The five best desktop environments for Linux

In today's open source roundup: Five of the best desktop environments for Linux. Plus: Debian will switch from Libav to FFmpeg. And Samsung launches a clamshell Android phone in China


The five best Linux desktop environments

One of the best things about Linux is the range of choices available in terms of desktop environments. But that same blessing can sometimes be a curse for new users who might not understand the differences between each desktop. Linux and Ubuntu has a roundup of five of the best Linux desktop environments that might be helpful for anyone new to Linux.

Mohd Sohail reports for Linux and Ubuntu:

If you are new to Linux then I'm sure you are giving up lots of time choosing Desktop Environment of your Linux Distribution. You are probably thinking to give a try to each one of them but that's very time consuming. That's why here I'm reviewing the 5 Best Linux Desktop Environments with the pros & cons. The article gives you what you should know for choosing a DE. So let's get started!

When it comes to select a Linux Desktop Environment, DE for short, then there are numerous DEs to choose from. I've been using Linux for long and I've tried (Used) almost all major DEs until I found the one that I needed for my primary work. You finally have to stick with one DE to work better.

The following list gives the 5 Best Desktop Environment, although there are many but the list will help you choosing the one that you need in less time. So let's get started with our first Linux Desktop Environment.

1. KDE


3. Cinnamon


5. Unity

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Linux and Ubuntu readers certainly had their own thoughts to share about the site's choices for the best five Linux desktop environments:

Eldergeek: "I can't believe that XFCE did not make that list. It is at least popular enough the list should be extended to 6 best. Still I am a Fluxbox user. It is the best Linux Window Manager for me. Even if will garner less than 2% of the votes."

Mohd Sohail: "Yes I am sorry that XFCE is not there. I wanted to make the list shorter so that newbies don't get trouble choosing the better one. So I made this list to be good mostly for newbies."

Fredbird: "I'm surprised nobody has mentioned LXDE. I've tried quite a few desktop environments and a few window managers and have even had other favorites in the 10+ years that I've been a Linux user (I started out with KDE 3.x, in fact), but anymore, my favorite desktop environment is LXDE, never mind the fact that both my desktop box and my laptop are both 64-bit with 4GB of memory and could quite comfortably run something like KDE, Cinnamon, or Unity. And as far as I'm concerned, I have everything in LXDE that I need when it comes to my desktop."

Sven: "Same for me. Tried a lot of them and ended up with LXDE which has not crashed once in 3 years! No strange bugs either. It misses some features though as its meant to be a lightweight environment (which for me is more a pro than a con)."

Average: "LXDE is nice but it lacks some useful features. LXDE is also light but most computers are powerful enough to run even the heaviest desktop environments which renders LXDE's advantage kind of useless."

Orbmiser: "Agree with your choices. And tho am an old Gnome 2 users and Mate and Cinnamon are compelling in their own rights. No matter what I used I always need more feature rich and mature apps like Dolphin,K3b,Okular,etc.. and ended up pulling in half of KDE anyways no matter the DE used. So bit the bullet and moved to KDE and happy I did.

Also a biggie for me is using 4 Virtual Desktops on Dual Displays. It is critical for my workflow that apps remember their Size & Position. And KDE does that natively. Who wants to be dragging positioning and re-sizing apps all the time?

Couple that with customization for everything and powerful Krunner for the win for my needs & wants. What bugs me is the FUD that KDE is Bloated and a Resource Hog! Untrue as my desktop chimes in at 390mb for 4.14.6 and 474mb for Plasma 5. That is lighter and more responsive on my setup than Unity,Gnome or Cinnamon."

JD: "Whew, LXDE or XFCE for me. Of course I also run #! so I like minimal distractions. Why waste resources on stuff like KDE, MATE, GNOME when you have LXDE. The screen is mostly filled with application windows anyway, who really sees the desktop much? Or am I the only person who has e-mail, browser, file managers and virtual machines running all at the same time. Multiple screens, virtual desktops are great. Just never really see my desktop background unless I'm shutting down or just started. But that's the beauty of Linux, BSD and UNIX type systems. Choice."

Emblem: "Xfce would be at the top of my list, while KDE would be at the bottom. I appreciate the power of KDE, but from a usability perspective every time it is a nightmare! Everything from the start menu to the settings is a confusing mess of options that would intimidate any new user. I think the project could do well with a big "human interface cleanup" project, going one by one on each component and making it sane. :/"

Hosam: "The amount of crashes I get on KDE desktops are too damn high."

Alsocurious: "So - why is KDE not the default in those mainstream distros - Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, OpenSuSE if it is so good? Qt was in chains by a restrictive license while the property of Trolltech many years ago but is no longer. Gnome is not modern tech, is not written in an OO language but in plain C (with X-Window style callbacks, etc) whereas KDE is written in an OO language - C++. KDE looks and feels like MS Windows (not that MS should be flattered by that - its just business). So again - why is it that KDE is not default in all those mainstream distros (KDE used to be default in OpenSuSE I believe)?"

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