Articles, Reviews, & Announcements

Recent Kubuntu Focus News

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A New LTS, Kernel Upgrade, Official Flavors

Kubuntu 24.04 LTS Development

We continue to work with the Kubuntu team to develop and extensively test the upcoming 24.04 LTS. As always, our goal is to provide a reliable and enjoyable system you can rely on every day. Part of that is graphic design and ensuring things you interact with every day look and work great.

Kubuntu 24.04 ISO boot screen
Kernel Upgrade

We recently updated the curated HWE kernel from 6.5.0-14 to 6.5.0-25. Like all kernels we support, this uses the official Ubuntu packages prepared and distributed by the Ubuntu Kernel Team. The Kubuntu Focus team extensively tested all models sold in the last 4 years and found no regressions with them or many peripherals. Click here to see a full list of tested features and models.

Other Upgrades

Kubuntu Focus systems are frequently enhanced through normal package upgrades. Here are just a few recent improvements:

Support from Kubuntu, Canonical, and Focus

Kubuntu LTS is an official Ubuntu flavor. This status provides special benefits you won't see with competitors who decide to "roll their own" distro:

Kubuntu Focus builds on the benefits of Kubuntu LTS to provide an experience superior to any DIY solution:

Spring Sale

If you're looking for a great deal on an extreme-performance, daily-driver Linux laptop, the M2 GEN 5 with the i9-13900HX CPU is on sale for $100 off. This CPU has very comparable performance to the latest i9-14900HX in the 15.6" size. Hurry, because only a few are available with this discount. See the full specs here.

M2 GEN 5: A portable high-end desktop replacement

The M2 GEN 5 mobile workstation can handle just about any project you want to tackle! Unlike some competitors, it always ships with dual-channel RAM and can cost hundreds less. Also, check out how we always support your right to repair and easily upgrade disk, RAM, battery, and Wi-Fi with industry standard components.

Win a Kubuntu Focus!

Win a Kubuntu Focus!

Kubuntu Graphic Design Contest

Enter the Kubuntu Graphic Design Contest to win a Focus Ir14 laptop or NX mini PC and Kubuntu Focus branded merchandise! See the contest announcement for all the details!

The Focus team has helped design and implement the new Kubuntu 24.04 LTS installer, shown in the laptop image here. We are also testing and integrating Focus optimizations and tools to ensure 24.04 works well with all prior and future models.

M2 GEN 5 Upgrade, Kernel 6.5.0-14, Displays

Today we discuss the new i9-14900HX CPU in the M2, the upgraded and validated kernel 6.5.0-14, and the External Display Guided Solution article.

M2 i9-14900HX
Hardware Update: 14th Gen Intel i9-14900HX at 5.8 GHz

In mid-January, we started offering the Kubuntu Focus M2 with the 14th Generation Intel Core i9-14900HX Raptor Lake Refresh. This 5.8 GHz CPU provides a nice bump in performance as power and thermals allow, especially in the larger 17.3" systems. All models, including RTX 4080 and 4090, are in stock. If you're looking for extreme performance at a fair price, this desktop replacement is hard to beat.

Plasma 5.27
Validated Kernel 6.5.0-14

The curated HWE kernel was recently updated from 6.2.0-35 to 6.5.0-14. Like all kernels we support, this uses the official Ubuntu packages prepared and distributed by the Ubuntu Kernel Team. The Kubuntu Focus team extensively tested all models sold in the last 4 years and found no regressions with them or many peripherals. Click here to see a full list of tested features and models.

Plasma 5.27
Guided Solution of the Week: External Displays

All Kubuntu Focus systems can power between two and four external displays. We have created an extensive guide especially for Focus models. It can help you with opening display settings, attaching monitors, scaling the screens, window behavior, and much more. See the External Displays Guided Solution to learn more!

Chrome "Jitter Bug" Alert

We want to make everyone aware of a rare but severe "Jitter Bug" we've discovered with the most recent version of Google Chrome. This is NOT a Kubuntu Focus bug, but is a regression in Chrome that is beyond our control.

The bug occurs when a user tries to add a Chrome extension, or when Chrome prompts for information using an alert-style dialog. When it occurs, the Chrome window "jitters" in size and position, and the Chrome UI often becomes unresponsive.

This bug affects all systems with Plasma 5.27 and Chrome v121 where the font DPI or global display scale is greater than 100%. By default, the Kubuntu Focus Ir14, M2 GEN 4, and M2 GEN 5 systems have their font DPI increased to make better use of their higher resolution displays. Many users also increase these values to better work with external displays.

Visit our Browsers support page for more info.

Plasma Upgrade to 5.27, Kernel 6.2.0-35

Today we discuss the upgrade to Plasma 5.27. We also have upgraded the validated kernel to 6.2.0-35. We also highlight the keyboard color chooser tool.

System Updates: Plasma 5.27

The Kubuntu Focus Team is excited to announce an update to the KDE Plasma 5.27 desktop. Thanks to the hard work of the KDE development team, Plasma 5.27 delivers massive improvements to the desktop. New features include improved multi-monitor support, an improved Discover package manager, and updated themes. It is available now for all Focus systems through normal software updates.

Plasma 5.27

The Focus team worked for many months with the KDE and Kubuntu teams to provide a seamless and stable transition for our users. We extensively tested and reported on many releases and also submitted a few bug fixes. We then integrated the new and changed features in many areas. Examples include new Focus themes, power state management updates, and a revised desktop hints widget. Learn more from our press release.

Validated Kernel 6.2.0-35

The curated HWE kernel was recently updated from 6.2.0-31 to 6.2.0-35. Like all kernels we support, this uses the official Ubuntu packages prepared and distributed by the Ubuntu Kernel Team. The Kubuntu Focus team has tested this update on all present and past models and found no regressions with it or many peripherals. Below, we summarize the updates from Canonical:

You can see more detail in the Ubuntu change log.

Tool of the Week: Keyboard Color Chooser
Keyboard Color Chooser

If you own a Focus M1 or M2 model, use this tool to set the keyboard color precisely. Settings made with this tool are restored on your next login. Learn more here.

User Serviceable

We have always supported the right to repair, and we make sure all our systems are easy to service with just a screwdriver. You can learn more here.

Lower Component Prices

We want you to get the configuration you need without having to cut corners. Components like disks and RAM have come down in price, and we have passed the savings on to you. We build each Focus with only high quality, high performance components that are individually validated at the time of assembly.

Coding with Fritz and KFocus

Today we show how Jeffrey Fritz uses a Focus M2 to stream Live Coding. We also discuss the new Browsers Guided Solution, and we describe the Kernel Cleaner tool.

Jeffery Fritz and KFocus

Jeffrey Fritz is using his Kubuntu Focus M2 laptop throughout October to present his "Ubuntu Linux and .NET all month long" Live Coder series.

Jeffrey Fritz on Twitch.tv

Jeffrey teaches developers how to use C#, Blazer, and .NET to create web applications. He has used the Focus for over 2 years on many of his streams. Jeff appreciates the optimizations, helpful tools, and validated upgrades that allow him to rely on the system. You can see more of his thoughts on the Focus Reviews Page.

Guided Solution of the Week: Browsers

The new Browsers Guided Solution presents techniques to help you get more from your web browser. Specifically, it discusses scaling, using addons, and fixing quirks for Firefox and Chrome-based browsers. It also shows how to use VIM in the browser.

vim in the browser

Sometimes customers prefer to use a Debian package to install Firefox instead of a Snap. This article discusses when that is useful and how to do it.

Focus Tool of the Week: Kernel Cleaner

The Kernel Cleaner Tool runs automatically every time you sign-in and will appear only when you need it. You can also run it manually using Start Menu > Kubuntu Focus Tools > Kernel Cleaner.

Kernel Cleaner Tool

This tool checks the number of installed kernels and offers to remove older versions if the /boot partition is getting full. It always favors certain kernels. For example, it will never remove the running kernel, and it tries to keep HWE and low-latency kernels in preference to others. When this tool advises you to remove some kernels, we recommend you take its advice, as an overfull /boot partition can prevent your system from booting.

Wrap Up

We work hard to make Kubuntu Focus systems reliable daily-drivers that are superior to non-curated and propriety systems. Here are a few links where you can explore how we do just that:

Passwords, Curated Apps, and Upgrades

Today we look at Password Management, Curated Apps, and recent upgrades.

Guided Solution of the Week: Password Management

The Password Management Guided Solution shows how to use KDE Wallet, KeePassXC, and other tools to keep your secrets safe.

Curated Apps

The Plasma Desktop includes KDE Wallet by default. KeePassXC is a cross-platform app that syncs with Chrome, Firefox, Android phones, and other tools. We highly recommend you review this article if you like to keep your passwords secure *and* shared with other devices.

Tool of the Week: Curated Apps

The Curated Apps page is a list of tested and recommended apps for the Kubuntu Focus. If you own a Focus, you can click an icon to immediately install and launch an app. These apps provide capabilities needed by many creators and developers. Examples include IDEs, 3D modeling, DevOps, image editing, messaging, virtualization, and many others. Most are automatically updated with normal software upgrades.

Curated Apps
Recent Upgrades: Window Borders, Keyboard Colors

On 2023-09-14, we released upgrades to the main, tools, and settings packages. Changes include:

Better Welcome Wizard, Kernel 6.2.0-31

Today we look at the improved Welcome Wizard, the recent kernel upgrade, and highlight our Back To School sale. Let’s get started!

Welcome Wizard

All steps are optional and easy to skip. If you decide to use a suggested app, the wizard will install and launch it on your command. Illustrations show how to get started, and if you want more information, each step also includes a link to a Guided Solution article.

File Backup

Additional new features include a navigation pane; checkmarks for each completed step; and a feature-rich GUI to change disk passphrases. To see it in action, click Start Menu → Kubuntu Focus Tools → Welcome Wizard.

BackInTime
Validated Kernel 6.2.0-31

You should have recently seen the HWE kernel upgrade from 5.19.0-50 to 6.2.0-31. Like all kernels we support, this is an official Ubuntu package which is prepared and distributed by the Ubuntu Kernel Team. The Kubuntu Focus team has extensively tested it and did not find regressions on any Focus models. Here are highlights of the patch sets and security fixes in the upgrade:

The updated kernel includes many fixes. For example, Intel GPU drivers now support higher refresh rates. If you have a high-refresh monitor, visit System Settings → Displays to see more options. In addition, the backlight controls are smoother for recent M2 models.

New Nvidia Drivers Released

Today we review the Nvidia 535 driver upgrade, discuss the Kubuntu Focus Tools article, and highlight the Video Sync Utility.

System Updates: The Nvidia 535 Driver and ML Support

We have updated Focus systems to use the latest official Nvidia 535 driver created by Nvidia and Ubuntu. This new driver provides the latest features and security improvements. After the initial upgrade, the hardware configuration subsystem may prompt you to complete the installation the next time you sign in.

Focus support updated the Nvidia repository to provide the latest CUDA, cuDNN, OptiX, and other tools. The Deep Learning Suite was also updated to use these resources. As always, we extensively tested these changes on all systems before pushing the upgrade.

Guided Solution of the Week: Kubuntu Focus Tools

The Kubuntu Focus Tools article explains all the Focus-branded tools. If you own a Focus, you can click on an icon to launch a tool immediately. You might notice that all tools have a doc URL under their title; all these reference sections are on this page.

C Compiler Version Switcher
Tool of the Week: Video Sync Utility

Use the Video Sync Utility to eliminate video tearing when using an Nvidia GPU. It detects all attached displays and then configures the Nvidia composition pipeline for all of them at once. This works even for displays that have different refresh rates, such as 144 Hz for a laptop panel and 30 Hz for an external 4K panel.

C Compiler Version Switcher

Like many Kubuntu Focus Tools, this utility can replace hours of research and custom scripts with just one click. This is especially true for those who change connected displays frequently.

In the Press and Wrapping Up

On July 10th, HowToGeek published a review of the Focus Ir14. This follows an April 19th review by Jack Wallen of ZDNET.

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus works to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux experience and saves customers time every day by building on KDE Plasma LTS and Kubuntu 22.04 LTS with:

Testimonial

... Kubuntu Focus isn’t just a system, it’s also quite a curation of tools and software and libraries for specific applications. What I like about this use-case approach is that it gives solid actual recommendations about how you can use the power of Linux and Open Source Software in the real world ...

Validated Kernel 5.19.0-45

Today we look at how to save time and hassle with the Curated Apps Page and the C Compiler Version Switcher. We also look at the recent kernel upgrade. Let’s get started!

Guided Solution of the Week: Curated Apps

The Curated Apps Page presents the apps we recommend for many categories, like video conferencing or email. They are selected for their popularity, usability, capability, compatibility, reliability, and upstream support. We also regularly test them to ensure they continue to work with Focus systems.

Curated Apps

If you click on a curated app icon and it is installed, the system will launch it immediately. If it is not installed, however, the system runs all the steps needed to get it installed and launched. For example, it may add a repository and GPG keys, download the app, install it, and then launch it. This allows you to stay focused on what you want to accomplish instead of trying to find a quality app for your purpose.

Are curated apps the best for everyone and every use-case? Of course not, but we think they are an excellent place to start.

Tool of the Week: C Compiler Version Switcher

With this tool, you can select and, if needed, install the default compiler toolchain. Data scientists often require this capability because many ML libraries require specific compiler versions.

C Compiler Version Switcher

Like many other Kubuntu Focus Tools, this switcher can replace hours of research and messy, ad hoc script with just one click. When you switch the compiler, the tool may prompt you to install missing components. It may also request authorization to coordinate symbolic links in /usr/bin.

Recent Upgrades

You should have recently seen the kernel upgrade from 5.19.0-42 to 5.19.0-45. Like all kernels we support, this is an official Ubuntu package which is prepared and distributed by the Ubuntu Kernel Team. The Kubuntu Focus team has extensively tested it and did not find regressions on any Focus models. Here are highlights of the security fixes and patch sets of the upgrade:

You can find all the changes here.

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus works to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux experience and saves customers time every day by building on KDE Plasma LTS and Kubuntu 22.04 LTS with:

Testimonial

... Kubuntu Focus isn’t just a system, it’s also quite a curation of tools and software and libraries for specific applications. What I like about this use-case approach is that it gives solid actual recommendations about how you can use the power of Linux and Open Source Software in the real world ...

Security, VIM in Browser

Today we look at the Security Tools guide, VIM editing in the browser, and recent upgrades.

Guided Solution of the Week: Security Tools

The Security Tools Guide shows how to work with several security-related tools and configurations. Topics include Ubuntu Pro, Full Disk Encryption, YubiKey 2-factor authentication, Kleopatra certificate manager, and Secure Shell + VPN hints.

Kleopatra Security Tools

We recently updated quite a few sections of this article. Under Ubuntu Pro, we show how to disable upgrade-to-ubuntu-pro prompts when using apt. Under Full Disk Encryption, we updated the output to show the latest crypt-setup behavior. And under SSH and VPN we added guidance to store secrets for Fortinet VPN.

Of course, there are other articles such as the Password Management Guide which also cover security topics. If you are seeking specific help, we always suggest you start with the search bar on the support page.

Tool of the Week: VIM Editing in the Browser

We have recently been playing with open-source web extensions to use vim editing on web forms. We really like the productivity boost, and though we'd share. Two tools we liked are Wasavi and Firenvim

Wasavi is the easiest to install because it is just a single web extension. You can therefore install it once and have it synced easily over many devices with your browser profile. However, we only found it for Chrome-based browsers, and it was last updated in 2019.

Conversely, Firenvim requires substantially more setup, and, if you use Firefox, it also requires you to install a non-snap version. The benefit is that the editor is your local neovim, and it can use the same vim settings, macros, and syntax highlighting. It is also actively maintained and might be more secure.

If you want to play with this editing style, you might try Wasavi first, since it is so easy to set up. If you like it, you might then invest in installing Firenvim and see if it works for you.

Recent Upgrades

We published an upgraded kfocus-conda package (in the kfocus-tools metapackage) on 2023-06-14. This uses the latest Anaconda distribution and assists users in upgrading their existing installation.

KFocus Conda

There were no major Kernel, Nvidia Driver, or Desktop upgrades over the past three weeks, although there have been some minor bug fixes with Nvidia packages. We will probably release an upgraded kernel later this week as testing is nearly complete and we have seen no hardware regressions.

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus works to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux experience and saves customers time every day by building on KDE Plasma LTS and Kubuntu 22.04 LTS with:

Testimonial

... Kubuntu Focus isn’t just a system, it’s also quite a curation of tools and software and libraries for specific applications. What I like about this use-case approach is that it gives solid actual recommendations about how you can use the power of Linux and Open Source Software in the real world ...

Machine Learning and AI

As you probably know, we maintain an extensive Kubuntu support site, and we want to keep you updated on recent improvements. Today we highlight the AI Deep Learning Guided Solution.

Machine Learning Applications

This guide shows how to quickly install GPU-accelerated TensorFlow, PyTorch, Jupyter Notebook, and AI Bench with kfocus-conda. This tool was just updated last week to use the latest Anaconda, and it will upgrade an existing environment at your request. The tool is designed to work with Nvidia GPUs and it installs compatible AI libraries.

We also updated the AI benchmarks in the guide. The average improvement from the RTX 3080 Ti to the RTX 4080 was 59% over three runs, and we estimate the 4090 will see a 72% improvement. So if you're looking for the ultimate next-gen mobile-AI workstation, the 17.3" M2 GEN 5 might be a great place to start!

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus works to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux experience and saves customers time every day by building on KDE Plasma LTS and Kubuntu 22.04 LTS with:

Testimonial

... Kubuntu Focus isn’t just a system, it’s also quite a curation of tools and software and libraries for specific applications. What I like about this use-case approach is that it gives solid actual recommendations about how you can use the power of Linux and Open Source Software in the real world ...

Announcing the Focus M2 GEN 5

Today the Kubuntu Focus team announced the M2 GEN 5, a high performance laptop. This is the 9th model optimized for Kubuntu 22.04 LTS and the KDE Plasma interface.

Kubuntu Focus M2 Gen 5 Quarter Shot

The trim M2 GEN 5 laptop is a superb choice for anyone looking for the best out-of-the-box Linux experience with the most powerful portable hardware. Indeed, it outperforms nearly all laptops and desktops. Customers include ML scientists, developers, and creators.

Perhaps the best news about the M2 GEN 5 is that its price remains the same, but with many substantial improvements. Just a few upgrades from the fourth-generation include:

Please check out all the improvements here. You might also like the Blender videos created with Kubuntu Focus systems on YouTube. See this shared drive for press photos, and if you have questions, please write sales@kfocus.org or call 844-536-2871.

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus works to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux experience and saves customers time every day by building on KDE Plasma LTS and Kubuntu 22.04 LTS with:

Testimonial

... Kubuntu Focus isn’t just a system, it’s also quite a curation of tools and software and libraries for specific applications. What I like about this use-case approach is that it gives solid actual recommendations about how you can use the power of Linux and Open Source Software in the real world ...

Additional Information

Announcing the Focus Ir14 GEN 1

Today the Kubuntu Focus team announced the Ir14 Gen 1, developed in partnership with Carbon Systems. This is the fifth model optimized for Kubuntu 22.04 LTS and the KDE Plasma interface.

Kubuntu Focus IR 14 GEN 1 Quarter Shot

The Ir14 was developed in partnership with Carbon Systems. Thanks to top-quality hardware and meticulous tuning, everything you see and touch works exquisitely, from the hardware itself, to its OS support and integration, all at an incredible price.

We really love the sublime experience of this laptop. All surfaces are aluminum alloy and the display is vibrant (450-nit, 100% sRGB LED IPS) and tall (1920x1200, 16:10). The glass precision touchpad is large and centered, and the no-flex deck and keyboard provides impeccable tactile feedback. It even has room for two PCIe 4 NVMe drives which support up to 7,450 MB/s.

Like all Focus Systems, the Ir14 saves you time and hassle every day with hardware optimizations, curated apps, Focus Tools, HOWTOs designed for your system, regular software enhancements, and unmatched Linux-first support.

Kubuntu Focus IR 14 GEN 1 Ports

'After meeting with the team at Kubuntu Focus, a partnership just made sense. Our goals are closely aligned in providing the best quality solutions to the business market, and Kubuntu Focus does just that, but in the Linux world,' states Dave Cook, President of Carbon Systems.

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus works to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux experience and saves customers time every day by building on KDE Plasma LTS and Kubuntu 22.04 LTS with:

Testimonial

... Kubuntu Focus isn’t just a system, it’s also quite a curation of tools and software and libraries for specific applications. What I like about this use-case approach is that it gives solid actual recommendations about how you can use the power of Linux and Open Source Software in the real world ...

Additional Information

Kubuntu Focus is now a KDE Patron

KDE Patron Logo

Kubuntu Focus has become a corporate-level KDE Patron! Our team has been active with the KDE community for years by contributing rigorous testing, reporting, and bug fixes, and we look forward to even deeper collaboration.

This will benefit our customers and the entire community that uses KDE and Kubuntu. We are are especially interested in contributing solutions that enable professionals to replace their proprietary desktops with Linux and KDE's software. Please see the full announcement here

Next-Gen Products, Power and Fan, 20,04 EOL

Second Generation NX and XE

You may have seen our announcements about the Kubuntu Focus NX GEN 2 and the XE GEN 2! Both of these systems have been upgraded with substantially faster PCIe 4 disks and 12th Generation Intel processors. Check them out!

The End is Neigh! Upgrade From 20.04 to 22.04 LTS Soon!

Kubuntu support for 20.04 LTS ends in April 2023. If you are still running this release, please click this link to upgrade at your earliest convenience. As stated in this guide, we highly recommend you backup your data and perform a clean install.

KFocus Power Tool and Fan
kfocus power

You now can control nearly all aspects of power management in one place! Visit Start > Kubuntu Focus Tools > Power and Fan to see the updated tool. By default, the power profile is balanced, the frequency profile is normal, and the fan profile is soft. If you unplug from AC, you can watch the frequencies and keyboard LEDs adjust in real time to maximize battery life.

Contribute with KFocus-Source

All Focus software has always been open source, but it wasn’t easy to contribute. Now it’s far easier with kfocus-source found on GitHub.

Kernels and Nvidia

The Linux kernel for our Kubuntu Focus computers continues to see security enhancements and bug fixes. Through the winter and spring, we have tested and updated 7 kernels. The current kernels at the time of writing are 5.19.0-32 (HWE, Jammy) and 5.15.0.56 (HWE, Focal).

Peripherals

We use a comprehensive suite of automated and manual tests to help ensure every kernel, driver, and KDE Plasma desktop upgrade works well on every model we’ve ever sold, before we include them in your regular software upgrades. Tests include sleep-and-resume, as well as many peripherals such as mouse, Bluetooth, keyboard, microphone, webcam, and multi-monitors with sound. If we find any issues, we work with the upstream developers or maintainers to get them fixed so you don't have to.

KDE Plasma 5.27 Development

We continue to work with the KDE and Kubuntu teams to extensively test Plasma software before and after release. In some cases, we have also provided patches to help improve the software. The current Plasma version is 5.24, and we are testing and refining support for 5.27. If Kubuntu decides to backport this to 22.04 LTS, we will be ready with extensive support updates. However, please be patient; this is a big change, and there is no guarantee that 5.27 will become available. As always, our primary objective is to provide a reliable and enjoyable system you can rely on every day.

Support From Focus AND the Community

Kubuntu Focus provides curated, searchable “Guided Solution” articles on many aspects of your system. Visit KFocus Support to find authoritative answers right away instead of spending time sifting through forums and social posts to distill an answer – we do that so you don’t have to! All Kubuntu Focus devices run standard Kubuntu 22.04 LTS by default. The Focus team adds tools, hardware optimization, and curation on top of this instead of creating a separate distribution. This means almost all articles, tutorials, and guides found on the web for Kubuntu – and many for Ubuntu - also apply to the Focus. Click here for a list of community resources that are available.

As always, if you have questions, please write support@kfocus.org or call 844-536-2871.

Sincerely, The Kubuntu Focus Team

Announcing the XE Gen 2 GEN 2

The Kubuntu Focus Team announces the second generation of the powerful Focus XE laptop. This ultra-portable and affordable laptop is a great choice for developers, creators, and those who are looking for the best out-of-the-box Linux experience but don't need the power, complexity, or expense of a dedicated GPU.

Kubuntu Focus XE GEN 2 Front

This generation features the i7-1260P CPU, which provides a 16% and 60% boost in single and multi-core Geekbench 5 scores. In real life, this translates into very snappy performance and the ability to handle large, multi-process tasks with speed and ease. Other highlights of this laptop are the numerous high-speed audio and data ports, include Thunderbolt 4, and the capacity to attach multiple 4K displays. Customers can tailor their system with up to 64GB of high-speed 3200Mhz Dual-Channel RAM, up to 2TB of 7,450 MBps NVMe storage, and optional no-cost disk encryption. They are shipping now and the base model starts at $895.

Kubuntu Focus NX GEN 2 Ports
About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus sells officially branded Kubuntu computers designed to work out-of-the-box with the beautiful-and-intuitive KDE desktop and industry-standard Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. Focus systems are designed to save time and hassle every day with hardware optimizations, curated apps, Focus Tools, HOWTOs designed for your system, and unmatched Linux support. Typical customers are data scientists, engineers, developers, and creators. Learn more at kfocus.org.

“We started the Kubuntu Focus Project over 3 years ago with a focus on adding value to an already great Kubuntu distribution and community. Instead of reinventing wheels, we created new tools and optimizations so everyone can have a great out-of-the-box experience and save time and hassle every day. Many of these solutions have already been upstreamed, and many more are on the way. Our team has also rigorously tested, reported, and helped fix bugs with KDE, Kubuntu, and Ubuntu. This collaboration benefits our customers and the entire community, and we thank all the wonderful people on these teams that make it all possible," stated Michael Mikowski, General Manager.

Media Contact

Press images and materials are available here.

Please direct questions to sales@kfocus.org, or call 1-844-536-2871

Announcing the Focus NX GEN 2

Today the Kubuntu Focus team announced NX GEN 2, the second generation of the Focus NX small form-factor desktop. This is their fourth model optimized for Kubuntu 22.04 LTS and the KDE Plasma interface.

Kubuntu Focus NX GEN 2 Quarter Shot

This new model is small, fast, quiet, and power efficient, with a total system TDP of just 35 Watts. The i7-1260P 12th-generation Intel® CPU has 12 cores and 16 threads, providing performance that outstrips HEDT CPUs from just a few years ago. The IRIS Xe iGPU is also 3x faster than the 10th generation, and can drive up to four 4K displays concurrently. Systems start at $795 and are built to order with up to 64 GB of 3200 Mhz dual-channel RAM, 6 TB of total storage (2 TB NVMe, 4 TB SSD), and optional full-disk encryption.

The NX GEN 2 is rated for 24/7 operation and has many high-speed ports and features to support high performance devices:

Kubuntu Focus NX GEN 2 Ports

We feel the NX GEN 2 is a great replacement for 2- or 3-year-old high-performance systems: its CPU performance is excellent, yet it is far quieter and uses much less space and power” says Michael Mikowski, General Manager. “The second generation improves on the first with better single- and multi-core performance, greater expandability, and updated ports.

Of course, the excellent hardware is only half of the story. Like with all our systems, we constantly test and distribute hardware optimizations through regular package upgrades. For example, the hardware-support subsystem for the NX GEN 2 adjusts the iGPU configuration to minimize flicker and maximize performance. We also ensure the system and kernel configuration is eGPU-ready and tested

Kubuntu Focus NX GEN 2 Back
About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus works to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux experience and saves customers time every day by building on KDE Plasma LTS and Kubuntu 22.04 LTS with:

Testimonial

... Kubuntu Focus isn’t just a system, it’s also quite a curation of tools and software and libraries for specific applications. What I like about this use-case approach is that it gives solid actual recommendations about how you can use the power of Linux and Open Source Software in the real world ...

Additional Information

Announcing kfocus-source

Kubuntu Focus Source

The Kubuntu Focus team today announced the immediate availability of kfocus-source, a unified GitHub repository containing the Kubuntu Focus Suite. This software has always been published under the GPLv2 license, but now with kfocus-source, it’s easier to review and contribute within the familiar GitHub interface.

GitHub

The kfocus-source repository provides the Kubuntu Focus Suite of tools, curated apps, UX preferences, and hardware optimizations that work in harmony with standard Kubuntu 22.04 LTS. It is carefully designed to avoid reinventing the wheel and does not, for example, contain a variation of an entire operating system, or a shell on top of it. This adds unique value to an already vibrant and broadly supported ecosystem and community.

Previously, the Kubuntu Focus Suite was available from various projects on GitHub and Launchpad. Now, with kfocus-source, developers can easily work with all the software from one unified repository. The Kubuntu Focus Team believes this is the next step in being a part of the greater Ubuntu community and looks forward to working with more developers to create solutions they want and need.

Launchpad

The Kubuntu Focus Team Launchpad PPA, hosted by Canonical, uses the code in kfocus-source to build and publish the Kubuntu Focus Suite packages. This ensures that they are built against the default Ubuntu repositories without any additions or subtractions, and that the toolchain remains intact without modification. This ensures that the dependencies in the packages are correct and illustrates the team’s dedication to working with and contributing to the Ubuntu ecosystem.

Interested developers are encouraged to explore the kfocus-source repository here. Please direct questions to support@kfocus.org or call 844-536-2871.

Kubuntu Focus Tools
About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus sells officially branded Kubuntu computers designed to work out-of-the-box with the beautiful-and-intuitive KDE desktop and industry-standard Ubuntu® 22.04 LTS. Their systems are designed to save time and hassle every day with hardware optimizations, curated apps, Focus Tools, HOWTOs designed for your system, and unmatched Linux-first support. Typical customers are data scientists, engineers, developers, and creators. Learn more at https://kfocus.org.

Company Statements

Michael Mikowski, General Manager, says “We started the Kubuntu Focus Project over 3 years ago with the goal of contributing to an already excellent Kubuntu distribution and community. I think we have accomplished a lot of that: we created additional tools, guidance, and hardware optimizations to help users have a great out-of-the-box experience. And we’ve contributed many of these solutions upstream with more on the way. We appreciate and thank all the wonderful people at Ubuntu, KDE, and Kubuntu that make all this possible.”

Media Contact

Please direct questions to TellMeMore@kfocus.org, or call 1-844-536-2871. Press images are available from the media shared drive.

Validated Kernel Upgrades, ML Apps, Updated ISO

Kubuntu Focus systems have received several upgrades we wanted to share with you. Highlights include a comprehensive upgrade of the Deep Learning Suite and enhanced support for External GPUs (eGPUs) on the Focus NX.

Any improvements described below are:

Kernel Upgrades: Tested So You Don't Have To

Ubuntu constantly updates the Linux kernel to improve security, fix bugs, and enhance hardware support. Both supported Kubuntu LTS releases received kernel upgrades this month:

Peripherals

All kernel upgrades are tested on every Focus model to ensure features and peripherals continue to work as expected on sign-in, suspend, resume, and hot-plug. Key test points include keyboards, mice, Wi-Fi, ethernet, bluetooth, headphones, webcams, and multi-monitors.

Updates to Machine Learning

The Kubuntu Focus Deep Learning Suite was updated to use the most current stable libraries and tools:

Type kfocus-conda in a terminal to start the suite. If your environment requires the older libraries, you can still use the legacy suite kfocus-conda-legacy-v01. In fact, the upgraded script inspects any installation and will suggest using the legacy script if needed.

Updated Kubuntu Focus Suite ISO
USB Key

You can download the 2022-09-16 Kubuntu Focus Suite ISO from https://kfocus.org/try. You can use an earlier version of the ISO, but this one requires the least amount of updates and time after installation. As always, the Suite contains the official Kubuntu 22.04.1 LTS image along with Focus Tools and optimizations for your hardware.

Fenced Syntax Highlighting for Markdown in Vim

New users now see fenced syntax highlighting when editing Markdown documents in Vim. We find this provides a new level of clarity to Markdown:

Fenced Markdown VIM

You can add this capability to existing users by adding the following lines to ~/.vimrc:

" =====[ Markdown Enhancements for Embedded Code Syntax ] == " https://vimtricks.com/p/highlight-syntax-inside-markdown/ " See :r !ls /usr/share/vim/vim82/syntax/ " let g:markdown_fenced_languages = [ 'bash', 'css', 'erb=eruby', 'javascript', 'js=javascript', 'json', 'html', 'node=javascript', 'perl', 'php=perl', 'python', 'ruby', 'sass', 'xml', 'vim' ]
BackInTime Now Skips Network File Systems

New users now enjoy a BackInTime configuration where network file systems are skipped by default. If, for example, one has their music collection on a separate disk found in their home directory, BackInTime will no longer back it up by default.

You can add this capability to existing users by changing two lines in ~/.config/backintime/config:

# From: profile1.snapshots.rsync_options.enabled=false profile1.snapshots.rsync_options.value= # To: profile1.snapshots.rsync_options.enabled=true profile1.snapshots.rsync_options.value=-x
Improved eGPU Support on NX

The hardware optimization subsystem now provides improved eGPU support to Focus NX systems. A key change allows the initial RAM disk to accommodate both Intel and Nvidia drivers without running out of space on boot with the updated kernel.

Videos In The News

In the past few weeks, two reviewers have shared their thoughts on Kubuntu Focus. InfinitelyGalatic surprised us with a review of the Kubuntu Focus Suite, and Nicco From KDE has posted his initial thoughts on the Focus NX. You can also see them both on the Features page.

As always, if you have questions, please write support@kfocus.org or call 844-536-2871.

Sincerely, the Kubuntu Focus Team

New NX Model, Validated Kernels, Improved Fan

Support for Kubuntu 20.04 LTS continues through April 2023, however, it is in maintenance mode. Unless otherwise noted, our updates apply to 22.04.

In Case You Missed It: A New Kubuntu Focus Computer
Focus NX

We are now shipping the Kubuntu Focus NX! This is a full-featured, expandable desktop computer in a small package. We’re very proud of this product and you should be too since this would not be possible without your support. Check it out!

Validated Kernels

The Linux kernel for our Kubuntu Focus computers continues to see security enhancements and bug fixes. Through the summer, we have tested and updated a total of 9 kernels. For our two currently-supported Kubuntu operating systems, the kernels are as follows:

We use a comprehensive suite of automated and manual tests to help ensure every kernel, driver, and KDE Plasma desktop works well before including them in your automatic updates. Tests include peripherals such as mouse, bluetooth, keyboard, microphone, webcam, multi-monitor through many use cases including sleep and resume. If we find any issues, we work with the upstream developers or maintainers to get them fixed so you don't have to.

Upgrading from 20.04 to 22.04
Upgrade Menu

As always, we recommend a clean install to avoid issues whenever possible using our clean install guide. However, if you cannot do that for whatever reason, we have recently released an in-place release upgrader tool that will hopefully help alleviate common issues that you might come across. You can find this upgrader in the Kubuntu Focus menu in the Application Launcher.

Automatic Hardware Configuration

You may have noticed when you logged-in one day after an update that your system automatically did some configurations. This was to enable some new hardware optimizations customized for your model of Kubuntu Focus computer. These optimizations come after hours of research and testing by the Kubuntu Focus development team to give your systems the best possible experience, performance, and energy usage.

Fan Profile Utility
Fan Icon

You now have a higher amount of control over the fans on your Kubuntu Focus notebook computer! By default, the power profile is set to a quiet profile, but it will run warmer under heavier workloads. To switch to a more linear, cooler profile, run the fan profile utility and simply switch it to “Linear (Performance)”. This may also be desirable when playing games.

Another tip: When on the “Linear (Performance)” mode, you can toggle your fans to full-speed mode by pressing [Fn]-[1] on your keyboard. This is especially helpful for high CPU- or GPU-intensive tasks to keep those processors cool and to increase the longevity of your Kubuntu Focus computer.

Community Support

Did you know there’s an entire Kubuntu community able to provide you with support outside of the hardware support we provide? Here’s just some of the community support that’s out there:

All of this information is available in the Kubuntu Focus help guide found in the desktop link or the launcher menu.

As always, if you have questions, please write support@kfocus.org or call 844-536-2871.

Sincerely, the Kubuntu Focus Team

Announcing the Focus NX GEN 1

Today the Kubuntu Focus team announces their latest system: The Focus NX small form factor desktop. This is their third model optimized for Kubuntu 22.04 LTS and the KDE Plasma interface.

Kubuntu Focus NX Quarter Shot

The Kubuntu Focus NX can be ordered with either the i5-1135G7 or i7-1165G7 11th generation Intel® CPU. Both are fast and power-efficient. They also include the Xe iGPU, which is often 3x faster than the prior-generation and drive up to four 4K displays concurrently. Systems are built to order and can be customized with up to 64 GB of 3200Mhz dual-channel RAM, 6 TB of total storage (2 TB NVMe, 4 TB SSD), and optional full disk encryption. Prices start at $695.

The NX has many high-speed ports and features to make connecting simple and fun:

Kubuntu Focus NX Front

The NX is perfect for developers, creators, and engineers that want or need compatibility with the OS that powers the internet and billions of other devices. We feel its tiny footprint, high performance, and the Kubuntu 22.04 LTS OS makes it a great choice for development workstations, office servers, and media centers. Thanks to the great port selection, one can easily add an eGPU to run large ML pipelines or turbo-charge rendering performance when needed. — Michael Mikowski, General Manager, The Kubuntu Focus Project

Kubuntu Focus NX Front
About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus works to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux systems that save customers time every day. Optimized for KDE Plasma and Kubuntu LTS.

Paco Nathan is a renowned Machine Learning expert and consultant. Here's is what he has to say about his experience with the Focus M2:

KFocus pioneered ‘DevOps’ to the Desktop, which I leverage to run bare metal on a GPU laptop, in much the same environment as my HPC cluster in the cloud. No messing around with excuses like ‘brew’, ‘xcode’, or ridiculous paths that involve backslashes. Get to work straight away with zero tech giant overhead, while KFocus has your back with responsive experts, tested system management, and drama-free patches in daily package upgrades. Crunch your data and build large models without waiting for permission

Additional Information

The Kubuntu Focus XE

The Kubuntu Focus Team today announced their back-to-school sale featuring a $50 discount on the fast and ultra-portable Focus XE, now starting at $845. Students won’t have to wait either: most orders are “built, tested, and shipped within two business days with no additional express processing fees.” Customers can order the XE with up to 64GB of high-speed 3200Mhz Dual-Channel RAM, up to 2TB of 3500 Gbit/s NVMe storage, additional power supplies, and free full disk encryption. Every system uses the 11th Generation Intel Tiger Lake-UP3 processor in its most powerful 28W configuration.

We configure all our systems to provide the best out-of-the-box Linux experience for our customers. The XE is proven, affordable, and an ideal choice for students who want or need to understand the OS that powers the world’s IT infrastructure and billions of other devices. We think this form factor is great for highly mobile students: not only is it light and fast, but there are no expensive dongles or docks to forget because all the high-speed ports are built-in. You can, for example, easily plug in a camera card or attach multiple 4k monitors where ever you go. Thanks to efficient design and our power optimizations, one can enjoy up to 8 hours of real-world battery life. Just toss it in your backpack and go. — Michael Mikowski, General Manager, The Kubuntu Focus Project

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus takes the guesswork out of system configuration and administration, empowering developers and companies to focus on innovation. Eliminate days or weeks of setup with:

Kubuntu Focus XE

The search for a Linux laptop is over. I have been using Linux for over 25 years. Having the right hardware and the right software has always been a challenge. It has always been doable but in a crafty, artisanal, time-consuming way. It was an art. Kubuntu Focus has managed to industrialize this process so that the user has a similar or better experience than on a Mac or Windows. — Jean-Georges Perrin, author of Spark In Action

Additional Information

Kubuntu Focus Suite 22.04 LTS

The Kubuntu Focus Suite (KFS) 22.04 LTS is ready for your system! The Suite includes Kubuntu 22.04 LTS, KDE Plasma LTS, and Focus Tools, configurations, and optimizations for your hardware. Check out the "Curated Apps" video to see how to install and launch apps while staying focused.

Kubuntu Focus Suite 22.04 LTS

We've worked since late 2021 to migrate to Kubuntu 22.04 and tested all existing models to ensure the hardware and software function as desired. Validated models include the M1, M2 GEN 1 through M2 GEN 4, and the XE GEN 1. We test kernel and driver updates on all models to ensure your system continues to work as expected.

When you are ready to upgrade, or if you just want to try KFS on your own VM, please use the clean install guide. Remember to back up your data first! Here are just a few of the many improvements found in KFS 22.04 LTS:

Installation supplies
About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus takes the guesswork out of system configuration and administration, empowering developers and companies to focus on innovation. Eliminate days or weeks of setup with:

Write once and deploy with industry-standard Ubuntu® 22.04 LTS and the beautiful KDE Plasma desktop. Learn more at https://kfocus.org.

More Features and Fixes

This is a partial list of features the Focus team has provided for 22.04 support. * Update System Tray GPU Widget * Enable Super-Key Menu Launcher * Improve Virtual Terminal Fonts * Validate Kernels to 5.17.0-xxxx * Improve Decrypt Disk Interface II * Expand Web-Launch App and Repos * Validate MATLAB Simulink * Create for Slack desktop sign-in * Prevent Login Overlap on Multiple Screens (SDDM) * Create Post-Install Tool * Enhance System Report Tool * Fix Sleep-Resume USB Issue * Incorporate Fan Curves to Power Profiles * Enhance per-model Hardware Config Application * Enhance Web-Launch to Add On-Demand Repositories * Migrate to Drop-File KeyRing * Update GPU Libs Coordinated ML Package * Package QWE CLI Bookmarks * Audit and Update First-Run Wizard * Audit and Update Welcome Guide * Add Quieter Fan Curve Option * Change System Tray GPU Widget Reboot Handler * Add Hi-DPI Support for Desktop Theme Layouts * Refresh JetBrains Integration Support * Upgrade NodeJS to latest LTS * Simplify Sound Configure * Update Quick Help Widget to Latest Plasma * Fix Decrypt Disk Interface Text Overlap * Add ML Libs Support * Add git-cola as Curated App Web-Launch * Enhance, Secure, Expand Curated App Web-Launch * Wrap Zoom to Ensure Correct Start * Update FocusRx for Jammy * Fix Decrypt Throbber Layout * Update Power Config to Brighten Screen on AC * Audit Power Management for Jammy * Update to GPU 510 Driver * Add Support Firefox Snap Web Launch * Add Support for Alder Lake Power Controls * Add Progress or Wait Bars to Wizards

Additional Information

Announcing the Focus M2 GEN 4

The Kubuntu Focus Team announces the availability of the Fourth-Generation M2. This update is a game-changer, with substantial improvements in display, CPU, GPU, webcam, speakers, and storage.

Kubuntu Focus Fourth-Generation M2

The trim-and-light M2 GEN 4 laptop is a superb choice for anyone looking for the best out-of-the-box Linux experience with the most powerful mobile hardware. Customers include developers, data scientists, creators, and system administrators. All models are in stock, starting from $1895, and begin shipping the week of 09 May 2022. Improvements from the prior generation include:

Audio and data ports include Thunderbolt 4, USB-C, HDMI, mDP, 2 USB 3.2 ports, RJ-45 Gb Ethernet, 2 multi-purpose audio jacks, and micro SD card reader. Customers can configure their build with a RTX 3060, 3070 Ti, or 3080 Ti, with up to 64GB of high-speed 3200Mhz Dual-Channel RAM, up to 4T of NVMe storage, and optional full disk encryption.

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus takes the guesswork out of system configuration and administration, empowering developers and companies to focus on innovation. Eliminate days or weeks of setup with:

Write once and deploy with industry-standard Ubuntu® 22.04 LTS and the beautiful KDE Plasma desktop.

Testimonial

The search for a Linux laptop is over. I have been using Linux for over 25 years. Having the right hardware and the right software has always been a challenge. It has always been doable but in a crafty, artisanal, time-consuming way. It was an art. Kubuntu Focus has managed to industrialize this process so that the user has a similar or better experience than on a Mac or Windows. — Jean-Georges Perrin, author of Spark In Action

Additional Information
See Us on Chris Titus Tech

See Us on Chris Titus Tech

One of our founders, Michael Mikowski, spoke with Chris Titus Tech on 04 February 2022 during a live stream. The first half of the presentation is an open-ended interview which covers many topics include some of the philosophy behind the Kubuntu Focus project. The second half covers hands-on, professional Bash scripting.

KFocus Logo