I have installed the KDE 4.8.0 desktop on Ubuntu 12.04 and this KDE release is the fastest yet, everything works very well, adding new themes, splash screens and window decorations works perfectly. Many people hate what Canonical are doing with the Unity desktop and the KDE desktop is a nice alternative to the increasingly strange features they are bringing to the formerly fun to use Ubuntu desktop. They will alienate the very users they are trying to bring from Windows. But the KDE desktop is familiar to former Windows users, this is why I am recommending the KDE desktop for Ubuntu. If you have the misfortune of having installed the Ubuntu live CD with Unity, then you may install the KDE desktop thusly: sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop. These are KDE packages I have installed on my system, the kubuntu-low-fat-settings package configures the KDE desktop with different settings than the default KDE installation making it run very fast indeed. This is the key to a fast KDE desktop experience. I kept the Lightdm login manager instead of using KDM, but the experience of using the KDE 4.8 release is very fast compared to using the KDE 4.6 desktop on Fedora.installation of themes and window decorations works flawlessly, the Unity desktop does not allow this at all, or any real form of configuration other than changing the wallpaper.
[email protected] ~ $ ls -hula /var/cache/apt/archives/ | grep kubuntu -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 15K 27-01-12 08:33 pm kubuntu-debug-installer_11.10ubuntu1_i386.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 96K 27-01-12 08:33 pm kubuntu-default-settings_1%3a12.04ubuntu1_all.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3.7K 27-01-12 08:33 pm kubuntu-desktop_1.246_i386.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 6.9M 27-01-12 08:33 pm kubuntu-docs_11.10ubuntu2_all.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 58K 27-01-12 08:33 pm kubuntu-firefox-installer_11.10ubuntu1_i386.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 3.3K 27-01-12 08:28 pm kubuntu-low-fat-settings_11.10ubuntu3_all.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 5.3K 27-01-12 08:33 pm kubuntu-netbook-default-settings_11.10ubuntu2_all.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 39K 27-01-12 08:33 pm kubuntu-notification-helper_11.10ubuntu1_i386.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 7.0K 27-01-12 08:33 pm kubuntu-web-shortcuts_11.10ubuntu2_all.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 25K 27-01-12 08:33 pm plymouth-theme-kubuntu-logo_1%3a12.04ubuntu1_i386.deb -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 4.6K 27-01-12 08:33 pm plymouth-theme-kubuntu-text_0.8.2-2ubuntu28_i386.deb [email protected] ~ $
And now the Ubuntu Unity HUD is in vogue now with the Canonical developers. That is the thing with computers these days, there are apps in the mobile application stores that allow people to divide by ten to calculate the amount they are to tithe to the local church. Surely they can not work that out in their head? God help us all. More information on the KDE 4.8.0 desktop here. http://www.kde.org/announcements/4.8/. This is shaping up to be the best contender for your desktop Linux environment, Gnome 3 is annoying, and Unity just plain sucks, so the best choice is KDE 4.8.
So give the KDE desktop a try someday, just make sure to install the kubuntu-low-fat-settings_11.10ubuntu3_all.deb package to increase the speed of your KDE desktop and do away with the unnecessary bloat.