Karmic Koala; Ubuntu Gets The "K"

Hear that clock ticking? There are only nine days left to the release of Ubuntu 9.10. It's all very exciting and that excitement was bouncing about inside my brain as I drove my son to school this morning. A little ditty was echoing in my mind along with what I might write about the big event, when suddenly it hit me. No, not another car. I was paying attention. What hit me was a fully formed vision of the future, nine days hence. Sort of like what happens on FlashForward, the series based on Robert J. Sawyer's book. Except I didn't black out. I started telling what I saw in my vision to my five year old son who, sitting quietly in the back seat, quietly ignored me.

Say it with me.




Those Ks aren't a coincidence. What's going to happen is that Ubuntu 9.10 is the time when Ubuntu switches from GNOME as its default to KDE. Seriously. Think about it.

You know how every other program in KDE starts with a K, right?

Kaggregator. Kaboodle. Kaffeine. Kate. Kaddressbook. Karmic.

Konsole. Korganizer. Kopete. Kontact. Konqueror. Koala.

Suddenly it was all so clear. Mark Shuttleworth and Canonical were going to spring this on people when 9.10 hit gold a few days from now and here I was, driving along with the BIG secret so clear in my mind. I wondered whether I should keep this under wraps but, I reasoned, the public has a right to know.

Here's what you can expect as part of the big announcement by Mark Shuttleworth.First and foremost, I expect a new mascot to be unveiled (I didn't see that in my flashforward), but given that there are still a few days before the big day, I'd like to humbly propose something along the lines of the one I created below.

Get it? Kar-Mic Koala. As in car? You know? A koala driving a sports car? Okay, but just give it a few days and I'm sure you'll learn to love it.

Other changes . . . there will no longer be a KUBUNTU since that is essentially going to be what UBUNTU is. Furthermore, since KDE will now be the default desktop for Ubuntu, that what used to be Ubuntu will have to be renamed. My vision tells me that they will go with GNUBUNTU. It makes sense on so many levels if you stop to think about it.

Most of this is good news, but as with most good news, not everyone will be happy. Gnubuntu users will have to get used to a slower release cycle for updates to their favorite desktop. And, sadly, the majority of desktop development resources will now concentrate on KDE development. Programmers who can adapt will, while others will probably have to look for other jobs. This is unfortunate but part of the natural order of things.Besides, the free and open source software community has shown that they, more than any other group of people I know, can adapt, evolve, and emerge stronger, and with cooler software to boot.

Sure, this represents a radical shift in how one of world's most popular Linux distributions will position itself in the near future. Things about bound to be chaotic for a while, but from that chaos will come great things for Linux on the desktop. The media, myself included, will be all over this. There will be press conferences, television and radio appearances by all manner of people associated with Linux, Canonical, FOSS, and the *buntu family. People on the street will be talking about it. Discussions around the office coffee maker will be dominated by this change. A new line of children's toys based on my mascot will naturally follow a few weeks later.

9.10 is coming, and it's going to be great. I know. I've seen the future.

Until next time . . .

Oh yeah. I created the new mascot by manipulating and coloring an SVG line drawing of a Shelby Cobra (found on OpenClipart.org) using Inkscape. I exported it then reimported it in the GIMP. There I mixed in the KDE logo, the Ubuntu logo, a Koala (also found on OpenClipart.org), added an alpha channel to the whole thing so I could delete the background, create a new one with a cloudy background created using the GIMP, and reinsert my koala in his sports car.


A joke?

Was this a joke? It wasn't funny? It was just plain retarded.

Even if they wanted to they couldn't change to KDE right now.

This is pointless but...

alt + F2
gksudo synaptics
in the search write kubuntu-desktop
select the package by the same name
apply changes
wait for it to install
after login back in, change the session to kde
voila! KDE in Ubuntu.

Jokes Are Meant to Be Funny

The article is meant to be funny. A Joke. I'm sure the author knows about the name scheme in Ubuntu. Take it as a joke and pull the stick out of your a$$.

Have a wonderful day.

Special K!!

Is this Ssesame Street? Rump-o- room? We in pre-K?? There simply has to be a stop to this nonsense at some point. I'm a Linux user, both RedHat and Ubuntu. They're one in the same at the core (kernel) so it doesn't really matter much which "version" you use the only difference really is the packages that come with it (or the way you add those packages) i.e. RPM vs Apt Get / Yum etc.. My point is why do we have to have 1,000 different distros and all favoring this type of stupid "K" theme?

The reason RedHat is winning is because until you can make a product seem mature and ready fro business linux will not do well in the corporations. This for instance. When will it be okay fro major corporations to sit around saying...I need a Konsole update on my Konquerer and Kaddress software. No one is going to do it. This whole "K" theme makes KDE seem childish and like the software is only ready fro "preschool".

Get a grip! Get real and let's push ubuntu and others into the community...but I like (visually and the functionality) of KDE, but refuse to use it because I'm not walking around saying "K" everything!

Who Cares?

When shown a KDE desktop, mac and windows users drool with jealousy.

When shown a Gnome desktop, mac, windows, and n00b linux users scratch their heads and walk away.

Usability attracts more users.

"leet (and Mono) inside" attracts ..... well, "developers, developers, developers" .... but comparing Linux with other platforms, it would seem that there's no shortage of developers, only of users.

And that's the difference that makes all the difference.

Creative enjoyed it

Why is there always a Gnome vs KDE fight all over the internet? both are good and I love having choices....right now i am a Kubuntu user and KDE 4.3 rocks!!! but if something happens and i'm not happy like when KDE 4.0 came out Gnome isn't a bad DE to switch back to.....and why should Mark Shuttleworth default to KDE? there is KUBUNTU after all...Maybe Karmic is the time he put some focus on Kubuntu and push it forward to integrate better with KDE.....it's karma....he will see...


Oh my god,
this is the dumbest article I've read in a very long time.
The K doesn't stand for KDE, it's just the follower of the J (Jaunty) and before that it was I (Intrepid)...
It's just a way to show the version of the distro.

Second of all, Ubuntu will not change to default KDE,
because they where really looking forward to Gnome 3.0,
and they are doing a lot of work/research of how to make Gnome better in the next releases.
If you new only a little bit of your subject (Ubuntu) you would know it.

Now you just waste other people's time and you make a fool of yourself.


The Doctor said "Debating which is better, KDE or Gnome, is like debating which screwdriver is better, flathead or phillips. No one gives a flying flip which one you use, except you." That's because flathead and phillips both suck. Robertson screwdrivers are the only decent screwdrivers. I guess doctors never use hand tools.

Meaningless Debate

Debating which is better, KDE or Gnome, is like debating which screwdriver is better, flathead or phillips.

No one gives a flying flip which one you use, except you.

To bad it is Shuttleworth doesn't get Enlightened

Basing it on Enlightenment might make me go back to ooobuntu! But I doubt it. A bloated system is a bloated system, no matter who puts it out.

Name Change

The biggest scoop is that Shuttleworth is going to rename his company, and will launch a survey : Kanonical or kanonikal?

Made me cry

I've been a gnome user since 1.0, except for a year in college when I couldn't afford to replace a crashed laptop hard drive and used knoppix. Even so, your heartfelt wishful thinking made me cry. Someone get this man a support group!

That would be 'nice'

It may make using Ubuntu more bearable if the default desktop was KDE and it wasn't a watered-down, poorly-configured KDE like we have with Kubuntu at this point.

Alas, it won't happen. Ubuntu users are stuck with GNOME. Reading these comments, they even seem to like it that way. It was also pretty funny how many of them thought that you were serious.


Gnome is cool - KDE is for grannies - I've not got anything against grannies, I loved mine! The best Ubuntu is Mint, or, do it yourself from base debian. I fell out of love with KDE in the '90s - Gnome's the way to go, surely?

re: is this guy for real

are you retarded??
this is the stupidest article i have read in a while.

G (Gutsy Gibbon), H (Hardy Heron), I (Intrepid Ibex), J (Jaunty Jackalope), K (Karmic Koala)...

See the history:

5.10 Breezy Badger
6.06 Dapper Drake
6.10 Edgy Eft
7.04 Feisty Fawn
7.10 Gutsy Gibbon
8.04 Hardy Heron
8.10 Intrepid Ibex
9.04 Jaunty Jackalope
9.10 Karmic Koala
10.04 Lucid Lynx

Notices a pattern?

Pretty funny, but just think...

I know it's a joke and all, but I'll bet Shuttleworth kinda wishes he could do this. If for no other reason that there's one hardware vendor that maybe someday could be convinced to build Linux netbooks. And that vendor is... Nokia. Owners of QT (cute or 'Kute' as the KDE'rs would name it).

The whole netbook thing was too easily co-opted by Microsoft. Why? Because all the netbook vendors also build notebooks and desktops and need to stay in Microsoft's good graces. And Shuttleworth isn't blind.

Seriously, what Linux needs is a hardware vendor that views itself as a competitor to Microsoft, not a dependent of MS. Nokia's starting to dabble with Win7 netbooks, but I can't imagine them wanting to get seriously into competition with Dell and HP. But they're poised to take the 'smart handheld' category into new and interesting directions. And an ARM/Ubuntu based netbook/tablet/whatever might be just the thing. They've gotta do something creative pretty soon, or else they'll end up as just one more Android vendor - not that that'd be such a bad thing either.


I heard that from Ubuntu (Wacky Witchcraft?) 14.10 they will leave the Linux/Gnu community and will switch to Windows as OS

I Predicted It First

I predicted that Shuttleworth would choose KDE over Gnome way back when KDE 4.1 was released and in multiple posts of mine on various sites.

I don't think that will happen though and name change is not necessary. It shouldn't matter as long as Kubuntu gets full support and fair treatment from Shuttleworth. What matters is that Kubuntu will be more favoured and more popular than Gnubuntu. I believe when users and corporations see the beauty in KDE functionalities, they will make the right choice.


They are going to do no such thing. That is why they make Kubuntu retard.

.. but the fact is

that KDE folks bring much more innovation to the desktop than Gnome. This is why *sometimes* I get sick of Gnome cos it seems that there, the changes take a while to happen. Maybe they're too conservatives, don't know. Even thow I still prefer Gnome to KDE but don't know til when.

Oh, my...

Please stop playing with my higher hopes... 8-)

I realize you have to be funny -- as usual -- but for a brief moment, I so much wanted to believe we were getting KDE!

Well, I guess I'll keep changing between Mandriva and Kubuntu, depending on the extent of resources Mark puts on the latter. Or should I say "Marg" Shuttleworth?

Also, for a moment I thought you had used a picture of a Karmann Ghia, that would also make the Koala "Karmmic", I guess... 8-P

PS: your captcha is half-displayed on FF2 (yeah, I know, lame): the input field is drawn over the top of the captcha.

right on

Seriously dude, I had the EXACT same vision. Thank god I woke up and everything will stay as it is ;)


Very funny comedy piece. If you really crave a KDE Desktop as much as you seem to, you'd already have been using another distro a LONG time ago. GNOME and Debian are Canonical's breadwinners, and will be for some time to come. Unless, of course, GNOME 3.0 is a monumental disaster.


This was funny and well written, gave me a great laugh :-D


1. If you love KDE so very much, why have you used GIMP and Inkscape, eh?

2. The Kubuntu Karmic Koala suggests rather the Ku Klux Klan to me. (With aseigo the dictatorial leader.)

Subsequent Releases

Following that logic, Ubuntu will realize that KDE is also bloated so Lucid Lynx will default to LXDE. Still not satisfied, the following
version will be based on Motif, how retro. Finally, deciding GUI's are a waste of time the next version is based on Ncurses.

The Switch

While I, like so many others, eagerly await the release of Ubuntu 9.10, I have to question the wisdom of their move from GNOME to KDE. Maybe it's just my anti-Windows side showing, but KDE has always seemed "too close" to Windows for my liking, both in looks and in "bloat".

Comes down to personal preference, I guess. I'm running the beta on my MacbookPro under VirtualBox and it is VERY nice - however I've decided to go with Linux Mint and/or #! on the Netbook as they are much mess resource hungry.

Only 9 days to go before "final judgement" I guess...

Good Post

It's an interesting post. You're a good writer, and I wish you'd blog and tweet more, seriously.

9.10 shifts to KDE

I think in this case, Austin Powers said it best, "Yeah Baby!" Personally, I await with eager anticipation.

The expanse of space surrounding Planet *buntu is getting busier and busier. As a result, achieving a stable orbit is particularly difficult when you're easily distracted. Consequently, Marcel Gagné's blog looks at pretty much anything and everything that orbits Planet *buntu. News, howtos, rumors, opinions, controversy, tech tips, helpful hints . . . you'll find it all here. Oh look! A shiny object!

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31