RT Cunningham

Blogging For As Long As I'm Able

The Budgie Desktop Environment

Tagged with budgie, debian, cinnamon, computers, linux, ubuntu, virtualbox on February 22, 2024

Budgie desktop environment Just like the Cinnamon desktop environment, the Budgie desktop environment is one of many desktop environments included with various Linux distributions. Unlike Cinnamon, however, no single distribution controls its development. Until the developers declared independence, it was married to the Solus Linux distribution, and that’s probably why it works best on that distribution.

Using Virtualbox, I’ve been testing the Budgie edition of Linux distributions based on Debian. The only distributions I’ve tested, that weren’t based on Debian, were Fedora and Solus. I won’t go any further with Fedora because I had to use “dnf update” from the command line and wait a long time just to get the software store to load.


While the Budgie edition of Solus works fine as a virtual machine, I couldn’t even get it to boot up after I installed it on the external drive. I tried it using the keyboard F7 key (for booting alternate drives and media) and I tried to add it grub using “sudo update-grub”, to boot it from there.

Although Solus has the cleanest and most up-to-date version of Budgie, I’m not going to try to do anything with it again until I figure out why the boot partition isn’t recognized.


The Budgie edition of SpiralLinux is nothing more than Debian conveniently packaged. Being Debian, it’s a couple of point versions behind. It’s clean, like Solus, but I would have to switch to the Debian testing repositories to get a more up-to-date version. Although I’ve tested it as a virtual machine, I haven’t attempted to install it on the external drive.

I really want to use Budgie on my external drive, and this may be the one I end up using after all. That is, if I don’t have any issues with installation. I’m not concerned with which layout is being used because it’s not too hard to change it, without any special utilities.

Ubuntu Budgie

Although I dislike the Snap software packaging and deployment system developed by Canonical, Ubuntu Budgie loses most of its customizing abilities without it. When I removed Snap, using these instructions, it was just like stock Budgie except for the added applets in the panel. Well, sort of.

The provided layout is inspired by macOS, like SpiralLinux. Yet, instead of using another panel as a dock (which it has specific settings for), the developers decided to use the Plank dock. I don’t use docks because everything I use can fit on a single panel.

Other Distributions

There are other distributions based on Debian that formerly supported the Budgie desktop environment, but these are the only ones I’m positive still do. Yes, I know there are others based on Arch and Fedora (and still others), but I don’t want to mess with them. I’m not that enthusiastic about all of this.

Followup, 23 February 2024

After setbacks on the other distributions, I settled on Ubuntu Budgie, at least for the time being. The only “snap” application I had to remove was Firefox. Now, after all that trouble, I can honestly say it wasn’t worth the time I spent on it.

The Cinnamon desktop environment, if you consider everything available, is a lot easier to work with. I can make Budgie look a lot like Cinnamon and vice versa, which doesn’t do anything more than change aesthetics. The underlying backend, the code you don’t see, is a lot more important.

On the other hand… Now that I know how Ubuntu Budgie works, I can probably use the Raspberry Pi edition on my Raspberry Pi 400 instead of Raspberry Pi OS, or Raspberry Pi OS augmented by the Cinnamon desktop environment.

Image by Ikey Doherty and Solus project team, Joshua Strobl, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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