Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus released last month and with it comes the latest flavor to join the Ubuntu family; Ubuntu Budgie. It is the latest addition since the MATE desktop was added a couple of years back. Formerly known as Budgie Remix (community spin), Ubuntu Budgie introduces a breath of freshness and on the backdrop on the demise of the Unity desktop, Ubuntu Budgie might just be the one for a lot of folks out there. Let’s take a look at Ubuntu Budgie 17.04.
Download and Installation
You can download Ubuntu Budgie 17.04 clicking the below button. The hardware requirements are indicated below.
The installation process is quite straightforward. Many of you bootup the distro as live disc for testing before installation or install it right away. It is the same process employed in all other flavors of Ubuntu showing you all the prominent features and applications as you set up the system.
Budgie Desktop - First Impressions
The heart of the Ubuntu Budgie flavor is the Budgie desktop environment. It is as pretty as you would expect any modern desktop environment to be. The Budgie desktop brings elegance and simplicity altogether. It blends modernity of Gnome 3 and simplicity of elementary OS's Pantheon desktops seamlessly. Starting with the login screen, it is very simple and clean akin to what you’d expect from most Linux desktops.
Upon login, you are introduced to a clean desktop with no icons, something described as a clutter-free desktop experience. On top of the desktop is a panel similar to what Gnome 3 provides. Then there is a dock on the left of the screen with a colorful default wallpaper behind it. There is also a raven side panel that can be launched from the bell icon on right edge of the panel to show you any pending notifications. From this, there is also an applets sub-panel from where you can take a look at the calendar, control sound volume and others. You may also launch settings or logout from your session from the bottom.
The simple start menu is something you would expect from traditional desktops such as MATE. it is a flyout with a column of major categories and another for subcategories Overall, the experience is clean and easy to use. The start menu allows you to get to your apps by searching and there is also a major column that lists all the apps. One nice feature of the start menu is that the column lists gets repopulated with your frequent categories and apps moving to the top.
Budgie Welcome and Customization
After logging into the Budgie desktop, you are introduced to the Budgie welcome app which gets you started on setting up your Budgie desktop. There is a section that introduces you to what the distro is about and the needs and targets it seeks to address. There is a section on features which deals with the security, the flexibility, the inbuilt applications for productivity, entertainment and gaming. There are also recommendations on some repositories and applications you can add to improve upon the feature set of Ubuntu Budgie. Things like Budgie Screenshot Applet, the installation and configuration of Flatpak (Snaps is supported by default), skippy-xd-toggle, steam, and others.
There is also a section called Getting Started. From here you can configure updates and extras, install third party drivers, configure language and keyboards. There are additional tasks including User accounts, Backups and Firewall configurations. There is also a setting for performance tuning where you can disable animations and remote display. There is customization section for fine tuning your desktop with links to configuring the Raven-side-panel and a link to the settings app.
There is also an option called Browser Ballot which allows you to install or uninstall some popular browsers with a single click. The default browser of Ubuntu Budgie is Chromium but you can also choose Firefox, Google Chrome or Vivaldi. And lastly a snapshot of some key shortcuts available that will get your going like a pro.
There is also a section called Default settings. Here, you can reset your panel to the default settings or switch themes. The default theme is Arc Theme but you have options of installing either the Material or Material Vimix themes. You may also launch the GNOME Software from the Budgie Welcome app.
Applications and Software
As I just mentioned, the default browser shipping with Ubuntu Budgie is Chromium. You have Rhythmbox for music, GNOME-MPV for your videos, GNOME photos for photos and LibreOffice for your productivity needs. Budgie also ships with GNOME Software so you can easily find and install software.
Ubuntu Budgie is modern and refreshing. This is my first experience with the Budgie desktop and so far, I must say I am impressed. Once again, the demise of the Unity desktop means Budgie just might be the one for me. It provides me with the beauty and elegance I have come to expect from the elementary OS, the stability, and security of Ubuntu and the modernity of a desktop environment. In a few iterations, I believe Ubuntu Budgie is going to be a household distro of choice for many people. Ubuntu 18.04 will default back to GNOME, but what will you be using? Are you considering Ubuntu Budgie or any other flavor? Share your thoughts and comments with us in the section below. Thanks for reading.