A look at Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie

Mike Turcotte-McCusker
Jul 12, 2018

I’ve been really wanting to like Budgie, but haven’t had the best experiences with using it on various systems, as you can read in my look at Solus and an attempt at Manjaro; but when I installed Ubuntu Budgie, I found almost complete harmony.

Installation of Ubuntu Budgie was straightforward and there isn’t any sense in getting too deep into it.

However, I would like to explicitly point out something I saw in the installation process that I absolutely loved, and that was the inclusion of a choice between a minimal, or a normal installation.

The installation says that the minimal installation includes “Web browser and basic utilities” whereas the normal installation is what you would come to expect, Office, browser, music/video applications, etc.

So, if you just want to start with the basics or have little storage space on the device, start with minimal.

You can download Ubuntu Budgie from the official website. Note that it is recommended to pick 18.04 or whichever release is the newest and not one of the older releases still available for download as the support period is much too short for these releases.

As far as requirements go, the developers state that Ubuntu Budgie runs ideal on computers with at least 2 Gigabytes of RAM (32-bit) or 4 Gigabytes of RAM (64-bit).

Look and Feel

Ubuntu Budgie, is gorgeous. Easily the most attractive (in my opinion) distribution I have come across, in its default appearence. The animations, the wallpaper, the inclusion of the Plank dock on the left side of the screen, the themes...Everything is gorgeous. If you’re someone who enjoys eyecandy, you won’t be disappointed.

The one thing that killed my experience with using Budgie as a desktop environment in the past, was the sluggishness I had encountered. I’m happy to say that’s almost entirely negated in Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie. I say, “almost” because I did notice the occaisional sluggishness with applications opening even when the system was not under heavy load, however, it wasn’t bad enough to be a total deal breaker, and it wasn’t every app every time. I did notice it compared to other systems I’ve run, but again, not nearly as bad as previous Budgie attempts either.


Ubuntu Budgie as previously discussed comes in both a minimal and a normal installation, and with the minimal already discussed, I’ll just be discussing the normal installation.

Unfortunately, Ubuntu Budgie and I don’t agree on pretty much any of the default software choices, but everything the average user who doesn’t really have preferences, is included. Such examples of included software are:

  • Chromium Web Browser
  • Rythmbox
  • GNOME MPV (video player)
  • LibreOffice
  • Caffeine
  • GNOME Maps
  • Geary Email

Personally, I uninstalled quite a few things and installed alternatives (Firefox for example) but all of the included software does its job well.

Installing new software via the included Software Manager is a breeze, and I was able to install Snaps of software like Spotify, as well as the obvious inclusion of the massive Ubuntu repositories.

Final Thoughts

I like this. I like this a lot. It’s exactly what I’d been hoping it would be, after the previous failures at a happy Budgie desktop. I haven’t used it for long enough to get as deep into messing with it as I probably will in the future, so maybe I’ll find issues at that time; but Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie is seeming to be a quite solid, attractive, and easy to use system for people who want even more eyecandy, or are sick of the usual environments.

A look at Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie
Article Name
A look at Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie
Mike takes a look at Ubuntu 18.04 Budgie and shares his experience and the look and feel, and applications, and gives his final thoughts on the Linux distribution.
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  1. michael biller said on October 5, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Ubuntu Budgie is nice. So is Deepin 15.7, LMDE3, and KDE Neon. Luckily, I own several laptops and don’t have to choose.

  2. Inxi said on July 14, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    I really wanted to like it, but it’s CPU usage is insane even compared to KDE. With Chrome open, KDE uses 0-2%, vs Budgie using 10-12% of my cpu at idle.

  3. Jakef said on July 13, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    MX Linux… the “products” that the small MX/(Antix) team keep cranking out is brilliant

    1. Stan said on August 26, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      Yep a winner, lovin’ Q4OS too, check out the reviews at DistroWatch

  4. AxMi-24 said on July 13, 2018 at 9:20 am

    Main issue I have with it is that it still insists on horizontal status bar. Screens are getting wider and wider and not taller. Combined with ever popular (god only knows why) ribbon interface the end result is that the user ends up with 10 height pixels to actually do work with.

    Actually the entire UI mess is the main thing that’s keeping me on win7 instead of moving to Linux. It’s not Metro bad but it’s not much better either. I know there are other window managers but it would be nice if the default (which gets most attention) was actually usable with majority of available monitors.

  5. Cigologic said on July 13, 2018 at 1:03 am

    > “inclusion of a choice between a minimal, or a normal installation”

    1) Since Ubuntu Budgie does not offer a separate ISO for the “Minimal” build, is it possible to burn the standard ISO as a LiveDisc, & subsequently be allowed to choose to launch the “Minimal” build on low-RAM hardware ?

    2) The below link provides instructions how to use a Terminal command to add selected packages to the “Minimal” install:

    I suppose it might work in a LiveDisc situation — assuming that (1) itself works ?

    1. jasray said on July 13, 2018 at 5:00 pm

      Good idea and many distros offer the function; in this case, I made a quick Live USB using Rufus. No option for a minimal or kiosk mode; actually, no menu per se. The usual “Try” or “Install” which is typical for Ubuntu.

      Porteus used to have a great menu driven “make your own” distro, but that’s long gone. However, Slax and Porteus seem to be the fastest Live USBs to use–or Puppy.

      1. Akane said on July 15, 2018 at 5:36 pm

        You only get the option to select ‘Minimal Install’ once you are going to install it.


  6. Dave said on July 13, 2018 at 12:58 am

    Canonical calls its SNAP format ‘open’. Yet only they control its design.
    With 18.04 the developers are responsible for maintaining the SNAP applications on your computer. They control it not the user.
    This following Microsoft path where (possible rushed, buggy) upgrades are forced upon the user. Canonical takes no responsibility for misbehaving apps and performs little if any testing.
    Even superuser/root is prevented from touching/changing the single compressed filesystem that is mounted dynamically by the host operating system. From the outside, its set to read-only within the kernel
    Its difficult to know what the apps is REALLY doing. Do you trust commercial software from unknown developers?
    There is a really long list of SNAP permissions which most people will ever fully understand. Too much effort in sorting out the logic…

    I switched from Windows to Linux to regain complete control of my system, to optimize it and prevent phoning home. Significantly Mint chose to support Flatpaks a free, open source format.
    I use Debian (which is the upstream source for both Mint and Ubuntu). Debian will never default to SNAPS because it breaks its license and goals to remain open source.

    Excuse my imprecise statements as I’m far from the expert here. I just got fed-up fighting the older 17.04 Ubuntu data-mining war and the pressure to create a Canonical account before installing SNAP applications (like VLC. Canonical knew no other format was available).

    Personally I’m very comfortable with the smooth-sailing traditional Synaptic Package Manager (.deb) packages. I will not install dynamic, read-only file systems, binary blobs (Nvidia graphics and Chromium browser) as these business models typically are required to monetize user-data. I’ve read Canonical was considering an IPO/stock offering (but decided against this year).
    Also Google and Microsoft are making moves to shape and corral the software development future of open-source-free Linux. The fight for control over your Linux PC will, if anything intensify.

    A comparison between SNAPs and Flatpak

    1. alex5 said on July 17, 2018 at 11:16 pm

      Look Ret Hat/Gnome troll, you try to much. Snaps are bringing commercial applications to Linux no matter if you like it on not. This is what will make Linux an actual choice for the masses in future. Also nobody cares why YOU switched to Linux.

      1. alex6 said on July 20, 2018 at 1:47 am

        He’s right, Canonical troll.

      2. alex5 said on July 20, 2018 at 8:24 am

        Nice try Dave aka Red Hat troll. Red Had is NSA property. Linux community have had enough of you, with your systemd crap, the fat monster known as Gnome Hell and flatcrap you are trrying to force on us. KDE and AUR for live Red Hat troll.

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