To do a clean Kubuntu installation, an install CD is required. It can either be ordered (for free!) from ShipIt (https://shipit.kubuntu.org/), or it can be burned to a CD or a DVD using an image that can be downloaded from http://www.kubuntu.org/download.php. If you have no experience burning an iso image to a CD, or lack the appropriate software, I would recommend that you order your free copy of the Kubuntu Live Install CD and wait those 4-6 weeks for the new CD coming in a very professional look. Personally I burned the CD myself using a freeware for Windows that messed up and created two bad checksums, so I couldn't use that CD for installing. A CD burnt under Linux (my brother helped me out) worked perfectly, so the problem wasn't with the image itself.
Booting from CD
It is important to set the BIOS to boot from CD! (On my machine, I need to press F2 shortly after restarting to enter the BIOS, where I can set this in the boot options.) As the system boots from the CD, an interactive menu comes up, where one can choose the option "Start/Install Kubuntu". The Kubuntu Installer surprised me by booting the system directly from the CD first, allowing me to try it out and install by clicking on an "Install" icon already within the system itself!
Installing the system
The installation was very easy and problem-free. I only needed to make sure I partitioned the system right - I allowed 35 GB for Windows, formatted as NTFS (that's the type that makes Win XP run fastest), 10 GB for Linux "/", formatted as ext3 (this is where the system gets installed), 520 MB for Linux swap (this is where Linux occasionally loads the contents of your memory to make your programs run faster), and the rest as an "extended" partition for "/home" (this is where I will place my personal files and settings - much like the "My Documents" folder in Windows). The extended partition was needed because of the large size of that partition, but it done automatically by the partition manager so I didn't need to worry about it. The installer worked like a dream: while installing I could browse the net in Konqueror and chat in Kopete, and in mere 20 minutes I had my new Kubuntu system up and running!
What works? What doesn't?
Since the system is very new, I haven't had time to play around and try out everything in it. However, my observations so far:
- Sounds out of the system
- Wireless automatically recognized, works perfectly
- Personal settings and files preserved, just as expected.
- Programs run fast and efficiently...?
- Many things I haven't yet tried, or just take for granted anyway.
- Widescreen display!! This is the most annoying thing ever. I hoped that the upgrade of the system would fix it, but apparently it hasn't. The screen resolution remains the standard 1024x768 and I am left with fat people and stretched letters. On the other hand, I do note that a very elegant and professional-looking Control Panel has been introduced, where in Administrator mode I can do a lot of settings on screen resolution and monitor type etc. However, most of these options are "unsafe" to try and it's not just Linux who warns! I have tried out quite a few of them, but the resolution only became worse, or the entire XWindow System was unable to load!!! So the advice here is: DON'T PLAY AROUND without knowing what you are doing!
- I have observed that tap-on clicking doesn't work for with the touchpad, but I am sure it's just some setting, it worked perfectly in Breezy.