New user. Just installed Budgie 18.n.n. yesterday. Here’s my penn’oth.
First some vinegar, then some sugar.
I bought a new fast laptop to do some coding projects as I write Android custom roms as a hobby. I bought a Windows laptop but will install Linux Mint when it arrives. I have always used Linux Mint ever since I started programming. But that meant I now had an old slower laptop and wanted to try something new on it so I considered Ubuntu. I dislike the official Canoncial Ubuntu (I mention Amazon and say no more) and Ubuntu Touch deserved much, much better support but that’s water under the bridge - anyway, I wanted to try an Ubuntu distro. I discovered Ubuntu Budgie yesterday and decided to give it a try after reading a few positive reviews.
I liked the purple/blue abstract themes as screenshots - saw them in the reviews and it tempted me to download and install Budgie (although the cute name was a bigger draw) - but as soon as I started actually using Budgie as a laptop rather than just looking at it as a pretty picture or aesthetic concept - it grew stale very fast. I cannot work in mess. I cannot work with a ‘busy’ desktop in reality or on my laptop. I could not work with either the art wallpapers of the photographic wallpapers.
First change - I moved the left-hand dock to the bottom left, disabled movement, made the background transparent and tried to stop the darn thing annoying me with constant moving about. I have not found a use for the right-hand sliding menu but I guess I might. Not sure why some things are in the right-hand area and other in the top menu. It seems arbitrary. I would move the note app from the top to to the right, for example. Maybe there is a way to swap stuff around but I have not found it yet.
Secondly, I tried using icons on the desktop - typically I work with no icons but I was installing data from my Seagate external HDD and from various Android devices via USB and just wanted a quick way to check on what was happening. I could not see any of the icons against any of the patterned/photographic wallpapers and had to shift to plain colour (black). Maybe if there were an easy way to drag icons to a new location, I could have set them against a contrasting area of the wallpaper so they were obvious while I needed them. But I could find no intuitive/obvious way to do this. They were either visible or not, and either in the top left-hand corner of the desktop or not. I guess there are ways to fix this using terminal but when setting up, I do not have time to fiddle about looking online for tweaks and how-to’s - especially when I am used to Mint terminal not Ubuntu terminal and not yet sure if there are all that many differences. As I see it, if it’s something you will need to do within the first hour of using, it should be supported ‘out of the box’ by the OS itself.
Thirdly, I looked for other themes, different colourways to try to get icons that were visible against a pattern but I could not find a solution. All the themes look pretty much identical to me. And all very dark. I am in my sixties. I need a bright screen, big icons, big font to see stuff even when wearing my specs. Granny loves to code but not on a pokey little dark screen Some Australian sunshine and outback colour would suit the Budgie name - more Uluru, less Oz Heavy Rock. I would really fancy a theme based on Aboriginal art - would give designing it a go myself if I had any artistic talent.
An Australian theme for ubuntu budgie has to be a shoo-in. I’d buy one. Wallpapers, icons etc based on boomerangs, digerridoos and Aboriginal symbols like rainbow serpents. Looks like someone has already started the preliminary work: www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/52706258116520894/
Since I am here, I will mention a couple of other things as feedback which are not theme related-
I had to change some of the default apps too - no way I could use Chromium (with Google and no ad blocker?!? Are you serious). I installed VIvaldi. No way I could use RhythmnBox. Its like iTunes for Ubuntu (that is not a compliment). I uninstalled it and installed Audacious - it plays my audio and respects the folder hierarchy I store everything in.
When shipping default apps, you need to be sure they are inclusive and are not excluding half your users from the first moment of use. I don’t know anyone who would use a browser without an ad blocker or use a Google search engine. Chromium can be tweaked. It does not have to be a sample of everything the rest of the world hates about American corporate culture. At least add non-US search engines and an ad blocker.
And almost everyone I know organises their personal archives in folders - I’ve been doing it that way since Windows 3.1 Forty years of folders cannot just disappear. You have to support that way of consuming content too. Not everyone using Ubuntu is a teen. In fact, I strongly suspect most of us using a ‘niche’ OS are middle-aged or older. The young use what their mates use. We oldies use what is cheap or best suited to our practical needs. Apple and Google and Windows chase the young. That leaves a huge population under-catered. Ubuntu can fill that gap.
Mint is great because of its attention to detail. Everything is obvious even to a first-time user. Like selecting files to move them to new folders. ABC stuff. I could not find a way to ‘invert selection’ on Budgie. Its no fun having to manually select stuff to copy across between folders etc when setting up a new laptop installation. I am sure it could be done with terminal commands but if we were doing everything with terminal, why bother with a GUI at all?
Okay, a lot of negative but some positive. The system seems stable. There have been a few glitches but no ‘deal breakers’. I am planning to keep using Budgie and expect to learn to love it like I love Linux Mint. I have not attempted any coding on it yet. I think coding will be easy. I think it is the ‘amateur’ user and their resources which are harder to get right - stuff like media players and browsers which just have to be right off-the-shelf.
I pay a monthly subscription to help support Linux Mint developers. If I go on using Budgie, I will probably do the same to support this project.
I mentioned all this now because I probably wont come back. I have my own projects to work on and this is just filling in time while I wait for other stuff to compile etc.
Anyway, keep up the good work. I think you deserve to succeed and have a chance to make Budgie into the ubuntu Mint. I think you are already better than the standard Ubuntu. I tried the main Ubuntu from time to time and always uninstall it. I don’t feel that way about Budgie. I think its a keeper and that is the positive to take away.