Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 23:42

I decided to make a series of review about Budgie Desktop, the original GUI from Solus OS, now featured on Ubuntu Budgie. Thanks to Ikey Doherty the father of both Budgie and Solus, we can enjoy such free desktop environment that is innovative and customizable. This first part article covers in brief the top panel, the adaptive-transparent one, and introducing its menu and tray, how they look with and without customization. Enjoy!

Subscribe to UbuntuBuzz Telegram Channel to get article updates directly.


  • 0. The Origin
  • 1. Interface Overview
  • 2. Top Panel
  • 3. To Bottom
  • 4. Double Panel
  • 5. Start Menu
  • 6. Clock
  • 7. Tray Area
  • 8. Yes, Call It Raven
  • 9. End Words

0. The Origin of Desktop

"A feature-rich, luxurious desktop using the most modern technologies."
                                                                                --Solus documentation online

(EvolveOS logo)

(Solus logo)

Budgie comes from Solus OS (formerly Evolve OS), an operating system project by Ikey Doherty, a man known leaving his job on Intel in favor of Solus Project. Evolve OS itself was started by Ikey in 2014 and quickly rebranded into Solus OS in 2015 and continued up to now. The website has been changed several times from, to, and finally recently However, as we already know, the Solus Project is now being lead by Joshua Strobl as we can read the history on Distrowatch. Unfortunately, Solus website under the headline In Full Sail explained that Ikey was missing since at least August 2018. We all hope Ikey will back again to Budgie and Solus development, the things he loved so much. Thanks Ikey, and we are waiting for you!

1. Desktop Overview

Here's Budgie at a glance. It's pretty, no? Budgie is a highly customizable desktop so this setting is specific to Ubuntu Budgie 18.10 I installed on my laptop. You may find Solus's Budgie to be different to this one. That's OK, as the original panel and Raven will be always the same. Anyway, I use Budgie Desktop version 10.4 here.

(Budgie Desktop 10.4 on Ubuntu Budgie OS.)

Actually, Budgie itself composed of several components:

  • budgie-wm, the window manager
  • budgie-panel, the panel
  • budgie-desktop, the desktop
  • budgie-daemon, a daemon
  • budgie-showtime, an overlay clock on desktop area
  • budgie-desktop-settings, a tool to tweak
You can compare how default Budgie Desktop looks differently on Solus OS 3.9999 below.

(Same Budgie Desktop on different OS.)

2. Adaptive, Transparent Top Panel

The top panel is like a combination of GNOME's, elementary OS', and XFCE's ones. It's adaptive with transparency following the background and the maximized window. And, the start menu is located like XFCE's, on the left.

(Transparency while no window touches it.)

(Top: default; bottom: transparency is set to always.)

3. Top Panel to Bottom

This one is one thing people love about Budgie, it includes a way to move original position of the panel (top) to other one (bottom, for example). You can control it via Budgie's Desktop Settings tool (already included on Ubuntu Budgie and Solus) under the Panel section.

(Bottom panel on Ubuntu Budgie system, similar to Solus OS' one.)

4. Double Panel

Yes, customizable means you can add new panel easily. Budgie allows this thanks to the Desktop Settings tool. As you can see on the first picture above, you can have GNOME 2 era's double panel setting with you again! Of course with workspace switcher. It's quickly done in just a few seconds. Amazing!

5. Start Menu

On Ubuntu Budgie system, Budgie is configured to have Start Menu on top-left of our screen. This start menu is integrated to Budgie by default. What I like more about this is I can change the text label of it any text I like. Even I can make it Canonical's Menu (you see to whom the logo reminds?). However, on Solus, this start menu located on bottom-left by default.

(Left: menu in normal mode; Right: compact mode, with Categories.)

(Custom text labels of start menu you can make yourself.)

6. Amazing Clock

I like it so much: i can immediately enable full date and full clock with seconds by right-clicking and choosing Preferences right there. This one is by Budgie, it's different to default clock on GNOME 3 for example where I must go to some tweaking to make it show both things.

(Clock in many setups, personally I love the middle-left one the most.)

(If you change your locale, the clock changes too. Awesome!)

7. Tray Area, no, Raven Area!

This is where your system tray and session buttons take place. It's no different to another desktop environments', but, you see here the unique note and places are available.

The Places here is a quick access to your home folders and local partitions, including external storage being attached.

(Go to favorite folder or partition is now easier.)

The Note is a quick blank note to paste down some text or some URL you found occasionally. Like this.

(For example, noting some torrent trackers is now easier...)

8. Then... What Is This?

See the blue bell on picture above? See also the door logo with arrow? When you click it, it shows a vertical right panel, with notification and calendar, respectively. This panel holds your notifications, as well as, your desktop settings. This panel is called Raven, the main feature on Budgie. I will not talk about it now, so let this first episode ends on the top panel.

(Raven panel, will be featured next time)

9. End Note and Next Episode

That's all fo this first episode. As you can see above, Budgie is promising for desktop use very much just like what Solus OS' headline says. Next time, I will talk about Raven, that right panel, the main shiny star within Budgie. Enjoy this series, try Budgie soon, and happy working!

to be continued...

This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.