Kubuntu 14.10 Alpha 1 (Utopic Unicorn) has been released by its developers and integrates a number of very interesting options, including the ability to adopt the new Plasma 5 desktop.Kubuntu14.10 Alpha 1 (Utopic Unicorn) is based on KDE 4.13.2, but the developers are tracking the upcoming KDE Frameworks 5, which is now in the works. It's been a long time since a Kubuntu development version didn't integrate an unstable version of KDE, but it looks like users will still be able to test what the makers of this distro are preparing.
“Plasma 1 is our recommended stable offering and what you get from the default download, but is now in maintenance mode. It runs the software you are familiar with and will be getting updates and bugfixes but not new features from now on.”
“Plasma 5 a work in progress. The next generation of KDE Software is still a work in progress. You can install it from the PPA, but beware it will remove your stable software,” said the developers in the official announcement.
Installing the next Plasma 5 desktop is not actually all that difficult and doing it with the PPA is a piece of cake. This would allow Kubuntu 14.10 Alpha 1 (Utopic Unicorn) users to test the upcoming packages and even make some contributions.
KDE 4.13.2 includes a number of improvements, like a decrease in the exit time of Kopete with enabled statistics plugin, a fix for the compilation of jabber libjingle for non x86 architectures, another fix for voice call support in the jabber libjingle library, and many others.
As you would expect, there are still a number of problems with the distribution and it will take some time for the developers to fix everything. For example, syslinux doesn't offer an OEM mode on Kubuntu Utopic Alpha 1, ubiquity-kde fails to install Kubuntu in non-English systems, and the Ubiquity side bar is broken on the initial page for the KDE UI. These are just a few of the issues but, given the fact that this is an Alpha, there are probably more.
Kubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) will be supported for a period of nine months, just like the Ubuntu base. Check the official announcement for more details about this release. You can download Kubuntu 14.10 Alpha 1 (Utopic Unicorn) right now from Softpedia.
Remember that this is a development version and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended for testing purposes only.