Ubuntu Budgie, as the name implies, is an official flavor of Ubuntu using the Budgie desktop environment. This flavor is a newer member of the Ubuntu family. Ubuntu Budgie’s first release was 16.04 and it was accepted as an official flavor with the 17.04 release. The twist here is that it uses the Gnome-based Budgie desktop environment developed by the Solus Project, but you still get the stability of Ubuntu.

Their goal is to “combine the simplicity and elegance of the Budgie interface to produce a traditional desktop orientated distro with a modern paradigm”.

What counts is that Budgie is beautiful and streamlined. It’s a lightweight OS free of bloat with modest hardware requirements but still manages to contain everything an average user might need. Oh, and it’s catnip for screenshot junkies.

Most Linux distributions we have tried out a welcome screen. Something that pops up to briefly familiarize you with its user interface and various features. I was enamored with Deepin’s fantastic introduction to its OS, but Ubuntu Budgie raises the quality and usability bar through the ceiling and into space.

Without even clicking anything, this main window reflects the elegance contained within this OS. The menu items — things like Introduction, Features, Installation Help and Community — imply that it’s nothing more than a collection of documents and information. It’s much more than that.

For example, selecting “Getting Started” brings up an entire sub-menu showing you some hardware requirements and helping you prepare for installation. That’s especially useful since you can run Budgie on a Live USB to try it out first, without making any changes to your PC. It’s an easy read, it’s formatted cleanly and it covers the basics.

Budgie takes it a step further if you’d like to dual boot with another OS. Select dual booting with Windows, and the app tweaks itself a bit and presents Simple, Advanced and Safest methods for getting the job done. Complete with screenshot guides and notes about specific versions of Windows. There’s even a boot repair app you can download from inside this section if things go wrong.

Things start really shining when you hit the Customization section. Here, you can discover the various tools available to transform most facets of the user interface. From a slick dark theme to cursor appearance, from fonts to window decorations and a ton of other options.

Inside the Welcome App. It’s a clean, comprehensive and polished discovery app that frankly every operating system under the sun should attempt to emulate. It makes Windows 10 feel especially archaic by comparison.

That awesome out of the box experience is what makes Ubuntu Budgie stand so tall amongst the hundreds of distro choices out there. It’s fast, it’s complete, it’s beautiful and it doesn’t take a user’s first impression lightly. Thanks, Dustin, and thanks to the entire Ubuntu Budgie team for crafting an excellent desktop OS, and a stellar experience for a user’s first login.

If you are ready to take Ubuntu Budgie for a ride head over to our install guide and you can try out this beautiful desktop.