Desktop

Kubuntu Cosmic & Kubuntu-CI/stable

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.

20180722 System Settings Displays

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.

20180722 Plasma Desktop

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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