Question about Kubuntu

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at
Fri Aug 12 09:07:40 BST 2011

Wilson, Richard posted on Fri, 12 Aug 2011 03:56:15 +0100 as excerpted:

> The last time I tried Ubuntu (it was the Karmic Koala release) I noticed
> that the download install DVD's came in 2 flavors, Ubuntu and Kubuntu. 
> I am used to Fedora where I tell it to install KDE when I install the
> O/S. Are there still separate installation disks/processes for Ubuntu? 
> If so what's the thinking behind that?  With Karmic I had to get an
> alternate Kubuntu DVD to work with my old hardware; my new hardware
> (hopefully) won't be so picky.

Disclaimer:  I'm a Gentoo guy, rather far from the typical Ubuntu user, 
so to the extent the below is Ubuntu specific, it's indirect knowledge.  
However, I have good confidence in it being correct, not only because I 
understand the technological basis for it (as explained below), but also 
because I spend an hour or two a day, often more, seven days a week, 
reading various FLOSS (free/libre and open source software) news sites, 
which cover Ubuntu in some detail as it's arguably the most popular 
distro, especially among the not too technically oriented.

If you ever run a user-builds-from-source distro like Gentoo, you'll 
quickly realize just how many packages have pre-compile-configure-time 
options that determine how well they integrate with various other 
packages and/or environments, but at the same time, what other 
dependencies they require as a result of linking against them.  Binary 
distros, by definition, must have already made this choice when they 
configured and built the packages.  Thus, they have to choose between 
building in "extra" support for kde, gnome, neither, or both (and to some 
extent, the same applies to the lighter desktop environments too, tho 
they tend not to be quite as integrated), keeping in mind that said 
support drags in extra dependencies too, even if the user doesn't use 
that desktop environment.

For that reason, while it's certainly possible to install any desktop 
environment you like on pretty much all of the major, general purpose 
distributions, the degree to which they integrate with other apps can 
vary greatly, depending on whether "extra" support for that environment 
was configured at build-time or not.

AFAIK, Fedora's default choice is Gnome, so any time a pre-build 
configuration choice comes up that will require gnome dependencies for 
additional gnome integration, they'll be reasonably likely to turn it 
on.  Conversely, because KDE isn't their default desktop, they'll be more 
likely to turn off configuration options that allow better integration 
with kde, ESPECIALLY if turning on that option drags in major kde 
dependencies (kdelibs at least and possibly parts of kdebase, especially 
kde settings aka kcontrol aka systemsettings), that Fedora users might 
not otherwise have on their system.

Ubuntu is also Gnome-based, so it by default tends to enable "extra" 
gnome support and dependencies.  However, with Ubuntu, there's also the 
Kubuntu version, which would enable more KDE extra support and 
dependencies while disabling the Gnome support and dependencies.  Also, 
because they DO have the different choices, they will tend to be a bit 
stricter with these extra dependencies and support than will Fedora, so 
choosing (G)ubuntu will not only mean gnome support, but probably less 
_EXTRA_ kde support than Fedora has, while Kubuntu will not only have 
stronger KDE support, but less Gnome support.

Again, let me stress that this is for _OPTIONAL_, _EXTRA_ support.  If 
you install the desktop itself, the core packages will of course be there 
no matter which distro variant you choose, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Fedora, or... 
you choose.  It's only the extra/optional integration stuff that is 

Meanwhile, it's worth noting that Kubuntu and Ubuntu aren't the only 
*buntu choices.  There's also Xubuntu, with XFCE as the default, and I 
believe others, Lubuntu (LXDE), etc, altho I'm not sure how many of them 
there actually are and of all their names.  There's also Edubuntu, an 
educational-focused "spin", and some others.  But in most cases, the 
optional packages for these more minor versions are all pretty much the 
same, it's just what gets installed by default, and the desktop wallpaper 
and theme, etc, that changes.  IOW, to my knowledge at least, they aren't 
as different from each other if you installed and ran the same packages 
and themes, as kubuntu and ubuntu are, because there's less packages with 
optional support for most everything else, than there is for kde and 

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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