Getting Started With Kubuntu

Kubuntu is a branch of the up and coming Ubuntu desktop Linux distribution. Where Ubuntu is based on the Gnome desktop system, Kubuntu is based on KDE (hence the K).

I’ve not used Linux in a long while, and fancied a bit of a mess around, perhaps to mess about with it as a LAMP web server. I initially downloaded and installed Ubuntu, but I’ve never liked the Gnome interface. I was about to ditch the idea completely when I discovered there was a KDE-based offshoot.

The biggest irritation for me is the default security option – the root account is disabled by default. The first user is granted superuser privileges which they can execute via command line using sudo and the command they want to execute. In some of the GUI consoles, there’s an Administrator Mode button which doesn’t seem to work very well as far as I can tell. I’ve managed to hack the system so that I can logon as root and make administrative changes that way. Not totally secure, but less hassle. I’m not using it for anything critical at the moment anyway.

Kubuntu: A Viable Desktop Operating System?

Is Kubuntu a viable alternative to Windows XP? Not quite at the moment, but it’s gaining momentum.

Two major failings are:

  1. Still not enough major-label software available for Linux. That includes driver support for contemporary hardware devices.
  2. K/Ubuntu has a few frustrating bugs that need to be squashed. While ‘us techies’ will be able to work around them, normal Joes will end up irritated and potentially walks away.

Still, there’s so much potential in a system like Kubuntu. For an average user – my wife, for instance – all she needs is a web browser, word processor and possibly an email client, although with Gmail that’s not such an issue. For me, I’d be looking for my Dreamweaver, my Photoshop and a host of other applications that I rely on to do my work, and although there are ways to make Windows applications run on Linux, I’ve not had the time to explore this. I suspect regular users won’t want to waste time with it either.

Anyway, the jury’s out on Kubuntu Linux. I’m giving it a trial on an old machine, so if there’s anything interesting with Kubuntu, I’ll post it here.

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