Friday, October 19, 2012

Ubuntu 12.10 Vs Kubuntu 12.10 Vs Xubuntu 12.10 Vs Lubuntu 12.10: A comparison

Yesterday I succeeded in downloading all four of these distros - Big daddy Ubuntu and its progenies Kubuntu, Xubuntu and Lubuntu. I did a live boot of all 4 on my Asus K54C laptop with 2.2 GHz Intel 2nd Gen Ci3 processor and 2 GB DDR3 RAM and later installed on the same, one after another to check out the performances, applications and other features associated with each one of these operating systems.

From Ubuntu 12.10 Comparison

 I downloaded 32 bit ISO for each one of these distros from the respective sites. All are compatible to Unetbootin and hence, preparing live usb wasn't an issue. For installation I preferred the full installation mode with internet on and in process downloading updates as well as multimedia codecs. Hence, each installation took about half an hour to get started for the review and comparison.

From Ubuntu 12.10 Comparison

Comparison


Parameters Ubuntu 12.10 Kubuntu 12.10 Xubuntu 12.10 Lubuntu 12.10
Size of ISO 790 MB 999.6 MB 727 MB 726 MB
Booting time (post installation) 9 sec 10 sec 8 sec 8 sec
Desktop Unity with Gnome 3.6 KDE 4.9.2 XFCE 4.10 LXDE
Linux kernel 3.5.0-17 3.5.0-17 3.5.0-17 3.5.0-17
CPU usage (live boot) 20-30% 2-6% 1-5% 1-5%
RAM usage (live boot) 456 MB 270 MB 180 MB 134 MB
CPU Usage (post installation) 1-10% 2-10% 1-5% 0-5%
RAM usage (post installation) 412 MB 300 MB 160 MB 123 MB
Installation time (with 1 MBPS connection) 30 min. 30 min. 30 min. 30 min.
Wifi detection Immediate Immediate Immediate Immediate
Touchpad detection Works by default Works by default Works by default Works by default
Ease of use A bit on the slower side Works well on the system Really smooth to use Really smooth to use
Eye candy factor Looks awesome! Plasma interface looks good Interface is brighter and looks better than ever Interface looks more or less the same, a bit bland
Repository Ubuntu Software Center 5.4.1.2 Muon Package Manager 1.4.1 Ubuntu Software Center 5.4.1.2 Lubuntu Software Center
File Manager Nautilus 3.4.2 Dolphin 2.1 Thunar 1.4 PCManFM 1.0.1
Stability Hanged while playing video in Gnome MPlayer CPU utilization 100% while playing video in Dragon Player; but didn't hang 20% CPU utilization while playing video in VLC 14% CPU usage while playing video in Gnome MPlayer

I'll cover each distro in their respective reviews. 


Results
 
In nutshell, I see all the 4 Ubuntu distros have the latest softwares to offer along with the most up-to-date Linux kernel and desktop shell. Like last time, Lubuntu and Xubuntu performs way better than Ubuntu or Kubuntu. However, look-wise Lubuntu is more on the blander side. If you are in a habit of flaunting eye candy Linux desktops to friends and buddies, perhaps Lubuntu is not for you. However, those who appreciate productivity over anything else, an LXDE Linux OS is perhaps better suited to them.

From Ubuntu 12.10 Comparison

Xubuntu, however, has come a long way from being bland looking distro. Now it is shinier and looks better than other Xubuntu predecessors. Resource consumption-wise, it is just behind Lubuntu. Both desktop and applications contained are the cutting edge ones.

From Ubuntu 12.10 Comparison

Conclusion

 Kubuntu lies somewhere intermediate between Xubuntu/Lubuntu and Ubuntu. It has the updated KDE 4.9.2 desktop. I used it for sometime, it feels smoother to use than 12.04. Though CPU utilization fluctuates and often touches 100% but it never hangs. Even while playing a movie, though CPU utilization was near 100%, it kept on running and I did a small amount of multi-tasking as well.

Coming on to Ubuntu 12.10. I tried it on Core i3 laptop with 2 GB RAM and it hanged while playing a movie! I felt it is on the slower side and especially if you are using Ubuntu after using a Lubuntu/Xubuntu, you can feel the pain much more. However, looks wise, Ubuntu is miles ahead of the rest three. Unity is smoother to use and Gnome shell is 3.6. Further, Amazon and Ubuntu music are added plus point. Initially, I thought they would be apps, but both open in Firefox upon clicking! Even I could set Facebook and Twitter on the left hand side Unity bar for quicker access. It is like creating bookmarks to open in Firefox and nothing else.

So, if you have a really high end laptop, then only think of installing Ubuntu. Otherwise go with my personal favorite Xubuntu or Lubuntu! In next few articles, I'll take up each individual distros and compare them with the last release 12.04.

49 comments:

  1. Hi!

    Great reviews! I think I'm going to install Xubuntu 12.10 and dual-boot it with my present Windows 7 installation.

    Also, it's "Muon Package Manager", not "moun" - the Kubuntu column.

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    1. Thanks for liking my review. Yes, corrected the typo.

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  2. I have been reading a few reviews here and there but was really waiting for your review, cuz nobody gives the accurate comparison like you do. Thumbs up!!

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    1. Thanks Darshak for liking my review. Keeps me motivated!

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  3. Hello, and thank you for the article! It is always delightful to see comparisons, especially when it comes to newly released Linux distributions. As for me, I am using Xubuntu 12.10 as my main OS, and I have no regrets. I absolutely love the speed and looks of Xubuntu, so you can tell I came into the same conclusion as you. However, since I like playing games, I do not fancy heavy 'bling bling' desktops that constantly tease me with annoying and more or less useless visual effects. To everyone who prefers a smooth and good-looking OS, I recommend Xubuntu.

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    1. Absolutely, Xubuntu is one of my favorite OSs because of its low resource consumption and high functionality. Plus, I can customize it as well! Xubuntu 12.10 is really good. Please read my review of Xubuntu 12.10 as well and possibly you can add your experience with Quantal there.

      Regards,
      Arindam

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    2. Xubuntu is a really functional distro and possibly one of the better Linux distros I have used. It may not be as glamorous as an Ubuntu but it beats Ubuntu with Unity hands down in terms of performance.

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  4. Replies
    1. Welcome Sir, glad that you liked it.
      Regards.

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  5. Thank you for this very interesting article

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  6. Very helpful. It will save a lot of time.

    It is funny how as a experienced user, I could not immediately get to the normal desktop of Kubuntu as shown in the images. When I logged into kubuntu I was confronted with a different desktop. Is that another layer on top of the normal desktop that can be toggled on and off? Or is it a separate version of the KDE desktop if you don't meet the requirement for the main one (netbook)?

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    1. Glad that you find my article useful.

      Yes, if you are referring to the desktop icon layer on the top of KDE, it can be switched off easily and can be switched on when required.

      On the netbook issue as well, Kubuntu has a netbook edition has well. It loads faster and is less taxing on the resources. I guess you might have booted to the netbook desktop.

      Regards,
      Arindam

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  7. Thanks for your review on the *buntus.

    I have an observation to make about your table regarding CPU usage. On my system the System Monitor unusually shows CPU usage of around less than 10 % even when it is running few programs.

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    1. Welcome Sir.

      Are you referring to Ubuntu 12.10's CPU usage? In my case, I noted high CPU usage for even the desktop to load and when I ran a few programs it went up to 50%. Possibly issue due to Nvidia graphic card, I am yet to configure Bumblebee. Good that your CPU usage is within 10%, and Ubuntu in that case actually works well for you. What are your system specs?

      Regards,
      Arindam

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  8. I pLan to reuse my old PC ,which currently holds windows XP, by using Linux on it. The config of my PC are
    512 mb ram (DDR 1)
    80 GB hard Disk
    2.4 ghz P4, 32 bit
    I mainly want to use it for net and downloading
    Kindly advice which one will be better suited taking in the spes Ubuntu 12.10 or Xubuntu 12.10 or Lubuntu 12.10

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    1. Hi Prashant:

      I guess your 512 mb RAM and single core P4 processor won't be supported very well by either of the three (Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu). Primarily because updated applications like LibreOffice, Chrome, Firefox, Flashplugin11, etc. consume a lot of resources. Either you can install lubuntu and stick to lightweight applications like Midori browser, Adobe flash 10, abiword & gnumeric, etc.

      I have a HP P4, 2.4 Ghz, 1.5 GB DDR1 RAM PC and even XP was quite slow on it. Ubuntu 11.04 (in classic mode) actually worked fantastic on it. But, once it expired I tried a lot of things like PCLinuxOS, Bodhi, Xubuntu, Linux Mint XFCE, etc. but none of them worked to my satisfaction and it was increasingly difficult to multi-task with every update.

      Last week I installed Puppy Linux Precise and customized it to suit my needs. It is working amazingly well, with insane speed and multi-tasking ability. You can check out Puppy Precise 5.4. Puppy Precise is the main distro along with Lubuntu 12.10 as a back up.

      Hope my experience helps you.

      Regards,
      Arindam

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  9. I downloaded Lubintu 12.10 through the torrent. After i load the iso it asks for demo installation and rebooting. Post restarting it asks which option i want to use ie xp or lubuntu but lubuntu never loads .
    Any idea how to approach?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Prashant, possibly it is because of Lubuntu is unable to recognize the graphic drivers. First, you prepare a live usb with Lubuntu and then live boot it. See if it shows you the GUI. Second, if live boot works then install Lubuntu again from the live boot.

      If live boot doesn't work and you see just black screen then follow the instructions given here: http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in/2011/11/temporary-solution-ubuntu-1110-bug.html

      This works for Ubuntu and will work for Lubuntu as well, if the problem is of display.
      Regards,
      Arindam

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  10. Hi.
    I have a big problem. Where do I write about this?
    Since you are knowledgeable about Linux, I thought you would be a person to contact as I am not in any linux forums.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You go to:
      http://askubuntu.com/
      http://ubuntuforums.org/
      Or use the ubuntu chat channel on IRC http://www.ubuntu.com/support/community/chat

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    2. Hi Spandan, please use ubuntu forums for any issues pertaining to Linux/Ubuntu. The links are provided above.

      Thanks.

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  11. thanks for this review.. I'm sort of advanced linux user but didn't know wich to choose for "mom's" pc... you helped very much. saved me to test all of it myself ;-) great job!

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  12. Thanks for your review, well done!
    I downloaded the iso image of xubuntu 12.10-desktop-i386 and the size is 693 MB. Is it okay? if not where can i get the one with 727 MB.

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    Replies
    1. I guess the size of the ISO keep getting updated. It is ok.

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  13. Well I have just started using Kubuntu 12.10 because I hate Unity.
    Have only been using for a week but quick list of things I have noticed so far:
    Things to Like:

    Customizable panel - size, position, font and icon size etc, excellent
    An actual menu, Yay.

    Fast - noticeably quicker than Unity and Cinnamon


    Not so Good:
    Seem to be some issues with in context menus. For example if I use "open in folder" or "open" in Chrome, I get a message asking what program to use.

    Muon - where is all the software?? I gave up trying to find out (there only seemed to be a very small selection) and installed Synaptic instead.

    Dolphin - back or up command scrolls back to the top of directory rather than the position you came from - ugh, even Win7 has this fixed now. Also the lack of a "right click - sort by" is kind of annoying. And lack of video thumbnails. And tabs. I'm sorry but Nautilus is just waaay better, and the app I most miss from gnome.

    No files on desktop - saves me tidying up, but I am used to using it as a dumping ground for stuff I need to attend to - I miss it.

    Overall so far I'm impressed. KDE has come a long way from the last time I tried it about 5 years ago. I'm particularly impressed with the degree of user customisation available, I can actually set things up how I want it, something that gnome 3 and Unity make difficult. It's a shame Kubuntu doesn't have better support. I just need to look for a more modern file manager than Dolphin.....

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. Dolphin - Sincerely, I think that Dolphin is far beyond Nautilus. As everything in the KDE desktop, it is pretty well customizable, plus it has a lot built-in extensions that make it work better for me, like terminal linking and integration. The only thing it doesn't have built-in is video thumbnailing, which you can add by installing an extension.

      No files on desktop - You can always switch your desktop layout for "Folder View" or anything else. ;-)

      Muon - No idea, I don't like using GUI-based package managers... apt-get is just cool.

      KDE suffered a lot last years, but it's awesome nowadays. I'm trying the new Ubuntu right now, and I'm really liking its stability and design; but missing a lot Kubuntu's customization, which makes me consider switching back to it. Ubuntu is perfect for average users only, IMHO.

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    3. Muon Package Manager and Muon Software Center show all programs/packages like Synaptic does.

      Dolphin could show multiple tabs(CTRL T) and each could be split to two panels via Split button. Back works correctly at least for me always worked. Sorts by clicking on column name in Details view mode or anywhere using menu. Previews nearly everything, after installing package kffmpegthumbnailer also video (and set it in settings).
      Using kioslaves you can directly browse any remote storage thorugh ftp, samba, ssh and so on... without need to open any other program. The other day I browsed LDAP with it. Just click after the path text and the path becomes editable, then delete whole path and click "file", which appears afterwards.

      I wonder if you ever tried to check dolphin settings or actually google anything you mistakenly thought Dolphin cannot do. Or RTFM, just press F1.

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  14. Unfortunately your "Review of Lubuntu 12.10 and comparison with 12.04" link is not valid. Could you please fix it?

    Oh, and thank you for a great review.

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    1. Thanks for pointing it out. It is updated now.

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  15. Thank you for a comparison a noobie can understand, I use Ubuntu 12.04 but I can't claim to understand Linux. I have been wondering about the other 3 Ubuntu's and who should use them and why. Thanks again for clearing it up for me.

    Warren

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  16. i will stay here every day,,,,thx bro...u'll the best..

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  17. Great review! I also use Xubuntu on a daily basis.

    It's interesting to see people trying to stay away from interfaces that resemble tablet computers. Yes Unity, I'm talking about you... and you too, Metro from Windows 8!

    Actually, more interesting is what I'm seeing in my circle of friends, family and co-workers: Europe's austerity is leading people to adopt Linux and ditch Windows (even Office). Many of them have already asked me if there is something better than Ubuntu (because of Unity) and Fedora (because it's buggy). Guess what I'm suggesting.... :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. Actually, even in Asia, given the high price of Windows and Office (if you convert to local currency), it has lead to high proliferation of pirated Windows and systems susceptible to virus and malware attacks. In my friend circle, I see growing interest on Linux to counter the virus menace effectively!

      I agree with you, Xubuntu seems to have a good combination of very customizable desktop with moderate to low resource usage and definitely recommended.

      Regards,
      Arindam

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  18. Iǘe been searching a lot of time for a work like yours.
    Thank U very much and keep on publishing your awesome work.
    Great and prof Job, Guy!!

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    1. Your words surely motivate me a lot. Thanks for liking my article.

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  19. Xubuntu 12.10 rules. I had before an Ubuntu 12.10 with Xubuntu Desktop, and switched now to Xubuntu. Awesome OS. Works smoothly, flawless. Very nice looking, I can not ask anything else from an OS. I wanted to try the Kubuntu at some time, but changed my mind after reading this review. I was wise to choose Xubuntu, and I don't regret it for a second.

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    1. XFCE is a great combination of good aesthetics, easy to use and very resource efficient. It as customizable as well and closest to my favourite desktop - Gnome 2 :).

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  20. Sorry if this has been asked before, I havn't taken the time to read all the comments through. And I know that this is an old review and all...
    When you say that Xubuntu looks better than Lubuntu, and Lubuntu is even bland, what is it that makes the big difference? As I see it, it is mostly that the menu bar is at the top instead of the bottom in Xubuntu and the colours are different. I like them both for being so minimalistic and clean, but I have to choose one of them.

    Nice review btw, it helped me a lot.

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    1. Hi Hakf:

      Both Lubuntu and Xubuntu are highly customizable and you can create a beauty out of either of them. My comment was for the default looks. Performance-wise, Lubuntu is slightly lighter than Xubuntu and offers marginally better performance. Depending on your taste and requirement, you can choose either of them. I use Lubuntu for my daily needs. Today I wrote an article on customizing Linux to give a face lift, please check if it helps you.

      http://mylinuxexplore.blogspot.in/2013/02/simple-steps-to-decorate-linux-desktop.html

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    2. I see that Xubuntu looks a little more polished, but I don't think it's much. But, well, it has a dock. And as you say, it depends mostly on taste. Thank you for all the good stuff.

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  21. Thanks for that information... This post (http://aventux.blogspot.pt/2013/05/xubuntu-vs-lubuntu-1304.html) this according to you... Xubuntu is better :)

    --
    Paulo

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    1. Yup, Xubuntu is easier to use for a newbie than Lubuntu and resource consumption difference between Xubuntu & Lubuntu are not significantly different. Hence, my preference for Xubuntu :)

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  22. Yes, I just spent a few hours of he11 with ubuntu unity. I have been
    using ubuntu for several years until they killed the good gnome 2.6.
    I was able to continue with 12.04 by installing classic panel (aka good gnome).
    I am getting freezes and crashes on ubuntu 12.04 so I thought I try
    12.10 to see if the new kernel solves my crash and freezes and error messages.
    So I installed ubuntu 12.10, and now I want to see my log files to see
    if it behaves any better. Well guess what --there is no obvious or even murky way to find the damn log files. Lets move on. So I found some commands on the web
    that would allow me to install gnome classic. Well guess what, there is no
    obvious or murky way to copy from the web page and paste into terminal the commands.
    You have to retype it just as it was done 100 years ago on unix.
    So, anyway thanks for the comparison. There should be another line in your comparison
    which however would make it lot harder for you, which is functionality.
    For example, xubuntu about year ago did not have search in file manager and in general
    it had limited functionality compare to gnome 2.6.
    I am not sure what the situation is today. That is pretty big deficiency.
    But still very thanks for the review. I am thinking of kubuntu or xubuntu.

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    1. Hi Jim:

      You have raised very valid points. I agree with you on what they have done to Gnome3. Gnome2 was way better and to me, still it is the best DE I've used. The present KDE 4.10 actually comes closer to the Gnome2 experience.

      XFCE in Xubuntu has improved a lot in last one year or so. Now file search option is there and it works well. I use Linux Mint 14 XFCE daily and it is very smooth to use. However, Gnome2 had more functionalities and Nautilus 2.* was a powerful file manager than Thunar. One example, if I have to format my USB, in Gnome2 I would just right click and format. But, this functionality is not available in XFCE or KDE. Likewise, there are quite a few.

      Mate is there but somehow I never could like it as I liked Gnome2.

      And thanks for liking my review. I intentionally avoided the DE limitations but in my future comparisons, I'll try to incorporate them as well.

      Regards,
      Arindam

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