Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at 21:01

Continuing second part, here I will discuss about Applets which can be added to Budgie Desktop. I highlight several of more than 20 applets available today: NetSpeed, Clocks, Brightness, Alt+Tab, Global Menu, Workspace Wallpapers, Weather, and Screenshot applets. If you wonder what it is, an "applet" in Budgie is the same as "extension" on GNOME or "widget" on KDE Plasma. Now, for this article I make a journey in installing them and putting them around my desktop and I have much fun. I really love to see things that I didn't see on another desktop environments before and I find many here. Who know that we can still use global menu even in Budgie, considering Unity has been dropped and Budgie itself is still new? Who know tif here is a splendid screenshot tool (with more features than built-in GNOME Screenshot) created solely for Budgie? I won't know until I tried them. I hope it will be more interesting for you this time and you can go try them now. Enjoy!

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  • Intro: Budgie Welcome, Available Applets, and Installing
  • 1) NetSpeed Applet
  • 2) Multiple Time-Zone Clocks Applet
  • 3) Brightness Applet
  • 4) Alt+Tab Switcher Applet
  • 5) Global Menu Applet
  • 6) Different Workspace Wallpapers Applet
  • 7) Weather Applet
  • 8) Screenshot Applet
  • End Words

A. The Budgie Welcome

Budgie Welcome is not a part of Budgie Desktop. It's a program developed by Ubuntu Budgie developers. In this case, you won't find Budgie Welcome on Solus OS, the origin OS of Budgie Desktop. Anyway, this program helps you a lot to find and install Budgie Applets (called "Extensions" on GNOME or "Widgets" on KDE). Once you run it, click Install Software > Budgie Applets > and applets selection should appear.

(Budgie Welcome, a introductory program for Budgie Desktop users)

B. Available Applets

There are two different things between Ubuntu Budgie and Solus, that, users of former OS can install all third-party applets using Budgie Welcome while users of latter OS can only install some using eopkg package manager (at least, up to today). The reason is because those applets are already brought within Budgie Welcome thanks to "budgie-extras"; while on Solus OS most of them are not in repository yet. However, all applets are available from respective developers in GitHub. If you use Solus, you can compile them up from source yourself. To mention some:

Here's Ubuntu Budgie's Budgie Welcome program. You can see this selection page of Applets by clicking Install > Applets.

(Budgie Welcome showing applets ready to be installed)

C. Installing Applets & Enabling Them

On Solus, there are only some applets already available in the eopkg repo. On Ubuntu Budgie, fortunately, all applets are already included within aforementioned Budgie Welcome.

Solus OS:
Looking for available applets:
$ eopkg search budgie

 (Click to enlarge picture)

You see, there is an applet named budgie-haste-applet.

Installing one applet, for example Haste:
$ sudo eopkg install budgie-haste-applet

Ubuntu Budgie:
Click Install Applet button on the Budgie Welcome program.

To enable an applet, use Budgie Settings, go to Panel section, and press ' + '  button to add one. Use up and down arrows to move an applet up and down in arrangement. See this Gif animation for example.

(Gif animation: adding an applet "Hot corner" to panel)

Now, I will highlight some applets I feel interesting. After this, feel free to have another journey with the rest of applets not mentioned here. Enjoy!

1. NetSpeed (aka System Monitor)

Perhaps some of you knew that this is the kind of applet I love the most. With this, you know upload/download speed, so you know how your limited internet data plan being spent. However, the official name is System Monitor.


(The name on Budgie Settings: System Monitor)

2. Multiple Time-Zone Clocks

You can display multiple different clocks (e.g. for your overseas team members) with this one. Click + and you get new clock. Click magnifier icon and your browser appears with world map to help you determine the time zone for each clock. Each clock time zone is determined by +[number] or -[number], for example, +7 for Jakarta/Asia and -7 for Denver/USA. This way, all will show accurate times for each name of members you write on bottom of each clock. For me who live in Indonesia (a country with triple time zones), this is useful.

(One clock for one team mate, for example)


(The name on Budgie Settings: ClockWorks)

3. Brightness

Honestly, it's my first time seeing two sliders on one brightness controller. They are Light and Dim sliders, with 0-976 and 10-100 scales, respectively. If you scroll down them both to zero, your screen will get completely black. However, its Github page doesn't explain more about how it works.


(The name on Budgie Settings: Advanced Brightness Controller)

4. Expose (Alt+Tab Switcher)

This applet replaces the original Budgie's Alt+Tab switcher to have window thumbnails. Honestly, I like thumbnail style better than just icon style like the original one. However, on my machine this applet is a bit slow, it delayed window switching. I hope this applet to become faster next time.




(The name on Budgie Settings: Window Previews)

5. Global Menu

Now, number of desktop environments that support global menu is increasing with Budgie Desktop as it has the applet. We know that GNU/Linux desktop started popularizing this macOS-like feature since Unity Desktop inception (Ubuntu 11.04), followed by KDE Plasma, MATE, and finally now Budgie. If you combine it with transparent panel, it would look perfect.

(Global menu with built-in theme of Budgie enabled)


(The name on Budgie Settings: Global Menu)

6. Different Workspace Wallpapers

Do you remember old times with KDE when you can place different wallpapers on different workspaces? On Budgie Desktop, you can do it again thanks to Workspace Wallpaper Applet. Once installed, restart your machine, and add it up on Budgie Settings > Panel > Add New Applet > choose Wallpaper Switcher. It won't show any icon on panel but now you can change wallpaper on each workspace you have so they all differ.


(First and second workspaces showing different backgrounds; notice the workspace switcher applet on bottom panel)


    • First, you should add Workspace Switcher applet on your panel.
    • Second, add the Workspace Wallpaper applet to panel.  It won't show any icon, indeed.
    • Now, right-click on desktop area > Change Background > select a wallpaper.
    • Then, go to next workspace and change its wallpaper too.
    • Do change wallpapers for the rest.
    • Finally, try to switch between workspaces and you should see different wallpapers.

    7. Weather on Desktop

    Notice the clock floating on the wallpaper area on Ubuntu Budgie? This applet does the same thing but for weather forecast instead. It's really nice to put this along with that clock. However, of course, to have this works you will need internet access.


    (The name: Desktop weather; see the City and Set custom position sections there)

    8. Screenshot Tool

    Hey, really, this one is a splendid applet. It's similar to Shutter Screenshot Tool but smaller and integrated well to Budgie Desktop. It features delay time enabled by default, upload to Imgur directly, custom file name, capturing from different display, and many more. All in this simple applet. So far, this is my favorite applet from Budgie Desktop. Very nice work, Stefan Ric!

    (Screenshot of the screenshot tool)

    (Gif animation: taking a screenshot and upload to Imgur in only two clicks)

    (Gif animation: settings of Screenshot applet including delay time and upload destination selection)

    End Words

    That's all. I hope this part encourage you enough to have a journey yourself on Budgie desktop. Start with Ubuntu Budgie and have a nice day. Next time, I will discuss about customization including icons and themes. This will also include the Budgie Settings that mentioned above. Happy working!

    to be continued...

    This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.