Installing Kubuntu is just like installing Ubuntu. It is pretty much a snap. Let's start with where you find it.
Where to Find Kubuntu
Kubuntu is available at the same location as Ubuntu, www.kubuntu.org/download.php. An image file can be downloaded and then burned onto either a DVD or a CD-ROM. There are two different types of Kubuntu images that can be downloaded and used. The first is the Desktop CD that allows the user to test and run Kubuntu without changing any settings. The second is the actual installer.
New to Kubuntu 6.06, the Desktop CD will come with an installer so you will not have to download a separate version if everything tests successfully. A good way to demonstrate the power of Kubuntu is to show it off with the desktop CD, and when your friends like it install it for them.
Another way to get Kubuntu would be through ordering the free CD from Ubuntu (shipit.kubuntu.org). The beauty of this is there is no cost for shipping and handling, and you will then have an official CD complete with cover art and everything. This is also great for user groups or install parties where a group of people will be using Kubuntu.
Can I Switch to Kubuntu If I Have Ubuntu Installed Already?
If you have installed Ubuntu on your system already, it is extremely easy to install and configure Kubuntu. In Synaptic, find the package Kubuntu-desktop, which will provide all the necessary programs to have your system look and act like Kubuntu. Don't worry. You can still switch between Ubuntu with GNOME as the desktop manager and Kubuntu with KDE as the desktop environment. Once Kubuntu is installed, one can choose which desktop environment to use, either GNOME or KDE. Also if you wish to have Ubuntu, it is simple to switch; just install Ubuntu-desktop and you will be using the GNOME desktop.
Once you have installed the Kubuntu-desktop, end your GNOME session, and choose Session from the menu. Select KDE instead of GNOME as your window manager, and then select Make Default. From now on KDE will start for you when you sign on.
Kubuntu follows the easy-to-use Ubuntu installer to set up and configure your system. Like Ubuntu, there is more than one way to install a new copy, including Expert and Normal modes. New to this version of Kubuntu is a way to rescue a broken system and get it up and working again. The Normal install, which is the easiest and most used, asks several basic questions such as host name, how the network is configured, username and password, and how the drives will be formatted. Once these questions are answered, the system will proceed with formatting your hard drive and installing Kubuntu. After logging in for the first time, the next step will be to make sure your system is up-to-date including any bug fixes or security patches. This is done through Adept, which is discussed later in this chapter.
Installing from the Desktop CD
New to this version of Kubuntu is the ability to install directly from the desktop CD. This removes the need to download separate CDs. Simply download the desktop CD, and show off how great Kubuntu is to your friends or give it a test run for the first time. Kubuntu's Live Installer program is called Ubiquity.
Upon choosing to install Kubuntu, Ubiquity will start guiding you through the installation process (see Figure 7-4).
Figure 7-4 Ubiquity's welcome screen.
Figure 7-5 Selecting the correct time zone.
Once these have been set, Ubiquity will prompt you to select the correct keyboard layout (Figure 7-6), help you create a username and password, and help you assign a name for the install computer (Figure 7-7).
Figure 7-6 Selecting the keyboard layout.
Figure 7-7 Configuring the computer name and username.
After filling out this information, Ubiquity will help you set and partition your disks (Figure 7-8). After everything is set up, Kubuntu will be installed. Once everything is finished, you will be prompted to reboot the computer (Figure 7-9). You are now ready to use your Kubuntu system.
Figure 7-8 Configuring disk partitions.
Figure 7-9 Finishing the installation.
A large change, and one that many people stumble with before getting used to it, is the "lack" of a root account. Upon installation you are not prompted to provide with a root password. The password created with the first user is the password that will allow you to access the administrative functions. There will be many times when configuring the system or making global changes will require the sudo password to complete.