About Kubuntu

About Kubuntu

Thank you for your interest in Kubuntu 6.06 LTS - the Dapper Drake release.

Kubuntu is an entirely open source operating system built around the Linux kernel. The Kubuntu community is built around the ideals enshrined in the Ubuntu Philosophy: that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local language and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customize and alter their software in whatever way they see fit. For those reasons:

The Kubuntu community is comprised of developers, programmers, testers, tech-writers, documentation testers, translators, and most importantly, the people who use Kubuntu every day. We invite you to join this community and help make Kubuntu the operating system you, your family, your friends, and your colleagues will love to use. Help us translate Kubuntu into your language, try it on new and unusual hardware, improve the experience of other users with hints, tips, and FAQs, or help to shape the direction Kubuntu is headed by providing feedback about the software you love most.

Find out more at the Kubuntu website.

About the Name

Kubuntu is based on the Ubuntu system, but with the latest KDE packages. Kubuntu means "towards humanity" in Bemba. Kubuntu is pronounced "koo-boon-too".

Ubuntu is a South African ethical ideology focusing on people's allegiances and relations with each other. The word comes from the Zulu and Xhosa languages. Ubuntu (pronounced "oo-BOON-too") is seen as a traditional African concept, is regarded as one of the founding principles of the new republic of South Africa and is connected to the idea of an African Renaissance.

A rough translation of the principle of Ubuntu is "humanity towards others". Another translation could be: "the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity".


A person with ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.

  --Archbishop Desmond Tutu

As a platform based on GNU/Linux, the Kubuntu operating system brings the spirit of ubuntu to the software world.

Free Software

The Kubuntu project is entirely committed to the principles of open source software development; people are encouraged to use open source software, improve it, and pass it on. This means that Kubuntu is and will always be free of charge.

However, this means more than just being available at zero cost. The philosophy of Free Software is that people should be free to use software in all the ways that are "socially useful". "Free software" not only means that you shouldn't have to pay for it, it also means that you should be able to use the software in any way you wish. The code that makes up Free Software is available for anyone to download, change, fix, and use in any way. So apart from the fact that Free Software is often available without charge, this freedom also has technical advantages: when programs are developed, the hard work of others can be used and built upon. This cannot happen with non-free Software, and when programs are developed, they have to start from scratch. For this reason the development of Free Software is fast, efficient and exciting!

You can find out more about the philosophy of Free Software here.

The Difference

There are many different operating systems based on GNU/Linux: Debian, SUSE, Gentoo, RedHat, and Mandriva for example. Kubuntu is yet another contender in what is already a highly competitive world. So what makes Kubuntu different?

Based on Debian, one of the most widely acclaimed, technologically advanced, and well-supported distributions, Kubuntu aims to create a distribution that provides an up-to-date and coherent Linux system for desktop and server computing. Kubuntu includes a number of carefully selected packages from the Debian distribution and retains its powerful package management system, which allows easy installation and clean removal of programs. Unlike most distributions that ship with a large amount of software that may or may not be of use, Kubuntu's list of packages is reduced to a number of important applications of high quality.

By focusing on quality, Kubuntu produces a robust and feature-rich computing environment that is suitable for use in both home and commercial environments. The project takes the time required to focus on finer details and is able to release a version featuring the latest and greatest of today's software once every 6 months. Kubuntu is available in flavors for the i386 (386/486/Pentium(II/III/IV) and Athlon/Duron/Sempron processors), x86_64 (Athlon64, Opteron, and new 64-bit Intel processors), and PowerPC (iBook/Powerbook, G4 and G5) architectures.

Long-Term Support

Every Kubuntu release is supported for at least 18 months with security and other updates. Kubuntu 6.06 LTS is a special enterprise-ready release, and is supported for 3 years on the desktop, and 5 years on the server. The development process of Kubuntu 6.06 LTS was slightly longer than usual to concentrate on a number of areas:

  • Quality Assurance

  • Localisation

  • Certification

As a result, it will be possible to rely on Kubuntu 6.06 LTS for a longer period than usual. Therefore this release of Kubuntu is referred to as "LTS" or "Long-Term Support".

The Desktop

The default desktop environment for Kubuntu is KDE, a leading UNIX and Linux desktop suite and development platform.

Another leading UNIX and Linux desktop is Gnome. Kubuntu does not make use of the Gnome desktop by default. However, the Ubuntu project offers Kubuntu users a choice between these two excellent desktop environments. Thanks to the efforts of the Ubuntu team, Kubuntu users are able to install and use the Gnome desktop easily on their system. The Gnome desktop can be found in and downloaded from the main Ubuntu archive. The easiest way to get a working install of Ubuntu is sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop. This will install the different packages required and set everything up correctly.

After everything is installed, one can choose which environment to use: either KDE or Gnome.

Version and Release Numbers

The Kubuntu version numbering scheme is based on the date we release a version of the distribution. The version number comes from the year and month of the release rather than reflecting the actual revision of the software. So, our first release (Hoary Hedgehog) was in April 2005, so its version was 5.04. The second release (Breezy Badger) was in October 2005, so its version number was 5.10. This version (Dapper Drake) was released in June 2006, so its version number is 6.06 LTS.

Backing and Support

Kubuntu is maintained by a quickly growing community. The project is sponsored by Canonical Ltd., a holding company founded by Mark Shuttleworth. Canonical employs the core Ubuntu developers and offers support and consulting services for Ubuntu.

Canonical Ltd also sponsors a number of other open source software projects, more information about which can be found on the Canonical website.

What is Linux?

The Linux kernel, pronounced "lee-nucks" is the heart of the Kubuntu operating system. A kernel is an important part of any operating system, providing the communication bridge between hardware and software.

Linux was brought to life in 1991 by a Finnish student named Linus Torvalds. At the time, it would run only on i386 systems, and was essentially an independently created clone of the UNIX kernel, intended to take advantage of the then-new i386 architecture.

Nowadays, thanks to a substantial amount of development effort by people all around the world, Linux runs on virtually every modern architecture.

The Linux kernel has gained an ideological importance as well as a technical one. There is an entire community of people who believe in the ideals of Free Software and spend their time helping to make open source technology as good as it can be.

People in this community gave rise to initiatives such as Ubuntu, standards committees that shape the development of the Internet, organizations like the Mozilla Foundation, responsible for creating Mozilla Firefox, and countless other software projects from which you've certainly benefited in the past.

The spirit of open source, commonly attributed to Linux, is influencing software developers and users everywhere to drive communities with common goals.

What is GNU?

The GNU Project, pronounced "guh-noo", was launched in 1984 to develop a complete UNIX-style operating system which is comprised of Free Software: the GNU system. Variants of the GNU operating system, which use the Linux kernel, are now widely used; though these systems are often referred to as "Linux", they are more accurately called GNU/Linux systems.

The GNU project is closely linked to the philosophy of free software, which is central to the projects that derive from it, such as Ubuntu. The concept of Free Software is explained at the section called “Free Software”.