|Developer||Community-driven, previously Blue Systems/Canonical Ltd.|
|OS family||Linux (Unix-like)|
|Initial release||April 8, 2005|
|Latest release||22.10 (Kinetic Kudu) / October 20, 2022|
|Marketing target||Home computers, business use|
|Available in||Multilingual (more than 55)|
|Update method||PackageKit or APT|
|Package manager||dpkg and Snapcraft|
|Platforms||IA-32, x86-64, ARM|
|Kernel type||Monolithic (Linux kernel)|
|KDE Plasma Desktop|
|License||Free software licenses|
Kubuntu (/kʊˈbʊntuː/ kuu-BUUN-too) is an official flavor of the Ubuntu operating system that uses the KDE Plasma Desktop instead of the GNOME desktop environment. As part of the Ubuntu project, Kubuntu uses the same underlying systems. Kubuntu shares the same repositories as Ubuntu and is released regularly on the same schedule as Ubuntu.
Kubuntu was sponsored by Canonical Ltd. until 2012 and then directly by Blue Systems. Now, employees of Blue Systems contribute upstream, to KDE and Debian, and Kubuntu development is led by community contributors. During the changeover, Kubuntu retained the use of Ubuntu project servers and existing developers.
"Kubuntu" is a registered trademark held by Canonical. It is derived from the name "Ubuntu", prefixing a K to represent the KDE platform that Kubuntu is built upon (following a widespread naming convention of prefixing K to the name of any software released for use on KDE platforms), as well as the KDE community.
Since ubuntu is a Bantu term translating roughly to "humanity", and since Bantu grammar involves prefixes to form noun classes, it turns out that the prefix ku- having the meaning "toward" in Bemba, kubuntu is also a meaningful Bemba word or phrase translating to "toward humanity". Reportedly, the same word, by coincidence, also takes the meaning of "free" (in the sense of "without payment") in Kirundi.
Kubuntu typically differs from Ubuntu in graphical applications and tools:
|Kernel and core||Linux kernel and Ubuntu core|
|Display server||X.Org Server and Wayland|
|Multimedia||Totem and Rhythmbox||VLC and Elisa|
|Email and PIM||Thunderbird||Kontact|
Development started back in December 2004 at the Ubuntu Mataró Conference in Mataró, Spain when a Canonical employee Andreas Mueller, from Gnoppix, had the idea to make an Ubuntu KDE variant and got the approval from Mark Shuttleworth to start the first Ubuntu variant, called Kubuntu. On the same evening Chris Halls from the OpenOffice.org project and Jonathan Riddell from KDE started volunteering on the newborn project.
Shortly after Ubuntu was started, Mark Shuttleworth stated in an interview that he recognized the need for KDE-based distribution in order to maintain diversity in Linux distributions, which in his belief aligns with Ubuntu project's overall purpose of increasing the adoption of free software.
K Desktop Environment 3 was used as default interface until Kubuntu 8.04. That version included KDE Plasma Desktop as unsupported option which became default in the subsequent release, 8.10.
On February 6, 2012, Canonical employee Jonathan Riddell announced the end of Canonical's Kubuntu sponsorship. On April 10, 2012 , Blue Systems was announced on the Kubuntu website as the new sponsor. As a result, both developers employed by Canonical to work on Kubuntu–Jonathan Riddell and Aurélien Gâteau–transferred to Blue Systems.
Kubuntu follows the same naming/versioning system as Ubuntu, with each release having a code name and a version number (based on the year and month of release). Canonical provides support and security updates for Kubuntu components that are shared with Ubuntu for 18 months – five years in case of long-term support (LTS) versions – after release. Both a desktop version and an alternative (installation) version (for the x86 and AMD64 platforms) are available. Kubuntu CDs were also available through the ShipIt service (which was discontinued as of April 2011).
|Version||Release date||Code name||Supported until||Linux kernel||KDE Plasma||Qt||Notes|
|5.04||2005-04-08||Hoary Hedgehog||2006-10-31||Initial release including KDE 3.4 and a selection of the most useful KDE programs. Some of these are not in the official KDE itself, including Amarok, Kaffeine, Gwenview, and K3b. Inclusion of update-manager/upgrade-notifier; Kickstart compatibility.|
|5.10||2005-10-13||Breezy Badger||2007-04-13||KDE 3.4.3 and the Guidance configuration tools. It also comes with the Adept Package Manager, the first to make use of debtags for easier searching (replacing the Kynaptic package manager used in the previous release); System Settings, a re-organised kcontrol-like centre and KDE Bluetooth; Graphical boot process with progress bar (Usplash); OEM Installer Support; Launchpad tracking; GCC 4.0.|
Archived 24 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
|2006-06-01||Dapper Drake||2009-06||Long Term Support (LTS) release; Live CD and Installer on one disc; Ubiquity installer; Adept Notifier and Simplified Installer; X Display Configuration from Guidance; Better Asian language support; Avahi networking software.|
|6.10||2006-10-26||Edgy Eft||2008-04||KDE 3.5.5. This release adds the photo management application digiKam and accessibility profiles–benefiting people with disabilities. System Settings is also redesigned, and power management, laptop button support & networking are improved. Also features automated problem reports and Upstart.|
Archived 4 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
|2007-04-19||Feisty Fawn||2008-10||KDE 3.5.6; Migration assistant; KVM; Easy codec/restricted drivers installation; System Settings restructured into General and Advanced categories; Improved Hewlett-Packard printer management; KNetworkManager included; WPA support; Topic-based help system; OEM installer update; PowerPC support officially dropped.|
Archived 29 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
|2007-10-18||Gutsy Gibbon||2009-04-18||New background art. Ships with Strigi and Dolphin by default. Qt port of GDebi graphical installer for package files. Includes Restricted Drivers Manager for the first time. New kubuntu-restricted-extras package is available for download from the repositories.|
|8.04&||2008-04-24||Hardy Heron||2009-10||It has two versions: KDE 3.5 and KDE 4.0 (With community support only). This version intends to provide feature parity with GNOME-based Ubuntu. This includes a port of system-config-printer to Qt to enable printer auto-detection, easy video codec installation in Kaffeine, a simple Compiz setup tool and inclusion of Bulletproof X in KDM, and automatic grabbing and releasing of the mouse cursor when running on a VMware virtual machine. Ubuntu 8.04 is a long-term support release but Kubuntu 8.04 is not.|
|8.10||2008-10-30||Intrepid Ibex||2010-04-30||KDE 4.1.2 desktop environment by default, Linux 2.6.27, Xserver 1.5, Adept Manager 3, KNetworkManager 0.7, KWin desktop effects by default, various Kubuntu tool integration.|
|9.04||2009-04-23||Jaunty Jackalope||2010-10||KDE 4.2.2 desktop environment by default, kernel 2.6.28, Xserver 1.6, Adept superseded by KPackageKit, implementation of the ext4 filesystem, faster boot time, addition of community-supported PowerPC images|
|9.10||2009-10-30||Karmic Koala||2011-04-28||KDE 4.3.2 desktop environment by default, GRUB 2, init system moved to Upstart, kernel 2.6.31|
|10.04 LTS||2010-04-29||Lucid Lynx||2013-05-09||Long Term Support (LTS) release. Security updates will be available for three years for desktops and five years for servers. KDE 4.4.2 desktop environment by default, kernel 2.6.32, KPackageKit 0.5.4, Firefox KDE integration, touchpad configuration module by default.|
|10.10||2010-10-10||Maverick Meerkat||2012-04||KDE Software Compilation 4.5. Faster login. Default browser changed to rekonq. New Bluetooth stack. PulseAudio inclusion. Updated KPackageKit with categories. Global menu for netbook. Updated Installer. Combining of the Desktop and Netbook Editions (autodetection).|
|11.04||2011-04-28||Natty Narwhal||2012-10-28||2.6.38||KDE SC 4.6, GStreamer multimedia backend for Phonon, GTK Oxygen theme, games in the default install, UDisks and UPower replace HAL.|
|11.10||2011-10-12||Oneiric Ocelot||2013-05-09||3.0.3||KDE SC 4.7, replacing KPackageKit with Muon Software Centre, Kubuntu low fat setting, OpenGL ES Powered Desktop Effects, KDE-PIM 4.7.2|
|12.04 LTS||2012-04-25||Precise Pangolin||2017-04-28||3.2.0||The third Kubuntu LTS release. KDE SC 4.8|
|12.10||2012-10-18||Quantal Quetzal||2014-04||LibreOffice 22.214.171.124, rekonq 1.1, KDE SC 4.9.2|
Archived 4 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine
|2013-04-25||Raring Ringtail||2014-01||KDE SC 4.10, Muon Suite 2, LibreOffice 4, Optional Homerun launcher, out-of-the-box MTP support|
|13.10||2013-10-17||Saucy Salamander||2014-06||KDE SC 4.11.2, LibreOffice 4.1.2 rc3|
|14.04 LTS||2014-04-17||Trusty Tahr||2019-04-25||KDE SC 4.13.0, LibreOffice 126.96.36.199. Default browser changed back to Firefox.|
|14.10||2014-10-22||Utopic Unicorn||2015-06||KDE SC 4.14, KDE Plasma 5 as technical preview.|
|15.04||2015-04-23||Vivid Vervet||2015-12||5.2.2||KDE Plasma 5.2.2 is now the default desktop environment. Adaptation to systemd and to SDDM. Behind-the-scenes work on the change to Wayland.|
|15.10||2015-10-22||Wily Werewolf||2016-07||5.4.1||Firefox 41.0, LibreOffice 5.0.|
|16.04 LTS||2016-04-21||Xenial Xerus||2019-04-21||5.5||Firefox 45, LibreOffice 5.1|
|16.10||2016-10-13||Yakkety Yak||2017-07||4.8||5.7.5||KDE Applications 16.04.3, KDE Frameworks 5.26.0, LibreOffice 5.2, Firefox 49|
|17.04||2017-04-13||Zesty Zapus||2018-01||4.10||5.9||KDE Applications 16.12.3, KDE Frameworks 5.31, LibreOffice 5.3, Firefox 52|
|17.10||2017-10-19||Artful Aardvark||2018-07||4.13||5.10||KDE Applications 17.04.3, KDE Frameworks 5.38, LibreOffice 5.4.1, Firefox 56, Cantata replaces Amarok as audio player, VLC media player replaces Dragon Player as media player|
|18.04 LTS||2018-04-26||Bionic Beaver||2021-05-01||5.12 LTS||LibreOffice 6.0 and Firefox 59; double-click is now default to open files; file indexing default changed to "basic" only (not file content).|
|18.10||2018-10-18||Cosmic Cuttlefish||2019-07-18||4.18||5.13||KDE Applications 18.04.3, KDE Frameworks 5.50, LibreOffice 6.1.2, Firefox 63; snap integration by default in software centre, Plasma Wayland session-can be installed for testing (but is not supported), fingerprint scanner support, only available in 64-bit ISO images|
|19.04||2019-04-18||Disco Dingo||2020-01-23||5.0||5.15.4||5.12.2||KDE Applications 18.12.3, KDE Frameworks 5.56, LibreOffice 6.2.2, Firefox 66, KDE Connect 1.3.4, KDevelop 5.3.2, Krita 4.1.7, Latte Dock 0.8.8|
|19.10||2019-10-17||Eoan Ermine||2020-07-17||5.3||5.16.5||5.12.4||KDE Applications 19.04.3, KDE Frameworks 5.62, LibreOffice 6.3, Firefox 69|
|20.04 LTS||2020-04-23||Focal Fossa||2023-04||5.4||5.18 LTS||5.12.8||KDE Frameworks 5.68.0, LibreOffice 188.8.131.52, Firefox 75|
|20.10||2020-10-22||Groovy Gorilla||2021-07-22||5.8||5.19.5||5.14.2||KDE Frameworks 5.74.0, LibreOffice 7.0.2, Firefox 82|
|21.04||2021-04-22||Hirsute Hippo||2022-01-20||5.11||5.21||5.15.2||KDE Frameworks 5.80, LibreOffice 7.1, Firefox 87|
|21.10||2021-10-14||Impish Indri||2022-07-14||5.13||5.22.5||5.15.2||KDE Gear 21.08, KDE Frameworks 5.86, LibreOffice 7.2, Firefox 92|
|22.04 LTS||2022-04-21||Jammy Jellyfish||2025-04||5.17||5.24 LTS||5.15.3||KDE Gear 21.12.3, KDE Frameworks 5.92, LibreOffice 184.108.40.206, Firefox 99|
|22.10||2022-10-21||Kinetic Kudu||2023-07||5.18||5.25||5.15.5||KDE Gear 22.04.1, LibreOffice 7.4, Firefox 103, KDE Frameworks 5.95|
|Legend: Old version, not maintained Older version, still maintained Current stable version|
The desktop version of Kubuntu currently supports the AMD 64 architectures, Intel x86 support was discontinued after the 18.04 release and existing 32-bit users will be supported until 2023.
Kubuntu rollouts include the world's largest Linux desktop deployment, that includes more than 500,000 desktops in Brazil (in 42,000 schools of 4,000 cities).
The software of the 14,800 Linux workstations of Munich was switched to Kubuntu LTS 12.04 and KDE 4.11.
The Taipei City Government decided to replace Windows with a Kubuntu distribution on 10,000 PCs for schools.
The French Parliament announced in 2006 that they would switch over 1,000 workstations to Kubuntu by June 2007.
A Kubuntu distribution, by La Laguna University, is used in more than 3,000 computers spread in several computer labs, laboratories and libraries, among other internal projects in the Canary Islands. Since October 2007, Kubuntu is now used in all of the 1,100 state schools in the Canary Islands.
The second point release update in February 2021 to Kubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa) contains all the bug-fixes added to 20.04 since its first release. Users can run the normal update procedure to get these bug-fixes.