Which of the 7 most widely used Linux desktop environments is best for you


Diversity should be one of the best features of Linux. Users can constantly try all kinds of favorite and fresh playing methods and tricks, and find out the most suitable application for themselves. Whether you are a new Linux person or not, the endless application and desktop environment may be too busy for us, especially trying different Linux desktop environment, which can be said to be a very time-consuming and tiring task.

Statement:We just summarize the 7 most widely used Linux desktop environments, ranking in no particular order.


KDE is not just a desktop environment, but actually a collection of various applications and Linux desktops. The desktop environment itself is only a subset of the application environment. At present, the latest KDE environment is called plasma. It is divided into plasma desktop and plasma netbook. KDE is one of the most customized and flexible Linux desktop environments.

Other desktop environments may require additional tools to customize or adjust. KDE integrates all these into the system settings. Users can customize the desktop without using any third-party tools, such as downloading desktop gadgets, wallpapers and themes.

KDE also integrates common basic applications, and is compatible with applications not built on KDE development platform. KDE integrated applications are very rich, which can fully meet the daily application of ordinary users without installing other alternative applications.

Whether you just want a Linux desktop environment out of the box or a comprehensive customization of the desktop, KDE is a very good choice. At present, Linux distributions that use KDE as the default desktop environment mainly include openSUSE and Kubuntu.

KDE benefits:

·Rich and powerful functions

·Modern user interface

·Highly customizable and flexible

·Wide range of software compatibility

Disadvantages of KDE:

·Slightly heavy resource usage

·Some components seem too complex to use


Mate desktop environment is based on Gnome 2, which is currently unattended. Mate was originally developed for users who are disappointed in Gnome 3. The development of fork Gnome 2 code does not mean the use of outdated technology, and mate will continue to use modern technology for improvement.

Mate desktop environment adopts a modern and traditional desktop experience, which supports panel system, various menus, applets, indicators and buttons, and can be arranged according to the needs of users. The basic applications of mate are copied from Gnome 2 for integration. It consumes very little resources and can work stably on a weak hardware platform.

Ubuntu mate currently uses mate as its default desktop environment.

Mate benefits:

·Intuitive and stable user experience

·Simple and light

·Highly customizable

Disadvantages of mate:

·The interface looks a little old


Gnome is one of the most popular desktop environments used by Linux distributions. Many Linux distributions use gnome as the default desktop environment. It also has some popular branches, such as cinnamon, unity and so on. Gnome is designed for ease of use and customization. At present, the latest Gnome 3 has a very modern and attractive user interface, and can provide better support for touch devices.

Gnome contains almost all the functions required by the modern desktop environment. Gnome 3 provides a better interface than Gnome 2’s classic mode. Dashboard, system wide search and powerful application can directly and easily meet the user’s needs. However, the customization of desktop environment needs to be done with gnome twiak tool. In version 3.18, it also has some interesting functions of file manager, such as the integration of Google drive.

Currently, Linux distributions using gnome as the default desktop environment mainly include Debian, Fedora, openSUSE and Ubuntu gnome.

Gnome benefits:

·Modern and touch friendly user interface

·Can extend functions through shell

·Highly customizable

Gnome disadvantages:

·Extension management is unsatisfactory


Cinnamon, a branch of Gnome 3, is currently serving as the default desktop environment for Linux mint. It is best known for its user interface similar to windows, which can help Linux entry-level users get started easily and reduce their discomfort.

Cinnamon integrates various basic applications from Gnome 3. Cinnamon integrates panels, themes, applets and various custom component extensions. The panel is located at the bottom edge of the screen, equipped with main menu, enabler, open window list, system tray, etc.

Cinnamon benefits:

·Fashionable and exquisite appearance

·Familiar interface

·Very beautiful customization

Disadvantages of cinnamon:

·Occasional bugs


Unity is also based on the GNOME desktop environment, equipped with the most core Gnome applications. Unity is mainly used in Ubuntu desktop environment developed by canonical.

Unity focuses on providing a consistent user experience for users who use keyboard, mouse, touchpad or even touch screen, providing users with simple applications and integrating a touch friendly use environment, and realizing some new ideas and technologies, such as lens and HUD.

Although there is a lot of debate about the unity desktop environment, it still has a very large number of users, thanks to the fact that it is the default desktop environment for Ubuntu, the most popular Linux distribution.

Unity benefits:

·Very intuitive

·Seamless desktop experience

Disadvantages of unity:

·Poor customization

·Not available for major Linux distributions


Lxde is a very fast and resource-saving desktop environment, which provides a light and user-friendly desktop. It adopts a modular implementation method to make each component can be used independently, which also makes it easier to migrate lxde to other Linux, BDS and UNIX.

Lxde comes with various desktop components, systems and configuration tools. It is currently the default desktop environment of lubuntu.

Lxde benefits:

·Light enough, fast enough

·Almost all Linux distributions are supported

Lxde disadvantages:

·The user interface doesn’t seem attractive


Xfce is one of the most lightweight desktop environments for Linux, BSD and other UNIX like distributions. Xfce provides a very simple, modern, visually attractive user-friendly interface and a set of applications with basic functions.

Currently, both manjaro Linux and xubuntu use xfce as the default desktop environment.

Xfce benefits:

·Very lightweight for old hardware

·The interface is modern and attractive enough

·Some customization

Xfce disadvantages:

·Less built-in applications

Different Linux desktop environments have different development purposes and properties. For different user needs, which desktop is suitable for you is the best way. With the above introduction, you can try it yourself.