Why does the Ubuntu Budgie desktop look different, compared to the Solus version?

I’ve noticed, based on screenshots, that Ubuntu Budgie seems to have a more Mac-like appearance, with the ‘Dock’ at the bottom and a menubar similar to macOS.
Solus, on the other hand, seems more similar to Windows, in that it has a taskbar, something like a Start menu, and icons for settings in the same bar (as opposed to having icons on the top.)
Why is that? I thought Ubuntu Budgie used the same desktop environment and menus as Solus.

Short answer is guess is because the devs have selected a different default appearance.

If you open Budgie Welcome, Themes and Layouts, you can look through the different desktop layouts. Just be warned if you apply a new layout, you will have to add back any custom changes you made to the Budgie panel.

But if you apply both the Plata makeover and the Traditional Budgie layout, you will get it to look like the Solus default.

This not my preferred layout, I like the top bar. But, yeah, if you change a few settings, this is also Ubuntu Budgie:

Yes and no … lets have a long rambling tale of our default look (!)

In the beginning…

budgie-remix as was had pretty much the default layout from upstream. Little known fact - the default layout in the upstream code base is a top-bar, icon task list applet and date applet etc on the right hand side. So we have stuck with that upstream metaphor…

The icon-task-list applet back in those days was pretty broken - launching apps was kind of hit and miss, random crashes etc. So after discussion with our “support forum” - google+ (yeah that was a thing) - plank was added and the icon-task-list applet was dropped.

The relayout of budgie-remix was a Unity left side-dock/gnome-3 topbar - centered date mashup.

After discussing here on discourse via a poll thread with regards to the plank position/no plank at all, the community decided it liked the centered bottom bar - but there seemed a small-but-slightly-significant vocal push for the icon-task-list layout.

Hence I put in the effort to come up with the one-click layouts capability - so now everyone can tailor their workflow. Feel free to use that Windows 95/Windows XP bottom bar layout, the reimagining of the Mac with a global menu or our settled layout etc etc.

In terms of the Menu - that again came from the community. I created the current applications menu derived from the good Elementary guys. It was intended to be just an option. But again - led by the community - there was a real positive feedback and it was adopted for 20.04 as our default menu.

Here endeth the history lesson.

TL;DR; evolution in action.


Yeah, I was kind of floored back when I was testing distros on live usb. Once I tried ubuntu Budgie, I was like well I like that. So since that is the case I should go try solus, thinking I would surely like that even better.

I saw the error in my thought process within minutes, lol.

For me, and bear in mind I’m older and have returned to linux, but for me as far as distro I like Ubuntu because I like the people and also because it does not seem to me like they want to herd you into 1 desktop environment and few options to customize. It’s not that I dislike other distros or desktop environments. That is not it at all. I just am not crazy about Gnome 3 and on probably because I got really used to Gnome 2 back in the day. And because I don’t particularly seek being boxed in on some of the others without much choice to change… Mac, Windows, Solus, Elementary OS, etc.

Not bashing on them at all. I just personally prefer Ubuntu Budgie and Ubuntu Mate. These offer performance, stability, customization, and melt old familiarity with a more modern look and flow. Well that is the way I have my environment set up anyways. For me it is a good melting pot of what I have been exposed to over the years with Windows, Mac, Linux with Gnome 2 and also KDE, Android with Apex and iOS. With Budgie was really easy for me to just go in and choose options that satisfied my look, feel and workflow needs.