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General Notes

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 menu -> System -> Konsole Terminal.
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' can 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, although it is not mandatory. Example:
kdesudo kate /etc/apt/sources.list
  • "man" command can be used to find help manual for a specific 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 KPackageKit (or the Adept Package Manager or the Synaptic Package Manager), a GUI method for installing programs/packages. Most (but not all) programs/packages available with apt-get install will also be available from KPackageKit (or Adept or Synaptic). In this guide, when you see
sudo apt-get install package
you can search for package in KPackageKit (or Adept or Synaptic) and install it that way.
  • 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".

How to determine which version of Kubuntu you're using

In Konsole type:

lsb_release -a

How to find out the version of your Kernel

uname -a

Newer Versions of Kubuntu

Older Versions of Kubuntu

  • Intrepid Ibex (8.10) (no longer supported)
  • Hardy Heron (8.04 LTS) (Long Term Support version with desktop support until April 2011 and server support until April 2013)
  • Dapper Drake (6.06 LTS) (Long Term server support server until June 2011; desktop no longer supported)

Kubuntu Resources

  • Kubuntu Forums has a large community for online solutions and specific help.
  • Ubuntu Doctors Guild -- a collection of tips for using (K)ubuntu Linux in health care environments

KDE Project

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 -- Xubuntu can run with as little as 256 Mb RAM. It is better for older machines with limited resources. It uses the XFCE desktop.
  • Edubuntu -- Edubuntu is a collection of software bundles optimized for use in educational environments. LTSP (thin client terminal server support) and many networking tools are bundled. A version for use with KDE (Kubuntu) is available.
  • official Ubuntu Server Guide -- although somewhat haphazard and written in imperfect English, this is a good starting reference for server packages

Installing Kubuntu

Hardware requirements

Kubuntu Jaunty Jackalope 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.

Netbooks will run Kubuntu Jaunty Jackalope, which has been optimised for speed, efficiency, and quick bootup compared to Intrepid Ibex.

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, limited hard drive space, running from a USBdrive, or running from within another OS).

  • Issues: There are problems with integrated Intel graphics cards in the new Linux kernel supplied with Jaunty. See this section for installation tips.

Fresh Installation

Kubuntu Jaunty Jackalope contains the KDE 4.2 desktop by default. The desktop has been improved and many bugs fixed since KDE 4.1. In addition, the incorporated Linux kernel is more efficient and more hardware is recognized by default. Especially on a smaller system with limited hard drive space, a new installation is recommended to prevent software bloat that can accumulate when updating older versions.

See this guide for burning the ISO image to a CD ("LiveCD").
Use the LiveCD for installation.

KDE 3 Remix

Kubuntu Hardy Heron LTS used a simpler but well-respected stable desktop, KDE 3.5. This desktop is now available for Jaunty (and can even be run alongside KDE 4) using Kubuntu Jaunty KDE 3 Remix. This Remix includes the latest upgrades to KDE 3.5, while taking advantage of Jaunty's speed improvements.

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 Settings -> Control Panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management -> Shrink Volume tool (but see these caveats). See this tutorial. 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.

After shrinking the Windows partition, you should reboot once into Windows prior to installing Kubuntu. This allows the Windows system to automatically rescan the newly-resized partition (using chkdsk) and write changes to its own bootup files. (If you forget to do this, you may later have to repair the Windows partition bootup files manually using the Windows Recovery Console.)

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 or this Ubuntu intro to alternative 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.

Installing multiple OS on a single computer

If you want to install more than 2 operating systems on a single computer, check out these tips.

Upgrading Intrepid to Jaunty

  • Issues: 1) There are problems with integrated Intel graphics cards in the new Linux kernel supplied with Jaunty. Please research this issue (if you are affected) prior to upgrading to Jaunty, since they are not trivial to fix. 2) The sound system has changed somewhat between Intrepid and Jaunty. Sound works better with a fresh install of Jaunty than after an upgrade from Intrepid. If you have sound problems after an upgrade, consider a fresh install.

If you are using Kubuntu Intrepid Ibex, you may wish to upgrade to Jaunty. Jaunty uses KDE 4.2, which has fixed many of the bugs of KDE 4.1.

  • It is possible to do a distribution upgrade using Adept by:
K menu -> System -> Adept Manager Package Manager -> Changes -> Upgrade.
  • Alternatively, from the command-line terminal (Konsole), use this command:
kdesu "adept_manager --dist-upgrade-devel"

This is for the desktop edition.

  • Alternatively, use the update-manager (all editions):
sudo apt-get install update-manager
sudo update-manager -d
  • You can also use:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
(Note: the first two lines simply make sure your current distribution is current before upgrading the entire distribution, and are optional.

Upgrading Hardy to Jaunty

A new installation is recommended if you are upgrading from Hardy (or older), in order to prevent software bloat, and to avoid some configuration file incompatibilities between the KDE 3.5 desktop used in Hardy and the KDE 4 desktop used in Jaunty. (KDE 4 is an entirely new desktop and differs significantly from KDE 3.5.)

However, it is possible to serially upgrade from Hardy to Intrepid, and then from Intrepid to Jaunty.

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