much settings too. To setup Banshee is much more complicated in case of this senseless plugin-system.

  34. I don’t think that we should speak as if there is only one truth.
    I use linux because I like it, I find it much more functional than other OS and I’m more productive when I work with linux.

    However, I know that there is no OS that is ideal for everybody. It depends on the kind of work each person does, it depends on the work place, and, most of all, it depends on the preferences of each individual user.

    The same applies to all the useless discussions of pc vs mac, windows vs linux, gnome vs kde, ubuntu vs kubuntu, etc.
    I guess it is positive to point out the strongest points and the drawbacks of each choice, but the decision of which is the best choice, or what is the real truth depends on the preferences of each user.

    My feeling about KDE is that I’d like to like it. And I already tried it so many times, but I always end up going back to gnome.
    I recognize many advantages in using KDE. That’s why I understand that so many people like KDE and that’s also why I always keep trying to enjoy it. But there are many things that just make me angry :p

    Nevertheless, Kubuntu is a long way far from other distributions based in KDE (e.g, PCLinuxOS), in terms of stability, fastness, and simplicity.
    So, I don’t see why presenting Kubuntu as the solution for all the problems of EVERYBODY.
    (And, actually, the features described in the post are mainly features from KDE, not necessarily Kubuntu.)

    Just my opinion.

  35. Hi everyone,

    I left using Kde 3 (kubuntu) in 2006 and encouraged my bosses to get rid of kde for now and switch to Gnome (ubuntu) for follwing reasons.

    1. Ubuntu is a brand oriented distro.
    2. Ubuntu is simple
    3. Kde was going through heavy transition. from Kde3 to Kde4

    I used to test Kde4 released from ppa time to time though i decided not to use KDE as my default desktop environment till next 5 years at-least. Last time i installed Kubuntu 10.04 and i was quiet impressed, i kept KDE my default desktop environment for 3, 4 month and again i switched backed to Gnome because of issues primarily in network and package manager.

    Last week i bought a Dell mini 10v and installed KDE 4.5.1 over my default Ubuntu Netbook Remix install, and guess what i am totally impressed with Plasma-netbook, it’s much simple to navigate in plasma-desktop unlike ubuntu’s netbook edition, search and launch interface is really intuitive.

    1. Network management is way much better than any other OS that exists in the world today
    2. Package manager is good though i would like to get rid of lot’s popups.
    3. Search and launch works faster and screen doesn’t hang while searching.
    4. Desktop effects are much more stable and efficiency is much improved. in the future i am looking more improvements.
    5. rekonq is cool.
    6. KDE is now focusing on branding

    now I have decided to stick with kde and never go back to gnome again, though i would like them to make dialogue windows in KDE SC look consistent.

    Best Regards.

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