ubuntu budgie desktop

The Budgie desktop is moving to Qt.

Tossing a startled cat amidst a proverbial flock pigeons, Budgie creator and Solus Project lead Ikey Doherty dropped word of the switch in a lengthy blog post that details the technical reasoning behind their plans for Budgie going forward.

‘Every single major release of GNOME has caused issues for Budgie’

The current stable versions of the Budgie desktop that you’ve (hopefully) tried are built using standard GNOME technologies. This ‘don’t fork, reuse‘ approach is (IMO) part of what makes the desktop environment so attractive to desktop Linux users: you can install it without screwing up or affecting your other desktop sessions.

But Doherty and the Budgie team feel that Budgie has ‘outgrown’ what GNOME is able to provide.

‘We Need a More Powerful Toolkit’

“We need a more powerful toolkit for the desktop, and GTK+ clearly develops in the direction of the parent GNOME Desktop experience (such as internal GNOME Shell knowledge + interactions within GTK),“ Doherty explains.

“Every single major release of GNOME has caused issues for Budgie. Whether it’s API or ABI changes, components eating other components (such as Mutter folding in cogl and clutter), many, many theme and widget breakages, GdkScreen APIs no longer functioning the same, or even segfaults caused due to the behaviour of GSettings relocatable schemas being changed.”

“The core remaining reason for Budgie even ‘working’ on the GNOME stack, is that it expends an awful lot of effort pretending to be GNOME Shell.”

Qt Solution

‘Budgie is not about to become a KDE clone. 

To move forward with the vision and ambitions for the Budgie desktop the team say they plan to to ”decouple” and “deGNOME“, shift away from using Vala, and switch to a ‘more powerful toolkit’ that’s able to deliver improved performance, richer effects, support new features, and so on.

And the toolkit that best fits their needs is Qt.

But don’t mistake this. Budgie is not about to become a KDE clone.

The developers don’t plan to use QML, won’t use KDE libraries, and will not try to integrate or be compatible with the Plasma desktop. Budgie  will continue to offer GNOME applications, and “ensure that there is desktop consistency, nothing will feel “out of place”.

“Qt fits the needs most readily for Budgie, going forward”. Doherty concludes.

And it’s hard to argue with that.