Guides Linux

How to Install Ubuntu Budgie on Your Laptop

Find out how to install Ubuntu Budgie on your laptop alongside Windows 10 so you can use the best that both worlds have to offer.

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How to Install Ubuntu Budgie on Your Laptop

There are many flavors of Ubuntu Linux. Each of them is based on the original release of Ubuntu, but they all have their own spin on the interface. These often include different graphical interfaces, suites of apps, and sometimes even overall Linux philosophies. Today, I want to spend some time focusing on a new Ubuntu flavor that is taking the Linux world by storm – Ubuntu Budgie.

This new flavor of Linux uses the Budgie graphical interface, but it still comes with all the great Ubuntu goodness that you have come to expect. I recently gave it a try as a virtual machine and have fallen in love with this distribution of Linux for your laptop. That’s why for today’s guide, I want to show you how to install it in a dual boot setup with Windows 10.

Why I Chose Ubuntu Budgie

So why did I settle on Ubuntu Budgie? It’s easy – the interface. I am very fickle when it comes to Linux. I’m constantly switching between distributions and I never quite settle on one over the other. I’ve never quite liked the Unity desktop of Ubuntu, and while I don’t mind KDE or XFCE, I never truly loved them. There is just something about Budgie I enjoy.

It’s much lighter weight than KDE, Gnome 3 or Unity, but it isn’t quite as light as LXCE used in Lubuntu. From my experience, I believe it is somewhere in the neighborhood of XFCE, only it looks much better, at least in my opinion.

It comes with a lot of software that you will need, but it’s really much like the other distributions out there. It doesn’t have Gimp, so you will have to go and grab that if you want to edit graphics, but other than that, I would call this fully featured.

What You Will Need

You won’t need much to get this done, but in order to install Ubuntu Budgie on your laptop, you will need to make sure you have the following:

  • Free space on your hard drive
  • Ubuntu Budgie ISO
  • USB Flash Drive – 2GB Minimum, 4GB Recommended
  • Rufus – A free and open-source USB flash drive writing tool

Prepare Your System

Now I know you want to start using your new install of Ubuntu Budgie right away, but we want to do this right. So, that means spending some time preparing your system.


First, you need to get the hard drive ready. Remember, your new install will take up some space on your drive, and you want to give yourself plenty of room for more apps and files. So, begin by clearing out your hard drive of all useless files and old applications that you don’t use.

After you finish clearing your drive, consider running Disk Cleanup to remove excess temporary files and installation files from your system. Once you have cleared as much space as you can, reboot your system.

Shrink Windows 10 Hard Drive Volume

If you plan on running Ubuntu Budgie alongside Windows 10, you will need to shrink the volume of your Windows 10 hard drive so Ubuntu Budgie has a place to be installed.

1. Right click on your Start Menu and go to Disk Management

2. Right click on your Windows partition (usually found on disk 0) and click Shrink Volume.

3. Set the amount you want to shrink and then click Shrink. Remember, the more you shrink, the more space you will have for Ubuntu, but the less you will have remaining on Windows 10.

4. Close Disk Management.

Now it’s time to configure your BIOS to boot from your USB and Ubuntu Budgie.

Alter Your BIOS

This part may or may not apply to your laptop. If your laptop is newer, chances are it has a feature turn on called Secure Boot. This comes with many new systems running Windows 10. Before you can setup a dual boot environment, you will need to disable this feature. How you do this depends on your BIOS, but look around to see if you see this feature and check if it is enabled. If so, then disable it.

You may also have to enable booting from a USB stick. In most cases, once you disable secure boot, you will be able to boot from your USB stick, but I have seen some BIOS versions out there that require you to turn on this feature. If you see it listed in the Boot menu in your BIOS you should be good to go. If you don’t, look for a section to enable it.

Once you have made these changes, save your new settings and restart your computer.

Configuring Your USB Stick

Unfortunately, you can’t just copy your ISO to your USB stick and then restart. You have to make the USB stick bootable. For this process, make sure you have everything backed up on your USB stick as it will be completely reformatted. When we are done, you are free to reformat it and use it to store files. Are you ready to get started?

1. Insert your USB stick in your system and copy any files you want to save to your computer.

2. Download and launch Rufus. Rufus should automatically detect your USB stick and it should set a configuration for booting.

3. If it doesn’t detect your device, select it. For most setups, MBR partition scheme for UEFI will work, but if you have older hardware, or just want to be safe, you can select MBR partition scheme for BIOS or UEFI will work.

4. In the section labeled Create a bootable disk using, click the dropdown box and select ISO image. Click the icon next to that dropdown and select your ISO image.

5. Now that you have all your settings configured properly, click Start to begin creating your bootable USB stick. If prompted to download files, accept it and if it asked you to write it in ISO format, choose that as well. That way you can access the USB even after you are finished with it. The process should only take a few minutes to complete, unless you have a really old machine. In which case it may take around ten minutes to finish. When it’s complete, you can close Rufus.

Boot from Your USB

Now here’s where the fun the begins. First, you need to boot to your newly created Ubuntu Budgie USB. How you do this varies computer to computer, but most machines have a boot selection function key. In some cases it’s F2, F12, or anything in between. Check with your laptop manufacturer to find out how to boot to a USB on your machine. Once you are able to reboot your machine to your USB, Ubuntu Budgie should run and we are ready to begin the installation.

Before Your Begin

One of the great aspects of the Ubuntu installers, including Ubuntu Budgie, is the ability to try them before you install them. For the purposes of this guide, we are going to go straight into the install. But if you want to try it, select Try Ubuntu Budgie during the boot process to see if it’s right for you.

Installing Ubuntu Budgie

Installation of Ubuntu Budgie is fairly straightforward, but you can follow this guide to help you through the process.

1. Choose Install Ubuntu Budgie from the boot loader.

2. Select your language and click Continue.

3. Connect your computer to your wireless network, if prompted. Then click Continue.

4. Now you can decide whether to download updates while you install. In order for this to work, you need to have plenty of free hard drive space. If you only gave Linux a little bit of free space, then you will want to wait until after the install to download updates. If you do click Download updates while installing Ubuntu Budgie, it will speed up the entire process as you won’t have as many updates to run after the installation is complete. Click Continue.

5. Now, you want to install Ubuntu Budgie as a second operating system. In the Installation type window, select Install Ubuntu Budgie alongside Windows Boot Manager and click Install Now.

6. Confirm the changes by clicking Continue.

7. Select your Time Zone.

8. Select your Keyboard layout.

9. Create your username and password and name your computer.

10. Wait for the install to complete.

11. When the installation is complete, it will ask you to restart your computer. Remove your install media and then click Restart Now.

The Grub boot manager will then load. Select Ubuntu to boot into your new installation of Ubuntu Budgie.

After Install

One of the things I like best about Ubuntu Budgie is how much thought and effort the developers put into the new user experience. Right off the bat you will have access to a Getting Started menu that will walk you through the basics. After the install, I encourage you to click through these menus to get familiar with how the graphical interface is setup.

Remember, underneath it all this is still Ubuntu, which means everything should feel very familiar and the commands will be the same. So it should be easy for almost anyone to dive right in and begin using this operating system, even those of you who are brand new to Linux.

But before you do anything else, make sure you click on Updates & Extras in the Getting Started menu and click on Check for Updates. This will scan your system for needed updates and allow you to run the latest security updates and bug fixes for your installation. Click on Install Now and enter your password. Then, wait for the updates to download and install. Reboot your computer when they are finished.

Add Applications


Once you are finished with your installation and updates, it’s time for the true fun to begin. You are now ready to start using your new copy of Ubuntu Budgie. But before you do, you are going to need a few apps to get you started.

You will notice that Ubuntu Budgie comes with all the basics you need to get right down to business. Applications such as LibreOffice, Firefox, and much more are all right from the beginning. But chances are you are going to want/need more.

Ubuntu Budgie includes the Software Centre just as the rest of the Ubuntu flavors, so you can open the software center and grab whatever you need. But remember, this is Linux. You can compile and install almost anything, even if you can’t find it there. A quick Google search and a few keystrokes in your terminal should do the trick. If you want help finding Linux software, I suggest you visit our Best Linux Apps post to find what you need.

Final Thoughts

Ubuntu Budgie may be the new kid on the block, but don’t discount them too quickly. So far, I’m loving the interface of this new flavor of Ubuntu. It’s sleek and stylish and very easy to use. I do believe that this may just replace my default installation of Linux moving forward.

If you have been wanting to try Linux, but you just weren’t quite sure which version you should try, I encourage you to try Ubuntu Budgie. It provides all the power of the heavier GUI’s but keeps thing running lightly and efficiently.

Have you tried Ubuntu Budgie? If so, what do you think about this latest version of Ubuntu? Tell me your thoughts about it and Ubuntu in general in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.

By Matt Garrett

Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing on our sister ShopNinja sites where he enjoys talking about anything and everything tech.

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