Budgie Desktop v5.1 Released

Hello all!

Well its now official, I’ve released v5.1 of the Budgie Desktop. It was slated to be a v5 release but I had to bump due to an autotools issue in the release..

Budgie Desktop v5.1

Budige Desktop v5.1

What’s new?

Almost all of the changes since v4 have been related to the panel. It’s been completely rewritten in Vala, lowering the maintenance overhead and significantly reducing the barrier of entry for new contributors.

So, when your update comes through later on (hopefully) today through OBS if you use it, or for Evolve OS users you already have the update, you should only see minor visual differences. The idea was not to change the look, but to rewrite what was there and make it moar better.


All of the applets have been rewritten to use a plugin API. This makes no immediate difference to users but will be heavily expanded on in the upcoming v6 (we’ll try to avoid a v6.1 this time..). Users of the Budgie Desktop will be able to write their own plugins in any language supported by libpeas, which includes C, Vala, JavaScript and Python. This essentially means you’ll be able to extend the panel with your own applets. To make life a bit easier the plugins will also be able to load from your home directory, promoting an easy way to share and use applets.

The existing panel will receive changes for v6 enabling you to completely customise the layout of the panel too, making it your own. But, those changes won’t come till v6, so lets stop teasing 🙂

Moar fixes

The panel now stays where it is meant to be, and the right size. This.. somewhat helps, being a panel… Currently no configuration options really exist for the panel, as this will come during the v6 cycle. So, what I can tell you is the panel has full support for top/bottom positions, and *preliminary* support for left/right screen edges, though the menu will look.. odd.

So, right now the panel is locked at 40px in height, has status icons that are 22x22px, and “launcher” icons that are 32×32. The panel and its menus (main menu and the clock area) should now be faster and smoother to open and operate.

The automatic darkening of the panel received love too, and it does its job very effectively. Right now its bound to start failing when you start moving the windows to different workspaces – this is a thing to address in the future 🙂


The rewrite into Vala took quite some effort, but has immediately paid off. In the future all of the desktop will be rewritten to use Vala, and being the “second write” – we do things better the second time around. Here are the stats for the initial panel rewrite to Vala

 55 files changed, 2749 insertions(+), 2658 deletions(-)

As always, if you’re interested in seeing the code, check our GitHub Repo!


  1. Stijn
    July 20, 2014 11:46

    Budgie’s really starting to take shape. Great work!

    • ikeydoherty
      July 21, 2014 12:26

      Thanks mate, quite happy with where the project is going now 😀

  2. July 21, 2014 12:21

    Nice updates, Ikey! 🙂

    • ikeydoherty
      July 21, 2014 12:27

      Cheers @d0od:disqus 🙂 I’m personally really looking forward to the v6 release – that will be quite cool (I want to make myself a weather applet ^^)

  3. Frederic Bezies
    July 21, 2014 17:14

    Looks great. I suppose a simple pisi -ur install it on evolveOS alpha version ?

    • ikeydoherty
      July 25, 2014 12:51

      Just need to “sudo pisi up” on any of the alphas 🙂

  4. Ade Malsasa Akbar
    July 24, 2014 15:06

    Thank you for this simple-awesome desktop. I like the new (not a fork) desktop environment. I am waiting for a stable version.

    • ikeydoherty
      July 25, 2014 12:51

      Thanks @ademalsasaakbar:disqus ! Be a little while yet but we’re drawing closer and closer.. 🙂

  5. Goddard
    November 20, 2015 22:15

    Not bad. Any plans to add a universal menu like ubuntu & mac?

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