Linux Desktops

Popular Linux Desktops

Unlike Microsoft's Windows and Apples Mac OS, Linux allows you to choose from a variety of desktops. Some of the more common desktops are XFCE, GNOME, Cinnamon, LXDE, MATE, LXQt, Budgie, KDE Plasma and Pantheon. These desktop environments aim to provide a suite of products that have a similar look and feel. Most environments provide customisable widgets and features to tailor your desktop to your own preference. LXDE, LXQt and XFCE offer lightweight environments that are less resource hungry than their counterparts. These desktops are ideally suited to notebooks and older hardware, they also run superbly on modern hardware.

Default Desktops

Many Linux distributions come with a default desktop or offer alternative desktop distributions that can either be installed at the time of installation or changed afterwards. Below are some of the popular Linux distribution releases and available desktop environments.

Ubuntu: Default desktop GNOME.
Kubuntu: KDE Desktop.
Lubuntu: LXQt Desktop.
Ubuntu Budgie: Budgie Desktop.
Ubuntu MATE: MATE Desktop.
Xubuntu: XFCE Desktop.
Linux Mint: Cinnamon Desktop.
Linux Mint: MATE Desktop.
Linux Mint: XFCE Desktop.
Elementary OS: Pantheon Desktop.
Debian: GNOME Desktop.
MX Linux: XFCE Desktop.
openSUSE: Available Desktops - KDE, GNOME, XFCE, LXDE, LXQt, Enlightenment, Cinnamon, MATE and Pantheon.
Fedora Workstation: GNOME Desktop.
Fedora Spins: Available Desktops - KDE Plasma, XFCE, LXQt, MATE-Compiz, Cinnamon and LXDE.

GNOME Desktop

GNOME is a free and OpenSource desktop environment for Linux operating systems. GNOME was originally an acronym for GNU Network Object Model Environment. Today GNOME is one of the most widely used desktop environments. The example screen shot below is taken from an Ubuntu desktop system.

GNOME Desktop

KDE Plasma Desktop

KDE Plasma desktop is a desktop created by the KDE community. The KDE project or as it was known early in its life as "Kool Desktop Environment" began life back in 1996. The KDE desktop is available on most Linux distributions and comes with many tailored applications such as kmail, Konsole and kconnect. The example screen shot below is taken from a Fedora system.

KDE Plasma Desktop

Cinnamon Desktop

The Cinnamon desktop is the default desktop of Linux Mint and available on many popular distributions. The Cinnamon desktop environment combines a traditional desktop layout with modern graphical effects. The example screen shot below is from a Linux Mint system.

Cinnamon Desktop

XFCE Desktop

The XFCE desktop is a fast and lightweight desktop environment that can be used on older hardware and modern systems. The desktop is easy to use with a modern appealing look. The example screen shot below is from MX Linux.

XFCE Desktop

MATE Desktop

The MATE Desktop Environment is a continuation of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment. The example screen shot below is from a Linux Mint MATE system.

MATE Desktop Desktop

Pantheon Desktop

The Pantheon Desktop Environment is a desktop environment that comes with the popular Linux distribution Elementary OS. Pantheon was written from scratch and was designed by the same team who builds Elementary OS. The example screen shot below is taken from Elementary OS 5.1.

Pantheon Desktop Desktop