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Kubuntu vs Ubuntu or Kubuntu + Ubuntu?

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 2/1/2010

Kubuntu is the latest desktop environment for Linux based OS, primarily Ubuntu. A beta version of Kubuntu 9.10 has been rolled out along with the KDE 4.3.2 update. Kubuntu runs well on Ubuntu and you should learn about the combination of Kubuntu and Ubuntu rather than Kubuntu vs Ubuntu.

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    Connection between Kubuntu and Ubuntu

    Not too many users are familiar with Kubuntu yet, and some of the folks even have a misconception that Kubuntu is a fork of Ubuntu.

    However, in reality, it is an official part of Ubuntu, and an absolutely stable and secure computing environment.

    The Meaning of Kubuntu

    In Bemba, Kubuntu actually means “towards humanity", while in Kirundi (language spoken in Burundi) it means beer. Therefore, there’s a small dispute amongst the folks regarding the meaning of Kubuntu. In few other languages, Kubuntu also has few more meanings, but the above-mentioned two are the most recognised ones.

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    Kubuntu versus Ubuntu 9.10

    The title is rather misleading as Kubuntu runs on Ubuntu and there’s no way to make such a comparison. However, even the award winning Ubuntu operating system doesn't promise 18 months of free security updates, and a biannual release cycle. This K Desktop Environment based application is even available in form of freely distributed CDs for PC, from

    People prefer Ubuntu as the choice of operating system despite the presence of powerful ones like Suse, due to the sheer fact that Ubuntu is lighter, boots faster and works much better and quicker than other Linux flavours.

    You can read user reviews about Kubuntu and find more Kubuntu versus Ubuntu analysis here:

    Changing Konqueror Profile back to default KDE profiles?

    If you wish to move from Konqueror to default KDE profiles, you just need to type in:

    sudo rm -r /usr/share/kubuntu-default-settings/kde-profile/default/share/apps/konqueror

    sudo cp /usr/share/apps/konqueror/konqueror-orig.rc /usr/share/apps/konqueror/konqueror.rc

    You can also use the command: sudo rm -r /usr/share/kubuntu-default-settings/kde-profile/default/share/mimelnk/application/ - to enable Konqueror to open tar and zip files

    RAM and Memory Requirements

    As per beta testing results and experience of current users, Ubuntu requires a little higher RAM to work well (with Gnome running), while Kubuntu needs relatively lesser RAM to work satisfactorily.

    Graphical User Interface (GUI)

    Ubuntu and Kubuntu have different GUIs, as Ubuntu uses Gnome and Kubuntu uses KDE. As a matter of fact, the underlying implementation of most of the *Buntu OS is the same, but the GUI varies from one distribution to other. You can learn more about various types of Linux distributions here.

    Even when you consider other desktop environments like Xubuntu, the GUI is the only major variation, while most of the operating system doesn't change.

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    KDE on Ubuntu versus Kubuntu

    Instead of going with Kubuntu, you can do everything with KDE, but KDE on Ubuntu is flaky. It may not work well on many occasions and give you problems in auto update, and several other functionalities. On the contrary, the most recent stable KDE release comes preinstalled in Kubuntu, and there’s nothing more that you need to do to make it work well on Ubuntu.

    Kubuntu uses Adept to update, so there are no complications and the process is effortless. You may want to learn more about latest Kubuntu 9.04 release here.

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    More about Kubuntu

    In case you’re wondering what the default root password is, there isn’t any root password set as default in Kubuntu. Whenever you migrate to the next version, for instance upgrading from Hardy to Intrepid, the user settings are preserved, though not migrated automatically. You may do so by manually moving them from .kde4 to .kde

    To learn how to install Kubuntu, visit this link.