Kubuntu 9.10 – Comparison between doing things in Windows and Kubuntu.

The purpose of this post is to show you how to do certain things in Kubuntu, as opposed to Windows.  It is intended to be another look at things—where the Windows version is on one side, and the Kubuntu version is on the other.  I’m comparing Windows XP and Kubuntu 9.10, because quite a few people will be upgrading from XP.  I will note differences in how XP and Vista/7 do things as necessary.

In some cases, there is no “application” to do a task (for example, in Windows, you have various installers for installing programs, and in Kubuntu, you can do it through the Package Manager.  I am also not counting suites such as Microsoft Office in this.  If there is no “Windows” version of an application, it won’t be shown.

Managing System Settings:

In Windows, most of the settings are handled through the Control Panel. In Kubuntu, they are handled through the “System Settings” panel.

ControlPanel-xp    SystemSettings-kubuntu               

Playing Media (Music and Videos):

In Windows, you have the options of Windows Media Player (and in some cases Windows Media Center), or third party applications.  Some of the applications are available on both Windows and Kubuntu.  In Kubuntu, there are no “built’-in” (read as Kubuntu-) applications, however there are third party applications which are installed with Kubuntu.  Examples of this are Amarok for music and dragon video player for videos.

  mediaPlayer-windowsamarok-kubuntu dragon-video-plyr-kubuntu

Security Updates:

In Windows XP, you have to navigate to http://update.microsoft.com in order to get updates for Windows (or use Automatic Updates).  In Vista/7, this is all done through an applet in the Control Panel (or Automatic Updates).  Kubuntu doesn’t have an “Automatic Updates”, however all updates are handled through the Package Manager.  And Kubuntu will check for new updates on a daily basis (much like the “Prompt only” option in Windows Automatic Updates").


Word Processing (text and rich text):

Text based:

In Windows, you have notepad for .txt files.  In Kubuntu, you have Kate for .txt files.  Other word-processing applications will handle these as well in both operating systems.

 Notepad-xp kate-kubuntu

Rich-text based:

In Windows, you have wordpad to handle rich-txt (rtf) files.  It also handles some of the other formats, such as .doc.  In Kubuntu, you have two options: Kate or OpenOfficeOrg’s Writer (the equivalent of Microsoft Office’s Word).

 WordPad-xp kate-kubuntuwriter-kubuntu


In Windows, there are no default applications to handle spreadsheets.  If you’re using an OEM computer, you may have Microsoft Works installed.  Or you have to install Microsoft Office (or a third party application).  In Kubuntu, you have OpenOfficeOrg’s Calc program installed.  OpenOfficeOrg’s suite is also available for Windows.


Picture editing:

In Windows, you have either Paint or Picture Viewer to handle pictures.  You can also download the Windows Live Essentials suite for this.  In Kubuntu, you have OpenOfficeOrg’s Draw, or you can download third-party applications such as GIMP.

 paint-xp draw-kubuntu

Installing Applications:

In Windows, you use various third party installers to install the applications.  These are typically in the form of .exe or .msi applications.  The third parties control what is installed with these applications.  In Kubuntu, the majority of your applications are available through the Package Manager.  Canonical (the company responsible for the “*buntu” distributions) maintains the package lists, and the packages have to meet their standards to be included on the lists. You can still install through third-party .bin files or .deb files, and add third party sources to your package lists (called repositories).

Since the package manager in Kubuntu is included with the software manager, I won’t show the picture a second time.

Security measures:

In this category, I’m talking about the default security measures (not including third-party antivirus or firewalls).  In Windows, you have Windows Firewall (and Windows Defender).  In Windows XP, everyone is an administrator by default (unless you specify that they are a limited user).  There are no prompts for administrative access.

In Windows Vista/7, Microsoft included the UAC.  This is a method of removing administrative powers from accounts (even “Administrative” accounts).  If you need Administrative access, you’re prompted for permission (and a password in the case of limited users).

In Kubuntu, you have the sudo command, or a variation of the UAC in Windows Vista/7.  It should be noted that Kubuntu, along with all Linux distros, have had this feature since their inception.  Microsoft is finally catching up to them in terms of this type of Security.  Kubuntu doesn’t have an antivirus or antispyware built in.  There is a firewall, but it’s not enabled by default (although there is AppArmor, which attempts to sandbox and secure running applications).

This gives you a brief look at how things are done in Kubuntu, compared to Windows.  Hopefully it will be a benefit for anyone considering the switch.

Have a great day:)

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