First Look at Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 on Raspberry Pi 4

Ubuntu Budgie Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi fans rejoice, there’s a new Linux distro in town featuring the Budgie desktop environment, Ubuntu Budgie, which now has an ARM64 (AArch64) port for the Raspberry Pi 4 computer.

Ubuntu Budgie is an official flavor of the popular Ubuntu Linux operating system, and the team behind it announced today the availability of their first Raspberry Pi port, optimized for Raspberry Pi 4 models with 4GB or 8GB RAM and featuring the Budgie desktop environment, of course.

As you might know, Canonical announced last year in October a Raspberry Pi port of Ubuntu Desktop with the Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) release, giving green light to other official (or unofficial) Ubuntu derivatives to port their flavor to the Raspberry Pi.

Besides Ubuntu MATE, which already offered Raspberry Pi support, Ubuntu Budgie appears to be the first (of hopefully many to come) official Ubuntu flavors to offer a Raspberry Pi image as part of the upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release, due out on April 22nd, 2021.

The Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 for Raspberry Pi 4 release is now available for public beta testing, so I took the liberty to download and test it on my Raspberry Pi 4 computer with 8GB RAM to give you guys a first look.

The installation and first impressions

Ubuntu Budgie 21.04’s Raspberry Pi image is about 2GB in size archived and can be downloaded from here. To write it on an SD card or SSD drive, you’ll have to extract it, which outputs a very large .img file of about 9GB in size, so make sure you have enough free space on your computer before writing it.

The distro features the same first-time installation/setup wizard as the one in Ubuntu 20.10, allowing you to select a default language for the system, keyboard layout, connect to Wi-Fi, choose a timezone, and add the default user. The entire process will take about 10 minutes to complete.

After that, you’ll be able to login with the username and password you created during the first-time setup/installation and enjoy the beautiful and lightweight Budgie desktop environment.

The main attraction of Ubuntu Budgie for Raspberry Pi is the in-house built Budgie ARM TweakTool, a graphical utility that pops-up at login and lets you choose a desktop layout (Standard, Compact or Mini), overclock your Raspberry Pi, change video modes, set the GPU memory, and monitor CPU temperature.

In addition, the Budgie ARM TweakTool utility lets you set up remote connection options through SSH, VNC or XRDP, as well as to locate a Raspberry Pi computer on your local network via the FindMyPi option.

I love all these advanced options and I really like the fact that you can customize the desktop’s layout. The difference between the Compact and Mini layouts is quite small as only the font size will change.

Powered by Linux kernel 5.11

After a system update, which I always recommend when installing a new Raspberry Pi system, Ubuntu Budgie for Raspberry Pi’s kernel is bumped from Linux 5.8 to the latest and greatest Linux 5.11, which will be the final kernel used in the upcoming Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo) release.

Ubuntu Budgie Raspberry Pi

This means that you’re getting the best possible support for your Raspberry Pi 4, and let me tell you that Ubuntu Budgie 21.04 doesn’t disappoint. Most things work as expected, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, sound, Full HD video playback, and even YouTube videos in Full HD (but kinda slow in full-screen mode).

In conclusion, Ubuntu Budgie for Raspberry Pi is a very welcome addition to the growing list of Linux-based operating systems for the tiny and poplar single-board computer. You get the same awesome Ubuntu Budgie experience, but on the Raspberry Pi!

Last updated 3 years ago

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