A Few Links of Interest

I’m here today with just a few links for people looking for an easy to use, full-featured, Ubuntu-based Linux desktop distro.

Of course, Ubuntu 13.10 was recently released, along with all the related community editions based on it, like Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Edubuntu, etc.

So without further ado:

Infinitely Galactic Ubuntu 13.10 Review – Also check out Blaine’s other fine distro reviews!

Desktop Linux Reviews: Kubuntu 13.10

Desktop Linux Reviews: Xubuntu 13.10

Another great Linux disro for beginners, based on Ubuntu core: WebUpd8: Pinguy OS 13.10 Alpha Released

Here’s a good in-depth review of the pros and cons of Ubuntu 13.10 and where it’s headed from Ars Technica

That’s all for now!

Kubuntu, Netrunner and The Linux Action Show

Last week the news was all over the internet about Kubuntu Linux getting sponsored by Blue Systems. Here’s the notice from the Kubuntu website. And there were many other blog posts that went into more detail about the story. This was great news for those of us who use Kubuntu and were a little concerned about it’s future development since Canonical decided recently to drop support for Kubuntu and would no longer be paying it’s lead developer, Jonathan Riddell to work on the KDE version of Ubuntu.

Then along comes the mysterious company called Blue Systems, who will be employing Mr. Riddell to continue working on Kubuntu with the next version, 12.10, that comes out in October. Just after this announcement I discovered a new episode of The Linux Action Show was featuring some info on Blue Systems and the Kubuntu developments. The Linux Action Show is a video production of Jupiter Broadcasting that comes out once a week. I just discovered this show a couple of months ago. Each episode is about an hour long. It’s entertaining and informative; featuring Linux and other computer related news, reviews, how-tos and interviews. Some of the info can be a bit geeky, but they cover a lot of interesting topics for newbies as well.  It’s quite a hoot!

But during the discussion about this company (Blue Systems) that will be sponsoring Kubuntu 12.10, I discovered they also sponsor the KDE version of Linux Mint and another distro that is based on Kubuntu called Netrunner. I seem to have heard of the Netrunner OS, but wasn’t familiar with it at all, until the guys at Linux Action Show brought it up and showed it off.  Netrunner OS is to Kubuntu what Linux Mint is to Ubuntu. As Mint started as a modified version of Ubuntu that was prettier and easier to use with it’s own added software; so Netrunner seems to be an improved version of Kubuntu that somehow integrates Gnome and GTK applications into KDE/Kubuntu. At least that’s the theory.

I downloaded the Netrunner Live DVD ISO and tried it out on our computer that is running Kubuntu 11.10. It’s pretty nice “out of the box”. And the website has some nice documentation and forums; and they even have a pretty slick Netrunner Web Magazine. Though I’ve been very happy with Kubuntu and KDE and am looking forward to Kubuntu 12.04 in a couple of weeks; I might also be interested in trying the new version of Netrunner when it’s released later in May. The only things I don’t like about Kubuntu are that it seems to use a lot of RAM on my machine and some GTK apps that I like don’t work well with it. If Netrunner improves on that integration it may be interesting to install on this machine. Besides that, and some extra applications (including Wine) and some Firefox addons, everything else is Kubuntu. Check out the link above if you’re curious. And also check out This Link for a short youtube review of Netrunner 4.

That’s all for now…

My Experience So Far with Kubuntu

About the second week in January I decided to try out a Linux distro that uses KDE on our main computer that I share with my wife. This was a result of numerous large and small frustrations with Mint 12/Gnome 3 and Bodhi Linux/E17.  Updates caused some major breakage with E17 (Enlightenment) and I was tired of using numerous extensions to get Gnome (as good as the Mint enhancements were) to do what I wanted it to do. Cinnamon was just in its infancy and I wasn’t that keen on MATE. And I wanted something that looked really nice and was configurable.

So I thought: the one major Desktop Environment I had checked out a little in the past, but had never been my cup of tea, might be worth another look. I’d heard of nice improvements from KDE versions 4.6 and 4.7; and 4.8 was imminent. But now the big question of which KDE distro to try?

I was very impressed with the OpenSuse 12.1 version of KDE. And I had also tried Pardus Linux a few months back and really liked that, too. Recently, however, the future of Pardus development is in doubt. Hopefully that project will continue. Also PCLinuxOS and Chakra Linux seem like solid, popular KDE distros. But I ended up choosing Kubuntu 11.10 for the simple reason that I’ve always used a distro based on Ubuntu. I was familiar with how Ubuntu works, the package management system, the terminal commands; everything would be familiar and relatively easy, except with KDE! If I was going to try a completely different Desktop Environment, everything else should work pretty much the same.

After two and a half months I’m pretty satisfied, for the most part, with Kubuntu. In fact for several days after I first installed it I was delighted by how user configurable it is; how easy it was to set up, and the beauty of the Plasma Desktop and Kwin. There’s a wonderful attention to detail about Kubuntu and KDE specifically that I’d missed with the newest versions of Ubuntu and Mint (though both are improving by leaps and bounds over the past months).

With any operating system or distro, there are a few minor things I needed to figure out. And as with most Linux distros, the Kubuntu forums were very helpful. Printer setup was fast and as easy as any Ubuntu distro. KDE does use more RAM than any other DE I’ve tried; but I expected that and with 4 Gb of RAM I’m in pretty good shape. I’ve learned to use some KDE applications that I never used before; and for the most part they’re pretty nice. I don’t use a computer-based e-mail client, so I don’t use Kmail. That’s one KDE application I’ve heard from reading the forums is a bit wonky. My wife uses Thunderbird on her user account, which works great in Kubuntu. Another KDE app I have become quite fond of is K3B, the Disk Burning utility that comes with Kubuntu. Actually, it does a lot more than just burn CDs/DVDs; and it generates an MD5 Sum for any ISO image (Like a Live Linux Distro CD/DVD), which is pretty neat! I always liked Brasero in Gnome, but K3B is an even better alternative.

But I’m not going to go on much more at the moment about my KDE love. Suffice to say Kubuntu has fulfilled my Linux needs on this year-old mid-range AMD Dual-Core Athlon desktop machine. For lower spec or older computers I would go with a lighter desktop manager. Which will lead to my next post about XFCE and a groovy French remix of Xubuntu I’ve recently discovered.

Stay tuned for more, Linux Lovers…