Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Linux/UNIX/Open Source

A First Look at Kubuntu-Jaunty (v9.04)

Are you looking for a Linux distribution with an ultramodern look with plenty of eye candy? One that will run on older desktop computers or current netbooks? Does the well-known stability and security of Linux interest you? Does a high level of user customization( without having to edit configuration files manually) sound like something you'd like? Are you an experienced KDE user who has heard the (accurate) horror stories about early versions of KDE4? A. Lizard thinks that Kubuntu-Jaunty just might be the distribution you are looking for.
Like this article? We recommend

Kubuntu 9.04 ("Jaunty") is the KDE version of the new release of Ubuntu-Jaunty. It uses the new KDE4.2.2, the bug-fixed version of KDE4.x. Figure 1 shows how Kubuntu looks on an Eee PC900 netbook with the panel to the left populated with my choice of applications and the clock swapped out. The font on the default clock is too small for comfortable reading on a small display. (What you can do about this is spelled out later in the article.)

Figure 1 Jaunty desktop

I am delighted to report that KDE4.2.2 is finally ready for prime time. It's stable, has almost all the KDE applications in place, looks great, and is easy to use—though KDE users who are switching directly from KDE3.5.x will have to get used to minor UI differences.

It also has many of the netbook-specific drivers required to make the distro work on many netbooks built into the kernel, meaning no more searches for netbook make/model–specific drivers or hacked kernels with the drivers built in if your specific netbook is supported. Mine is. Yours may not be; do your research before installation.

The OS is sufficiently trouble-free that this will be mainly a review of the UI differences between KDE3.5.10 and KDE4.2.2. If it Just Works, there isn't really much to say about it.


In general, like any other current-generation OS, when you install, accept the defaults unless you have good reason to do otherwise and know what that reason is.

Virtualbox VM/Physical Machine

Just drop in the LiveCD and either start the installation wizard when the CD opens or wait until it gets to the desktop. Make sure that it deals with the physical hardware correctly and click the install icon on the desktop.

Either way, follow the wizard until you reboot to a new KDE desktop. If your hardware is supported, there isn't much to say about it, it should Just Work.


First, make sure that yours is supported by the drivers in Ubuntu-Jaunty by searching it on Google. You may have to install new ones after the installation. Do this via wired connection to the Net if wireless is one of the drivers you need to install. Make sure the peripherals you want are turned on in BIOS.

If you're installing the OS to a laptop hard drive, just accept the default OS/setup choice.

If you're installing the OS to a SSD flash drive, use the default ext3 filesystem, despite the recommendations against it in various places on the Net. There is new thinking based on system tests about the actual wear created by a journaling filesystem such as ext3 that suggests that this is no longer a problem on current-generation SSDs.

You should also create it without a swap file. This will save lots of wear on the SSD and extend its lifespan before you have to buy a replacement.

No swap file tradeoffs:

  • You'll probably run into an occasional crash because of running out of memory (if it's 1G DRAM, the fix is to upgrade to 2G).
  • At that point, you'll have to deal with the consequences of lack of journaling in the filesystem when fsck opens on the reboot…lots of bad directory entries you'll have to click "yes" to in order to get it to work.

    For more explanations, read the Wikipedia article on journaling file systems. And worst of all, configuration files or the filesystem pointers to them can get corrupted in a crash. I fixed the file corruption problem by installing Kubuntu-Jaunty fresh and letting it create a workable default configuration, including an ext3 filesystem.

  • Hibernate will not work because it has nowhere to store the system state to without a swap file, but the fix for that is to create a hibernate.img file and modify the hibernate configuration files to match.
  • I'm still researching this. I believe the trade-off is worth it because SSDs are relatively expensive and use of swap is exactly the kind of high-write usage that reduces their lifespan.

    In the meantime, change the Power Management Configuration (System Settings, Advanced Tab) to turn the system off when the battery is almost out (the default is 5% power) and remember that Suspend lasts for quite a while but not forever. If you expect to be not using your computer for a significant length of time, shut it down before closing the lid.

The how-to on using a Virtualbox installation to prepare an OS flash card to serve as the OS drive for an Eee PC is the procedure I used to get Kubuntu-Jaunty into the netbook. The ease of use for Linux is improving fast enough that how-to information often goes obsolete quickly.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020