A masterpiece in aesthetics combined with a highly functional desktop environment ensures that the release of a new version of Kubuntu is highly anticipated by many Linux users.
More About 11.10
For all the Kubuntu lovers, 11.10 brings a long list of improvements that will surely excite everyone. Kubuntu offers something for everybody and is built on the highly stable Ubuntu core. With Kubuntu you have access to all the powerful KDE applications, and the polished KDE Plasma desktop.
The Kubuntu 11.10 interface does not seem to have changed much, but under the hood things are running better than ever. Another excellent release by the Kubuntu team, they never disappoint.
Comment By davemc
I am happy to announce that to this day I have never had a problem with a Kubuntu installation. After booting the CD you will arrive at a welcome screen, there you can select try Kubuntu 11.10 or Install Kubuntu.
If you select try Kubuntu 11.10 you can sample the desktop environment with no changes to your computer. If you begin installation you will first receive a checklist and a few options. The space required is 3.9 GB, you can also install third-party software, or download updates while installing.
Next you can select or setup your partitions and simply press install now. The installation will begin leaving you time to select your timezone preferences and keyboard settings Next input your desired username and password. Then kick back, watch the slideshow, and restart.
KWin has received a list of improvements as well and now offers support for OpenGL ES hardware. Because of the recent changes Kubuntu 11.10 now has improved support for mobile devices and touch screens.
The Plamsa desktop has been revised also. Users will notice many small tweaks that are meant to improve the look of the desktop and many of your favorite applications. Activities are now a more important part of the Plasma desktop as well.
More Desktop Details
By default you will have a single panel with the Kickoff start menu and a system notification area. You will also have a single activity displaying files located on the desktop. As always Kubuntu is highly customizable, and always getting better.
Now for a closer look at the improvements to the Kickoff start menu. A new breadcrumbs feature has been added to the main menu allowing you to navigate to previous menus quickly.
When navigating to a new menu, the last visited menu will appear in the breadcrumbs, as well as all previous menus in the current hierarchy. Breadcrumbs are located above the menu and application icons inside the main menu.
Aside from that not much appears to have changed with the Kickoff menu, in the first tab is your favorite applications, the next tab is for all of your installed applications. Next is the places tab where shortcuts for important locations on your system can be found. You can also find a tab for recently used items, and the shutdown menu.
Nothing new to report about the panels in Kubuntu 11.10, though the theme tweaks do offer a gorgeous look. As always your panels are highly configurable, and settings can be reached simply by right clicking on your panel.
You can right-click on individual panel items to see available options for that item. Or you can right-click on an empty spot inside your panel, from there look in the panel options sub-menu.
From the panel options menu you can select the panel settings option or add widgets to add a variety of cool and useful widgets to your panel. You can add new panels, lock your panel, hide your panel, move it, and much more.
The default file manager is still Dolphin, but apparently the user interface has been cleaned up. The changes are not overly apparent, aside from the upgraded icon theme. Your file manager can be reached from the Kickoff menu inside the computer tab.
Dolphin is quite similar to other traditional file managers, menus and toolbars are at the top, shortcuts on the left, and browser area on the right. You also have a file information panel located directly to the right of the browser area.
More About Dolphin
Dolphin works great, it found all devices, and Samba shares, no problems at all. Navigation is fast enough and the interface is also highly customizable.
For your software needs you can now turn to the Muon software center or the Muon package manager, both have just been introduced. Both items can be found in the settings tab of the Kickoff applications menu.
The Muon software center looks very much like the Ubuntu software center. Categories are displayed for quickly finding related applications, and there is a search bar at the top of the window.
Ratings for individual packages are shown, and advances information is also available. Many applications also feature screenshots which are displayed in the more info tab. The Muon package manager can also be used to perform your system updates in a fast and convenient way.
When you want to adjust any system settings they can all be found in one place. There is a shortcut to the system settings window inside your Kickoff favorites menu, but you can also look in the settings tab of the applications menu.
All of your settings are neatly arranged into categories so you can find what you are looking for. Each category contains several icons, each will open a window with several related options.
The following settings categories are available. Common appearance and behavior settings, workspace appearance and behavior settings, network and connectivity settings, hardware settings, and system administration settings.
The Oxygen icon theme has been updated for the Kubuntu 11.10 release, aside from that not much has changed. You will find 5 different window decoration themes to choose from, and 6 available icon themes.
All theme options can be found inside the workspace appearance section of the system settings window. Existing window decoration themes can be customized in many ways as well. You can also adjust where and how you would like window buttons to appear.
The basic window themes and desktop icons are conformative to the Kubuntu theme and don’t offer much in the way of variety. The reason could be that Kubuntu is already more attractive than the majority of similar distributions.
You can reach your desktop settings simply by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting the desktop settings option. At first glance I assumed no additional wallpapers were available, but you can use the button at the bottom of the window that says install default wallpapers to get more.
Install More Wallpapers
This will install the Kubuntu 11.10 wallpapers package with 16 very breath-taking wallpapers to try. There are several close up nature images, high-resolution landscape wallpapers, and a few other stylish works of art.
Get Hot New Stuff
If you are still not satisfied with the selection just choose the get new wallpapers option and you can search for more online.
$ sudo apt-get install kubuntu-low-fat-settings