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A Complete Guide to Kubuntu Default Apps and Their Purposes

This is a full list of all Kubuntu default applications (or list of Kubuntu components) with their explanations for first time users. Kubuntu is the official variant of Ubuntu with KDE as the technology of the desktop environment and default applications. This list is sorted alphabetically with app names taken from menu for example Ark, Dolphin and VLC Media Player. You can learn your Kubuntu computer a lot here as you see every app name, its purpose, short guide to use, and some pictures of them. This guide is based on version 22.04 also known as Jammy Jellyfish which can represents all modern Kubuntu versions. As a note, we compared many of the apps with Microsoft Windows or MacOS default apps to increase clarity. We wish you like it! 

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Ark is an archive manager program. The purpose is for compressing and decompressing archive files both compressed and not compressed, as well as both encrypted and unencrypted. It supports a lot of archive formats including ZIP, TAR, 7ZIP, RAR, CAB, and JAR. Thanks to its encryption features, it can password protect files in an archive file. It has a simple and easy to use user interface like any other KDE applications. It has a full documentation in the KDE Help Center. 





Discover is the application store. It helps Kubuntu users discover, add, remove, and update applications as well as upgrade the whole system with graphical user interface that is easy to use. It is connected with to help the users find & install more KDE Applications they want.


Dolphin is the file manager. Historically, it is the successor of the previous file manager, Konqueror. It is one of essential applications every Kubuntu user will use everyday. The purpose is to browse user’s filesystem and directories both internally and externally. It shows the user’s hard disk drive storages and USB flash drives as well as network storages in local area network and internet file servers.  



Elisa is the music player. Historically, it is the successor of the previous player, Amarok. Its purpose is to play audio files such as MP3, OGG, FLAC, WAV etc. Elisa is one of a few KDE Applications whose name not started with nor include ‘K’ letter.

Emoji Selector

Emoji Selector is the emoticons selector. Its purpose is to provide emoticons user can write in instant messaging (group chats) as well as documents. Among the emojis are emoticons, flags of countries, symbols of transportations, buildings, animals, foods, etc.



Mozilla Firefox is the web browser. Its purpose is to surf the internet. Its features include privacy, security, and extensibility via add-ons. User can find any information they want including documents, audios, videos, programs. Firefox is not a KDE Application.



Gwenview is the image viewer. Its purpose is to show photos and pictures as well as to edit them in simple ways. Editing includes several abilities such as flip, rotate, crop, mirror and resize. Gwenview, like Elisa, also does not have ‘K’ letter in its name.



Help Center (KHelpCenter) is the center of help. Its purpose is to display all Kubuntu documentations including user manuals of KDE Applications, GNU/Linux command lines, and many more. All other KDE Applications will always open their respective user manual in Help Center.


Info Center

Info Center (KInfoCenter) is the center of detailed system information. Its purpose is to display computer hardware and software information such as CPU, RAM, GPU, networking, name and version of operating system etc. It is equal to My Computer’s Properties on Microsoft Windows.

Input Method

Input Method (im-config) is the system configuration of typing input selections such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean (CJK) etc. For Kubuntu users working with CJK languages, im-config is essentially needed. 




Kate is the text editor. Its purpose is to write plain text documents also known as TXT. It supports both simple use like writing notes as well as complex use like programming.  It is equal to Notepad.


KCalc is the calculator. It is also integrated in the KRunner (when the user presses Alt+F2). Its purpose is to calculate numbers. It features four different modes namely simple, science, statistics and numeral.


KDE (originally Kool Desktop Environment) is the name of both the technology and the people community that built Kubuntu. Everything the user sees on screen when using Kubuntu is KDE. Almost all the user runs when using Kubuntu are KDE Applications. All the games the user plays on Kubuntu are KDE Games. The whole desktop experience the user feels when using Kubuntu comes from Plasma, the name of today’s KDE Desktop Environment. The name Kubuntu originally means Ubuntu variant that uses KDE as the desktop. Kubuntu color, blue, comes from KDE color, that is, also blue. Learn more about it at


See Info Center.

KDE Connect

KDE Connect is the smartphone-computer connector utility. Its purpose is to connect phone to computer via wifi. It is very useful as it enables both to transfer files between, remote input (touchscreen phone as mouse or keyboard), remote control, ringing, etc.

KDE Partition Manager

KDE Partition Manager is the disk management utility. Its purpose is to add, delete, resize, split and join disk storage. It is useful for editing hard disk, flash disk, SSD as well as other drives. It is equal to Windows’ Disk Management and MacOS’ Disk Utility.


KMahjongg is the Chinese mahjongg game. User plays by eliminating same tiles as quick as possible by finding pairs of neighboring tiles. It has save and load abilities.


KMines is the mine sweeper game. User plays by guessing all the safe boxes and avoiding all the mines (bombs) boxes. The clue is that each number tells how many mines surrounding its box. It is equal to Minesweeper.


Konsole is the terminal emulator. Its purpose is as a command interpreter for the user to control his/her computer quickly using command lines. It is very highly configurable through profiles and able to zoom text by hitting Ctrl+Scroll Mouse. It is equal to Command Prompt.


Konversation is the IRC client. Its purpose is to communicate in the group chat rooms in the internet known as Internet Relay Chat (IRC). By default, it connectes to #kubuntu international chatroom and that way the user can talk and ask support to global Kubuntu users and developers community in English.


KPatience is the card games. User can plays several different card games. It features save and load game abilities. It is equal to both Freecell and Solitaire games.


KDE Remote Desktop Client (KRDC) is the remote desktop utility. Its purpose is to graphically view and remotely controlling another computer(s) via network using RDP and VNC protocol. It is capable to remote another Kubuntu as well as Microsoft Windows and MacOS computers given that the target is running a compatible server. The user interacts by using keyboard and mouse as if the remote computer is in front of the user.


KSudoku is the sudoku game. User plays by guessing lines of numbers without in a way repeating already mentioned ones. 


KSystemLog is the system log viewer. Its purpose is to record, identify and help troubleshoot issues on Kubuntu system. The user can include the log as an information when asking support to Kubuntu community.


KTorrent is the bittorrent client or download manager. Its purpose is to download shared files on the internet via the protocol called BitTorrent. Kubuntu user can use it for example to download another versions of the operating system as Kubuntu itself is also available as BitTorrent downloads.


KWalletManager is the password manager. Its purpose is to save all user passwords such as wifi hotspot’s, logins, etc. For example, when the user saves the password of a coffee shop’s wifi, Kubuntu stores it in KWallet. 



LibreOffice is the office suite application. It is the successor of the previous suite Its purpose is to help user writes documents, process data table and charts, make beautiful presentations, draw meaningful drawings, edit PDFs, printing press etc. It is equal to Microsoft Word.

LibreOffice Calc

Calc is the spreadsheet application of LibreOffice suite. Its purpose is to process numbers and data in table form with functions and formula and able to produce charts. It is equal to Microsoft Excel.

LibreOffice Draw

Draw is the vector drawing, diagram illustrator as well as PDF editor. Its purpose is to make brochures, flowcharts, free drawings, logos, pamphletes, posters, network diagrams and any other design possible. It is also able to edit PDF document in page by page fashion. It is equal to Microsoft Visio.

LibreOffice Impress

Impress is the presentation maker. Its purpose is to make beautiful and impressive slides (keynotes) for academic, business, technical and other fields. It is equal to Microsoft PowerPoint.

LibreOffice Math

Math is the equation editor. Its purpose is to write complex mathematics, physics, or chemistry equations in LibreOffice Writer. It offers pre-made equations can be filled later by the user. Alternatively, it accepts commands to write equations even quicker. It is equal to Microsoft Word Equation Editor.

LibreOffice Writer

Writer is the word processor. Its purpose is to process words. It can produce written documents such as articles, books, brochures, bulletins, letters, magazines, invitations, invoices, thesis etc. It is equal to Microsoft Word.


Muon Package Manager

Muon is the add and remove program utility. Its purpose is to help the user to find, add, remove, and update programs as well as upgrade the whole system on Kubuntu. Programs are available in a place in the internet called repository in form of packages in DEB format. It is equal to Debian’s Synaptic Package Manager.




Okular is the PDF reader. Its purpose is to view and annotate electronic books in multiple format including PDF, EPUB, MOBI, CHM, and CBZ. It is singletabbed by default and multitabbed if needed.   





Plasma is the whole desktop environment of Kubuntu. Everything the user sees in the display is Plasma. This includes the panel, wallpaper, icons, clocks, widgets, and start menu (Application Launcher). In the past, KDE was the name of this desktop technology (Kubuntu name was originally made up from KDE + Ubuntu) but later it had been renamed as Plasma. This is the crucial difference to Microsoft Windows as Kubuntu does separate the system (GNU/Linux) and the desktop technology (Plasma) while Windows does not.


PulseAudio Volume Control 

PulseAudio Volume Control (pavucontrol) is the sound configuration utility. Its purpose is to allow the user to set, adjust, switch and mix input and output of speaker and microphone.



Qt is the technology which Kubuntu and KDE are built upon. Technically, Qt is the free/libre open source cross-platform framework (a collection of software libraries) and software development kit (a collection of software tools to develop new software) which KDE developers had chosen to develop all programs of KDE. For example, Plasma Desktop is written with Qt and so is KMines. For that reason, the user will always see the name Qt anywhere in the entire system. Learn more about Qt at and Wikipedia.




Skanlite is the scanner utility. Its purpose is to automatically detects connected scanner device and scan document into PDF or PNG format.


Spectacle is the screenshot utility. Historically, it is the successor to KSnapshot. Its purpose is to record picture of screen display. Among its main features are taking screenshots of whole or part of screen, a window, or either of them with a countdown. Like any other KDE application, Spectacle is also well-integrated to the desktop system. It is equal to Snipping Tool.

Startup Disk Creator

Creator is the bootable USB maker utility. Its purpose is to write in a way that ISO image file of an operating system, into a USB flash drive so that drive can boot the operating system on a computer. In other word, it is the utility to create a Windows, or GNU/Linux, or macOS bootable installer.

System Monitor

System Monitor is the resource utilization meter. Sometimes, utility like this is also called as task manager. Its purpose is to real-time show how-much and for-what CPU, RAM, and disk drive utilized in the system. It is equal to Task Manager.

System Settings

System Settings is the center of controls. Its purpose is like a control panel, providing easy ways of configuration for all things on the system. For instances, it allows the user to switch language, display resolution, and configure networking. It is equal to Control Panel.



TeXInfo is the viewer of TeXInfo documents.



UXTerm is a Unicode-support version of the original X.Org’s terminal emulator, XTerm.


VLC media player

VLC is the video player. Its purpose is to play audio and video. It is capable of playing any type of multimedia including MP3, MP4, 3GP, FLV, OGG, OGV, FLAC and WAV. It is also capable to convert and compress said multimedia files. It is equal to Windows Media Player.



XTerm is the terminal emulator of the display technology, X.Org, in the Kubuntu Desktop.



See Also

A Complete Guide to Ubuntu GNOME Default Apps

A Complete Guide to Learn Ubuntu from Basics

Kubuntu Manual Documentation

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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