It may not be getting Unity nor the attention its purple/orange brother is receiving, but that doesn’t mean nothing interesting is happening with Kubuntu.

When it komes to running an alpha releases of Ubuntu, it kan be at times a major pain. This is expected from any alpha project. On my machine I run both Kubuntu and Ubuntu 11.04 and I kan konfidently say though that Kubuntu is kooking up some nice treats of its own.

What kool things are set for this Natty release?

Plasma and KDE Applications 4.6

As we covered gracefully before, KDE 4.6 was release bringing with it improvements to the Plasma workspaces and to a basket full of applications.

The Kubuntu team highlights:

  • KWin sees significant performance improvements and better detection of graphic driver capabilities
  • You can now associate programs with specific Plasma activities
  • The power management configuration area has been given a new, easier to use interface

Phonon GStreamer backend

The multimedia system has been changed to GStreamer for Natty. Sounds familiar? This is because it’s now the same as Ubuntu. HTML5 video in the default web browser has been improved as well.

GTK Oxygen Theme

GTK applications such as Firefox or pretty much every application for Ubuntu now fit in with KDE’s Plasma desktop. The quality of the illusion of a seamless desktop experience is brilliant, you must see it for yourself.

Ubuntu 11.04?

You might not be aware of that features to come about in Ubuntu 11.04 have already been included in Kubuntu for a few releases now.

Both the desktop & netbook versions have been fused into one installation since Kubuntu 10.10. Switching between either interface doesn’t require you to log out either.

Kubuntu Netbook UI

The new Compiz plugin ‘Aero Snap’ style ‘Grid’ has been a part of Kubuntu, thanks to Kwin, for awhile. Drag an app window to the top to maximize, left or right to resize windows side-by-side.

Aero Snap

Last but not least, if you love Unity style, the 2D Unity interface can be used in Kubuntu. This can achieved by using Unity 2D ” PPA installation instructions here ” and running ‘unity-qt-launcher’ via the Konsole/run prompt of choice.


If you are a faithful fan of Ubuntu and have never seen a reason for trying Kubuntu, you are missing an equally great experience. Do yourself a favor and give it a shot! Who knows, you might find a new favorite.

All download information is right HERE.

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