August 4, 2012

What Are The First 10 Things You Install After A New Kubuntu Installation?

Over on the Kubuntu Forums (you do visit there, right? If not, shame on you for six weeks!), a user recently posed a question we often discuss amongst ourselves and perhaps tweak a bit over time. That is, what are the top ten things you add to your system after a clean Kubuntu install? Currently, answers are varying from the usual suspects like VLC, Thunderbird, and Skype - to the more eccentric such as Yakuake, Minitube, and Krusader. Mentioned also are various widgets some users added to their desktop.

And that, of course, is the great thing about Linux - We are free to tweak and customize away as we wish. We can add everything including the kitchen sink for a robust experience, or strip things down to a minimalist, near-stock installation. What we end up with is both a reflection of our personalities as well as the way we find ourselves using our computers on a daily basis.

Other factors are likely to include whether the person plays games on their computer, works from home, or is into specific things like photography or multimedia editing. A final consideration as to what these top ten things may be in a particular case would likely be a reflection of the form-factor that the device running KDE was on. in other words, one might not install the Calligra Office Suite on a tablet, opting instead for a more light-weight Google Docs set-up for light document editing.

Here is my "top ten that is definitely more than ten list" for things added when Kubuntu is freshly put to iron directly from a CD or USB stick. Note that this is how I would set up Kubuntu for me, not necessarily how I would set it up for someone else (a friend, customer, etc.), although the two would possibly be very similar. I've organized it by category to make things a bit easier.


  • Add Medibuntu repository
    • Packaging project dedicated to distributing software that cannot be included in Kubuntu for various reasons, related to geographical variations in legislation regarding intellectual property, security and other issues
    • I Add all Medibuntu packages except for hot-babe. These packages are still deemed necessary by 95 percent of the computing world (it's a fact, you can look it up)
  • Add openjre-6-jre (Open source Java implementation) 
  • Add Ubuntu One
    • Cloud based storage and sync from within KDE and integrated right into the Dolphin File Manager
  • Compile and add Daisy Launcher
    • Simple, clean, elegant, and round
    • Can also be configured as a traditional, MacOS-style dock
  • Compile and add FDesktopRecorder
    • Qt based, unlike RecordMyDesktop
    • Outputs as .avi file which KDEnlive can import


  • Add Muon Discover
    • As close to a Kubuntu App Store as you'll find


  • Add Calligra Suite 
    • A full Office Productivity Suite and  then some
    • Includes the excellent Krita drawing program, as well as the brainstorming tool Braindump
    • Imports MS Office documents better then Libre Office
    • Native KDE application
    • No other Linux office suite comes close to it's breadth of functionality
  • Add KMyMoney
    • Full-featured Quicken-type financial suite for Linux


  • Add VLC
    • The Swiss Army Knife of Linux media players
    • If VLC won't play it, nothing will
  • Add Rosa Media Player 
    • Quicky replacing VLC as the go-to media player in our circles
    • In addition to playing media, ROMP also can stream via HTTP/FTP, RTP/RTSP, MMS/MMST, MPST, SDP, as well as capture / record (via mencoder) of television signals
    • ROMP allows you to trim a particular piece of video, extract audio from multimedia files as well as record screen presentations. Can you say "do it all"?
  • Add KDEnlive
    • Full featured video editor
    • Also has support for title screens, a definite plus
  • Add Kamerka
    • "take photos using your webcam and shiny animated QML interface"


  • Add Firefox
  • Add Chromium
    • Only for the much better behavior with Youtube videos than can be had with any other browser, thanks to the Youtube Options For Google Chrome plugin
  • Add QupZilla Browser
    • Best Webkit-based browser for Kubuntu right now in our opinion
  • Add Kompozer
    • A must if you work with websites
  • Add Choqok
    • A must of you microblog on Twitter and/or
    • Lots of features make it better than web-based Twitter apps
  • Add KGet 
    • Often overlooked and not installed by default in Kubuntu
    • Powerful download management functions
  • Add Mumble
    • Open source voice chat software


  • Add Minecraft
    • Non-free but certainly a fun and rewarding indulgence 
    • Search Minecraft on Youtube and you might start to get an idea of why this game is so popular around the world
  • Add Urban Terror
    • Sometimes you just want to blow stuff up (ok, we mean people)
    • Easy, quick install via
  • Add PokerTH
  • Add OpenTTD
    • Model railroads for geeks. Serious fun once you get the gist of it
    • Also has blimps!


  • Add Marble
    • We marvel at Marble's unique views of the world we live in


  • Add DigiKam (with kipi-plugins)
    • Lets you organize and manage your photos the KDE-way
  • Add Screenie
    • If you blog, you'll want this one
  • Add Gimp

And there you have it - our DE-facto list of things to install Other honorable mentions that I sometimes give a nod and a download to include Blogilo and Wine. I would install and use Blogilo more but many functions do not work due to API limitations that had existed in the past. Definitely an issue, as Blogger is our platform of choice, at least for the present. Perhaps there have been improvements in this area since, but the application has not been updated in a few years now. As for Wine, I find no compelling reason at the moment to run any Windows application on my production box at this point in time. Although, truth be told, I did come close with wanting to install and play Skyrim!

So what are your Top Ten (more or less) things you add as soon as your computer reboots and you're staring a blank new system running the latest KDE release? Leave a comment below and let us know. You can also see and comment on the original Kubuntu Forums thread here to see what others have said so far.