A list of the best new features of Ubuntu Budgie 23.04 “Lunar Lobster” release, which brings the latest Budgie desktop and more enhancements.
Ubuntu Budgie, the official Ubuntu flavour of the Budgie desktop, plans to release version 23.04, “Lunar Lobster”, based on Ubuntu 23.04. This latest version comes with the newest budgie-desktop v10.7.1, bringing some exciting updates.
Ubuntu Budgie 23.04 is currently undergoing beta testing, and the release is planned on April 20, 2023.
Let’s find out what’s in store for the Budgie fans.
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Ubuntu Budgie 23.04: Best new features
The release of Ubuntu Budgie 23.04 is particularly noteworthy because the Budgie desktop 10.7.1 has undergone significant re-architecture, introduced new APIs for extensibility, and provided a more polished user experience.
Search and Budgie Menu
One of the most significant changes is the introduction of a new application indexer, which replaces the use of libgnome-menus and unifies the logic used in both Budgie Menu and Budgie Run Dialog. This results in greater consistency in the applications shown to users. The new indexer also provides more reliable indexing of applications across various directories used to store desktop files.
The implementation improves the categorization of applications by aggregating entries into more relevant and commonly used categories such as “Administration”, “Settings”, and “System,” which are all grouped into “System”. This respects the custom desktop directories created by users through third-party menu editors that write to the user’s .local/share/desktop-directories folder.
Additionally, the search in Budgie Menu has been abstracted into its own “relevancy search”. It is now used in both Budgie Menu and Budgie Run Dialog, providing a consistent search experience.
Budgie Desktop Settings has also received a redesign for widget selection, which applies to both panel widgets and the new Raven widget system. This design displays relevant developer information, such as the author, website, description, and copyright information. The communication also lets users know if the widget plugin is “built-in” and ships with Budgie.
The Budgie Menu now offers a “personal user menu,” which provides quick XDG directory access. This feature lets users open a file manager directly to folders such as Home, Documents, Music, etc. This follows the XDG Base Directory Specification. If users have a different path set for Music (or their system locale is not English), it will be respected, and folders that do not exist will be hidden.
Users can also enable an option in the Budgie Menu widget settings to show Budgie Control Center settings items, such as Bluetooth, sound, and power panels, in the applications list. This provides quick access to various settings panels while still allowing for less clutter in the menu.
Other improvements to the Budgie Menu include no longer reloading the menu during an AppIndex change when the menu is open, which prevents the category and application list from re-rendering while the user is actively using the menu.
Ubuntu Budgie’s (earlier versions) window shuffler already had quarter and half tiling activated by keyboard shortcuts, and controlling windows from the keyboard has been a priority. The team was working to improve the tiling experience.
In Ubuntu Budgie 23.04, the window shuffler has now undergone a significant rework and offers quarter tiling using both the keyboard and mouse. The new feature is called Drag Snap, which allows users to tile windows to the top half or full screen by dragging the window to the top of the screen.
The new feature also offers asymmetric tiling by pressing Alt or Ctrl while dragging, which tiles the window into 3/5 or 2/5 of the screen width, respectively.
In the Budgie 10.7.1 desktop, the hotcorners feature has been improved and now includes eight spots instead of just four. The settings interface has been updated to have a dedicated window, and the hotcorner settings applet is now optional. Users can now set both pressure and delay options without excluding one another, allowing for fine-tuning of touch sensitivity. Additionally, hotcorners now include a built-in feature that checks for mouse button 1 before executing a command, preventing unintended activation when selecting text and accidentally hitting the screen edge.
Default themes in Ubuntu Budgie 23.04 are improved. The default Pocillo theme is enhanced and now features the latest Qogir and Tela icon sets. And the following themes (GTK and icons) all get their latest upstream versions in this latest release.
Application updates, Flatpak and Snap
Ubuntu Budgie 23.04 do not install Flatpak or Flathub integration by default as per the recent direction. The Snap integration is well-established and includes several themes and Firefox web browsers.
In addition, all the core applications and packages are baselined with their latest stable release:
- Firefox 111 (Snap)
- LibreOffice 7.5
- Tilix 1.9.5
- Thunderbird 102
- Transmission 3.0
- Parole media player 4.18
- GNOME Software 44
Ubuntu Budgie 23.04 is powered by Linux Kernel 6.2, the latest mainline Kernel. Linux Kernel 6.2 improves GPU, CPU, ports, and Rust updates support.
At the core, Python 3.11 is now available out-of-the-box in Ubuntu Budgie 23.04. You don’t need to install Python 3.11 anymore separately. It’s worth mentioning that Python 3.12 release is due this year and currently undergoing multiple RC testing.
Other toolchain updates are as follows.
- GCC 13
- GlibC 2.37
- Ruby 3.1
- golang 1.2
- LLVM 16
In conclusion, Ubuntu Budgie 23.04 “Lunar Lobster” brings significant improvements to the Budgie desktop environment, including a new application indexer, enhanced application categorization, a new design for widget selection, and improvements to the Budgie Menu. These changes provide a more streamlined and consistent user experience. Overall, this release marks a major step forward for Ubuntu Budgie and its users.
You can download the beta version of this release from the below page.
Via release notes