The Perfect Desktop - Kubuntu 9.10 - Page 2

3 Update The System

Before we go on, we should check if there are any updates available for our system. Start the KPackageKit package manager (System > Software Management):

Click on Software Updates. This will show you a list of available updates. To install them, click on Select all updates...

... and then on Apply:

Type in your password:

Afterwards the updates are being downloaded and installed:

Click on OK to leave KPackageKit:

The system is now up-to-date.


4 Inventory Of What We Have So Far

Now let's browse all menus to see which of our wanted applications are already installed:

You should find the following situation ([x] marks an application that is already installed, where [ ] is an application that is missing):

[ ] The GIMP
[ ] F-Spot
[ ] Picasa

[ ] Firefox
[ ] Opera
[ ] Flash Player
[ ] FileZilla
[ ] Thunderbird
[ ] Evolution
[ ] aMule
[x] KTorrent
[ ] Azureus/Vuze
[x] Kopete
[ ] Skype
[ ] Google Earth
[x] Quassel IRC

[x] OpenOffice Writer
[x] OpenOffice Calc
[ ] Adobe Reader
[ ] GnuCash
[ ] Scribus

Sound & Video:
[x] Amarok
[ ] Audacity
[ ] Banshee
[ ] MPlayer
[ ] Rhythmbox Music Player
[ ] gtkPod
[ ] XMMS
[ ] dvd::rip
[ ] Kino
[ ] Sound Juicer CD Extractor
[ ] VLC Media Player
[ ] Helix Player
[ ] Totem
[ ] Xine
[ ] Brasero
[x] K3B
[ ] Multimedia-Codecs

[ ] KompoZer
[ ] Bluefish
[ ] Quanta Plus

[ ] VirtualBox
[ ] TrueType fonts
[ ] Java
[x] Read/Write support for NTFS partitions

So some applications are already on the system. NTFS read-/write support is enabled by default on Kubuntu 9.10.


5 Configure Additional Repositories

Some packages like the Adobe Reader are not available in the standard Kubuntu repositories. The easiest way to make such packages available to your system is to add the Medibuntu repository.

First we open a terminal (System > Terminal):

First off, we edit /etc/apt/sources.list...

sudo kate /etc/apt/sources.list

... and enable the karmic partner repository:

## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
## 'partner' repository.
## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
deb karmic partner
deb-src karmic partner

Then save the file.

To enable the Medibuntu repository, please do the following:

Import the repository:

sudo wget$(lsb_release -cs).list --output-document=/etc/apt/sources.list.d/medibuntu.list

Import the gpg-key and update your package-list:

sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude install medibuntu-keyring && sudo aptitude update

Then run

sudo update-apt-xapian-index

to make Synaptic (which we install in the next chapter) display packages from third-party repositories.


6 Installing The Synaptic Package Manager

I prefer the Synaptic Package Manager over Kubuntu's built-in package manager, therefore I install it as follows (still in the terminal):

sudo aptitude install synaptic

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From: Allen at: 2009-11-27 04:09:16

Guys, the article is called "The Perfect Kubuntu 9.10 Desktop". He does this just about every time a new Linux Desktop comes out and he's already done it with Ubuntu and Gnome 2.28. Do you honestly have to start flaming his whole reason for writing the article, are you that bored with nothing else to do? Some people prefer Gnome, others prefer KDE. Some GTK apps work a little better. Some QT apps work just a little bit better. I happen to use a mix of both depending on what I feel like at the moment. That's one of the great things about Ubuntu and Linux in general. You can install both desktops and switch back and forth at the display manager depending on what you feel like that session. Sometimes I feel like KDE. Sometimes I feel like Gnome. Sometimes I like to try something different like E-17 or LXDE.

Leave the dude alone. He's just trying to help people set up a full replacement for Windows. The newbie reading this doesn't need to be confused and turned off by people flaming the other's Linux Desktop, otherwise he'll go back to Windows thinking this whole thing is too confusing and you will have lost a potential 'nix convert.Work towards the common goal and against a common enemy. Eyes on the prize and not on beating each other up from the inside.

By the way, KDE 4.3 is a great desktop. It's much better than the previous KDE 4 releases and most of the accompanying software is pretty stable now, more than usable, and feature rich really catering to make the computer as user friendly as possible. And it definitely does rings around Windows 7 or any incarnation of Windows. That's the comparison which needs to be made and understood. 

From: Yonah at: 2009-11-27 06:32:22

While the selection of programs is pretty good, using Linux still means losing a lot of great Windows applications I love and some I absolutely need.  For example, I'm in China so I must use QQ.  The Linux version of QQ?  Outdated and unstable, it crashes within 5 minutes and disappears without a single error message (a chronic problem on Linux).  Empathy?  Won't connect to QQ, not sure why.  Pidgin works, but kicks me off ever 12 hours, doesn't support the voice, video, images, or file transfers.

Next there is Weather Pulse, a great program for collecting weather data.  I've used it for years.  Awesome program.  There is no Linux version.  Under Wine it crashes instantly.

Sorry, but no.  A Windows desktop replacement that can't seamlessly run Windows programs is anything a perfect desktop.  Linux is about making lots of compromises.  I don't want to compromise.  I want to use the programs that I want to use, not a collection of "wanna be" programs that you think are better.

From: Steve at: 2009-12-11 21:38:40

"A Windows desktop replacement that can't seamlessly run Windows programs is anything a perfect desktop."

Don't you understand the meaning of the word replacement?

From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-27 07:02:00

It is not a problem having a preference of one desktop over another but since you are writing a tutorial for KDE, a knowledge of KDE is required for the job, as it is a will to help people who want KDE, to use that desktop environment and it's applications ( unless there is a Gnome one which is vastly superior). As other comments pointed out,  you have basically taken the Ubuntu HOWTO, cut and paste and off you go with  Kubuntu instead,  not too mention that you are ignoring native KDE applications which are as good as (if not better) than the one you have mentioned. All in all, not a good job, please take this off  and (if  you want to provide a perfect Kubuntu desktop howto) do your homework and re post a real tutorial.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-27 09:41:15

Have to agree with the comments and if you really want to use KDE why not use a distro with real KDE integration like Mandriva or Opensuse

From: Steve at: 2009-11-22 03:57:21

I'm quite confused why you would choose Kubuntu over Ubuntu to do your customization with- if the vast majority of your desired apps are Gnome apps or desktop-independent, why aren't you going with a Gnome-based solution?

From: Anonymous at: 2010-01-13 15:36:15

If you want ubuntu instead, then see the ubuntu article (this is the Kubuntu one for those folks that like KDE - however, earlier post about picking appropriate apps for KDE vs gnome is well placed)

From: Roland at: 2009-11-20 19:04:38

That transparent "window" you see at upper left is called "folder view". It's a big improvement over KDE3.5. It isn't limited to ~/Desktop. You can delete it, and recreate it via drag-n-drop from dolphin or whatever. But it falls down because it isn't a real window. You can't limit it to one workspace. You can't minimize it. You can't move/resize it by standard methods--you have to use those krazy slider things. Why not just make it a real window?

From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-20 07:03:46

F-Spot. Digikam is wayyy better than this mono-infested application. Why would you recommend this?

 Thunderbird and Evolution don't do anything that Kmail does not. Besides Kontact is very nicely integrated into the KDE desktop, thank you. Just the threading feature of Kmail beats both thunderbird and evolution.

 Sorry, your choice of applications reeks of GNOME-ism to me! Let there be a flame-war. Basically KDE applications are better than GNOME ones. 

 Some key examples:

 Amarok, K3b, Kontact/Kmail, Digikam, . . .

 Also, for me at least, Chromium has replacted Firefox due to its blazing fast speed!


From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-18 03:50:56

Just wondering why all these ultimate desktop howtos are identical - I can get how these are what a lot of people consider the best app for the job, but why would you choose so many GTK apps for a KDE desktop?

 Sure they work well, but they look terrible - or at least sub-par compared to the rest of the desktop. You'd be better off sticking with Ubuntu give the app-list provided here. At least then the themeing etc would blend in.

Also, why so many applications to do a single job? Multiple torrent clients? Why? Vuze does all that the other client does (if not more) - and if it is considered too heavy, then why install it at all? Ditto with evolution/thunderbird. Why not kmail, it'll integrate better into KDE. Braseo and K3B? They're almost identical.

Choice is great and all, but surely you'd end up just using one of the apps and not the other - and a guide like this, I would think, should be aimed at people who don't want to have to try a whole swag of applications to figure out what works best with their desktop? Otherwise you might as well just give people a list of apps and say pick the one you like. I guess maybe that is what this is...

 I know this will be considered a rant - it's not. But as a typical I-just-want-it-to-work kind of guy, I don't get the why of the choices made here.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-24 11:51:06

 I think I have to agree with the above poster. The only distro that manages to pull this off acceptably is Mandriva with their laOra theme, for both GTK and Qt.  And thats pretty horrid looking, much too pastel.

From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-27 20:32:33

I have always enjoyed these "Pefect Desktop" tutorials, but I have to agree that this one inparticular appears to be a "Perfect Gnome desktop" pasted on top of a Kubuntu headline.

Many of the applications mentioned are good (for a Gnome desktop), but using native KDE applications in Kubuntu would have resulted in a true "Perfect Desktop".

I guess "Perfect" is a matter of preference, I would just ask the Author spend more time with KDE apps in the future.

Otherwise, I would like to thank falko for taking the time to create these tutorials.


From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-27 04:41:43

Ubuntu will become dependent on MONO, as GNOME is re-engineered using MONO, which gives Microsoft's API the control over  the Ubuntu desktop.  However, as of June, 2009, MONO was at 2.4.2 while Microsoft is about to release .NET 4.0.   MONO/Moonlight has ALWAYS been a version or two behind .NET/Silverlight, which will make any desktop built with MONO a version or two behind the features available Windows via the latest version of  .NET.   

MONO has unresolved legal issues concerning its Winform GUI and other components which are not under the ECMA 334 & 335 standard or the MS "Community Promise", which forces MONO developers to create bindings to the GTK toolkit,  called GTK# or GTKSharp,  which gives a legal GUI component to MONO.  If people want MONO apps they should stay with Ubuntu.

It can't do any more harm to Ubuntu to install additional MONO applications because Ubuntu is already contaminated by Microsoft's API, but there is NO valid purpose in installing MONO based apps on Kubuntu, which features the KDE4 desktop built using Qt4.  Unlike MONO, the Qt toolkit and QtCreator are totally under the GPL and represent state of the art software engineering. 

Keeping Kubuntu free of MONO will keep Microsoft away from controlling the Kubuntu desktop via MONO and keep Kubuntu free of legal threats from Microsoft.



From: Anonymous at: 2009-11-27 09:23:50

How come Windows is the basis for the perfect desktop? People won't switch unless Linux can offer something different.

From: Niels at: 2009-11-27 09:34:38

I wonder why one would choose Canonical distro for KDE desktop.  I mean Canonical is trying very hard to hide everything from KDE.  Why can Ubuntu just have simmilar choice like Opensuse 11.2 has.  In Opensuse 11.2 you have KDE as a default desktop but you have a choice to select Gnome.  Ubuntu could just do the same except they could have Gnome as default.  Thus stop delivering Kubuntu.  Try Mandriva or Opensuse if you are KDE lover.

From: marianvasile at: 2009-11-27 12:35:43

i fully agree that ubuntu and his derivatives, as well as any other major linux distro, are a good alternative to windows, BUT i will not ever say that gimp is a solution for photoshop replacement. we, linux users, must be honest to ourselves and to the other people.

it is better to advice a gamer or a person who use photoshop or other dedicated windows apps as autocad to not throw away their win installation.


From: Shezho at: 2009-12-21 17:50:49

Greetings! I have always visited howtoforge after installing a new version o Ubuntu/Kubuntu/Fedora.

I just want to thank your effort and good tutorials.

 So long...

From: Rwdzieczny at: 2010-06-29 09:29:37

When installing GTK+ plus apps I highly recommend using this method

 sudo aptitude --without-recommends install gtkapplication

That way you won't draw in unnecessary GTK+ dependencies only whats needed.