Kubuntu Cosmic & Kubuntu-CI/stable

Mark Constable

Mark Constable

I’ve been using the Kubuntu-CI/stable repositories for about a year now and I’ve had no more problems or niggles than using a regular stable LTS (Long Term Support) system such as Kubuntu Bionic 18.04. Occasionally, after an update, there might be a graphic glitch or some flickering (especially in late 2017) but for the past 3 months since “upgrading” to Kubuntu Cosmic pre-18.10 my Plasma desktop has been more or less rock-solid. I think the rolling-release concept with lots of frequent updates offsets the stable but increasingly aged LTS release model.

In my case I really appreciate having access to all the latest packages and kernel updates so putting up with a few glitches is worth it. The main thing I have been chasing with a high level of bleeding-edge Kubuntu-CI package churn is HiDPI support. Particularly a year ago there were noticeable improvements every few months that were very much appreciated as I’ve been using various 3K and 4K screens for the last 4 or 5 years. My current “daily driver” screen for this past year is a 55″ LG Oled TV in gaming mode, which has been just dandy and really surprised me how acceptable it is for an old geriatric like me. I started off testing if my laptop would even handle a 4K external screen on through to getting used to it over the course of a few months (early 2017) and then on to using it full time since late 2017. You can see in this image that the HiDPI desktop zoom works quite well at a zoom of 2.2 which provides an apparent desktop width of about 1700px rather than the native 3840px.

The font inside the dialog window is a little fragmented but that’s a huge improvement over a year ago when most window popups looked like that. Now it’s down to just a few rough patches like this particular one. Here’s another version of the featured image that can be enlarged and note that 100% of the fonts are rendered really well. Congrats to the Plasma team, HiDPI job (almost) done for X11.

To summarize, installing Kubuntu Bionic 18.04 and then upgrading to Kubuntu Cosmic pre-18.10 foundation along with the Kubuntu-CI/stable packages can be from very acceptable through to an excellent experience depending on your needs and level of expertise dealing with occasional glitches. For reference, this is my current /etc/apt/sources.list as of July 2018…

# apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com KEY
# apt-get install --no-install-recommends packages

deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu cosmic main universe multiverse restricted
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu cosmic-updates main universe multiverse restricted
deb http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu cosmic-backports main universe multiverse restricted
deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu cosmic-security main universe multiverse restricted
# for adobe-flashplugin
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu cosmic partner
# rolling release KDE packages (possibly unstable at times)
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/kubuntu-ci/stable/ubuntu cosmic main
# latest Firefox and Thunderbird packages
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/mozillateam/firefox-next/ubuntu cosmic main
#deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/mozillateam/thunderbird-next/ubuntu bionic main

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