Kubuntu vs Ubuntu vs Xubuntu: An Alternative OS Comparisonment

Moving to a new operating system is already hard, but Ubuntu gives people a choice of different versions. Even though Ubuntu is at the heart of all of them, each OS version gives you a completely different experience that will change how you use Ubuntu Linux.

Of course, each system has pros and cons, but is one that much better? Does one choice work better for first-time users? How about more experienced users? We will look at each interface and compare them so that you can pick the best Ubuntu version for your needs. Don't worry if this is your first time using Linux! Before going on, read Introduction to Linux to get a feel for using Linux as your desktop.

A Quick Look at Ubuntu's Past

This word comes from Africa and means, "I am what I am because of what we are all." Canonical, the company that made Ubuntu, made it so PC users worldwide could use this old idea.

Ubuntu is open-source and free to use. This makes it appealing to makers who want to make a better desktop experience without the restrictions of making commercial software. Two of the best things about Ubuntu and its different versions are that they encourage new ideas and a sense of community.

The goal of Ubuntu is to make a desktop experience that all users, no matter how skilled they are, can enjoy. The first versions of Linux were made for hackers and people who work in networking. On the other hand, Ubuntu is a platform that works with both Windows and OS X. The latest Ubuntu, 13.10, has enough features for almost any PC user to use it. Many software problems with any Linux distribution have been fixed by making cloud-based software options more widely available.

More and more, there are fewer and fewer reasons not to use Ubuntu with each new version. There are many good reasons why Ubuntu is a better choice for many people in this age of new technology and the need for better information solutions.

Ubuntu has eight forms, including versions designed to work with servers, mobile devices, and OpenStack cloud configurations. Because it can be used in many ways, Ubuntu is one of the best choices for individuals and businesses. As shown in Learning Ubuntu Linux Server, you can also use Ubuntu to run servers.

It's important to know that the source code for all three desktop settings in this guide is the same. In other words, all three are based on Ubuntu, but how they work for users can be very different depending on what they want to change and how much they want to change it.

Ubuntu Ubuntu has a GUI called Unity. There was a lot of resistance to Unity when it came out a few years ago as an alternative to the old Ubuntu interface. With Unity, Canonical tried to make a current user interface that could go up against Windows and OS X. Even though Unity wasn't very stable initially, it has since become a solid platform that gives users more options than other popular OSes while keeping a simple navigating style.

The control dock on the left side of the screen is the best way to tell Unity apart. Users can quickly get to their favorite apps from here, which makes doing more than one thing at once more accessible than ever.

Ubuntu uses Files, which is based on the Nautilus File Manager and is part of the Gnome 3 application design.

This is the choice that people who are new to Linux choose most often. It looks good, can connect to many social media sites, and is stable enough to use every day. Unity's only fundamental flaw is that it needs to work better on older or low-end devices. There are much better Ubuntu options for people who want to bring an old Linux computer back to life.

Sometimes, more experienced Linux users may find the interface less flexible than other options. But a regular Windows user will feel right at home with this version and should only get used to a few small things about Linux, like how the file system is set up and how the command line tools work.

Unity "protects" new users from the Terminal, but sometimes you need to use the Terminal to do something. To learn more about advanced Linux tips, read Mastering the Linux Command Line.

Fedora 19

The most well-known Linux interface is likely KDE, which stands for "K Desktop Environment." When the KDE is added to Ubuntu, the combination is called Kubuntu. It gives users a very flexible experience that is similar to Windows 7. Many still call this interface "KDE," but the official name changed to the KDE Software Compilation (KDE SC) in 2010 with the 4.4 release.

Thanks to the Dolphin file explorer, Kubuntu can run on its own. KDE can now run on devices with older hardware thanks to significant improvements in performance in its most recent version. For people with new, high-end hardware, the changes to KDE have significantly increased the processing speed.

Canonical used to give Kubuntu money directly, but Blue Systems recently took over. Blue Systems is the same company that funds Linux Mint, a very light and fast option for Linux.

Many people find Kubuntu to be a great choice. It has a clean and easy-to-use design and comes with many valuable tools that make it very useful immediately after installation. Of course, one of the best things about Linux is that it's easy to change once it's loaded, and KDE does a great job of integrating these changes.

KDE has been praised as the best desktop environment for many experienced Linux users because it can be customized or even better than most publicly available OSs today. Unity has many of the same features as Ubuntu, but some people find it too limited as they gain more knowledge and confidence with Ubuntu.

For a long time, Xubuntu Xfce has been a powerful and light Linux system. Xfce can even be used on computers with only 40 MB of memory, which makes it an excellent choice for older computers with weak hardware.

This is why Xubuntu (Xfce + Ubuntu) is the OS that Google Chromebook users choose. The Chromebook uses the Chrome OS, a limited system that only lets you browse the web and use Chrome web apps. Chromebook users can install Ubuntu using Xfce and a free tool called Crouton. This helps make the most of the limited hardware resources found in most Chrome devices.

The GTK+ 2 tools are used by both Gnome 2 and Xfce. Recent updates have made many changes to improve the whole user experience, and the Linux community has given them good reviews.

In many ways, Xubuntu is a version of Ubuntu that has been stripped down for people who want complete control over their desktop environment but don't want extra files and apps. For example, Xubuntu doesn't come with LibreOffice, a powerful open-source productivity package. Instead, it comes with Abiword, a small and easy-to-use word processor.

Xfce doesn't have Rhythmbox, a famous music player program with Ubuntu and Kubuntu. gMusicBrowser is used instead by Xfce. Even though gMusicBrowser works, its appearance could be cleaner, and most users like how Rhythmbox looks more. You can get a template for gMusicBrowser that makes it look and work a lot like Rhythmbox, but a lot of the features still need to be added.

If you install Xubuntu directly, you can only use a few other software choices. Some people run Ubuntu with Unity instead and then download and set up the Xfce desktop. This lets users enjoy the fast, light, and dependable experience of Xfce while having the software choices that come with a complete Ubuntu installation.

That's why Linux is great. When you combine different options to make a desktop environment that fits the needs of a specific user, there is no limit to how much you can change it.

What makes one choice better than the others?

With all these options, you might need help picking the best desktop setting for your needs. This is especially important if you are new to Linux and need to learn more about the operating system or how to do everyday things with it quickly and easily.

Unity is the best choice for everyone. Canonical has been able to make a setting that works for most people, even though it has been criticized for years. That's why a lot of people stick with Windows, right? "Just works." After deciding to leave Microsoft and its expensive licensing rules, most users feel the same confidence when using Unity.

Unity isn't suitable for Linux users who like being able to change how it works. There are just too many things about Unity that need to be fixed. Kubuntu is a better choice for these people. The KDE is a powerful system that even Windows users will know how to use. Also, KDE works a little better. This means that KDE can dash on computers with suitable hardware and even be used on slower computers, though they will run slower.

It is best to use Xubuntu on older computers or by people who want a stripped-down version of Ubuntu that they can change and improve as required. While it doesn't come with many features that people usually associate with Ubuntu, it's easy to add them if you're ready to spend the time downloading and setting them up yourself. This method is better because it keeps the OS from getting bloated with extra software, which happens a lot with more "complete" versions.

Ubuntu is different because you can set up all three settings and switch between them whenever necessary. This level of freedom from the OS is not available in any other OS, not even Windows or OS X. If it fits your work, you could even use more than one choice. For example, you may decide that KDE gives you the freedom of modification you need to get work done quickly, but on your days off, you may prefer the simplicity of Unity.

This is true even if you compare Ubuntu to the new features in Microsoft Windows 8 because Linux still has an answer that no commercial software company can match.

It doesn't matter which desktop setting you pick; Ubuntu has a lot of options that should please almost all PC users. Not one of these environments is better than the others, but they all have tangible benefits that can make the switch from another operating system to Linux much more manageable.

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