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

If you are a new Linux user and 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 flavors, it is a little confusing. Well, that’s why this article, to clear things up and the explanation – 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 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 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 as workspace environment written in Qml and C++. Available as a standalone desktop environment with major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Manjaro, Fedora. 

KDE plasma supports tablets and mobile as well.

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 have always the latest and bleeding edge KDE applications. 

Kubuntu 18.04

KDE Neon

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

KDE Neon Desktop

So which one 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 vanilla KDE flavor 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 below links for downloading ISO images for Kubuntu, KDE Plasma and KDE Neon. You can download the ISO and burn the ISO in a USB stick and try it out.

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

Image credits: KDE, Wikipedia