Budgie is a new desktop environment created for Solus Operating System, emphasized to be user-friendly. Budgie is not a descendant from any previous desktop environment, so it's not a fork of GNOME nor KDE. This review covers some aspects of Budgie at its latest version today (10.2.8). It is my first time to review Budgie Desktop Environment. For Mr. Ikey Doherty, thank you!

About This Article


I write this review based on Budgie desktop environment on Solus GNU/Linux 1.2.0.5. I installed Solus OS in Acer AspireOne 64 bit.

Version


I use Budgie 10.2.8 from the official repository of Solus OS. You may see two screenshots below I took today, showing that the latest version is 10.2.8 for now.


This version is confirmed by Budgie development page at GitHub  https://github.com/budgie-desktop/budgie-desktop/releases today:

How I get the latest version of Budgie? I just upgrade the currently installed with the newest version from the repository. Just by doing sudo eopkg upgrade budgie-desktop command line and spending around 17MB of download.



Memory Consumption

Budgie 10.2.8 in Solus eats about 530 MB of memory at idle time. It is considerably huge for desktop use, but it's still good compared to Unity in Ubuntu 16.10 (~1 GB), or Pantheon in Loki (~700 MB).


While I examine the processes running, sort them by memory use, I find some components of Budgie eat my memory the most. For example, budgie-wm (~20 MB), applet.py (17 MB), budgie-panel (12 MB), and budgie-daemon (~5 MB). These data are taken from freshly restarted Solus at idle time.


While I filter processes by name "budgie", I can see the budgie-named processes like this.


The Desktop


This is my Budgie front desktop appearance. On the default settings, it has only top panel. While it has only top panel, the running applications stay at the top panel as icons without any text. The user may notice the horizontal blue line above every icon of running applications.


Menu


Surprise, Budgie menu can be opened by single Super key (Windows key). Default mode of Budgie menu comes top-down. It serves you in search mode and browse mode, to access any application installed.



Raven


Budgie right sidebar is called Raven. It is a new method to deliver desktop notifications, calendar, and settings to the user. Click the left-headed arrow at the most right of panel to show and hide Raven.

What you can do inside Raven?

  1. See calendar and date information. 
  2. Change sound volume output. 
  3. See the list of notifications. 
  4. Access System Settings. 
  5. Access Lock Screen. 
  6. Access Shutdown, Restart, or Logout. 
  7. Configure Budgie Desktop. 
  8. Add/remove panels, add/remove panel's contents.



Panel

By default, Budgie gives us only top panel. It is an ordinary panel similar with XFCE top panel, but it has Raven button at the most right end.

You can add a bottom panel from Raven: open Raven > click Gear button  > open Panel tab > press plus button (Bottom Panel). Then you may add applets into this new-blank panel, such as Task List.



Notifications


As you can see, Budgie shows notification every time a command line execution finished, or an audio player paused, or a network connection established. Special for audio playing, with Rhythmbox here, its notification allow us to perform pause, play previous, and play next track.



Audio/Video Integration


While playing audio with Rhythmbox or video with VLC, Raven shows the controls (play, pause, next, previous) respectively. It shows also the album cover (if any).

But I don't know, Totem playing video is not showing any integration in Raven.


Customization


In Budgie, for example, panel customization is done via Raven. Suppose you have a bottom panel, the way to add/remove items to it is by showint Raven > click Gear button > open Panel tab > choose Manage Panels: Bottom Panel > press "+" button at Applets section > double click an item to add it into panel.




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