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Kubuntu logo
Kubuntu 13
Kubuntu 13.10 "Saucy Salamander"
DeveloperBlue Systems,[1] Canonical Ltd., and community contributors[2]
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseApril 8, 2005; 9 years ago (2005-04-08)
Latest release14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) / October 23, 2014; 7 days ago (2014-10-23)
Available inMultilingual (more than 55)
Update methodPackageKit and/or APT
Package managerdpkg
PlatformsIA-32, x86-64, ARM
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
Default user interfaceKDE Plasma Desktop
LicenseFree software licenses
(mainly GPL)
Official websiteKubuntu.org
  (Redirected from Kubuntu (Linux distribution))
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Kubuntu logo
Kubuntu 13
Kubuntu 13.10 "Saucy Salamander"
DeveloperBlue Systems,[1] Canonical Ltd., and community contributors[2]
OS familyUnix-like
Working stateCurrent
Source modelOpen source
Initial releaseApril 8, 2005; 9 years ago (2005-04-08)
Latest release14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) / October 23, 2014; 7 days ago (2014-10-23)
Available inMultilingual (more than 55)
Update methodPackageKit and/or APT
Package managerdpkg
PlatformsIA-32, x86-64, ARM
Kernel typeMonolithic (Linux)
Default user interfaceKDE Plasma Desktop
LicenseFree software licenses
(mainly GPL)
Official websiteKubuntu.org

Kubuntu (/kˈbnt/ koo-BOON-too) is an official derivative of the Ubuntu operating system which uses the KDE Plasma Desktop instead of the Unity graphical environment. As part of the Ubuntu project, Kubuntu uses the same underlying systems, every package in Kubuntu shares the same repositories as Ubuntu,[3] and it is released regularly on the same schedule as Ubuntu.[4] It is possible to install both the KDE Plasma Desktop (kubuntu-desktop) and the Unity desktop (ubuntu-desktop) on the same machine.

Kubuntu was sponsored by Canonical Ltd. until 2012, and thereafter by Blue Systems. During the changeover, Kubuntu retained the use of Ubuntu project servers and existing developers.[5]


“Kubuntu” is a registered trademark held by Canonical.[6] It is derived from the name Ubuntu, prefixing a K to represent the KDE community on whose platform Kubuntu is built (following a widespread convention of prefixing K to the name of any software released for use on KDE).

Since ubuntu is a Bantu term translating roughly to "humanity", and since Bantu grammar involves prefixes to form noun classes, it turns out that the prefix ku- having the meaning "towards" in Bemba, kubuntu is also a meaningful Bemba word or phrase translating to "towards humanity". Reportedly, the same word by coincidence also takes the meaning of "free" (without payment) in Kirundi.[7]

Comparison with Ubuntu[edit]

Ubuntu and Kubuntu differ typically in only the graphical applications and tools.

Kernel & CoreLinux kernel & Ubuntu core
GraphicsX.Org Server
DesktopUnityPlasma Desktop
Primary toolkitGTK+, Nux & QtQt
BrowserFirefoxRekonq (to 13.10), Firefox (from 14.04)
Office suiteLibreOffice
Email & PIMThunderbirdKontact

Kubuntu's Plasma Desktop is fully customizable without extra tools or configuration file editing. Originally designed to ease transition for users from other operating systems (such as Microsoft Windows) by allowing a similar desktop layout, the KDE Plasma Desktop incorporates widget-centric modularity that allows the user to incorporate function similar to all other operating systems and also create new functionality not found in other operating system desktops. Desktop effects are integrated in the standard KWin installation, and enabled by default.

Because Ubuntu and Kubuntu use the same sources, any application intended for one is installable and runnable on the other. Consequently, it is very common to see situations such as Firefox running on Kubuntu, or K3b running on Ubuntu.



Mark Shuttleworth, in an interview shortly after Ubuntu (which now uses the Unity desktop environment, previously having used GNOME) was started, stated:

I believe that the KDE community does phenomenal work, and having a community-driven distribution to showcase that work will help attract users and developers to the project. Our overall goal in the Ubuntu project is to further the adoption of free software on the desktop and the server, and we recognise that KDE is an essential part of the mix of desktop environments that allows people to find the best environment for their needs.

The Kubuntu team released the first edition, Hoary Hedgehog, on April 8, 2005 (2005-04-08).

K Desktop Environment 3 was used as default interface until Kubuntu 8.04. That version included KDE Plasma Desktop as unsupported option which became default in the subsequent release, 8.10.[8]

On February 6, 2012 (2012-02-06) Canonical employee Jonathan Riddell announced the end of Canonical’s Kubuntu sponsorship.[9] On April 10, 2012 (2012-04-10) Blue Systems was announced on the Kubuntu website as new sponsor.[1] As a result both developers employed by Canonical to work on Kubuntu – Jonathan Riddell and Aurélien Gâteau – transferred to Blue Systems.[10]


RedRelease no longer supported
YellowRelease still supported
GreenCurrent release
BlueFuture release

Kubuntu follows the same naming/versioning system as Ubuntu, with each release having a code name and a version number (based on the year and month of release). Canonical provides support and security updates for Kubuntu components that are shared with Ubuntu for 18 months – five years in case of long-term support (LTS) versions – after release.[11] Both a desktop version and an alternative (installation) version (for both x86 and AMD64 platforms) are available. Kubuntu CDs were also available through the ShipIt service (discontinued as of April 2011).[12]

VersionRelease dateCode nameSupported untilNotes
5.042005-04-08[13]Hoary Hedgehog2006-10-31Initial release including KDE 3.4 and a selection of the most useful KDE programs. Some of these are not in the official KDE itself, including Amarok, Kaffeine, Gwenview, and K3b. Inclusion of update-manager/upgrade-notifier; Kickstart compatibility.
5.102005-10-13[14][15]Breezy Badger2007-04-13KDE 3.4.3 and the Guidance configuration tools. It also comes with the Adept Package Manager, the first to make use of debtags for easier searching (replacing the Kynaptic package manager used in the previous release); System Settings, a re-organised kcontrol-like centre and KDE Bluetooth; Graphical boot process with progress bar (USplash); OEM Installer Support; Launchpad tracking; GCC 4.0.
6.06 LTS2006-06-01[16][17]Dapper Drake2009-06Long Term Support (LTS) release; Live CD and Installer on one disc; Ubiquity installer; Adept Notifier and Simplified Installer; X Display Configuration from Guidance; Better Asian language support; Avahi networking software.
6.102006-10-26[18][19]Edgy Eft2008-04KDE 3.5.5. This release adds the photo management application Digikam and accessibility profiles – benefiting people with disabilities. System Settings is also redesigned, and power management, laptop button support & networking are improved. Also features automated problem reports and Upstart.[20]
7.042007-04-19[21]Feisty Fawn2008-10KDE 3.5.6; Migration assistant; KVM; Easy codec/restricted drivers installation; System Settings restructured into General and Advanced categories; Improved Hewlett-Packard printer management; KNetworkManager included; WPA support; Topic-based help system; OEM installer update; PowerPC support officially dropped.
7.102007-10-18[22][23]Gutsy Gibbon2009-04-18New background art. Ships with Strigi and Dolphin by default. Qt port of GDebi graphical installer for package files. Includes Restricted Drivers Manager for the first time.[24] New kubuntu-restricted-extras package is available for download from the repositories.
8.04 2008-04-24[25]Hardy Heron2009-10It has two versions: KDE 3.5 and KDE 4.0 (With community support only). This version intends to provide feature parity with GNOME-based Ubuntu.[26] This includes a port of system-config-printer to Qt to enable printer auto-detection, easy video codec installation in Kaffeine, a simple Compiz setup tool and inclusion of Bulletproof X in KDM,[27][28] and automatic grabbing and releasing of the mouse cursor when running on a VMware virtual machine. Ubuntu 8.04 is a long term support release but Kubuntu 8.04 is not.
8.102008-10-30Intrepid Ibex[29]2010-04-30[30]KDE 4.1.2 desktop environment by default, Linux 2.6.27, Xserver 1.5, Adept Manager 3, KNetworkManager 0.7, KWin desktop effects by default, various Kubuntu tool integration.
9.042009-04-23Jaunty Jackalope2010-10KDE 4.2.2 desktop environment by default, kernel 2.6.28, Xserver 1.6, Adept superseded by KPackageKit,[31] implementation of the ext4 filesystem, faster boot time.,[32] Community Supported PowerPC images added [33]
9.102009-10-29Karmic Koala2011-04-28KDE 4.3.2 desktop environment by default, GRUB 2, init system moved to Upstart, kernel 2.6.31
10.04 LTS2010-04-29Lucid Lynx2013-05-09Long Term Support (LTS) release. Security updates will be available for three years for desktops and five years for servers. KDE 4.4.2 desktop environment by default, kernel 2.6.32, KPackageKit 0.5.4, Firefox KDE integration, touchpad configuration module by default.
10.102010-10-10Maverick Meerkat2012-04KDE Software Compilation 4.5. Faster login. Default browser changed to Rekonq. New bluetooth stack. Pulseaudio inclusion. Updated Kpackagekit with categories. Global menu for netbook. Updated Installer. Combining of the Desktop and Netbook Editions (autodetection).
11.042011-04-28Natty Narwhal2012-10-28KDE SC 4.6, kernel 2.6.38, GStreamer multimedia backend for Phonon, GTK Oxygen theme, games in the default install, UDisks and UPower replace HAL.
11.102011-10-13Oneiric Ocelot2013-05-09KDE SC 4.7, kernel 3.0.3, replacing kpackagekit with Muon Software Centre, kubuntu low fat setting, OpenGL ES Powered Desktop Effects, Kdepim 4.7.2[34][35]
12.04 LTS2012-04-26Precise Pangolin2017-04The third Kubuntu LTS release. KDE SC 4.8, kernel 3.2.0.
12.102012-10-18Quantal Quetzal2014-04LibreOffice, Rekonq 1.1, KDE SC 4.9.2
13.042013-04-25Raring Ringtail2014-01[36]KDE SC 4.10, Muon Suite 2, LibreOffice 4, Optional Homerun launcher, out-of-the-box MTP support
13.102013-10-17Saucy Salamander2014-06KDE SC 4.11.2, LibreOffice 4.1.2 rc3
14.04 LTS2014-04-17Trusty Tahr2019-04KDE SC 4.13.0, LibreOffice, Default Browser changed back to Firefox
14.102014-10-23Utopic Unicorn2015-06KDE SC 4.14, KDE Plasma 5 as technical preview.

System requirements[edit]

The desktop version of Kubuntu currently supports the Intel x86 and the AMD64 architectures. Some releases support other architectures: SPARC,[37] PowerPC,[38][39] IA-64 (Itanium), and PlayStation 3 (however, a firmware update from Sony in April 2010 disabled OtherOS, making the PS3 unable to run other operating systems). Because Kubuntu is Ubuntu with a KDE desktop, any version available in Ubuntu is also available for Kubuntu.

The minimum system requirements for a desktop installation are a 700 MHz x86 processor, 512 MB of RAM, 5 GB of hard drive space,[40] and a video card which supports VGA at 640×480 resolution. The recommended system requirements for the desktop installation are a 1 GHz or better x86 processor, 1 GB of RAM, 15 GB of hard drive space,[41] and a video card which supports VGA at 1024×768 resolution, and optionally supporting visual effects.

Desktop & Laptop[40]
Processor1 GHz (x86)Better than 1 GHz (x86)
Memory512 MB1 GB
Hard drive capacity4 GB[41]10 GB[41]
Video cardVGA @ 640×480VGA @ 1024×768

Note: If "Desktop effects" are desired, a supported GPU is required.


Kubuntu rollouts include the world's largest Linux desktop deployment, that includes more than 500,000 desktops in Brazil (in 42,000 schools of 4,000 cities).[42][43][44][45]

The software of the 14,800 Linux workspaces of Munich was switched to Kubuntu LTS 12.04 and KDE 4.11.[46][47]

The Taipei City government decided to replace Windows with a Kubuntu distribution on 10,000 PCs for schools.[48] [49]

The French Parliament announced in 2006 that they would switch over 1,000 workstations to Kubuntu by June 2007.[50][51]

Kubuntu by October 2007 is now used in all of the 1100 state-run schools in the Canary Islands.[52][53]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "to be Sponsored by Blue Systems". Kubuntu. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  2. ^ "Kubuntu Members in Launchpad". Launchpad.net. 2006-01-13. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  3. ^ "Is Kubuntu a fork?". Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. 
  4. ^ "Kubuntu Wiki". Wiki.kubuntu.org. 2013-03-10. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  5. ^ Garling, Caleb (2012-04-11). "Kubuntu Linux Gets New Sugar Daddy". Wired. 
  6. ^ UK registered trademark #E4541661 "KUBUNTU", filed 2005–07–08.
  7. ^ "Meaning of Kubuntu". Archived from the original on 2008-03-07. 
  8. ^ "8.10 Refreshes the Desktop". Kubuntu. 2008-10-30. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  9. ^ "Kubuntu Status". Lists.ubuntu.com. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  10. ^ "Into the blue | Aurélien's Room". Agateau.com. 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  11. ^ "Ubuntu – Desktop for Business". Retrieved 2012-05-26. 
  12. ^ https://shipit.kubuntu.org/
  13. ^ "5.04 Release Notes". 2005-04-08. Retrieved 2007-04-14. 
  14. ^ "Ubuntu 5.10 announcement". Retrieved 2006-10-11. 
  15. ^ "Ubuntu 5.10 release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  16. ^ "Ubuntu 6.06 LTS announcement". Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  17. ^ "Ubuntu 6.06 LTS release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  18. ^ "Ubuntu 6.10 announcement". Retrieved 2006-10-26. 
  19. ^ "Ubuntu 6.10 release notes". Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  20. ^ "Kubuntu 6.10 release announcement". Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  21. ^ "Ubuntu 7.04 announcement". Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  22. ^ "GutsyReleaseSchedule – Ubuntu Wiki". Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  23. ^ "Introducing the Gutsy Gibbon". 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  24. ^ "Kubuntu 7.10 Release Notes". Retrieved 2007-11-01. 
  25. ^ "HardyReleaseSchedule". Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  26. ^ "Kubuntu Hardy Catchup – Ubuntu Wiki". Wiki.kubuntu.org. 2008-08-06. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  27. ^ "Back from Release Event, Printer Magic, Compiz Settings". Kdedevelopers.org. 2008-01-24. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  28. ^ "UDS". Kdedevelopers.org. 2007-11-08. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  29. ^ "Next Ubuntu release to be called Intrepid Ibex, due in October". Retrieved 2008-02-20. 
  30. ^ "Ubuntu 8.10 reaches end-of-life on April 30, 2010". Lists.ubuntu.com. 2010-04-30. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  31. ^ http://web.mornfall.net/blog/farewell__44___adept.html
  32. ^ "JauntyJackalope/Alpha5/Kubuntu Introduction". Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  33. ^ "Kubuntu 9.04 Release Announcement". Kubuntu.org. 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  34. ^ "Kubuntu 11.10 Sneak Peak | Apachelogger's Log". Apachelog.wordpress.com. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  35. ^ "OneiricOcelot/ReleaseNotes - Ubuntu Wiki". Wiki.kubuntu.org. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  36. ^ Joey-Elijah Sneddon (2013-03-20). "Ubuntu To Halve Support Window for 'Regular' Releases". OMG! Ubuntu!. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  37. ^ "Kubuntu 8.04 Releases". Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  38. ^ "Technical Board Decision – February 2007". Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  39. ^ "Kubuntu 8.04 Releases". Retrieved 2009-03-11. 
  40. ^ a b "Ubuntu System Requirements". Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  41. ^ a b c "Ubuntu Desktop Edition". Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  42. ^ "The Worlds Largest Linux Desktop Deployment: 500,000 Seats and Counting". Wayback.archive.org. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  43. ^ "The world's largest Linux desktop deployment". Lwn.net. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  44. ^ "Kubuntu to be Sponsored by Blue Systems". Kubuntu.org. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  45. ^ "42,000 schools running Kubuntu derivative". Blogs.kde.org. 2011-09-16. Retrieved 2013-09-23. 
  46. ^ "Official Munich IT blog: Debian + Kubuntu Bug Squashing Party 2013". 
  47. ^ "Jonathan Riddell blog: Debian + Kubuntu Bug Squashing Party 2013". 
  48. ^ "Taipei replaces Windows with Linux on 10,000 school PCs". 
  49. ^ "ezgo - Free And Open Source Software In Taiwan's Schools". 
  50. ^ "The French Parliament switches to Kubuntu"[dead link]
  51. ^ "French parliament dumping Windows for Linux"[dead link]
  52. ^ "Kubuntu in the Canary Islands"
  53. ^ "Kubuntu Takes Over the Canary Islands"

External links[edit]