My best chances to turn a « default Ubuntu » into a « Budgie Ubuntu »?


that may sound weird but I’d like to turn an actual working default Ubuntu 18.04 into a Budgie Ubuntu 18.04 without reinstalling.

Why do I want that ? Because this machine is « at work » and already well configured for my « work context » ( multi users, samba, syncthing… )

So what would be the important things to care about here ? Repositories, ppa, lightdm instead of gdm… any hints and tips welcome !

Off the top of my head here is what I would do.

  1. From a command line install the package budgie-desktop-environment - this will install the budgie customisation from UB without the extra packages found in the meta package ubuntu-budgie-desktop
  2. This should prompt you during the install to select lightdm instead of GDM
  3. Reboot and select “budgie desktop” from the lightdm icon next to your user name
  4. Install budgie welcome: snap install ubuntu-budgie-welcome --classic
  5. Optional: Run “Budgie Themes” from the menu and click the “Pocillo” theme to apply all of the UB defaults - icons, theme, fonts, cursor
  6. Optional: from budgie-welcome - recommendations enable the backports repository. Select software & updates from the menu afterwards and fully update. Reboot.
  7. profit!

Much later finally.

I’ve tried to install Ubuntu Budgie over an Ubuntu Mate - it did not end well but that’s not important.

While trying I noticed Nemo never get installed in the process. I had to install it manually.

Maybe some items missing in the budgie-desktop meta-packages ?

The meta package for UB is


Nemo is a recommendation in that package

Ok, ok… so might be an issue between Mate and Budgie.

As recommended by fossfreedom, just install the relevant meta package, with or without snaps. I did that and it worked out well.

But, same as you, I have package conflicts with Mate ever since.
I removed every Mate dependency (Marco, Mate, etc…) by picking them exhaustively (checking for all the Mate related terms in every package name, description, version or dependency) and yet in Synaptic or Ubuntu Software updater (Gnome) if I let updates go normally it re-installs everything Mate. Everything that is uninstalled and (seemingly) free of dependencies.
Ever since, I have to go into Synaptic, Status → Installed (Upgradable), select all, mark for upgrade and apply. I must avoid the button at the top to “Mark All Upgrades” or it will reinstall everything Mate. I looked it up but couldn’t figure it out. So I suspect Nemo, as it’s the only thing that seems related.

But I don’t have that issue on my laptop, although nemo is my go-to as well and Budgie is installed from Ubuntu (not as Ubuntu Budgie). So in the end, I’m not 100% sure if Mate is responsible. And I couldn’t find the dependency that require everything Mate.

Not the first time I have « issues » after trying mate.

Here my biggest surprise remains nemo was always missing, whatever (meta) package for budgie I tried.

Plus once I get rid ( same method as you ) of anything mate related, update pulled many many gnome related packages ( shell, ubuntu desktop… ) weird.

Unfortunately the machine ( laptop presario cq70 ) I wanted to install Budgie may not be strong enough for it ( blocking freezes with nouveau or nvidia recommended driver ).

So I ended up with Xubuntu - where there are still some glitches but no blocking ( with nouveau I don’t dare trying again nvidia ).