Thursday, August 14, 2008

Introduction and History of Kubuntu

Kubuntu is an official project of Ubuntua complete implementation of the Ubuntu OS led by Jonathan Riddell (an employee of Canonical Ltd.) and an army of developers. However, Kubuntu uses KDE instead of GNOME for Ubuntu. The main goal of Kubuntu is to be a great integrated Linux distribution with all of the great features of Ubuntu, but based on KDE. Since Kubuntu is an official part of the Ubuntu community it adheres to the same Ubuntu manifesto: Great software should be available free of charge and should be usable by people in their own language regardless of disability. Also, people should be able to customize and alter their software in ways they deem fit.

Like Ubuntu, Kubuntu makes the following commitments: the very best translations and accessibility infrastructure that the free software community has to offer; Kubuntu will always be free of charge, and there is no extra cost for an "enterprise" version, and Kubuntu will always provide the latest and best software from the KDE community.

Looking for a certain piece of software? Kubuntu has it, with more then 1,000 pieces of software in its repositories including the latest kernel version and, of course, the latest KDE, which at the time of this writing is at version 3.5.2. The standard desktop applications (Web browsing, e-mail, word processing, and spreadsheet applications) allow Kubuntu to replace any current desktop OS. If you are running servers, whether it is a Web server, e-mail server, or database server, Kubuntu can do that as well.

History of Kubuntu
When Ubuntu was first being discussed there were rumors that it would be only based on GNOME, and KDE would be left out. Jonathan Riddell, a KDE developer, posted an article on his Web log (blog) that soon became the No. 1 hit on Google for Ubuntu Linux. The article states:

The signs are there that this could be something big, more so than the likes of Linspire, Xandros, or Lycrosis. Unlike those companies, they [Canonical Ltd. Software] understand Free Software and open development. It is likely to be a GNOME-based job, but maybe there is a KDE developer out there who is working for them without letting on. If not I'm always available.

This post started a flurry of activity both for Riddell and the others who wanted to participate.

A lot of changes needed to be made to get Kubuntu working correctly. A hardware-accessible library needed to be changed. Programs and packages needed to be created, along with a clean K-menu changed to fit the philosophy of Ubuntu. And along the way more people needed to join the project. It was a conscious decision to keep the default KDE colors and icons in order to remain as close to KDE as possible.

Once a preview release of Ubuntu (Hoary Hedgehog) came out, another flurry of activity ensued that had developers uploading last-minute changesincluding some that broke almost everything they had set upand the first CDs were released. Since this initial release Kubuntu has grown and changed. New items in the Breezy (5.10) release included system settings, automatic mounting when inserting a USB drive, and, of course, the latest KDE. In the next release, Dapper Drake (6.04), there are almost the same numbers of changes the latest version of KDE (version 3.5.2) along with featuring the addition of zerconf discovery, a new installer, Katapult enabled by default, and CJK (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Language) support.

Kubuntu is quickly building up a sizable community of its own. Not only are there new package managers and a dedicated documentation team, but also many community and fan sites to help provide support and the most current information. Kubuntu has grown tremendously from just one developer to a large group as it continues to improve the quality of the distribution.

Source of Information : The Official Ubuntu Book

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