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Review of Kubuntu 7.04 Beta

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Ubuntu

Kubuntu is one of the biggest KDE-based distributions out there right now. And it has a reason to be. Beautiful, powerful, easy-to-use, and easy to install are just a few things that come to mind. I tested out the latest beta, 7.04 Feisty Fawn, scheduled to ship on April 19th. Here’s what I found:
Programs
Feisty adds a few more programs. Kexi replaces OpenOffice.org Database, SCIM is added, as is the HPLIP Printer Toolbox and a "Report a problem" icon. There’s also a few new tray applets: one, called KNetworkManager, monitors your network connection, another, Kate Session Menu, opens Kate with specified sessions, and a third, Runaway Process Catcher, detects and ends broken processes. digiKam has been updated to 0.9.1. Also, the Quick Launcher applet has been updated, taking up less room and using smaller icons. Topic Based Help has also been added for the first time. But most important is the Kubuntu Distribution Upgrade Tool, which seamlessly upgrades Edgy Eft (the previous version) to Feisty.

As before, it is easy to add and remove programs using the Add/Remove app, Adept Manager, apt, and aptitude.
GUI
Kubuntu Feisty is basically identical to Edgy, but that’s fine. The Crystal window decoration is possibly (if not certainly) the best looking one for KDE. And I’ve always thought KDE was more elegant than GNOME.
Minimal Requirements
No word on these yet, but it’s safe to assume they’ll be close to the Edgy requirements. That is:

  • CDs require 700MB media
  • Desktop install requires at least 256MB of RAM and 3GB of available hard drive space
  • Server install requires at least 64MB of RAM and 500MB of available hard drive space

Personally for me, the desktop (Live CD and all) worked fine in a VM with 256 MB of RAM.
Installation
If you’ve ever used Kubuntu’s (or any *buntu’s) installer before, you won’t be disappointed. There’s really no difference, which is a good thing. The installation wasn’t as fast as Freespire’s on the same amount of RAM, but that’s probably because Kubuntu installed while running the desktop while Freespire didn’t.

Verdict
A small upgrade from Edgy. The Kubuntu Distribution Upgrade Tool is very nice. Besides that, there isn’t a huge noticeable difference. However, don’t let that fool you. Feisty will be a powerful operating system when it comes out in a few weeks. And then when the next (7.10?) version comes out, KDE 4 will be out. Just imagine that….
External Links
Homepage: Official, Feisty Beta AnnouncementDownload: OfficialScreenshots: Official, OS Wars:

Just imagine what?!

> And then when the next (7.10?) version comes out, KDE 4 will be out. Just imagine that….

Take Jonathan Riddell's answer from Interview mit Riddell zu KDE4 (http://www.kubuntu-de.org/interview-mit-riddell-zu-kde4-englisch):

* Q: When KDE 4 will be released, which Kubuntu would likely contain it, 7.10 or rather 8.04?
* Jonathan Riddell: I suspect KDE 4 won't be stable enough to be default desktop for 7.10. 8.04 it should be but it's possible that 8.04 will be our next LTS release and I don't want our first KDE 4 as default release to also be an LTS release. Either way we'll have packages and ISOs of KDE 4 available as soon as sanely possible for everyone to try.

So it seems it will be the default for Kubuntu 8.10. You'd have to wait ONE MORE YEAR to have it considered "stable".

re: just imagine

There'll probably packages available for it tho.

obviously. there will be kde

obviously. there will be kde 4.0 packages available not only for kubuntu, but also for opensuse, mandriva, fedora...

It'll be out (and included

It'll be out (and included in a stable distro) when it's ready. No rush. Just look at some flaky distros out there, even Vista... do we really need that risk? Beryl/XGL is no exception, stablity-wise. Production settings cannot tolerate WSoDs.

Could be sooner

I could be wrong, but I took Jonathan's comments to mean that an intermediate release between 7.10 and 8.04 will enable users to add KDE4 to 7.10.

Chad
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