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How to find out what version of Kubuntu you're using

In Konsole type:

lsb_release -a
uname -a

Newer Versions of Kubuntu

  • Kubuntu has a six month release cycle, with releases in April and October
  • Maverick Meerkat (10.10), released in October 2010. This is not an LTS version.
  • Lucid Lynx (10.04 LTS), released in April 2010, is the next LTS (Long Term Support) version.
  • Karmic Koala (9.10), released in October 2009. This is not an LTS version.
  • Jaunty Jackalope (9.04), released in April 2009. This is not an LTS version.
  • Intrepid Ibex (8.10), released in October 2008. It is no longer supported.
  • Hardy Heron (8.04 LTS) is an LTS (Long Term Support) release.

Older Versions of Kubuntu

  • Gutsy Gibbon (7.10) (no longer supported)
  • Feisty Fawn (7.04) (no longer supported)
  • Dapper Drake (6.06 LTS) (Desktop no longer supported. Server support until June 2011.)

General Notes

  • Kubuntuguide is unofficial and is not associated with Canonical Ltd.
  • Kubuntu allows a user to accomplish tasks from either a menu-driven Graphical User Interface (GUI) or from a text-based command-line interface (CLI). In Kubuntu, the command-line-interface terminal is called Konsole, which is started: K-> System -> Konsole.
In this guide, text inside the grey dotted box like this should be put into a Konsole terminal.
  • Many changes to the operating system can only be done by a User with Administrative privileges. 'sudo' elevates a User's privileges to the Administrator level temporarily (i.e. when installing programs or making changes to the system). Example:
sudo bash
  • 'kdesudo' should be used instead of 'sudo' when opening a Graphical Application (such as the graphical text-editor application kate) through the "Run Command" dialog box or the CLI. Example:
kdesudo kate /etc/apt/sources.list
  • "man" command can be used to find the help manual for a specific CLI command. E.g. "man sudo" will display the manual page for the "sudo" command. Example:
man sudo
  • While "apt-get" and "aptitude" are fast ways of installing programs/packages, you can also use the Adept Package Manager (K -> System -> Adept Manager), a GUI method for installing programs/packages. Most programs/packages available with apt-get install will also be available from the Adept Package Manager. In this guide, when you see
apt-get install package
you can simply search for package in Adept and install it that way. The GUI installer K -> Add/Remove Programs can also be used to install programs/packages (but not all programs/packages are available from this GUI).
  • Many instructions use the text editor "nano" (which is universally available in Linux). However, it is often easier to use the text editor "kate" in Kubuntu instead.
  • "K" or "K menu" means the bottom-left (or upper-left) button, akin to the Start button in Microsoft Windows®.
  • If you are using the 64-bit version, replace any "i386" with "amd64".

Installing Kubuntu

Hardware requirements

Kubuntu Hardy Heron runs well with as little as 384 Mb RAM. (The installer requires a minimum of 256 Mb RAM, while the alternative installer can run using only 192 Mb RAM.)

The install takes between 3-4 Gb hard drive space, and 8-10 Gb will be needed to run comfortably.

If you have an older computer with less memory than this, consider Xubuntu (if between 256 Mb and 512 Mb RAM) or PuppyLinux or DSL (if less than 256 Mb RAM).

Fresh Installation

Download the latest ISO image from Kubuntu 8.04. See this guide for burning the ISO image to a CD ("LiveCD").

Use the CD for installation.

Dual-Booting Windows and Kubuntu

Rarely, a user may experience problems dual-booting Kubuntu and Windows. In general, a Windows OS should be installed first, because its bootloader is very particular. A Windows installation usually occupies the entire hard drive, so the partition needs to be shrunk, creating free space for the Kubuntu partition. (You should clean up unnecessary files and defragment the drive before resizing.) The Windows partition can be resized from within Windows Vista using the shrink/resize option in the Administrative Tools --> Disk Management tool. If using Windows XP (or other Windows OS), use GParted partition manager to shrink the Windows partition and thereby leave free space on the hard drive for the Kubuntu partition. If done this way, there is no problem installing Kubuntu as the second operating system and it is done automatically from the Kubuntu LiveCD. Allow the Kubuntu LiveCD to install to "largest available free space."

A Windows partition should be at least 20 Gb (recommended 30 Gb), and a Kubuntu partition at least 10 Gb (recommended 20 Gb). Obviously, if you have plenty of disk space, make the partition for whichever will be your favoured operating system larger. For a perspective on other partitioning schemes, see this Psychocats Guide to Partitioning.

Alternatives include:

  • Wubi (Windows-based Ubuntu Installer), an officially supported dual-boot installer that allows Ubuntu to be run mounted in a virtual-disk within the Windows environment (which can cause a slight degradation in performance). Because the installation requires an intact functioning Windows system, it is recommended to install Ubuntu in this manner for short-term evaluation purposes only. A permanent Ubuntu installation should be installed in its own partition, with its own filesystem, and should not rely on Windows.
  • EasyBCD, a free Windows-based program that allows you to dual-boot Windows Vista and Ubuntu (as well as other operating systems) by configuring the Vista bootloader.

Upgrading Gutsy to Hardy

If you are using an older version of Kubuntu, you should consider upgrading to Hardy.

You can only directly upgrade to Kubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron) from Kubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon). If you have a version older than Gutsy (7.10) then you must do serial upgrades. (For example, if you are still using Feisty, you must upgrade from Feisty to Gutsy, and then from Gutsy to Hardy.)

To upgrade from Gutsy Gibbon 7.10 to Hardy Heron 8.04:

  1. KMenu -> System -> Adept Manager (Manage Packages) -> Manage Repositories
  2. Enable the "Recommended updates" and "Pre-released updates" repository
  3. Version Upgrade --> Fetch Updates
  4. Click the Full Upgrade button

Kubuntu Resources

  • Ubuntu Forums has a large community for online solutions (for both Ubuntu and Kubuntu).
  • Kubuntu Forums has a large community for online solutions and help specific to Kubuntu.

KDE Project

KDE Eye-Candy Resources

Kubuntu Screenshots and Screencasts

New Applications Resources

  • KDE Apps
  • GetDeb - Features the latest versions of software available from the official repositories as well as software not available in the official repositories. Available in easy-to-install .deb files (see Apt and Package Basics).

Other *buntu guides and help manuals

  • Ubuntuguide -- Ubuntu uses the Gnome desktop.
  • Xubuntu Desktop Guide -- Xubuntu can run with as little as 256 Mb RAM. It is better for older machines with limited resources. It uses the XFCE desktop.
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