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GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Friday, May 04, 2018

Kubuntu 18.04 LTS

*This is not intended to be a formal review 

What is Kubuntu?

Kubuntu is a special version of Ubuntu with the (KDE) K Desktop Environment.It is an official Ubuntu flavor that features KDE Plasma desktop.Since 2004, the Kubuntu teams mission has been to provide the latest stable KDE software, which includes Plasma desktop environment on top of a stable Ubuntu core.

What is  K Desktop Environment (KDE)? 

K desktop environment (KDE) is a graphical user interface (GUI). The KDE project was first launched by Matthias Ettrich in 1996. KDE is simple for Windows OS users. KDE is currently used with GNU+Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and GNU/LinuxPPC. KDE, is not only a desktop environment, is actually a collection of applications, one of which is the desktop environment itself.KDE is a platform, which is mainly coded in C++ and includes the mature bindings for other programming languages such as the: Python Ruby (Korundum, built on top of QtRuby) C# Perl.

The Kubuntu team has released its latest version of KDE distro called Kubuntu 18.04 LTS codenamed “Bionic Beaver” and the release is powered by the Linux 4.15 kernel. The update brings support for new hardware from Intel, AMD, and other manufacturers. This includes features like AMD’s secure memory encryption, MD drivers for RAID enhancement, and better power management for systems using SATA Link Power Management.

The desktop image allows you to try Kubuntu without changing your computer at all, and at your option to install it permanently later. This type of image is what most people will want to use. You will need at least 384MB of RAM to install from this image. There are two images available, each for a different type of computer:

32-bit PC (i386) desktop image
This includes most legacy machines with Intel/AMD/etc type processors and almost all computers that run Microsoft Windows.

64-bit PC (x86-64) desktop image
For almost all PCs today choose computers based on the AMD64 or Intel64. If you have a non-64-bit processor made by AMD or Intel, or if you need full support for 32-bit code, use the i386 images instead.

Both ISOs are hybrid so you can write them on either a USB flash drive or a DVD disc. When booting the Live DVD, users will be asked if they want to try the live session of start installing the ubuntu on their computers. Choosing the live mode will allow users to test drive Kubuntu without installing anything on their computer.

Kubuntu 18.04.0 LTS download here.

Kubuntu 18.04 LTS ships with the KDE Plasma 5.12.4 LTS desktop environment by default, accompanied by the KDE Applications 17.12.3 and KDE Frameworks 5.44.0 software suites. A normal Kubuntu 18.04 LTS installation ships with numerous apps K3b, KTorrent, KDEConnect, Falkon (previously QupZilla), Krita, latte-dock, and Okular. Non-KDE applications include LibreOffice and Firefox VLC now replaces Dragonplayer as the default media player and Cantata Qt5 music player replaces the KDE4 based Amarok as the default. You get the Muon package manager as well as an alternative to the Plasma Discover graphical package manager.

Test system:

CPU: AMD RYZEN 3 1200 4-Core 3.1 GHz (3.4 GHz Turbo)
GPU: Sapphire Radeon PULSE RX 560 4GB video card
RAM: Patriot Viper Elite 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4 2400MHz  (PVE48G240C5KRD)
MOTHERBOARD: ASRock AB350M Pro4 BIOS 3.40 (2018/1/10)
STORAGE:  Intel 545s Series 2.5" 256GB (SSDSC2K W256G8X1)+WB Blue 1TB 7200 RPM (WD10EZEX)
SOUND: Onboard
NETWORK:  Onboard (wired gigabit Ethernet)
PSU:    EVGA 450 B3, 80 Plus BRONZE 450W, Fully Modular
CASE:   MasterBox Lite 3 (MCW-L3S2-KN5N)
Case fan: 3 be quiet! BL070 SILENTWINGS 3 PWM

Long ago, GNU/Linux users were expected to install new hardware manually, but GNU/Linux in 2018 offers automatic hardware detection at system boot time, as well as on-the-fly configuration of pluggable devices whether the device is a graphics card, a digital camera, or a Bluetooth android phone. Suspend & resume worked just fine.

The Kubuntu 18.04 LTS desktop is classic Plasma. The widget button is on the right side. The overall theme is Breeze, but the desktop theme is Breeze Dark. Kubuntu is an easy-to-use, full-featured desktop operating system that is very familiar to Windows users of all experience levels. Kubuntu 18.04 LTS comes with everything you need to browse the internet, instant message, e-mail, share and writes documents, work with digital photos, listen to music, play games and much more. KDE is, in my opinion, is one of the most advanced desktop environment around.

While KDE is the most polished in appearance when compared to other GNU/Linux desktops, it can be quite resource-hungry with its many desktop effects. However, one option in KDE is to run it with the Application Dashboard launcher.It is the clean, well-organized and clutter-free dashboard. The search bar helps you to just type in what you are looking for and get the results thrown in a second. in some ways is similar in appearance to the GNOME 3.x shell and to Ubuntu’s Unity. Application Dashboard launcher with its large icons and search can be used with a touchscreen and is great for smaller devices such as netbooks and tablets. You can switch between launchers by simply right-clicking on the 'start' button and choosing the launcher you want. KDE also allows you to define the functions of the mouse buttons, how windows behave, and how to deal with new devices that are plugged in.  With its Plasma Workspaces, users can also add a variety of widgets to the desktop.

Kubuntu 18.04 LTS also includes a hardware driver installer GUI that lets you install both open-source and proprietary drivers for the GPUs & the Network card. I have not installed the Radeon rx 560 proprietary drivers and have been using the open-source one that Kubuntu uses by default. So far everything has worked extremely well for me.

You may have missed and didn’t check “Enable Restricted Formats” while installing Kubuntu 18.04 LTS. If not, it will not install the required multimedia codecs and you will have to install it manually.

To install Kubuntu Restricted Codecs

Open up a terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt-get update 


sudo apt-get install kubuntu-restricted-extras

In addition, in order to play DVDs, you need to install libdvdcss by entering the following in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install libavcodec-extra

To enable encrypted DVD playback, you have to install… “libdvd-pkg”.

sudo apt-get install libdvd-pkg  

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get upgrade

*Patent and copyright laws operate differently depending on which country you are in. Please obtain legal advice if you are unsure whether a particular patent or restriction applies to a media format you wish to use in your country.

  • Samba-common is not installed.
  • Muon lets you customize everything you need except for drivers.
  • Ubiquity offers the choice to encrypt home, but choosing it gives an error.
The latest Long Term Support (LTS) version of the Kubuntu operating system for desktop PCs and laptops, Kubuntu 18.04 LTS supported with security and maintenance updates, until April 2021.


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