Installing Kubuntu is just like installing Ubuntu. It is pretty much a snap. Let's start with where you can find it.
Where to Find Kubuntu
Kubuntu is available at www.kubuntu.org/download.php. An image file can be downloaded and then burned onto either a DVD or a CD-ROM. Two different types of Kubuntu images can be downloaded and used. The first is the desktop CD, which allows the user to test and run Kubuntu without changing any settings. The second is the alternate install CD, which provides for a more advanced installation.
The desktop CD of Kubuntu 11.04 is the primary way to install Kubuntu on your system. This CD is a great way to demonstrate the power of Kubuntu to your friends before they install it on their systems. The desktop CD acts as a live CD and allows Kubuntu to run on your system without erasing anything already installed.
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 the Ubuntu Software Center, find the package kubuntu-desktop, which provides all the necessary programs to have your system look and act like Kubuntu. Don't worry—you can still switch between Ubuntu with GNOME and Kubuntu with KDE. Once Kubuntu is installed, you can choose which desktop environment to use, either GNOME or KDE. Also, if you have Kubuntu installed already and wish to install Ubuntu, it is just as simple to switch: Just install ubuntu-desktop through Software Management, and you will be using the GNOME desktop. For those who are switching from Ubuntu to Kubuntu, Software Management performs the same function as Ubuntu Software Center.
Once you have installed the kubuntu-desktop package, logout and choose Session from the menu when you log back in, after you enter your user name and before you enter your password. Select KDE as your window manager, and then select Make Default. From now on, KDE will start for you when you sign on.
Installing from the Desktop CD
Kubuntu has the ability to install directly from the desktop CD, so there is no need to download separate CDs; simply download the desktop CD and show off to your friends how great Kubuntu is, or give it a test run for the first time. The live installer program for both Ubuntu and Kubuntu is called Ubiquity.
After you start up the desktop CD, live cd will boot and prompt you to select "Try Kubuntu" or "Install Kubuntu."
Selecting "Try Kubuntu" will boot the desktop environment and allow you to test Kubuntu before installing. Selecting "Install Kubuntu" will launch the installer, and Ubiquity will guide you through the installation phase (Figure 8-1).
Figure 8-1 Welcome screen of Ubiquity
Ubiquity guides you in setting up your disk partition(s) (Figure 8-2).
Figure 8-2 Configuring the disk partitions
Once you have your disk partions, Ubiquity will promt you to set up your current time zone (Figure 8-3). After setting up your time zone the next prompt from Ubiquity will be for you to select the correct keyboard layout (Figure 8-4), followed by creating a username and password (Figure 8-5).
Figure 8-3 Selecting the current time zone
Figure 8-4 Selecting the keyboard layout
Figure 8-5 Configuring the username and computer name
When everything is all set, click Install to finish the installation (Figure 8-6).
Figure 8-6 Finishing the installation