Articles, Reviews, & Announcements

Older Kubuntu Focus News

<< More Recent News

Newsletter 26 Nov 2021

Thank you for being a Kubuntu Focus newsletter subscriber. Read on to learn about the Black Friday Sale, a new kernel, improved JetBrains integration, improved guided solutions, and enhanced FocusRx and other tools.

Black Friday Sale

If you’ve been thinking about getting a Focus for you or someone you love, there’s never been a better time with the Black Friday Sale. There’s no hassle or fine print, just great savings on every system:

The third-generation M2 now features an 11th-generation Intel CPU, faster RAM, and Thunderbolt 4. All systems, including the base models, use only high-speed components. Order now for a limited time.

Black Friday Sale 2021
New Kernel Brings Power Enhancements

All Focus systems have been recently bumped to the 5.14 kernel. This includes a small patch we coordinated to eliminate display flicker for the latest M2. It also includes improved power management for 11th generation CPUs. We recently tested the M2 (GEN 3) and XE. with the new kernel. The M2 shows up to 6.5 hours of normal use, while the XE improves from 6.5 to 8 hours - an impressive 1.5 hour gain. All tests were done on with the default power-saving mode and 20% display brightness, and included standard web development tasks like browser (1-4 tabs), use of an IDE and database, web server, nodejs, and image editing.

Improved Jetbrains Integration

We have introduced two new packages, dolphin-plugins-jetbrains and plasma-runner-jetbrains, that integrate the JetBrains IDE tools into the desktop.

The JetBrains Toolbox package, jetbrains-toolbox now recommends these packages and should install them on upgrade for new and existing users.

Jetbrains Integration
New and Upgraded Guided Solutions

We've added quite a few articles and updates to the searchable guided solutions. Here are some highlights:

Enhanced FocusRx and Other Tools

FocusRx, the system repair and maintenance tool, is now more comprehensive and easier to use. Also, please remember that there are quite a few helpful tools besides FocusRx, and you can find them at Start Menu > Applications > Kubuntu Focus Tools. These could save you hours. For example, erase video flickering across all connected displays, or switch GCC tool chains, or install a ML Python Anaconda suite with just a click. Or you clean unused kernels, adjust keyboard colors (M2 only), select a power profile, or revisit any step in the welcome wizard.

Kubuntu Focus Tools

If you’re a fan of CLI, we encourage you try the qwe bookmark utility with autocomplete. Enter qwe -h into the terminal to learn how to use it. If it is not available, you can install it by adding it to your .bashrc file ( echo -e $'# Source qwe bookmarks source /usr/lib/kfocus-001/lib/qwe.source' >> ~/.bashrc; source ~/.bashrc ) and then try again.

If you have questions, please write support@kfocus.org or call 844-536-2871. As always, we hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely, The Kubuntu Focus Team

Announcing Focus M2 GEN 3

The Kubuntu Focus Team announces the availability of the third-generation Focus M2 Linux mobile workstation with multiple performance enhancements. RTX 3080 and RTX 3070 models are in stock now. RTX 3060 models can be reserved now and ship first week of November.

Kubuntu Focus Third-Generation M2

The thin-and-light M2 laptop is a superb choice for anyone looking for the best out-of-the-box Linux experience on the most powerful mobile hardware. Customers include ML scientists, developers, and creators. Improvements to the 3rd generation include:

The GPU choices include the RTX 3060, 3070, or 3080 with up to 16GB of VRAM. Skip the dongles with plenty of high-speed ports and the ability to drive 3 external 4k displays with standard cables. Learn more on the product page.

About Kubuntu Focus

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

Testimonials

Watch Jeffrey Fritz use the Kubuntu Focus M2 every Monday and Tuesday during October 2021 on the LiveCoders DotNet Channel. Here's is what he has to say about his experience:

The Kubuntu Focus team is always providing great support, on the phone, in the device, and with updates delivered. The cheat sheet desktop wizard is just a great visualization of how they’re there, providing tips and helping you even when you’re not immediately looking for it. - Jeffrey Fritz, Founder of Live Coders on Twitch.

Paco Nathan is a pioneer and esteemed consultant in Machine Learning. Here is what he has to say about 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 — Paco Nathan, Derwen AI.

Focus XE Now Available

The Kubuntu Focus Team announces the affordable Focus XE 14-inch laptop. This ultra-portable and energy-efficient system 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 Now Available

Highlights include the fast and power-efficient Intel 11th generation CPUs with graphics that are 3 times faster than the prior generation. Numerous high-speed audio and data ports include Thunderbolt 4 and the capacity to attach multiple 4K displays. Customers can customize their XE with up to 64GB of high-speed 3200Mhz Dual-Channel RAM, and up to 2T of NVMe storage.

About Kubuntu Focus

Kubuntu Focus provides the ultimate Linux systems and solutions for developers, engineers, and scientists. Save valuable time every day with carefully selected curated apps, custom tools, hundreds of UX and hardware optimizations, and high-performance premium components. The Kubuntu OS combines the industry-standard Ubuntu® 20.04 LTS with the beautiful yet familiar 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. K-Focus has industrialize this process so that the user has a similar or better experience than on a Mac or Windows. They made the right compromises to build a durable offering for engineers, scientists, and media professionals - Jean-Georges Perrin, author of Spark In Action.

Kubuntu Focus In the News

With the launch of the Kubuntu Focus XE, we once again found ourselves in the news. Check out the following articles and news publications from around the web.

Kubuntu Focus In the News

Focus M2GEN 2 Back In Stock

Quite a few subscribers asked us to notify them when the RTX 30-Series M2’s came back in stock, and here they are. Most orders are built and shipped in just a day or two. If you want the 3080, please order soon as the supply is very limited.

One key feature we find especially interesting is the 16 GB RTX 3080 GPU. You can find all the updated benchmarks in the Specs Page. What really makes our eyes pop, though, is the 16 GB of VRAM. That’s larger than almost all laptop and desktop GPUs. This gives data scientists unprecedented power and capacity for Deep Learning prototypes and development in a thin-and-light laptop.

We have also been busy updating the Guided Solutions. Highlights include a simplified clean install guide, an update email guide for Thunderbird 78, and an extensively expanded Help and FAQ guide. We have also created all-new guides on Installation Recovery, Upgrade 18.04, and installing a desktop Weather Widget. We hope you find these useful.

Our final enhancement should please the AI geeks out there: it’s now easier than ever to install CUDA, cuDNN libraries, and meta-packages thanks to careful orchestration between Ubuntu and NVIDIA repositories. Just install kfocus-001-cuda and all libraries are correctly pulled from all the right places for use by Steam, Lutris, and the entire Deep Learning Suite (TensorFlow, Pytorch, Jupyter Notebook, etc).

Focus M2 GEN 2 with RTX 30-series GPU

Announcing Focus M2GEN 2

Kubuntu Focus M2 GEN 2

The Kubuntu Focus team announces the immediate availability of the NVIDIA RTX 30 series GPUs for their second-generation laptop. Experience power out of the box acclaimed by both experts and new users. The finely-tuned Focus virtually eliminates the need to configure the OS, applications, or updates. With scores of Guided Solutions and unparalleled support, your shortest path to Linux success is a Focus System.

The Focus M2 is smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic than the prior generation M1. It features a faster 10th-generation Intel 5.0 GHz 8c/16t CPU, 2993 MHz RAM, better cooling, and longer battery life. It is a power workstation wrapped up in a lightweight laptop.

Get unparalleled customer support with same-day builds, Guided Solutions, free cross-shipping, and free live support. We take care of the platform, so you can focus on work and play.

Newsletter 22 Feb 2021

Added QWE. This QWE command-line bookmark systems enables users to create, delete, and use directory bookmarks with convenience and ease, and includes tab auto-complete. Run the following in a terminal to try it out:

if ! grep -q qwe.source ~/.bashrc; then echo 'source /usr/lib/kfocus-001/lib/qwe.source' \ >> ~/.bashrc; fi source ~/.bashrc qwe -h

Removed Auto-Start Applications. We replaced many auto-start applications on first sign-in. These are now handled by the first-run wizard.

Added a First-Run Wizard. You may now run the first-run wizard on demand. Just click Start Menu > System > Kubuntu Focus Welcome Setup.

Added a FocusRX Launcher. The system already auto-runs FocusRx on login to check for out-of-band updates for your system. If you want to check for any other reason, it is now easy to launch from the menu. Just click Start Menu > System > Kubuntu FocusRx.

Enlarged /boot Partition. We have doubled the size of the /boot partition to 1.0 GB for new installations to help accommodate more kernels.

Moved CUDA to a Separate Package. Not everyone wants or needs the NVIDIA deep learning libraries installed and enabled from the first boot. We have packaged the CUDA libraries into their own separate package, providing more choice and flexibility for users in how they configure the Graphics Processing Unit.

Kubuntu Focus February 2021

Added Kernel Cleanup GUI. This to provides a clean and simple GUI to remove unused Kernels in the newly extend /boot partition while retaining the in-use kernel, the latest HWE kernel, the latest mainline kernel, and the real-time variants.

VirtualBox 6.1 Update

VirtualBox 6.1 Update

We have added the official Oracle repository to provide VirtualBox. Unlike the stock version, these newer build support kernel versions 5.8 and greater. To upgrade, open a terminal and enter the following:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-6.1 sudo apt-get autoremove sudo apt-get clean

We suggest you download the extension pack. Click on the package shown in the browser to install it. When you run a virtual machine, VirtualBox may prompt you to update the data. This should only occur once per virtual machine and usually takes less than a minute.

Kubuntu Focus Themes

Kubuntu Focus Themes

Three Kubuntu Focus Themes are now available. Use System Settings > Global Theme > Kubuntu Focus. After you select a theme, you can restore widgets and layout by enabling [x] Use desktop layout.

These themes set sensible defaults throughout the desktop. For example, after selecting a theme, you may click System Settings > Fonts and click on Defaults to restore the recommended settings provided by the theme.

The Most Unique Laptop

Chris Titus dives deep into the Kubuntu Focus M2. He shares his findings in The Most Unique Laptop video.

Chris puts the Focus M2 through a full workout. He runs performance tests, virtualization, machine learning, gaming, and more. He also assesses the quality of the hardware, the components, and customer support. Here are some of our favorite quotes:

Check out all the features that make the Focus special on this website. Order yours today and it ships tomorrow!

NVIDIA Driver 460

NVIDIA Driver 460

After comprehensive testing, we have updated NVIDIA drivers. Regression tests include suspend-resume, OpenGL and Vulkan, Deep Learning, Optix, and video encoding.

This driver provides some welcome improvements. Compositing is faster and tearing appears reduced. If you want to check your installation, you may run FocusRx by entering the following into a terminal:

# Elect to run package-check when prompted focusrx -f

Suspend and resume have been improved. We have eliminated graphical artifacts with adjustments to KDE and NVIDIA configurations. We now also ensure the Jetbrains Toolbox app (along with others) no longer blocks suspend.

Hardware Enablement Stack

Hardware Enablement Stack

The Focus suite enables the OEM stack. This means normal updates install newer but stable versions of the kernel. This provides more features, improved drivers, and sometimes improved performance.

APT Rollback

APT Rollback

You may now roll back package installations using apt-rollback. We had found this very useful in listing and undoing recent package changes. We hope you like it too!

MacBook Pro Replacement?

Jeff Geerling, a vested Mac user and Explorer of ALL THE THINGS technology, deep dives in this comparative review. For the user considering the move from Mac, Kubuntu Focus is a clear winner in performance and features.

For the already invested Apple Mac user, the Kubuntu Focus is probably as close as you can get, and if cloud is a part of your vista then that’s probably enough to tip the balance.

Jeff provides a thorough and fair YouTube review with similar in blog format. Jeff’s Photography and Videography skills are first class. Subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Kubuntu Focus Recommendation

Kubuntu Focus Recommendation

The Kubuntu Focus is listed as the only recommended system on Chris Titus 2020 Buyers Guide. “If you want to see something cool for a laptop in 2020, check out this 'little' machine.”

NEW power saving GPU Switcher

NEW power saving GPU Switcher

Users who install the latest software update will receive a new user-friendly GPU switcher system tray widget. This widget switches between the discreet NVIDIA RTX for Graphics performance, or the Intel integrated GPU for power efficiency, in a single click.

HOLIDAY SALE

HOLIDAY SALE

Save $400 now on the Kubuntu Focus M2 with our Holiday sales event.

You can save even more with the certain options. Call Sales at 844-536-2871 to find out how. We are still shipping next day, but order soon because stock is limited.

Evolved Desktop Theme

Evolved Desktop Theme

Seamless integration and ease of use are key to delivering Power out of the Box to our customers, and that includeds providing a beautiful product. Today the Kubuntu Focus team released an evolution of the Focus desktop theme with new wallpapers and widgets. And there is more to come soon!

If you miss the old wallpaper, you can always return to it by right-mouse-click on the desktop and selecting Configure Desktop. There are also additional wallpapers you can use for the background or lock screen.

This update is available now to all Kubuntu Focus users through normal system updates.

Expanded Guided Solutions

Expanded Guided Solutions

We have expanded Guided Solutions. New articles include Emails-Calendars-Contacts and External Displays. We also reviewed and updated other articles to ensure they are current.

Please write support@kfocus.org or call 844-536-2871 if you have any questions.

Announcing the M2

Announcing the M2

The Ultimate Linux Laptop just got better. The Kubuntu Focus team announces the release of the M2, the next generation laptop. Experience power out of the box acclaimed by both experts and new users. The finely-tuned Focus virtually eliminates the need to configure the OS, applications, or updates. With numerous Guided Solutions and unparalleled support, your shortest path to Linux success is a Focus system.

The new M2 is smaller, lighter, and more ergonomic. It features a faster 10th-generation Intel 5.1 GHz 8c/16t CPU, 3200 MHz RAM, better cooling, and longer battery life. It is a power workstation wrapped up in a lightweight laptop.

Get unparalleled customer support. The Focus team provides same-day builds, guided solutions, free cross-shipping, and free live support. We take care of the platform, so you can focus on work and play.

Find additional product photos and graphics at the shared drive. If you have any questions, please call 844-536-2871.

Guided Solutions Expanded

Guided Solutions have been expanded and now have more consistent content and navigation. The templating engine runs on NodeJS and was writing on the Kubuntu Focus using IntelliJ Ultimate.

Deep Learning Updated

Deep Learning Updated

Deep Learning now includes TensorFlow 2.2.0 and AI Benchmarks. These capabilities are delivered through standard daily upgrades in the kfocus-001-main package, version 1.1.5-1 or later.

Other changes in kfocus-001-main_1.1.5-1 are listed below.

Create a new user to see the changes marked with an asterisk (*).

Update the Anaconda installation by entering the following code into a terminal.

# Backup current installation cd ~/; cp -a anaconda3 anaconda3.backup; # Run the anaconda suite kfocus-001-conda # When prompted, replace the current TensorFlow environment. # When prompted, run the AI benchmarks.
Enterprise 20.04 LTS Announced

Enterprise 20.04 LTS Announced

The Focus team today announced the availability of Kubuntu 20.04 LTS on the Linux laptop designed especially for the Enterprise.

This device is authorized by Kubuntu and a major portion of each sale is donated to the Kubuntu Council. All sales help make Kubuntu and Focus systems even better.

Here’s what others are saying about The Kubuntu Focus:

Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Now Shipping

Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Now Shipping

Kubuntu 20.04 LTS is now available for all systems. The first batch with the 20.04 builds shipped on 02 May 2020. We invested many weeks to ensure the OS, curated apps, Guided Solutions, UX preferences, and hardware optimizations work while also improving 18.04 support. We hope you like it!

The official upgrade from 18.04.4 LTS to 20.04 LTS will be available in late July 2020. If you’d rather not wait, you can perform a clean install. Just remember to back up your data first!

KFocus Logo