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Kubuntu desktop with Triple Gears background
Kubuntu desktop with Triple Gears background

Kubuntu is a Linux distro (version) of Ubuntu with the KDE graphical user interface.


Kubunti Karmic Koala 9.10 on a Netbook

The Kubunti Karmic Koala 9.10 version was released in October 2009.[1] There are major improvements in the KDE desktop and the installation process and options with this release. My overall impressions are that Karmic Koala 9.10 is polished, easy to use, stable and quite slick. For those thinking of moving from Windows XP or Vista, this is a compelling option.

You can test Kubunti Karmic Koala from a live CD to determine how well it runs on your hardware.

If you have a netbook without a CD drive, you can test it by creating a bootable USB drive. Once installed on the USB drive, you can save settings, install software updates and new applications and give it a thorough road test.

I was able to get the Bluetooth mouse and Wifi connection working without any problems.

You can then use the same bootable USB drive to install Kubunti Karmic Koala onto your netbook. No CD drive or Internet connection is required to do this.

The first applications I installed were Firefox (3.5.6), Picasa and the Google Chromium browser.

Creating a live CD

  1. Download the live CD image (.iso file) from here: http://www.kubuntu.org/getkubuntu
  2. Burn the image file to a CD with a CD burner
  3. Put the CD into your CD or DVD drive, enable "boot for CD" in your bios settings, reboot your machine and Kubuntu will load

Creating a bootable USB drive

This article contains information on how to create a bootable live USB drive with Kubuntu 9.10. Follow the instructions and select the Kubuntu image instead of the Ubuntu one.


You can then boot from the USB drive to confirm that Kubuntu is for you, and runs on your hardware.

Backup your existing operating system and data

Before you install a new operating system it is wise to backup all your existing content (documents, images etc) and your operating system partition.

Another bootable USB drive with the appropriate applications can be used for this. A good option for this is:

Installing Kubuntu from USB drive

When you are ready to take the plunge, you can install Kubuntu from the same USB drive - it is an option on the boot menu.

The installation process is simple and easy. The process includes automatic creation of two Linux partitions - you just select how much disk space you wish to allocated. I chose 30MB - half of the available DATA partition I had.

I left my Windows XP partition intact so I can boot it if I need to.

The GRUB boot loader is part of the install, which allows you to select Kubuntu or Windows when your machine boots from its hard disk.

You can access Windows NTFS drives from Kubuntu - they appear in the Dolphin file manager. However, you cannot access the Linux drives from Windows XP.

Installing applications on Kubuntu

Kubuntu comes with a good range of applications, including the OpenOffice suite and a good text editor (Kate).

I added the following applications:

  • Picasa, image handling and viewing, from Google
  • Chromium browswer from Google - I like the speed and the bookmark sync
  • Google Desktop - for searching content on PC
  • GIMP - graphic editing. Install via KPackageKit add/remove applications.
  • Firefox 3.5.6 browser. Installation program included with Kubuntu.
  • Skype - Download skype-ubuntu-intrepid_2.1.0.47-1_i386.deb then click on the file to install it. NOTE: Version uses the PulseAudio application - I have not been able to get the microphone working. I installed the previous version to get the mic working, but the volume is very low so it is not really usable.
  • Crusader file manager. Install via KPackageKit add/remove applications.
  • Grsync - for syncing folders. Install via KPackageKit add/remove applications.
  • Kdenlive - video editor. Install via KPackageKit add/remove applications.
  • Audacity - sound recorder. Install via KPackageKit add/remove applications.
  • Google Gadgets GTK - eye candy, not using this

To install the Google applications that are not in the standard Ubuntu/Kubuntu repositories:

  • go to KPackageKit settings
  • click Edit software sources
  • enter your admin password
  • click Other software tab
  • enter the software sources illustrated below by clicking on the Add button
http://dl.google.com/linux/deb/ stable non-free
http://dl.google.com/linux/deb/ testing non-free
http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-daily/ppa/ubuntu karmic main
http://ppa.launchpad.net/chromium-daily/ppa/ubuntu karmic main (Source Code)

  • then search for the application ame (e.g. Picasa), select it and click Apply to install it

See also

External links


  1. Kubuntu 9.10: Stable, Social and Beautiful
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