KDE Vs Kubuntu Vs Neon Vs Plasma: What’s the Difference?

2 min

Ever wondered why there are so many KDE Distros & types out there? KDE Plasma, Neon, Kubuntu, etc. What’s the difference between them?

If you are a new Linux user and have started exploring distros for your own need, you may already have come across KDE. And I am sure you heard of Kubuntu, KDE Plasma and KDE Neon. With so many KDE flavours, it is a little confusing. Well, that’s why this article clarifies things and explains KDE Vs Kubuntu Vs Neon Vs Plasma – What’s the Difference?

KDE Vs Kubuntu Vs Neon Vs Plasma – What’s the Difference

KDE aka K(ool) Desktop environment, has a long history. If you go back decades, when Windows 2k, NT was ruling and were not much noise open-source world – KDE started its journey as a collection of the software framework.

KDE 3.0
KDE 3.0

KDE, as an organization, controls all under the umbrella KDE projects. It’s a free and open-source software framework developed in Qt with contributions from all over the world. KDE also has specifically designed and curated applications as well such as Krita, KMail, etc. 

However, before KDE plasma, KDE was released under the name of the K desktop environment and comes via popular Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Fedora.

KDE Plasma

KDE plasma is the latest KDE desktop environment, or rather call it a workspace environment is written in Qml and C++. Available as a standalone desktop environment with major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Manjaro, and Fedora. 

KDE plasma supports tablets and mobile as well.

KDE Plasma 5 Desktop
KDE Plasma 5 Desktop


Kubuntu is the official KDE Flavour on the Ubuntu base. It follows the standard Ubuntu release cadence. So Kubuntu may not always have the latest and bleeding edge KDE applications. 

Kubuntu 18.04
Kubuntu 18.04

KDE Neon

KDE Neon is also based on Ubuntu but contains the latest Plasma desktop with the development version of the KDE applications. So, KDE Neon always gets updates from bleeding-edge KDE applications.

KDE Neon Desktop
KDE Neon Desktop

So which one should you choose?

The answer lies in your usage or use case. If you want a stable and production-like environment where robustness and stability are important, choose Kubuntu.

If you are a KDE fan and want a vanilla KDE flavour with a stable base, choose KDE Plasma.

Choose KDE Neon if you are a risk-taker, want a pure KDE experience and looking for the latest updates from KDE applications.

Where to download

Head over to the below links for downloading ISO images for Kubuntu, KDE Plasma and KDE Neon. You can download the ISO and burn the ISO on a USB stick and try it out.

So, which one of the KDE flavours do you like? Let us know in the comments below.

Image credits: KDE, Wikipedia


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