There are a huge number of Linux distributions with, also, a tremendous amount of desktops to choose from. Budgie, the desktop similar to Chrome OS, is just one of them. This is frustrating for both the user community and developers, who see their resources diminish because they have to deal with many projects at once.

And that is the problem and perhaps that is why we could say that Linux is fragmented. In many cases it is preferred to make a fork or start developing a totally new idea instead of improving what already exists, although this is a debate for another article and for another occasion.

What we have more or less clear is that Linux as a desktop environment could have gone much further if the teams had joined forces, if they had focused on narrowing the field of development rather than increasing, which serves us As a perfect excuse for this article.

Linux Mint needs Kubuntu

According to the Linux Mint Blog, Clement Lefebvre, the great boss of Linux Mint, has come to recognize that his team does not have enough resources to maintain Linux Mint KDE, so it has ended up asking the Kubuntu team for help.

There will be those who may wonder why keep a Kubuntu fork, if the “original version” already exists. In this case is something easy to explain. Linux Mint is currently thought of as one of the most essential distress for those starting with Linux – perhaps even for those newcomers from Windows – with many programs preinstalled so the user has to worry as little as possible.

In this sense Kubuntu, despite being the alma mater of Linux Mint KDE and of being thought also for beginners, is much more “empty”. The original has just enough to start working and the user decides from there, while the fork has everything needed so that the user can start working with his favorite software from minute zero.

This is what Clement Lefebvre has said about his request to Kubuntu

I would like to send a huge thank you to the Kubuntu team. First of all because they are very good people. Secondly because Kubuntu is an essential part of what we offer with Mint KDE. I know many of you mistakenly think that we could work based on Neon or pack KDE ourselves, but the truth is that we can not. Our KDE community is small, packaging KDE represents a huge commitment and precisely because Plasma 5 is still reaching maturity this is a continuous development process that can not wait for two years. At the same time, we have high expectations, stability is important to us and if we do something has to work. With this in mind, if it does not come to be by Kubuntu and its Backport PPA, I do not think there was a KDE edition for Linux Mint. In third place, Because they have put a tremendous amount of effort into making a Plasma 5.8 backport along with new KDE applications, their frameworks and the new version of Qt on which they depend. This had to be done with a lot of love, with a lot of testing and a lot of respect for the other components of the Xenial base package.

How to Test KDE Plasma 5.8

If you are a Linux Mint KDE user, you can try KDE plasma 5.8 by following these steps:

  • Open the “Software Sources” tool
  • Click on the “PPA” tab
  • Click the “Add PPA”
  • Enter the line ppa:kubuntu-ppa/backports-landing

It is advisable to warn that it is likely that KDE Plasma 5.8 is not completely stable, so if you prefer something more stability do not update your desktop.