The Perfect Desktop - Kubuntu 9.04

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Submitted by falko (Contact Author) (Forums) on Thu, 2009-08-13 17:40. :: Ubuntu | Desktop

The Perfect Desktop - Kubuntu 9.04

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme <ft [at] falkotimme [dot] com>
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Last edited 08/13/2009

This tutorial shows how you can set up a Kubuntu 9.04 desktop that is a full-fledged replacement for a Windows desktop, i.e. that has all the software that people need to do the things they do on their Windows desktops. The advantages are clear: you get a secure system without DRM restrictions that works even on old hardware, and the best thing is: all software comes free of charge. Kubuntu 9.04 is derived from Ubuntu 9.04 and uses the KDE desktop instead of the GNOME desktop.

I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

 

1 Preliminary Note

To fully replace a Windows desktop, I want the Kubuntu desktop to have the following software installed:

Graphics:

  • The GIMP - free software replacement for Adobe Photoshop
  • F-Spot - full-featured personal photo management application for the GNOME desktop
  • Google Picasa - application for organizing and editing digital photos

Internet:

  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Flash Player 10
  • FileZilla - multithreaded FTP client
  • Thunderbird - email and news client
  • Evolution - combines e-mail, calendar, address book, and task list management functions
  • aMule - P2P file sharing application
  • KTorrent - Bittorrent client
  • Azureus/Vuze - Java Bittorrent client
  • Kopete - multi-platform instant messaging client
  • Skype
  • Google Earth
  • Quassel IRC - IRC client

Office:

  • OpenOffice Writer - replacement for Microsoft Word
  • OpenOffice Calc - replacement for Microsoft Excel
  • Adobe Reader
  • GnuCash - double-entry book-keeping personal finance system, similar to Quicken
  • Scribus - open source desktop publishing (DTP) application

Sound & Video:

  • Amarok - audio player
  • Audacity - free, open source, cross platform digital audio editor
  • Banshee - audio player, can encode/decode various formats and synchronize music with Apple iPods
  • MPlayer - media player (video/audio), supports WMA
  • Rhythmbox Music Player - audio player, similar to Apple's iTunes, with support for iPods
  • gtkPod - software similar to Apple's iTunes, supports iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, iPod photo, and iPod mini
  • XMMS - audio player similar to Winamp
  • dvd::rip - full featured DVD copy program
  • Kino - free digital video editor
  • Sound Juicer CD Extractor - CD ripping tool, supports various audio codecs
  • VLC Media Player - media player (video/audio)
  • Helix Player - media player, similar to the Real Player
  • Totem - media player (video/audio)
  • Xine - media player, supports various formats; can play DVDs
  • Brasero - CD/DVD burning program
  • K3B - CD/DVD burning program
  • Multimedia Codecs

Programming:

  • KompoZer - WYSIWYG HTML editor, similar to Macromedia Dreamweaver, but not as feature-rich (yet)
  • Bluefish - text editor, suitable for many programming and markup languages
  • Quanta Plus - web development environment, including a WYSIWYG editor

Other:

  • VirtualBox OSE - lets you run your old Windows desktop as a virtual machine under your Linux desktop, so you don't have to entirely abandon Windows
  • TrueType fonts
  • Java
  • Read-/Write support for NTFS partitions

Lots of our desired applications are available in the Ubuntu repositories, and some of these applications have been contributed by the Ubuntu community.

As you might have noticed, a few applications are redundant, for example there are two CD/DVD burning applications in my list (Brasero, K3B). If you know which one you like best, you obviously don't need to install the other applications, however if you like choice, then of course you can install both. The same goes for music players like Amarok, Banshee, Rhythmbox, XMMS or browsers (Firefox, Opera).

I will use the username falko in this tutorial. Please replace it with your own username.

 

2 Installing The Base System

The installation of the base system is easy as 1-2-3 because the Kubuntu installer doesn't offer a lot of options to choose from, so you cannot go wrong.

Download the Kubuntu 9.04 Desktop iso image from http://www.kubuntu.org/getkubuntu, burn it onto a CD, and boot your computer from it. Select your language:

Then choose Try Kubuntu without any change to your computer - this boots the Live system so that you can see if Kubuntu works on your hardware. We can then install Kubuntu from the Live system. If you know that your hardware is supported, you can pick Install Kubuntu instead:

After the Live desktop has started, click on the Install icon on the desktop to start the installation to the hard drive:

The installer starts. First, select your language:

Then choose your time zone:

Change the keyboard layout, if necessary:

Now we come to the partitioning of our hard disk. Usually Use the entire disk is a good choice, unless you need custom partitions and know what you're doing. Use the entire disk will create one big / partition for us:

Type in your real name, your desired username along with a password, and click on Forward:

The next screen shows us a summary of the installation settings. Click on Install to start the installation:

Afterwards, Kubuntu is being installed. This can take a few minutes, so be patient:

After the installation, you will be asked to reboot the system. Click on Restart Now:

The Live-CD desktop shuts down. At the end, the Kubuntu CD is ejected. Remove it from the CD drive and hit the <ENTER> key to boot into your new Kubuntu desktop:

Your new Kubuntu system starts. Log in to the desktop with the username and password you provided during the installation:

This is how your new desktop looks:

Now the base system is ready to be used.


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Submitted by LinuxUser (not registered) on Mon, 2009-09-14 18:50.
Kubuntu 9.04 is a free, user-friendly operating system based on the K Desktop Environment and on the award winning Ubuntu operating system. With a biannual release cycle and at least 18 months of free security updates for each release, it is the secure, stable computing environment you've been waiting for. To know how to install Kubuntu 9.04, visit http://www.techarena.in/guide/9797-installing-kubuntu-904.htm.
Submitted by Anonymous (not registered) on Thu, 2009-08-20 17:29.
Ubuntu/Kubuntu 9.04 is not the perfect desktop if you need your INTEL graphics to work.
Submitted by Chris Howard (not registered) on Wed, 2009-09-02 15:17.

The issue with Intel graphics chips was fixed two weeks after 9.04 was out.  The issue was with the new version of Xorg and the Intel drivers.  BTW, if you do have Ubuntu on Intel graphics (GMA945/950) there is a trick to makeing it a bit faster depending on if it is an older version.

Open a terminal (oh nose a terminal!) and type:

sudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Look for this section:

 Section "Device"
    Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
 EndSection

Change it to add the uxa rendering option for older chips:

 Section "Device"
    Identifier    "Configured Video Device"
    Option        "AccelMethod" "uxa"
EndSection

Save, and restart.  I have been using Ubuntu from version 7.x to 9.04 on this 3 year old notebook (with crappy GMA945).  9.04 is the best yet.  

Also, Ubuntu on Intel GMA is faster and smoother than Windows 7 on GMA. 

Chris

Submitted by Matey (not registered) on Fri, 2009-08-14 17:05.

Hi;

Thank you very much for the excellent How To & Instructions.

I was just very disappointed with the new Ubuntu 9.04 and I wish to reinstall 8.x back on my machine!

jaunty has a lot of annoyances to me, I dont know? But for instance the video drivers are so hard to set it is impossible to set/change monitor type and for what I have hear the display drivers have been integrated into HAL which (If true) makes no sense!

It is like integrating a printer into HAL.

If I remember correctly the Hardware Abstract Layer is one of the main layers of the OS (like in the center or nuclei) and cannot/should not be messed with.

There are more annoyances which I cannot remember right now small things like moving a panel around which we used to could drag using the mouse now you have to take more steps. etc, etc..

 May be the people who design Ubuntu do something about those problems in near future by putting patches up on the net?

Thanks a lot!

Submitted by Matey (not registered) on Fri, 2009-08-14 16:50.

Hi;

Thank you very much for the excellent How To & Instructions.

I was just very disappointed with the new Ubuntu 9.04 and I wish to reinstall 8.x back on my machine!

jaunty has a lot of annoyances to me, I dont know? But for instance the video drivers are so hard to set it is impossible to set/change monitor type and for what I have hear the display drivers have been integrated into HAL which (If true) makes no sense!

It is like integrating a printer into HAL.

If I remember correctly the Hardware Abstract Layer is one of the main layers of the OS (like in the center or nuclei) and cannot/should not be messed with.

There are more annoyances which I cannot remember right now small things like moving a panel around which we used to could drag using the mouse now you have to take more steps. etc, etc..

 May be the people who design Ubuntu do something about those problems in near future by putting patches up on the net?

Thanks a lot!