Yesterday while watching the hockey game, I decided to download Kubuntu 9.10 and give it a try.
After the CD booted up (it took forever; I don’t know what was going on with that), the interface was very snappy. I liked what I saw, so I installed. Installation was pretty quick (not as quick as Ubuntu) and overall the interface is great.
I got my desktop effects working after I installed the proprietary drivers for my nVidia graphics card. Kwin works well; I don’t have to run compiz.
The widgets are something to get used to. I like having weather and such on my desktop. I know the same can be done in Gnome with gdesklets and the like, but I never had good luck with it.
I installed Wakoopa and Dropbox from the web, the System76 installer, Flock (which was already installed since I didn’t nuke my /home partition).
What I like:
- Slick interface. KDE 4 has seriously improved from the 4.2 version I used last year. It’s speedy, with many fewer crashes (I only had one; it was Plasma, and it came right back up).
- Kopete being integrated. Kopete is a great IM program. It does have a couple issues, but those will be addresed in the following section.
- Easy to install programs. Yes, I think this is just an Ubuntu thing, as PPAs and .debs “just worked”.
- Amarok. Other than being laid out differently than what I’m used to, It’s a very powerful way to organize your music and other media.
- KPackagekit. This is a million times better than Adept. I’m so happy they replaced Adept with this. Takes a little bit of getting used to, as I’m a Synaptic gal, but it’s a very nice program.
- Speed. Kubuntu seems very snappy (though it might be my computer, heh) on my Pangolian. All of the effects work out of the box (after installation of my proprietary nVidia driver), and Kwin is pretty slick.
- The taskbar is awesome. It reminds me of the new Windows 7 taskbar, but better. :)
- Quassel. What an awesome IRC client. If/when I got back to Gnome, I might use this instead of Xchat (though I love Xchat).
What I don’t like:
- Gnome apps look somewhat boxy. Flock has blocky dropdowns on my blog editor. Gwibber looks fine, but there are some blocky boxes. This is due to the fact that I use those pieces of software and I can’t really live without them. I know I could go to Choqok, but it doesn’t run facebook or friendfeed. Gwibber has more features.
- Fonts seem kind of off or too large. This is mostly in my Gnome apps.
- Knetworkmanager. ARGH. I can’t get it to connect to my wireless correctly. The Gnome network manager detects and connects right away.
- The new menu. I don’t like the “new” menu with the tabs and such. I prefer the old version of the menu; actually, I prefer the Gnome menu.
- Single taskbar. I’ve gotten so used to having the dual taskbars (really, a taskbar and a dock) in Gnome that it’s hard to go back to only having one bar. I’ll get used to it.
- Kopete seems to like to disconnect from the internet all the time.
The whole KDE experience is great for someone coming from Windows. There are many things that are similar to Windows 7 in the newest stable version of Kubuntu.