A short and sweet (whisper it) review of Kubuntu 6.06.1

I installed Kubuntu 6.06.1 LTS (Dapper) on an old 2001 PC today. The machine used to be my primary desktop, running Windows 98, became a spare about 2 years ago after I got a laptop, running Mandriva LE 2005. It gave up the ghost from a combination of losing a power supply in the Cape Town power cuts earlier this year, the motherboard coming loose in a move, and some memory failing. It was finally restored to full health a few days ago, and I used the opportunity to set it up as a workstation for a colleague.

Of course Windows 98 wouldn’t cut it, so I jumped at the chance to install Kubuntu.

I’m going to try not to make the usual Linux distro review mistakes (or even dare to call this a review), and stick to what I know (not very much) and what I observed (also not very much, as I’ve only spent about an hour on the machine). This is not attempting to be a comparison of Kubuntu and Mandriva, or anything else really. It’s just my first impressions on using a new system, after using my current one for about two years.

Nevertheless, my first impression of Kubuntu 6.06.1 is very positive. Everything worked first time, so I didn’t have to waste time fiddling around trying to get something working. But that’s an expectation. Anything else would have been a serious failure. There’re really two reasons for feeling positive, neither of which have much to do with the distro specifically.

Firstly, KDE has progressed a lot in the intervening time. It looks that much cleaner, and responds smoothly on my old machine. More importantly configuring things is so much easier now. I’m quite blown away, to be honest.

Secondly, I’ve much prefered Debian-style package management (the joys of apt-get) to Red Hat style RPMs. Mandriva uses urpmi, which is good, but even so I still prefer using command-line apt-get on my Debian server to Mandriva’s urpmi GUI.

Kubuntu comes with Adept, KDE’s apt GUI, and already I like it more.

It’s fun playing with a new toy (well, not so new – Kubuntu 6.10 RC is already out). Perhaps it’s time for an upgrade on my laptop too.



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