08 April 2010

Kubuntu 10.04 Setup Guide

Much of this guide is going to be similar to the other guide, and the installation part before this is the same as described here, except that now there is a pretty slideshow when it installs.

You can download Kubuntu 10.04 here .


This is the Kubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx) default desktop. I tell a lie, I've right clicked on the Kmenu (blue lower right button) and changed the icon to an alternate, more Kubuntu themed, icon.

The Kmenu is your Application Launcher/Folder Launcher/Search bar/Power Options menu. Similar to a start menu in Windows, but vastly more usable and more powerful.

In the lower right corner, we have the system tray, a spot where the system holds a bunch of little applets (mini programs that help do things). If you expand the system tray, you'll see the device notifier. This will automatically pop up when you plug in removable media, such as USB drives and DVDs. You can Eject/Safely remove these devices from this menu.

If we click on the toolbox in the upper right corner and click add widgets, we get a nice menu of widgets to place on our desktop.

This is the default file manager, Dolphin. Please note that files are single click to open, and have little selector/deselector icons in the upper left when you hover over them. The usual Shift Click and Ctrl (Command for Mac) Click shortcuts from Windows and Mac will work here. This can be set to a double click to open behavior in the settings, but I suggest getting used to single click.

Refresh Software Sources

Before we do anything, we should connect to the internet and update the computer's software sources. Let's go to: "System Settings Add and Remove Software Software Updates" , and hit refresh.
Otherwise, we run into a lot of funky problems with things not installing.

Graphics / Wifi Drivers
If we open up The Hardware Drivers manager from "Kmenu Applications System" we can install drivers for devices without built-in, open-source support. Remember to reboot after all the
drivers have finished installing.

If you get a choice between the Broadcom STL driver and the Broadcom B43 driver, go for the STL driver. It's easier and more stable in my experience.
We can test the graphics drivers by going to "System Settings Desktop Desktop Effects" and enabling the effects. Nice little side effect, most computers run faster with these desktop effects turned on.

Highly Suggested Software

It's weird that they never included an application to see your computer's information. Here you can check to see how much RAM you have, what graphics driver you're using, what kind of processor is in the computer and such.

Ubuntu Software Center

We definitely ought to install the Ubuntu Software Center. This is a superior tool for browsing and installing applications for the average user. You can see a full explanation/review here, I highly suggest reading that if you are newer to Linux-based operating systems.
You can find it in "Kmenu System Software Center"

Kubuntu Restricted Extras

A collection of standard fonts, audio/video codecs, flash and java, which couldn't be included in the initial package of an open source package, but are fine to add "aftermarket".


We might want to install the popular Firefox web browser. Thankfully, although the Kubuntu developers couldn't include it because of size limits of the install CD, they provided a simple installer in "Kmenu Applications Internet".


Amazing and powerful media player. Has some features that Dragon player may be missing.

Extra Mouse Themes

Because many colors to pick from are better than a few.


If you've got a webcam, it's worth checking this out. It does install VLC, a video player which you may not need, but that allows it to record videos. Cheese is another good one.


Best image manipulation program on Kubuntu.


A wonderful non-linear video editor. I've been using it a lot, and love it. You can record your desktop, from webcam or video camera, edit, add effects, and publish to DVD or youtube. Great application.


Let's you try and use windows programs on Linux OS's. Not recommended for the faint of heart, unless you just wanna play the Orange Box.

Better Notifications

One test feature that didn't make it into Lucid Lynx, was the "Ayatana" notifications. Think of these like Growl on OSX, ayatana notifications is what Ubuntu has.

To remedy the situation, the guy who wrote original code for the Kubuntu ayatana is releasing the notification system in a separate package, calling it "Colibri".


Just download, install, right click on the "i" in the system tray, and turn of application notifications. Reboot.

Video chat is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately, few Linux applications make it fun or easy. This is where skype comes in. It's as simple as any other instant messaging client, and has great sound quality. Remember that the version you download should be the same as the version of Kubuntu you installed.

32bit (x86) Machines

64bit (amd64) Machines

DVD Playback

Here's something I almost forgot. There's two ways to do this. The pay way, or the free-and-legal-but-maybe-not-in-america way. I suggest both ( or whatever you feel like paying).

The most legal method has us go to Fluendo's website, and purchase the only consumer Linux-compatible DVD playing software. It's not that expensive ($27), and works rather well.


Now for the open-source alternative. This method let's you play DVDs in all of your current Linux DVD players, like Dragon Player, VLC, and Kaffeine.

Install the prerequisite:


Now, open up Konsole, and type/copypasta

sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

Hit enter, enjoy.


Why not check out PlayDeb? They've got a great list of updated versions of things for the Linux gaming scene. It's a real awesome site. Install their package, and click on their links.

The last thing we ought to do (If you are doing a dual boot thing) is to fix the menu where you choose to boot up into Windows or Kubuntu. The guide to make that nicer can be found here. I am still working on a GUI program to do this for us.


featured on: OMG Ubuntu!


Anonymous said...

great article thanks

Matthew said...

You make us KDE users feel lots less neglected. Btw, startup manager is wonderful for editing grub fyi. It's in the repos too.

Sam said...

Yes, StartUp-Manager (click to install) is good, but doesn't do either what my grub blog post was doing or what I intend my application to do, which is to simplify and allow the user to take advantage of custom entries.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! This was a real big help!

Justin said...

Where can I get the image for the Kmenu?


Matthew said...

Oh I see. I gotcha.

Sam said...

Right Click on the Kmenu -> Application Launcher Settings -> Icon -> System Icons -> Places -> start-here-kubuntu

Anonymous said...

Great post, lots of useful info, easy read. Many thanks, man! Kubuntu Lucid Lynx rocks!!


which application do I use for these Install" links?

Sam said...

Choose /usr/bin/kpackagekit


Thank you. Could not get it to work in Firefox, but the links work just fine in Konqueror. Is there a similar guide for Xubuntu? My old laptop is too weak for ubuntu and kubuntu.

Sam said...

In my experience, Xubuntu is sadly slow, and doesn't really do it's job as a slow computer distro.

I suggest checking out Lubuntu.

I also regret that I may not have the time to research another variant for a guide. I know KDE and Kubuntu like the back of my hand, but not so for the others.


Thanks for the heads up on Xubuntu. Gonna try tweaking the Kubuntu, cause the main reason for this old laptop is to run skype (gonna give it to my parents). And thanks again for the great guide!

Justin said...

Try Lubuntu. It's supposed to be waay fast.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, thx. In 1st para of Concepts, did you mean lower left button? And later, when you mention expanding the system tray, perhaps a beginner won't know what you mean.

Also you need to tell visitors to turn on session cookies, otherwise we can't see your captcha.

ClaireVoyance Team... said...

Thank you for a great article. Very helpful

Sam said...

"Also you need to tell visitors to turn on session cookies, otherwise we can't see your captcha."

that's a blogger feature in general, I didn't know that was true because I've never turned off the feature. However, If you know enough to shut off cookies, you should be know of it's ill effects on web pages, and to turn them on when things don't work correctly.