In this article, we show you how to install the Kubuntu operating system on a separate disk. Before we move on to our guide, let’s look at what Kubuntu is. Kubuntu is an operating system built on the Linux kernel. At its base is Ubuntu, derived from the Debian distribution.
However, instead of Ubuntu’s GNOME desktop environment, KDE uses the desktop environment. The name comes from here: The letter K at the beginning of Kubuntu symbolizes the KDE environment.
Besides the KDE environment, it also comes with applications. Kubuntu releases every six months simultaneously with Ubuntu. Again, like Ubuntu, a Long Term Support (LTS) release is released every two years .
Kubuntu is similar to Ubuntu in many ways. Most of the applications and scripts that run on Ubuntu also run on Kubuntu. Again, like Ubuntu, it uses the package system with .deb extension.
One of the highlights of the differences with Ubuntu is that they use different package managers and Kubuntu does not have Gnome applications. But you can install this software later.
There are many differences that can arise as you use the two distributions and go into detail. But if we need to summarize it in one sentence: We can simulate two different systems trying to do the same thing in their own way.
How to install Kubuntu?
After a brief update of Kubuntu, we can proceed to the installation phase.
Preparations before installation
First, let’s look at what we need and what needs attention;
- At least 16 GB, preferably USB 3.0 memory
- Kubuntu ISO file
- Rufus ISO burning program
- HDD or SSD with at least 30 GB of space (preferably SSD, NVMe and SSDs installed in the PCI port, you can also boot.)
- In this article, we will install UEFI. However, if your system does not support UEFI, you can setup as BIOS / MBR.
To obtain the required file for Kubuntu, you can visit Kubuntu’s official page: Download Kubuntu
You can download the ISO file that is at the top of the list and has the Latest tag.
We will use the Rufus software, which we are familiar with from Windows 10 installations, to write the downloaded file to the USB stick.
To download Rufus: Rufus
Burn ISO file to USB stick with Rufus
Now that we have prepared the necessary tools, we can proceed to setup.
- Open the Rufus program. In the Device section, make sure that the USB stick on which you will burn the ISO is selected. Click the SELECT icon and select the Kubuntu ISO file you downloaded.
- Select GPT as partition scheme. If you are not going to install UEFI, select the MBR option. You don’t need to change other settings.
- When everything is ready, you can press the START button.
- After pressing the button, the program will ask you how you would like to print the file. Continue by selecting the Write in ISO image mode option.
- After pressing OK, the program will warn you that the data in the USB memory will be deleted. Be sure to back up the data on your USB stick.
- After the whole process is over, we are ready to go to setup.
BIOS settings may differ for each computer and motherboard. So if these settings exist, you can turn them off. If you don’t have these settings in your BIOS menu, you don’t need to make any further changes.
- Fast BOOT -> Off
- Operating System -> Other OS
- Secure Boot -> Disabled
Optional: Installation without GRUB bootloader
In this guide, we are based on a scenario with Windows and Kubuntu on separate disks. In this case, to make the installation more convenient, if you have a desktop computer, you can remove the disks other than the disk you will install Kubuntu on.
This may sound interesting at first, but if you are a Linux beginner and are worried about your files, it is a more secure solution. Besides, all your Linux files are collected on one disk, so if you give up Linux or want to install another distribution, you only need to format the disk you have installed Linux. You don’t need to mess with Linux files left on the Windows disk.
This is a suggestion. You can safely install Kubuntu without applying this suggestion, without damaging your data.
Restart the computer with your USB stick inserted in the computer Then press the Boot menu keyboard shortcut specific to your computer or motherboard until the screen comes up.
After entering the boot menu, select your USB stick and confirm.
After selecting your USB memory, the system will start from the USB memory. The Kubuntu menu will greet you shortly.
USB sticks in Linux can be used to recover the system as in Windows. For this reason, we have different options. We will continue by selecting the Start Kubuntu option. No worries, this option won’t install Kubuntu right away, it will just run Kubuntu over USB. We will address the reason for this.
At this point, Kubuntu can verify the data in the USB. Therefore, the process may take longer. Sit back and wait.
After waiting for a while, we will see the Kubuntu welcome screen.
For those who are used to using Windows, this screen may seem strange. Yes, most Linux distributions offer the opportunity to try it via USB without installing the operating system. If you want to see how the operating system looks, you can try this option.
However, it is useful to remember. Trying over USB may not be accurate, especially regarding hardware compatibility. Of course, that depends on your customization at some point, but if you are particularly concerned about hardware compatibility, it would be healthier to try it with a clean install.
Since we will do a clean installation, we choose the language and start the installation by saying Install Kubuntu.
You will be asked to choose the next screen keyboard layout. You can choose the language that suits you and your device. We choose the layout and continue.
On the next screen, we need to answer how Kubuntu asks us to install updates and basic software.
You can install Kubuntu with all available drivers, updates and 3rd party software, or you can choose a limited installation, install the minimum and necessary programs and customize it yourself.
If you are a regular user at this point, you can choose the following options:
- Normal setup
- Download updates while installing Kubuntu (requires internet connection)
- Install third party software
Kubuntu will try to install the drivers it finds suitable for the hardware in your system.
An important reminder: The option to install the drivers automatically may have difficulty finding software such as drivers, especially video cards. Therefore, it is important to note that Kubuntu cannot install all drivers. After installation, it may be necessary to install the necessary drivers manually.
Then comes the screen where we will select the disk to install.
In this guide, we install Kubuntu on a separate disk and we will show an example according to this scenario. But you can also install it on the same disk as Windows.
Kubuntu offers us two options for selecting the drive. We can manually select, format and partition the disk, or we can use Kubuntu’s wizard. Since we will be installing on a single disk, we will format the entire disk . Therefore, we can use the wizard.
If you are going to use the entire disc:
- With helper – use the entire disk
If you will take advantage of free space on the disk:
- With helper / <Partition path on disk> / Resize partition and use free space
We continue by selecting the “With Assistant – use the entire disk ” option.
In the next step, the system warns us that all data on the disk/partition we selected will be deleted. Also, similar to the system directories in Windows, Linux divides the disk into several smaller parts so that it can run properly.
After selecting this option, the installation tool starts to copy and extract the data from the USB to the disk we have selected.
But what we had to do is not over. While Kubuntu is installing in the background, there are some more settings we need to adjust.
First, we need to select the region and time zone we are in.
In the next step, we need to enter our user account information.
We continue by entering information such as name, user name, password.
And that’s it! We have made all the adjustments we need to adjust.
The installation is still in progress. However, the Kubuntu team has prepared a small slide introducing us to Kubuntu so that we will not be idle during this time.
Installation speed may vary depending on the USB you are installing, the system disc you are installing and the type of installation you choose. The installation seems to take a long time since we selected options such as updates and 3rd party drivers. It is useful to have a cup of tea or coffee.
And after our wait, the system shows us a notification that the setup is complete. Now we can unplug our installation USB and reboot our system.
Booting Kubuntu for the First Time
Normally, when you reboot, you may see the GRUB boot screen with Kubuntu if there is only Linux in the system, and if the system has Windows. In either case, it will Boot into Kubuntu without any problems.
However, sometimes after the reboot, the related Boot option cannot be taken to the first option during the boot of the motherboard.
In this case, you can select the disk on which you installed Kubuntu and Boot Kubuntu by pressing the Boot button of your motherboard or computer, just as we did at the beginning of the guide.
When you boot, you will be greeted by Kubuntu’s login screen.
We log in and are now in Kubuntu!
After rebooting and making our first login to Kubuntu, the first thing that will greet us is the “Updates available” notification.
These updates include various system and driver packages, but generally include packages that cannot be installed during installation and therefore must be installed after installation.
By clicking the Update button at the bottom left, we can install the updates. At this point, we will be asked to enter our password. After entering our password, the download and installation will continue in the background.
After the updates are installed, restart the system. Now we are ready to take the next steps.
Video card drivers
At the beginning of the installation, we chose to have the drivers installed automatically. In this context, Kubuntu is trying to install the driver it finds or can find suitable for the hardware in our system.
This is not a problem for devices with Intel HD / UHD graphics. However, in devices with an external graphics card, and especially on devices with an Nvidia graphics card, driver problems can annoy users.
However, it is quite easy to view the drivers installed in the system in Kubuntu. To do this System Settings -> Driver Manager needs to follow the path.
When we click on Driver Manager, the system asks us for our password. After entering our password, we now have control of all drivers and packages.
When we come to the Additional Drivers tab, we see our video card drivers. AMD, Intel, or Nvidia users can see different options. At this point, make sure that the last driver number listed on the manufacturer’s site or the closest driver to that number is selected for your video card. After selecting the required driver, restart the system.
If there are graphics stutters and the transparent areas do not work as intended, there may be a problem with your graphics card driver. Although there are general solutions for graphics card drivers, most of the time these solutions may not work for your own system.
Kubuntu App Center – Explore
Kubuntu has a very useful app store in itself. You can find many applications you are looking for with Explore. Before downloading an application from the Internet, make sure to see if it is in Explore.
Recommended applications and system customizations
Linux is an immense, deep sea field. Although it varies from distribution to distribution, it can offer the user a degree of customization unfamiliar with Windows. Kubuntu is a distribution that stands out with this aspect.
Being Ubuntu-based, it allows you to run most Ubuntu compatible add-ons, applications and packages on Kubuntu. Besides, the application store that comes in itself is very useful.
While finishing our article, I wanted to suggest a few apps and themes based on my experiences. Of course, customization of Kubuntu isn’t all about that, but you can use these customizations as a start.
Snap package installer and Snap Store
Snap is a software packaging and distribution system developed by Canonical for operating systems using the Linux kernel. It is a package installer that I personally find very useful and that I try not to be missing in almost all Linux distributions I use.
Besides, the fact that it has an app store under the name of Snap Store is another reason why I recommend Snap and Snap Store.
To install Snap and Snap Store:
sudo apt update
sudo apt install snapd
sudo snap install snap-store
Kubuntu comes with Firefox itself installed. However, I found the Chromium-based Brave browser more useful.
You can download Brave from Snap Store or Explore app store.
FlameShot is a very useful screenshot tool that I recently discovered. It is one of the features I like that it allows you to take the view of the screen as you want, it starts working in the background when the system is turned on, and it becomes active when the system tray is clicked.
You can download FlameShot from Snap Store or Explore app store.
The Latte Dock is undoubtedly one of the most popular docks created for Linux distributions. Its easy to use, relatively low burden on the system, and its pleasant design are its prominent features.
You can download Latte Dock from Snap Store or Explore app store.
NeoFetch provides you with all the information about the system with a short command from the terminal. It is a very popular application among people who use Linux.
To install NeoFetch:
add-apt-repository ppa: dawidd0811 / neofetch
apt-get install neofetch
To make it work:
One of the areas of customization is themes. There are many themes in Kubuntu that you can customize and choose whatever you want.
To change the theme or find new themes, we need to go to System Settings -> Global Theme. Here you can view the installed themes. When you want to get a new theme, you can click the Get New Global Themes button at the bottom right and choose from dozens of themes.
I found the two themes good for Kubuntu. However, you can find many more themes. These are the WhiteSur Dark and Adapta Nokto themes.
You can install these themes from the theme finder or download them from GitHub repos and use them with Kvantum.
WhiteSur Dark theme:
Adapta Nokto theme:
In addition, we are trying to solve the problems you have in Linux installations with our GNU / Linux department and our valuable members who have great contributions in this section.
You can submit your questions about Kubuntu by opening a topic below this article. In addition, you can state your opinions, suggestions and criticisms about this article and guide in comments.