Is it better to use Kubuntu or Ubuntu with KDE? For example, if I were to install KDE in Ubuntu will there be any instability or conflict?

Will these two get mixed up with themes and icons? I have had a bad experience with GNOME shell in Ubuntu 12.04. When I logged in with GNOME, the GNOME theme was mixed up with unity,the same happened with Unity, so I had to uninstall GNOME.

Is there any way to make Ubuntu look exactly like Kubuntu (same UI, menus and theme); installing the KDE applications are not important to me.

I want to keep both Unity and KDE.

  • 1
    If you have KDE and Gnome you will have some crossover of applications. As Psychocats says "Warning: having KDE and Gnome together means you'll have cluttered application menus full of KDE applications and Gnome applications. There may be other minor integration issues, but none should impact functionality, and you can find help for those on the Ubuntu Forums." ( psychocats.net/ubuntu/kde )
    – user4815
    May 16, 2012 at 22:00

3 Answers 3


You can download just the KDE window manager or KDE with all of the extras that you would find with kubuntu. I recommend the latter. It would be the safest.

 sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop

or Using Software Center Install via the software center

That will install everything you need.


I found very useful installing several desktop environments but creating separated accounts to use them. I have installed Ubuntu 12.04. For example: - I have the default Ubuntu 12.04 Unity Desktop under the default user account "mauricio". This account is my Unity Desktop. But then I wanted to have a GnomeShell desktop and, - I installed Gnome-Shell and created a new user account with name "VenGshell" and I use Gnome-shell there and configure the whole account with Gnome-shell. So my Unity preferences in my Unity desktop have nothing to do in this Gnome-Shell account, Get it? - Then I wanted to have a KDE desktop in this same Ubuntu installation. So I installed the Kubuntu-Desktop and created another user account under the name of "MaVriK". And I configure it to use KDE desktop environment and, of course again, It is completely apart and nothing to do with the other desktop customizations.

This kind of configuration is, IMHO, the best way to have every desktop environment living together under the same Linux installation.

So: - If I want to use Unity: I login under "mauricio". - If I want to use Gnome-Shell: I login to "VenGShell". - If I want to use KDE: I login to "MavriK"

That easy.

I never ever have any performance issues under this configuration, in any desktop environment.

About applications all showing in the Apps menu? I just do not really care about it! because for that task there are the panels. I have access to my prefered apps I use to use daily in those panels, I just add the app icons there and forget about app menus. And if I want to launch an app in particular, there is Gnome-Do to easily "DO" that task!



If you want everything in KDE, install kde-full package. You can install it by running sudo apt-get install kde-full command in a terminal. It's about 1 GB worth of files.

I did that on Ubuntu 12.04 and found it's quite nice. Very polished and smooth. I tried default Kubuntu distribution and liked it less.

Some of your Unity/Gnome applications will be shown in the KDE menus. If you right click on the top of the menu, above the search bar, you can select an option to edit the menu which you can use to disable showing Gnome/Unity applications icons in KDE menu.

When I installed the Gnome shell,I found that, the Gnome windows were themed much like windows in Unity. Unity uses Gnome code, so that isn't surprising.

  • well i tried the kubuntu-desktop package,but problem is KDE responses very slowly.If i click a app,it appears after 10s.It gets hanged all the time.The cursor is almost impossible to follow because of lagging.I have seen on the net that Unity uses more memory and cpu than KDE,but in my pc unity runs smooth but not kde.So what should I do? May 17, 2012 at 12:51
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    What is the difference between kubuntu-desktop package and the kde-full package? May 17, 2012 at 12:53
  • 1
    @RizwanRifan "kde-full - complete KDE Software Compilation for end users" whereas kubuntu-desktop provides less packages and is lighter (kde-full requires 333mb additionally). I prefer kubuntu-desktop since I can install any other package if I ever need it Dec 3, 2012 at 12:31
  • kubuntu-desktop is the package that will give you a "normal" Kubuntu system. kde-full adds stuff that is not normally included in Kubuntu. I tried kde-full and I did not like it.
    – MountainX
    Sep 2, 2013 at 19:17

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