Posted by: reformedmusings | August 22, 2009

Kubuntu Karmic Koala 9.10 Alpha 4 Installation

I heard that KDE 4.3 desktop was released and included in Kubuntu Karmic Koala Alpha 4. I’ve been happily living with Gnome 2.26 in Ubuntu Jaunty Jackalope, having abandoned KDE when the abysmal KDE 4.0 released. Wanting to check out 4.3, I decided to  download Karmic Alpha 4 and give it a spin around the block in a VMWare virtual machine.

I cranked up the LiveCD to see:

karmic-a4-livecd

Note the claim for Kubuntu on the micro blog. The blog covers the icon for installation, so I closed the micro blog and then double-clicked on the Install Kubuntu 9.10 icon. This nets the following important warning:

karmic-a4-installwarning

Anytime you install a new operating system, there’s always the chance that you will click on something that you’ll later regret. Always backup your date…do so regularly. In this case, I’m installing into a blank virtual machine, so no worries. Click Forward:

karmic-a4-install-screen

This gets us to the installation screen, where Kubuntu asks a series of questions that will guide the installation. After getting the installation language, timezone, and keyboard layout, Karmic next confirms the disk partitioning scheme:

karmic-a4-partitions

This is the likely place to lose data if you’re not careful. In this case, I created an 8GB virtual disk which Karmic will use in its entirety. For a “real” installation on a physical drive, I’d create a separate /home partition so that my data and settings will survive operating system upgrades.

Next, I put in a weak password and received this warning:

karmic-a4-password

Having gathered all the installation data needed, Karmic presents a summary to ensure that you will get what you desire:

karmic-a4-ext4

Note that the new ext4 file system is the default in Karmic. It was still problematic in some cases when Jaunty released, but apparently had its bugs expunged over the last four months.

Click on the Install button and Karmic proceeds to set up the system as you specified:

karmic-a4-installing

Unlike Windows 7, Kubuntu doesn’t need to restart three times. Nor does Kubuntu display propaganda during the installation to amuse you. But then, it doesn’t take the rest of the day to install, either. Karmic resets the system only once, and that when installation is complete. The startup screen is typically KDE attractive with 3D reflective icons:

karmic-a4-startup

The icons light up successively as each loading step completes. The whole load only takes a few seconds, which made the screenshot challenging. The next screen to appear contains the KDE 4.3 desktop:

karmic-a4-desktop

A couple of things to note: First, the annoying micro blog loads by default. Second, as new widgets load, a “Configure” button appears to guide the user to its settings. The Desktop Folder widget also loads by default, but doesn’t need any initial setup.

Since I installed Karmic into a VMWare virtual machine, I should install VMWare Tools to maximize its performance. One does this by clicking on VM -> Install VMWare Tools… on the Workstation menu. That loads the VMWare Tools installation files as a virtual CD, which you can open normally:

karmic-a4-vmtools-install

You can treat the files as if they were on a physical CD. After running through the installation, it turned out that VMWare Tools doesn’t yet support Karmic Koala. Oh well, the basic virtual machine works OK.

I haven’t had a chance to really play much with the KDE 4.3 desktop yet. From what I’ve see so far, the visuals are excellent and it has more functionality than its predecessor. I’ll write more when I’ve had a chance to exercise it for a while.

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