Ikey Doherty was the main developer of Solus, he is the one who founded it. Solus is a Linux distribution built from scratch and Ikey is a well known developer within the Linux community.

I first met him on the Linux Mint community forums and when years later I heard about him creating Solus I got very interested. A distribution built from scratch, using new approaches, new package manager, new desktop environment that looks beautiful and a desktop focused philosophy would catch my eye anyways, but knowing it was built by Ikey it made it even more interesting to me.

What’s all the fuss about Ikey?

He is a great developer without a doubt. But he was also very available. He was present on IRC, always replied to my inquiries in the private or public chat rooms and via email as well. He was friendly, funny and sometimes harsh at the same time. He could admit if he was wrong.

I did a short interview with him when I started this blog, but I never published it. I also enjoyed watching his live development of Solus and Budgie on Youtube.

Oh, Budgie

Budgie Desktop Environment
Budgie Desktop Environment

Budgie is a desktop environment. That is the default DE of Solus and it was originally build by Ikey, too. He was the main developer of it. Budgie is my favourite DE to date because it’s just blazing fast, beautiful by default, customizable enough for me and stable. It’s built on the Gnome stack but it is million times faster than Gnome Shell. It’s also available and popular among Arch, Manjaro, Ubuntu Budgie and other desktops as well.

What happened?

As the title says, Ikey left Solus. It’s a long story and for me the whole thing was just weird. I still have questions in my head about why things happened they way they did. Long story short, Ikey moved to a different country, the team didn’t know much about him, he disappeared, the team didn’t have access to some accounts. Finally we got to know that Ikey became a father and not going to continue Solus development.

Nevertheless, here’s the story from both Solus teams’s perspective and Ikey’s one.

  1. Solus Team: In Full Sail
  2. Ikey: An Open Letter To Solus From Its Founder Ikey Doherty

What’s next with Solus and Budgie?

Solus has a great team. If you read the “In Full Sail” blog post you already know that. I’m running Solus Budgie as my daily driver and I can tell that I still get the package updates every Friday and the development is still active. I’ll probably write a separate article about what I like about Solus so much.

I’m also a little bit worried. The development is of course not as rapid as it used to be. Solus 4 was supposed to be released last Christmas and it’s still not out yet (we got almost everything already in Solus 3.9999, though). I haven’t heard about the new Software Center for a while, either. I know Joshua Strobl is actively developing Budgie and I can see the progress there.

Final words

Anyway, I’m happy that Solus development continues without a doubt and I’m still happy to use it. In fact I stopped using it a couple of months ago when there was some uncertainty (I didn’t feel the team was honest or open enough about the disappearing of Ikey [but the “In Full Sail” blog article explains it all]). However I missed it so much I had to come back to it.

Soon there will be probably a new Patreon account where you can support the development of the distribution and I also have some interesting news regarding Solus and Budgie, I’ll post those in a separate article. Please check back later if you’re interested.