The Linux desktop environment is made up of a collection of software tools and programs that are designed to function together and provide a uniform user experience (UX).

Many Linux users prefer to work with the operating system via the command-line terminal, but you can also use the Graphical User Interface (GUI) instead of the terminal.

One of the greatest things about Linux is the variety of desktop environments available. On the other hand, with several desktop environments to select from, deciding which is appropriate for you might be difficult.

We have summed up a list of excellent desktop environments that can be installed on any Linux distribution.

Let's get rolling!

XFCE

XFCE is compatible with a wide range of Linux distros. Xfce does not offer sophisticated modifications, yet it is the most performance-oriented desktop environment. It's a compact desktop environment with a comprehensive user interface. XFCE can be installed on a variety of UNIX systems. It has been reported to compile on Ubuntu, NetBSD, Solaris, Cygwin, OpenBSD, and macOS X, as well as x86, PPC, Sparc, and Alpha architectures.

XFCE tool comprises a number of functionalities that work together to give the complete capabilities of a modern desktop environment. They're packaged independently, and you can choose from various options to build your own personalized workplace environment.

Features:

  • It comes with a desktop manager that allows you to add background images, icons, and other items to your desktop.
  • Fast, portable, and resource-efficient.
  • Displays the installed programs on your system in categories so that you can locate them quickly.
  • It consists of essential and fundamental file management tools like bulk renamer.
  • XFCE has excellent panel management and a wide variety of panel applets.
  • Configurations are simple to export and import.

XFCE also includes a variety of additional apps and add-ons, such as a terminal emulator, photographic viewer, CD, and DVD burning application, in addition to the standard set of modules.

GNOME

GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) is a free and open-source software initiative that aims to create network-independent programs based on open-source technologies. Currently, GNOME is the most used Linux desktop environment.

The GNOME workplace environment has grown in popularity to the point where many people believe it is part of Linux. And platforms, such as Debian and Fedora, use GNOME as their standard default environment.

Features:

  • GNOME Shell Extensions can be used to increase functionality.
  • The Settings app is well-organized and simple to use.
  • Dynamic and flexible workspaces
  • With a variety of themes and designs to choose from, you can personalize your UI and UX.
  • Search throughout the entire system

It allows you to search the whole machine from your Gnome desktop. Not only applications, but also you can search to discover documents, photos, and even uninstalled programs.

KDE Plasma

After GNOME, the most widely used Linux desktop environment is KDE Plasma. This KDE Plasma desktop environment comes with various tools and services to fulfill almost any demand. It includes applications like Dolphin, the default and most powerful file system manager, and KGeoTag, a photo Photo geotagging program. It features Oxygen icons by default, which have a pleasing appearance that resembles real-life things.

Features:

  • Highly Flexible – The desktop may be customized in various ways, including using widgets.
  • An appealing, polished UI that is smart and user-friendly.
  • Exceptionally adaptable and integrated advanced search.
  • “Convergence” across many devices

KDE Plasma comes with a lot of built-in applications from a wide range of genres, including development tools, education, gaming, graphics, multimedia, and other security utilities. You can see all the available applications for KDE Plasma here.

MATE

MATE is the extension of GNOME 2. It creates an intuitive and engaging desktop experience for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems by employing classical paradigms.

Features:

  • Lightweight and straightforward to use.
  • Supports full HiDPI and follows the GNOME2 HIG standards.
  • Very customizable and does not require the use of a composite manager.

MATE is actively being developed in order to enable new technologies while maintaining a conventional desktop experience. Ubuntu MATE features low system requirements, making it appropriate for current workstations, single-board PCs, and older systems. The MATE desktop environment improves the performance & appearance of your machine.

LXDE

Another elegant and portable desktop environment is LXDE. LXDE stands for Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment. It uses minimal RAM compared to other desktop environments since it uses so few resources. LXDE is better suited to cloud workstations with older specifications, such as netbooks or outdated hardware.

Features:

  • Performance-wise, it's faster and lighter.
  • Low consumption of resources like RAM.

It is compatible with Unix and other POSIX-compliant platforms like Linux, OpenBSD, and FreeBSD.

Enlightenment

Another lightweight and powerful desktop environment is Enlightenment. It's entirely customizable and simple to set up. There are several configurations and modification choices to suit any preference. This Desktop environment is concerned with pushing the boundaries of existing technology while being lightweight, adaptable, and attractive.

During system startup, reload, and shutdown, Enlightenment can automatically execute user scripts or apps. This makes system tray plugins, RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed readers, and other device drivers easier to load.

Features:

  • Built-in composite and file manager
  • Usually uses extremely minimal RAM in comparison to other environments.
  • Simple to use and flexible

This Linux desktop environment acts as a rendering engine that can launch apps, manage the user interface, and even change system settings. The Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) are used to build an Enlightenment environment.

Deepin

Deepin is a Linux distribution dedicated to giving worldwide users an attractive, incredibly simple, secure, and stable system. At first, Deepin Desktop Environment (DEE) was designed to work only with the Deepin Linux distribution. Now it is compatible with a wide range of Linux distributions, including Arch Linux, Manjaro, and many more.

It also has a well-designed and simple-to-use interface, making it highly efficient. Furthermore, the standard system makes it the ideal user-friendly system with fewer adjustments and modifications. User Experience is surprisingly similar to a regular desktop architecture like Windows and Mac OS X but a little nicer than usual.

Features:

  • The User interface is quite attractive, similar to Mac OS X.
  • Supports various distros.

The Deepin Tool Kit, or DTK, is one of the most essential components of Deepin. It's a GTK-like framework( Cross-platform widget toolkit for creating GUI) for constructing Deepin apps. 

LXQT

LXQT is another fantastic lightweight desktop environment. LXQT is a modern edition of LXDE that is suited for cloud servers and outdated infrastructure owing to its low RAM and CPU usage. LXQT is unmatched in its capacity to perform on even the most primitive devices.

Features:

  • Modular and flexible elements
  • A robust file manager and Less resource consumption
  • Modify system appearance in every way possible.

LXQT is the standard desktop environment on a lot of Linux distributions, including the Lubuntu-Lightweight Linux operating system based on Ubuntu and a few others.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is the most widely used edition of Linux Mint. It is a stable, reliable desktop environment that runs on all major operating systems and Linux distributions like Debian GNU/Linux, Ubuntu LTS, Artix, and Manjaro Linux. Cinnamon is user-friendly and adaptable. You can make it uniquely yours with little effort. Themes, plugins, and modules are all used to customize Cinnamon. Users are drawn to the familiarity and friendliness of the user interface.

Features:

  • Packed with the newest features for traditional desktops.
  • The Interface is quick, attractive, and stable
  • Very flexible and easy to customize
  • Cinnamon allows you to customize icon placement across many displays.
  • The Themes and plugins that come pre-installed are very nice.
  • Apps designed for any other desktop environment can be run on cinnamon.

Cinnamon is a desktop environment designed to be simple to use and friendly to individuals who are switching from Windows. With core technologies derived from Gnome Shell, the desktop layout is identical to Gnome 2. Cinnamon is still being actively developed by its own community and developers, with additional updated features being released frequently.

Conclusion

Since there is no single greatest Linux desktop environment, it is just determined by factors such as memory usage, portability, and functionality. Every user has different needs, so pick the one that best fits yours. 

I hope you found this article very useful in learning the best Linux Desktop Environments to Use in 2022

You may also be interested in learning about the Linux Distros to know as Sysadmin and Developers.