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Kubuntu 12.10 Review

Kubuntu brings many exciting changes with the release of version 12.10. This highly anticipated release came on October 18 2012, and coincided with the release of the popular Ubuntu 12.10. Kubuntu 12.10 prevails as a top quality choice for all but the most avid server user who could certainly find a viable alternative. This is however the perfect choice for users looking for a stylish and effective desktop that is easy to use.

Kubuntu 12.10 Preliminary Notes


Before going too far I should address some of the most important changes for Kubuntu 12.10. There are a few small things to consider before trying this great distribution.

Redesigned Kubuntu Downloads

The available Downloads for 12.10 have been completely redesigned following the lead of Ubuntu. Downloaded images will no longer fit on CD, and the alternate installer images seem to have disappeared completely. Additional installation options will now be available on the desktop images. Available installation images should now be installed from DVD or USB.

New Sponsor – Blue Systems

Canonical will no longer be funding the Kubuntu project, Blue Systems is now the primary sponsor. Blue Systems is known for producing the Netrunner distribution which is originally based on Kubuntu. Blue Systems seems very interested in the future of Linux, and KDE in particular. Check out the links below to learn more about Blue Systems, and the exciting Netrunner operating system.

Kubuntu 12.10 LightDM-KDE


LightDM replaced KDM as the primary display manager for Kubuntu. LightDM has had fantastic success and continues to improve with every update.

Kubuntu 12.10 LightDM Screenshot

GUI For Configuration

A convenient graphical user interface for configuring LightDM-KDE is available. Users can change the background image used for the login window. The welcome text can also be changed.

Kubuntu 12.10 KDE Desktop


Kubuntu 12.10 has included KDE 4.9 which has already received several updates. Much work went into bug fixes and adding new features. Users will find everything quite familiar, nothing has changed too drastically.

Kubuntu 12.10 Screenshot

KWin Changes

KWin now offers improved performance too. Additional options for window rules can be found inside the settings manager. These changes should make it easier to work with activities.

Activities

There is now improved integration between Activities and Workspaces. Files can now be linked to selected activities inside Konqueror or Dolphin. The folder view widget is able to show only files related to a specific activity if you wish. You can even use this feature with the Dolphin file manager.

Less Retro Look?

Some users have expressed concern about the lack of shiny and flashy colors. KDE does offer amazing control of desktop customization, so I would not be worried. I find the new look rather cozy and familiar.

Comment From Previous 11.10 Release

"I feel like KDE is almost too shiny. For me, the Windows 7 interface was just the right balance between work and play. Granted Win7 didn't have to deal with workspaces, but KDE really feels like it's getting in my face and screaming "LOOK AT ME, LOOK HOW SHINY I AM" repeatedly. This is just a matter of taste, but I prefer to find a desktop that, while customizable, lets me do work instead of having me stare slack-jawed at how awesome it looks."

Comment by: Chipbuster

Kubuntu 12.10 Software


The Kubuntu 12.10 software selection has been revised slightly. Some exciting new software is available which users will certainly want to test drive. The Kubuntu software selection is aimed towards users who desire features over performance.

Dolphin File Manager

Dolphin is still the default file manager for Kubuntu, and for good reason. Dolphin truly is one of the greatest file managers available for Linux today. Dolphin has a vast quantity of settings available, making it a very popular choice.

KDE Telepathy

The Telepathy KDE client has now replaced Kopete as the default instant messaging application. This instant messenger supports many of the most popular chat protocols.

Rekonq or Firefox

The default web browser is the feature-filled Rekonq. Unfortunately I have never been brave enough to venture far from Mozilla's Firefox. I did briefly look at the features offered by Rekonq and the list is quite impressive. For everyone else a quick installer for Firefox is available inside the main menu.

Muon Software Center

Again the Muon Software Center is the primary tool used for software installation. The Muon Software Center will let you configure software sources. Software ratings and reviews are also available.

Kubuntu 12.10 Screenshot

Kubuntu 12.10 Settings


Users will now find improved settings modules inside the system settings manager. Additional modules can also be found inside the settings module. Below you can see some of the changes.

Graphics Tablet Settings

Users that own graphic tablet input devices will now find improved support for their hardware. There is a new advanced graphic tablet configuration module available inside the system settings window. From here you can customize your tablet or the input device itself. Button and pressure settings are available.

Kubuntu 12.10 Screenshot

Printer Settings

Printer owners will find a new and improved printer settings module. Because I do not have a printer it is difficult to tell just how far the changes extend. I believe the panel now contains a printer icon, but I find it hard to believe that there was never one before.

GTK Configuration

The GTK Settings module is gone, look for the GTK configuration module instead. The reason for this change is not exactly transparent, but there is greater support for GTK3.

Kubuntu 12.10 Performance


Thankfully this release seems far more stable than the Ubuntu alternative. The installation time seemed particularly slow. Sound and networking performed fine. Kubuntu 12.10 detected my video drivers without any troubles. Dolphin had no problems finding internal and external drives, even Samba shares.

What Next?

Please share your thoughts on Kubuntu 12.10. Also, which distribution would you like to see reviewed next? Thank you all once again for visiting!

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