Does Kubuntu really need to be it's own distro?

Peter Garrett peter.garrett at
Thu Jun 16 05:42:37 UTC 2005

On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 12:57:55 +0800
"Senectus ." <senectus at> wrote:

> On 6/16/05, Peter Garrett <peter.garrett at> wrote:
> > On Thu, 16 Jun 2005 11:31:03 +0800
> > "Senectus ." <senectus at> wrote:
> > 
> > > Why is it being classed as it's own distro?
> > > Surely Ubuntu, Kubuntu and all the users in general would be a great
> > > deal better off if support/repositories etc were condensed into one..
> > > after all it's ONLY a slightly different GUI.
> > >
> > > It disturbs me to see even distro watch counts it separate:
> > >
> > >
> > > Forking is good in some situations (xorg) but this is getting
> > > ridiculous/pointless...
> > >
> > 
> > Kubuntu is not a fork at all. It uses the same apt-sources etc ... It's more an extension, or an alternative, like installing xfce4 on a base-install Ubuntu system - the only difference I can see is that installing Kubuntu as a stand-alone system is an advantage for a lot of people who want KDE. Really, this is kind of a non-issue.
> > 
> > I was curious to see what the Kubuntu experience would be like, so I ran
> > 
> > sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop
> > 
> > I guess if it was a separate distro this would either be impossible, or break things and require much fiddling about.
> > 
> > I believe some people are working on an Xfce4 version ( Xubuntu?) This would be great, particularly for users of older hardware. The "one CD to install " thing is also good for people with limited bandwidth, many of whom will buy a cheap CD from a distributor, or wait for official shipit CDs.
> > 
> I understand this, as this was how I did the install, but because we
> have split the mail list, split the irc channels, split the web sites,
> now the rest of the world is starting to see kubuntu  as a separate
> distro.. ie ;
> If this "image" is kept up the kubuntu distro runs the risk of
> becoming further "forked" just because of public perception.

I understand your concern. I'm not sure that it will become an issue though. I believe, from what I've read, that Mark Shuttleworth is all in favour of new distros springing up from Ubuntu roots. Whether this will happen, and how, remains to be seen. There is already interest, particularly in countries like India, in extending or customising the Ubuntu system for local needs, for example.

It's worth noting how Knoppix has enriched the GNU/Linux world: - from Knoppix came, for example, Mepis, Damn Small Linux and quite a few specialised live-CD/installable distros. This seems a Good Thing (tm) to me . I would hope that Ubuntu might spawn a similar phenomenon.
> I'd go as far as to say we should drop the name "Kubuntu", for
> starters it's not even a real word.. and as you mentioned it's
> encouraging further perversion of the word/name/brand such as
> "Xubuntu".

Yes, I agree that "Kubuntu" and "Xubuntu" are perversions of a beautiful word. I winced when I saw the name "Kubuntu". Perhaps an Xfce4 version should be called "Ubuntu Light " or just "Ubuntu Xfce".
> For that matter does "Canonical" allow the adaptation and "perversion"
> of it's trademarked name "Ubuntu"?

Apparently "Kubuntu" is accepted...
> Right now it might not seem a big issue.. but as time goes on and
> Ubuntu grows in recognition and popularity the problems damage will
> become accumulative.. like a snowball...
I feel this is unnecessarily pessimistic. After all, this is Free and Open Source software - do we really want to place limits on what others do with it?

Interesting and thought provoking issues in your post, though.


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