The company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux software have decided to end funding for the Kubuntu variation of the operating system. Kubuntu is basically what you get when you take Ubuntu’s core software and tack on a custom version of the KDE desktop environment in place of the Unity user interface that the main branch of Ubuntu has used for the last few versions.

Kubuntu 11.10

The move to Unity has been pretty controversial, since it’s a pretty dramatic change from earlier user interfaces. In the early days of Ubuntu, the operating system used GNOME as its default desktop manager, but Kubuntu has long been offered as an alternative for folks that prefer the look, feel, and bundled apps that come with KDE.

Kubuntu isn’t necessarily going away now that Canonical is pulling funding. Instead it will become a community-supported project, much like Xubuntu, Lubuntu, and Edubuntu — three other somewhat popular variations of Ubuntu.

In other words, the future of the platform will be up to independent developers and not anyone on Canonical’s payroll.

Or you could always sort of build your own version of Kubuntu just by installing the standard Ubuntu software and then using the package manager to install KDE yourself.

KDE has come a long way in the past few years, but developer Jonathan Riddel, whose work on Kubuntu will no longer be funded by Canonical, says that after 7 years of development Kubuntu hasn’t had enough commercial success to justify Canonical’s continued investment.

Kubuntu 12.04 which is due out in April will be the last version of the KDE flavor of Ubuntu developed with Canonical’s money.

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2 replies on “Canonical pulls the plug on funding for Kubuntu Linux”

  1. one might say it otherways ….. not giving customers a choice anymore means forcing unitiy by all means … that’s microsoftism as well as macism. “commercially not enough successful” … said by canonical is a mere laugh, they never were intersted in selling this branch to anybody in ernest.

  2. Doesn’t seem like a big loss. I’ve been using Ubuntu for years now, and have always just installed the KDE packages separately so I can test my applications under that desktop when needed. Not really a big deal. Maybe Kubuntu offers some other integration or polish that I’ve never needed, but I never understood why there was a separate branch anyway.

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