Best Linux Desktop Environments 2024: top recommendations

a collection of software applications and user interface elements that facilitate interaction with the operating system.

The best Linux desktop environments comprises a set of software tools and programs that work together to offer a cohesive user experience. Some Linux users like to use the command-line terminal to interact with the operating system, while others like to use the Graphical User Interface (GUI) that Linux offers. One thing that stands out about Linux is that it has a lot of different desktop environments. But because there are so many options to choose from, it can be hard to find the best desktop environment.

But this is yet another way to show how flexible Linux is. In the end, a desktop environment can be seen as just another piece of software, albeit a very large and complicated one. In the end, it can be installed the same way as any other software. A lot of desktop developers also make sure that their creations are easy to use with your current setup. Aside from well-known options like Gnome, KDE, Cinnamon, Mate, Xfce, and LXDE, which are usually included with popular distributions, there are also some interesting options you may not know about. Below we have mentioned the best linux desktop environments.

Importance of Choosing the Right Linux Desktop Environment

Choosing the right Linux desktop environment is important for a good user experience and a smooth workflow. The desktop environment includes the graphical user interface, the window manager, and a set of tools and applications that change how you interact with your Linux operating system. Here are some important reasons why it’s important to choose the right desktop environment:

Experience as a user: The desktop environment has a big effect on how you use your computer. Different environments have different looks, layouts, and ways to customize them. By choosing the right desktop environment, you can create a comfortable and easy-to-use user experience that fits your preferences and workflow.

Performance and Use of Resources: Linux desktop environments vary in how well they work and how much they use. Some environments are small and designed to work well with older hardware or systems with limited resources, while others may have more features but need more memory and processing power. Choosing a desktop environment that works well with your system can make it run faster and respond more quickly.

Customization and flexibility: Linux is known for how much you can change it, and the desktop environment you choose is a big part of that. Each environment gives you a different range of ways to customize your desktop, such as by changing themes, icons, and the way windows act. You can make a computer environment that fits your needs by choosing a desktop environment that gives you the level of flexibility you want.

Best Linux Desktop Environments Comparison Table

The table below shows a comparison of the best Linux desktop environments and gives a full rundown of their features and functions. It gives users the information they need to make decisions based on their preferences and needs. Each desktop environment is judged on things like how customizable it is, how much it uses, how easy it is to use, how well it is supported by the community, and what applications are available. The table gives a quick summary of each environment’s pros and cons, so users can choose the one that fits their workflow and style preferences. Whether you want a simple desktop, a lot of customization options, or a certain theme, this comparison table will help you find the best Linux desktop environment for your needs.

Desktop EnvironmentLatest Stable ReleaseDefault OSResource UsageCustomization OptionsUser-FriendlinessOfficial Link
GNOME40.3FedoraHighLimitedModerateVisit Website
KDE Plasma5.22KubuntuModerateExtensiveHighVisit Website
MATE1.24Ubuntu MATELowModerateHighVisit Website
LXDE0.99.2LubuntuVery LowLimitedHighVisit Website
Enlightenment0.24.2Bodhi LinuxLowExtensiveModerateVisit Website

GNOME

Best Linux Desktop Environments

Features

  • Interface that is modern and easy to use.
  • Designed to be simple and easy to use.
  • Offers a design that is simple and clean.
  • Integration with online services and cloud storage is very good.
  • Allows for customization through add-ons.

GNOME, which stands for “GNU Network Object Model Environment,” is a free and open-source software project that aims to make programs that don’t need to be connected to a network. At the moment, GNOME is the Linux desktop environment that most people use. The GNOME work environment has become so popular that many people think it comes with Linux. And platforms like Debian and Fedora use GNOME as their standard default environment. Still, this is one of the best linux desktop environments you can consider now.

Pros

  • Sleek and modern design.
  • Interface that is easy to use.
  • Excellent compatibility with GNOME apps.
  • Lots of ways to change things.

Cons

  • Can use a lot of resources, especially on older computers.
  • Users who like a more traditional desktop experience might not like a minimalist approach.

KDE Plasma

Best Linux Desktop Environments

Features

  • Very flexible and full of features.
  • Offers an interface that looks nice and is up-to-date.
  • Offers a wide range of ways to customize.
  • It lets you use desktop widgets and change the look of the panel.
  • Includes settings and configuration options for more advanced systems.

After GNOME, KDE Plasma is the Linux desktop environment that people use the most. This KDE Plasma desktop environment has many tools and services that can be used to meet almost any need. It comes with programs like Dolphin, which is the default and most powerful file manager, and KGeoTag, which is a program for adding geotags to photos.

It comes with Oxygen icons by default, which have a nice look and look like real things. KDE Plasma comes with a lot of built-in programs from a wide range of categories, such as development tools, education programs, games, graphics, multimedia, and security utilities. Overall, this is one of the best linux desktop environments you can consider now.

Pros

  • A lot of widgets and themes make it easy to change.
  • Great efficiency and performance.
  • Gives you the classic desktop experience.
  • Support for third-party apps is very good.

Cons

  • Compared to some other desktop environments, it needs more system resources.
  • Some people might find that the default settings are too busy.

MATE

Best Linux Desktop Environments

Features

  • Offers a desktop environment that is traditional and easy to use.
  • Offers a simple interface that uses few resources.
  • focuses on being stable and dependable.
  • Offers a lot of ways to change things.
  • Gives you a desktop experience that is similar to older GNOME versions.

MATE is GNOME 2’s successor. It uses classic paradigms to give Linux and other operating systems that are similar to Unix an easy-to-use and interesting desktop. MATE is being worked on right now so that it can support new technologies while keeping a traditional desktop experience. Ubuntu MATE has low system requirements, so it can run on modern workstations, single-board PCs, and older systems. The MATE desktop environment makes your computer run better and look better. Thus, this is one of the best linux desktop environments you can consider now.

Pros

  • It’s light and works well, so it can be used with older hardware.
  • Good customization options that don’t make users feel overwhelmed.
  • Stable and always there.

Cons

  • Compared to some other desktop environments, it looks less appealing.
  • It does not have as many features as GNOME or KDE Plasma.
  • Fewer developers and fewer extensions are available.

LXDE

Best Linux Desktop Environments

Features

  • Easy to carry and very effective.
  • Made for systems with few resources or older hardware.
  • Gives the user a quick and responsive experience.
  • Consumes minimal system resources.
  • Offers a user interface that is easy to use.

LXDE is also a beautiful and portable desktop environment. Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment is what LXDE is short for. It uses less RAM than other desktop environments because it doesn’t need as many resources. LXDE is better for cloud workstations with older specs, like netbooks or hardware that has been around for a long time. Currently, this is one of the best linux desktop environments you can consider now.

Pros

  • Very fast and light, making it perfect for low-spec hardware.
  • Using as few system resources as possible to save them.
  • The interface is simple and easy to use.
  • Fits users who want a basic desktop experience with no extras.

Cons

  • Compared to other desktop environments, you can’t change it as much.
  • Not as nice to look at and doesn’t have any modern design elements.
  • Less people use it, and there are fewer apps and extensions to choose from.

Enlightenment

Best Linux Desktop Environments

Features

  • Highly customizable and beautiful to look at.
  • Offers a unique and attractive interface.
  • Supports advanced effects and animations on the desktop.
  • Offers an environment that uses few resources and is easy to use.
  • Offers a lot of ways to change how it looks and what it does.

Enlightenment is another desktop environment that is both light and powerful. It can be changed in any way you want and is easy to set up. There are many different configurations and changes that can be made to fit any taste. This Desktop environment is all about pushing the limits of the technology we already have while being light, flexible, and attractive.

Enlightenment can run user scripts or apps automatically when the system starts up, reloads, or shuts down. This makes it easier to load plugins for the system tray, RSS feed readers, and other device drivers. Overall, this is one of the best linux desktop environments you can consider now.

Pros

  • Highly customizable and beautiful to look at.
  • Lightweight and good at using resources.
  • Performance that is quick and responsive.
  • Innovative and unique desktop environment.
  • Helps a lot of different platforms.

Cons

  • Compared to other desktop environments, it has a steeper learning curve.
  • There aren’t many packages and apps that are already made.

Tips for Optimizing and Tweaking Linux Desktop Environments

By tweaking and optimizing a Linux desktop environment, you can make it much faster, more responsive, and easier to use. Here are some tips to help you make your Linux desktop environment work better:

Choose a Lightweight Desktop Environment. If you’re worried about performance, you might want to use Xfce, LXQt, or MATE, which are all lightweight desktop environments. These desktop environments are made to use as few resources as possible and work well on older or less powerful computers.

Turn off or get rid of startup programs that you don’t need. Many desktop environments have programs that start automatically when you log in. Look over these programs that start up automatically and turn off or get rid of the ones you don’t need. This can make the system run faster and use fewer resources.

Use a Compositor: Turn on a compositor, which is a piece of software that adds effects to the desktop and makes it easier to manage windows. Compositors can help reduce screen tearing, improve how windows move, and make it easier to use the desktop. Compiz, Compton, and KWin are all well-known compositors.

FAQs

What is a Linux desktop environment?

A Linux desktop environment is a graphical user interface (GUI) that lets you interact with the operating system in an easy way. It comes with a set of programs and tools that let users do things like run programs, manage files, and change the way their desktop looks.

Which desktop environment is the best?

The best desktop environment is a matter of opinion and depends on what each person wants and needs. Each desktop environment has both good and bad things about it. GNOME is known for its modern and sleek design, KDE Plasma has a lot of ways to customize it, Xfce is small and quick, Cinnamon gives you a traditional desktop, and MATE has a classic and familiar interface.

Editorial Staff
Editorial Staffhttps://www.bollyinside.com
The Bollyinside editorial staff is made up of tech experts with more than 10 years of experience Led by Sumit Chauhan. We started in 2014 and now Bollyinside is a leading tech resource, offering everything from product reviews and tech guides to marketing tips. Think of us as your go-to tech encyclopedia!

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