I like the brand spanking new Ubuntu 10.04 a lot. But while I like its GNOME 2.30 interface, I also like other interfaces such as KDE. It would be nice if Ubuntu could also play MP3s, common video formats and Flash from the get-go. You could install all these and other extras from the Ubuntu repositories, but there’s also a wide-variety of Ubuntu spin-offs that come ready to give you the functionality you want right out of the box.
Here’s my list of the most important of the Ubuntu-based distributions.
Kubuntu 10.04. Like the name suggests, the big difference between Ubuntu and Kubuntu is that the K-Ubuntu runs KDE 4.4.2 instead of GNOME 2.30 for its desktop. But Kubuntu isn’t just Ubuntu with KDE. Instead of KDE’s default Konqueror Web browser, Kubuntu defaults to using Firefox 3.6.3.
Kubuntu also does a nice job of integrating GNOME applications into the KDE 4.4 interface. That’s the good news; the bad news is, instead of using a KDE frontend to Ubuntu’s outstanding Ubuntu Software Center, you’re stuck with the far less attractive and more difficult to use KPackageKit to add new programs and update your software. KPackageKit is fine for experienced Linux users, but Linux newcomers, which is what Ubuntu wants, will find it less than appealing. For more on Kubuntu, check out this excellent review.