Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

All the Ubuntu flavors reached version 14.04 (LTS) today. Below we'll take a quick look at what's new in Lubuntu, Ubuntu GNOME and Kubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr).

For Xubuntu, see: Xubuntu 14.04 Available For Download [Video, Screenshots]

All the Ubuntu flavors (except for the main Ubuntu version - with Unity, which is supported for 5 years) will be supported for 3 years.

Lubuntu 14.04

Lubuntu is a lightweight Ubuntu flavor which uses the LXDE desktop environment, useful for old computers.

Changes in Lubuntu 14.04:
  • PcManFM was updated with many new features, like:
    • dual pane view (can be toggled from the menu or by using F3);
    • menu editing;
    • desktop accessibility;
    • tooltips for desktop items;
    • separated desktop configuration for each monitor;
    • implemented saving of columns;
    • new tab with Search Results now opened in Detailed List View mode with columns: Name, Description, Location, Size, Modified. Since Search Results is a special folder, its layout should be other than default;
    • added support for per-folder configurations: sort mode, show_hidden, and view mode;
    • the toolbar is now configurable (can also be completely hidden);
    • added API to create third-party plugins that may append own text to the statusbar text for selected files;
    • complete changelog;
  • new lxsession-default-apps with a new user interface;
  • updated artwork (GTK and icon theme, wallpaper);
  • Firefox has replaced Chromium as the default web browser;
  • Light Locker and Light Locker Settings are installed by default (but Light Locker is not activated by default - open Light Locker Settings and enable it from there).

Here are a few Lubuntu 14.04 screenshots:

Updated icon theme

Light Locker Settings

Light Locker

New lxsession-default-apps interface

New lxsession-default-apps interface

Pcmanfm now supports dual panes

Kubuntu 14.04

Kubuntu is an Ubuntu flavor which uses the KDE Plasma Desktop as the graphical environment. Even though it's now sponsored by Blue Systems and not by Canonical, Kubuntu is still an official Ubuntu derivative.

Changes in Kubuntu 14.04:
  • KDE Applications and Platform 4.13 which features improved KDE Semantic Search technology. For more information, see THIS article.
  • Firefox is now the default web browser;
  • a new Driver Manager was added by default, replacing the Additional Drivers application;
  • plugins in Gwenview can now be installed on-demand from inside the application;
  • a new touchpad configuration tool is included by default;
  • KDE Telepathy now has a meta contact support for grouping the same contact across different IM networks;
  • the Plasma Network Manager comes with a redesigned user interface
  • Kubuntu's system notifications now notify you when there are better drivers you can install and when additional software can be installed to improve language support;
  • the KDE Software Development Kit is available in the official repositories (to install it, use "sudo apt-get install kde-developer-sdk");
  • KDE Connect 0.5, a tool that integrates your Android device with the KDE desktop is available in the repositories.

Here are a few Kubuntu 14.04 screenshots:

New Driver Manager

The Kubuntu 14.04 installer

Muon Discover 2.2 is included by default

Refreshed interface for the Plasma Network Manager

Kubuntu 14.04 System Settings

New touchpad configuration tool

Ubuntu GNOME 14.04

Ubuntu GNOME is an Ubuntu flavor which tries to bring a pure GNOME experience in the Ubuntu "family". It uses GNOME Shell by default and this release ships with GNOME 3.10 for the most part (GNOME Shell 3.10, Nautilus 3.10, etc.).

Changes in Ubuntu GNOME 14.04:
  • Most GNOME 3.10 is included: GNOME Shell, GTK, Nautilus, Gedit, etc. GNOME 3.10 includes new features such as:
    • the old system status menus have been replaced with a new System Menu which includes brightness and sound sliders, quick access to wireless networks, battery status as well as settings, lock screen and shutdown buttons;
    • improved login and lock screens: better layout, nicer transitions, prettier lock screen notifications, etc.;
    • pagination in the Activities application picker;
    • "header bars" or "client side decorations" are now used in some applications such as Files (Nautilus);
    • new zoom mode for the scrollbars which allow for fine scrolling - to use it, hold SHIFT while clicking on the scrollbar thumb;
    • Tweak Tool was redesigned for GNOME 3.10 and includes new options such as startup, application management, etc.
    • it's important to note that the GNOME 3.10 System Settings changes are not available in Ubuntu GNOME 3.10 because it uses GNOME Control Center 3.6.3 and GNOME Settings Daemon 3.8.6, and not the 3.10 release.
  • While not installed by default, GNOME Weather, Maps, Photos and Music are all available in the official repositories.
  • A community wallpapers package is included by default;
  • the GNOME Classic session is included by default - to use it, select it from the Sessions option on the login screen.

Here are a few Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 screenshots:

GNOME Shell 3.10 uses pagination in the Activities application picker

GNOME Music and Weather are available in the repositories, along with other GNOME 3.10 apps

This is Files (Nautilus) which now uses "header bars"

The new System Menu introduced with GNOEM 3.10

System Settings

GNOME Tweak Tool

The classic session is included by default (to use it, select the session from the login screen)

For changes shared between all the Ubuntu flavors, see: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS Released, See What`s New [Video, Screenshots]

For Xubuntu, see: Xubuntu 14.04 Available For Download [Video, Screenshots]

Also check out our 10 Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr To Get A Near Perfect Desktop article! While it's made with Unity in mind, there are many tweaks that also apply to Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu or Ubuntu GNOME.