Kubuntu and KDE: What’s the difference?
There are a great number of Linux distributions that use parts of the KDE project, but the most popular distros are KDE Neon, which is listed as an official KDE product, and Kubuntu, an official Ubuntu flavour that uses the KDE Plasma desktop environment. However, there’s some general confusion about how the two differ, so we asked Graham what the key differences were. “This is a question that comes up very frequently,” he says. “And I think this is kind of our fault for not adequately differentiating these, or really discussing the ownership there.”
As Kubuntu product manager, Graham always encourages people who want a general-purpose KDE desktop distribution to use Kubuntu: “Neon’s stated goal and reason for existing is to provide, essentially, a rolling-release set of KDE software on top of a non-rolling-release base,” explains Graham. “KDE Neon doesn’t have as much of a focus on integration as Kubuntu has. So basically, if you want the latest KDE software, and you don’t care the latest ‘anything else’, use KDE Neon.
“If you want the latest updates for everything on your distribution then a pure rolling-release distro such as Arch or Tumbleweed is the best way to go. If you want relatively stable, well-tested versions of everything, including KDE software, and you want for there to be good integration and defaults, then you get Kubuntu,” states Graham.
Graham’s everyday distro is actually KDE Neon: “I find that the Developer Unstable edition is a great developer platform, because it’s super-rolling [and] built from Git branches every couple of days, so you’ve always got the latest and greatest.”
Above Nate Graham: “I think it’s important that KDE Neon is seen as a showcase of KDE software for enthusiasts, rather than as a general-purpose OS.”