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The Linux desktop environment includes a collection of programs designed to cooperate and provide a unified user experience (UX). Many Linux users prefer using the terminal or command line to interact with the operating system, but you can also use the graphical user interface (GUI) instead of the terminal.
There is no best Linux desktop environment because it depends on various factors, including ease of use, memory usage, compatibility, and usefulness. This post has ranked the top 10 best desktop environments for Linux.
The most well-known desktop environment is probably GNOME. GNOME, which has well-known forks like Cinnamon, is the default desktop environment for many famous Linux distributions. GNOME is meant to be user-friendly and adaptable. The interface offers a distinctive experience (tailored for both desktops and mobile).
GNOME isn't a lightweight desktop environment, which is a shame. Therefore, it's not the best option if you want to install a Linux distribution on an older machine or one with less than 4 Gigabytes of RAM.
It's encouraging to note that GNOME's most recent GNOME 3.36 version strongly emphasises performance. Therefore, GNOME should be the ideal choice if you want a nice user experience with something that looks distinct from, say, a standard Windows layout.
Debian, Fedora, openSUSE, and Ubuntu are notable GNOME distributions. Not to mention, Pop OS 20.04 has many great features in addition to the GNOME desktop environment.
The Budgie desktop, one of the best Linux desktop environments, was created and is utilized by the Solus distribution. It is entirely original and uses Gnome stack components. The Raven unified notification and customization center, which provides easy access to the calendar, media player controls, system settings, and power options, is the centrepiece of the desktop.
The program menu and other desktop components are all implemented as applets. Budgie, one of the best desktop environments for Linux, is simple to modify and extend, and it provides many choices to let you shape it any way you choose.
For instance, Budgie only has one workspace by default and doesn't display desktop icons, but both of these default behaviours can be easily changed using the Budgie Desktop Settings app. The Budgie Menu, which now organizes category names alphabetically, and the Icon Tasklist applet, which has several new features and behaviour improvements, are just two of the key components of the desktop that have undergone refining by the developers.
Next on our list of best Linux desktop environments is Elementary, another illustration of a simple yet fashionable desktop. Pantheon is well known for its sophisticated yet simple features. Gala is the name of the Mutter-based window manager on the desktop. It draws inspiration from Mac OS X to provide a phenomenal user experience.
The desktop integrates all its different components, including the Wingpanel (top panel), the Plank dock, and the Slingshot application launcher. Every action has a subtle animation. The Pantheon Tweaks tool can be used to modify the desktop. After installation, you can use this program to alter the desktop environment, manage animations, choose fonts, and do much more.
Although Pantheon may be installed on top of Arch, Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, and Fedora, it is not officially supported on any other distribution.
As one of the best desktop environments for Linux, Enlightenment is a strange desktop setting. Due to the absence of taskbars, panels, and even menus, it is more of a window manager. The Enlightenment desktop, however, is full of eye candy that you'd expect from a full-blown environment, at a fraction of the resources, unlike many lightweight settings.
Almost every aspect of the desktop, from the menus to the many desktop widgets, has a subtle movement concealed inside. The desktop contains a first boot wizard that lets you choose different features that determine how it behaves and appears.
For instance, if you run Enlightenment on a high DPI display, you can change the window text size, which is a helpful feature. Additionally, the desktop provides many modules and setting choices to keep you occupied without overwhelming new users. However, setting it up how you like will take some time.
Unquestionably, Cinnamon is one of the best Linux desktop environments to use in 2023. This desktop comes from the Linux Mint community. Linux Mint forked the GNOME 3 shell. They then modified it to give Linux users a nicer desktop environment.
Over time, Cinnamon has developed into a full desktop. Cinnamon prioritizes the satisfaction of its users. The desktop is covered in animations and effects. You might find Cinnamon to be familiar if you're switching from Windows. Linux Mint, Fedora, EndeavourOS, and Manjaro Linux are among the Linux distributions that use Cinnamon.
Deepin is a Linux desktop environment that is understated yet stylish. The good news is that it is compatible with many Linux line distributions, including Arch Linux, Manjaro, and many others. The Deepin desktop has a simple, clutter-free interface with just the dock at the bottom of the screen and attempts to mimic the usefulness and aesthetics of Mac OS X.
Touch-screen gestures are now also supported on the desktop. The desktop contains programmable hot corners that, by default, provide you access to the app's menu and the control panel, which you may use to customize every aspect of the desktop.
It has a properly thought-out and user-friendly layout that makes it extremely productive. The standard system is also the most user-friendly system possible because it requires fewer setups.
Major configurations are made using an external pop-up panel. However, users can also launch their programs from the dock, which is located at the bottom of the screen, just like in the Pantheon desktop environment.
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This environment was created based on GNOME 2 and was initially created in response to user complaints about GNOME 3, the most recent version of the GNOME shell. Even though MATE is based on the beloved GNOME 2, the team behind it has made numerous enhancements to the desktop environment.
If we use Ubuntu MATE 20.04 as an example, the MATE desktop is appropriate for most people. Of course, this is especially true for those who preferred GNOME 2 but despise the new GNOME. It is important to note that it is a lightweight desktop environment in addition to the user experience.
A selection of fundamental programs and practical tools are included with MATE.
LXDE, one of the best desktop environments for Linux, uses less RAM than competing desktop environments due to its low resource utilization. However, LXDE works best with cloud computing devices with outdated specifications, such as MIDs, netbooks, or outdated hardware.
In addition to supporting keyboard shortcuts and multiple languages, LXDE conserves electricity. Some of its primary characteristics include faster and lighter performance, efficiency in terms of energy and adaptability for outdated hardware.
Another best Linux desktop environment, LXQt, is a lightweight desktop environment that offers a better user experience than LXDE (in terms of its look and feel). LXQt attempts to give a contemporary style without sacrificing performance, but it is still not the most user-friendly interface.
Of course, LXQt is a great option if performance is more important to you than appearance. Due to its minimal RAM and CPU usage, LXQT, this contemporary version of LXDE, is appropriate for cloud servers and obsolete infrastructure. The performance of LXQT on even the most basic hardware is unparalleled.
The most utilized features of this desktop can be customized with the help of a respectable number of tweakable options provided by LXQt. The desktop employs modules, which are effectively desktop-independent tools for tasks special to the desktop. The panel also allows plug-ins. LXQt is available in almost every distro's repository.
One of the most widely used desktop environments is KDE which is incredibly lightweight and highly adaptable. The "Plasma" desktop is another name for it. KDE makes using KDE Connect to connect your phone to your Linux system simpler.
Additionally, Plasma has a browser integration that allows you to communicate with your phone through your browser quickly. Due to its flexibility, refined user interface, built-in tools, and extremely lightweight, KDE is one of the most demanding desktops.
There are numerous built-in applications in KDE Plasma from many genres, including development tools, educational software, gaming software, graphics software, multimedia software, and other security utilities. Kubuntu, OpenSUSE, and KDE Neon are Linux distributions that employ KDE as their default desktop environment.
What are the greatest Linux desktops for you to choose?
You should think about a variety of factors before selecting the best desktop environments for Linux. To make the transition from Windows or macOS easier, pick a Linux desktop that is comfortable for them. Choose a desktop that is lightweight and gentle on the system's resources if you need one for outdated hardware.
If you're not experienced with Linux, seek desktops that are simple to use right out of the box and have simple configuration options. The aesthetics of the desktop are another consideration; although some are vibrant and lovely, others are simpler, plainer, and more functionally oriented.
We have now discussed the top 10 best desktop environments for Linux. Numerous desktop environments exist, each with unique features and operations. There is no perfect desktop environment, so there are various desktop environments. According to users, each of these surroundings is the greatest and is ranked higher.
Regardless of your computer experience, the list above has a desktop environment that will work for you. Depending on your demands, you can select any acceptable desktop environment.
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