Recently, we reviewed Ubuntu 8.04 beta. We received several complaints for cranky people in the comments, and so we decided to take a look at some newer code. Always in search of variety, however, we decided to spice things up a little bit by trying Kubuntu instead of Ubuntu. We downloaded the nightly build of the alternate installer, and took it for a spin.
As you can see in the gallery below, there is a lot to like. The latest Ubuntu family of distros now has support for partition encryption, provided that you use the alternate install CD rather than the graphical one. Users that chose this feature are prompted for the encryption password at boot time, making the system nice and secure.
We also found the KDE system management tools to be visually appealing and useful, but the Kubuntu APT frontend was sluggish and confusing compared to Synaptic on Ubuntu. We also had X crash for no apparent reason and without warning on several occasions, but since this is a nightly build of beta software, we won’t complain too much, lest a thousand nerds shoot cheetos through their braces onto their monitors in indignation.
All in all, this is a distro that is shaping up well. It’s not perfect, but there is plenty of time to polish up the edges. If you want to help the community with bug testing, check out the nightly build service.