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Best Linux Desktop Environment In 2024

The Linux desktop environment is a graphical user interface that enables users to interact with the Linux operating system in an attractive and user-friendly manner. It comprises several parts, including panels, file managers, window managers, and other desktop applications. These Linux desktop environments often consist of icons, widgets, panels, and menus that you can modify accordingly.

Hence, an operating system’s desktop environment is made to ease up different tasks, such as navigating between apps, opening and closing windows, and more. So, in this blog, we have listed the best Linux desktop environment in 2024.

Before proceeding to the list, remember that the best Linux desktop environment will depend on your tastes and your system’s specifications. These are a few well-known Linux desktop environments.

KDE Plasma

One of Linux’s most popular desktop environments, KDE Plasma is renowned for its feature-rich feature set and visually appealing interface. The desktop environment offers a variety of desktop effects, color schemes, and themes that allow users to personalize their workspaces to their preferences. A top priority for KDE Plasma is boosting user productivity. Thanks to features like KRunner, a powerful search and application launcher, users can easily access files, launch apps, run commands, and perform calculations from the desktop. 

KDE Plasma’s users, developers, and contributors benefit from the encouragement of a vibrant and enthusiastic community. The community constantly improves the desktop experience, adding new features and fixing bugs, so KDE Plasma is regularly updated.


  1. It is incredibly customizable and adaptable.
  2. It gives off a polished, attractive appearance and a variety of striking visual effects.
  3. It is seamlessly integrated with an extensive selection of top-notch applications.
  4. The developer and user community of KDE Plasma is robust and helpful.


  1. KDE Plasma may require a lot of resources, particularly when operating on outdated hardware. Higher system requirements might be necessary for it to function properly.
  2. KDE Plasma might result in a steeper learning curve for inexperienced users or those new to the system.


GNOME is a prevalent Linux desktop environment that provides a simple and intuitive computing experience. Its design is straightforward but sophisticated, and the menus are easy to use. The taskbar provides quick access to frequently used programs.

GNOME Shell Extensions further improve customization by enabling users to add new features and personalize their desktop environments. It prioritizes accessibility features to ensure that people with disabilities may easily utilize the desktop environment. It is an inclusive option for all users because it supports keyboard navigation, screen readers, and magnification tools.

GNOME has a strong application ecosystem that works well with the desktop environment. These programs, which range from the GNOME Calendar and Terminal to the Nautilus file manager, provide a consistent, user-friendly experience.


  1. GNOME is dedicated to providing accessibility so that people with disabilities can easily use Linux systems.
  2. With the help of extensions and themes, it offers some customization.
  3. GNOME prioritizes productivity to maximize workflow.
  4. The GNOME environment is constantly being improved and expanded upon by a committed community of developers and contributors.


  1. It can be more resource-intensive when comparing GNOME to specific lighter desktop environments.
  2. Users who prefer highly customized interfaces may find it disadvantageous since some other desktop environments provide more customization choices than this one.


With its lightweight and customizable Linux UI, XFCE is a popular desktop environment for Linux. For computers that are older or less powerful, XFCE’s low-resource design is ideal. Without taxing your hardware, XFCE offers a responsive and fast desktop environment. Moreover, you can use XFCE’s flexible panel configuration feature to arrange and organize the components of your desktop accordingly. 

The XFCE desktop layout is standard, featuring an application menu button, a panel at the bottom, and a taskbar for managing open windows. The recognizable layout will make it easy for users to transition from other desktop environments. XFCE offers multiple workspaces, allowing you to work efficiently and switch between tasks.


  1. Due to its low resource consumption, it is suitable for older computers.
  2. Provides a conventional desktop environment for users for easy navigation.
  3. It is reliable and provides stability.
  4. Compatible with an array of applications.


  1. It might have some of the cutting-edge built-in functions and features that other desktop environments have.
  2. XFCE’s development community is smaller, which is leading to sluggish updates.


Cinnamon provides a contemporary and visually appealing interface that blends a trendy and attractive design with a conventional desktop design. It has a panel at the rear end of the computer display, a system menu for launching apps, a taskbar to organize open tabs, and tailor-made desktop icons. Cinnamon’s configuration manager offers a simple interface that gives you complete control over modifying different desktop elements. Cinnamon provides widgets and small portable app libraries that can be added to the desktop screen for extra information about system updates, weather, and quick access to certain apps.


  1. It is flexible, allowing you to customize your experience to match your requirements.
  2. It provides a variety of widgets that give rapid access to system apps.
  3. Cinnamon feels comfortable for people used to classic desktop environments like Windows or MacOS.
  4. Cinnamon provides an intuitive interface that is simple to browse.


  1. It can utilize plenty of system resources.
  2. It has previously contained flaws that attackers may exploit.


Based on GNOME Technologies, the desktop environment was developed by the Solus Project and serves as the primary interface on the Solus OS operating system. Additionally, it may be found as an extra desktop environment for numerous well-known Linux variants, including Ubuntu.

Budgie Desktop’s primary strength is its flexibility; because it is based on the GNOME structure, it allows a wide range of plugins, themes, and modifications. The integrated controls and themes let users effortlessly alter the appearance and feel of their desktops. As Bugie is designed to be compact and resource-friendly, it requires minimal system resources, making it perfect for low-cost computers or those requiring great performance. It uses contemporary technologies like GTK3 and easily integrates via window managers and other portable apps.


  1. Built on GNOME structure, it works smoothly with GNOME apps, settings, and plugins, giving users more flexibility.
  2. Compact and lightweight and requires minimal resources.
  3. Compatible with older desktops.
  4. A high level of modification is available.


  1. Limited support from the community and delayed development
  2. Some places have limited modification capabilities, such as the program menu and settings window.


Mate is a modular, readily adaptable, open-source desktop environment for Linux that initially emerged from the GNOME 2 source. It has a conventional appearance with several default apps and customizable settings such as icons, themes, and panel designs. It includes essential programs including file manager, terminal, and a text editor. It is compatible with various Linux distributions and offers all users a comprehensive and fun desktop experience. Mate Desktop is compatible with several Linux distributions, such as Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, and Arch Linux. It is attractive for people who prefer a more conventional desktop environment to the GNOME 3 default one.


  1. Mate desktop is appropriate for outdated or low-spec devices because of its lightweight yet powerful design.
  2. Provides users with a high level of modifications
  3. Provides stability and reliability
  4. It uses a traditional user interface, making it a popular choice among users who want classic desktop environments.


  1. It can need more advanced features in other modern desktop environments.
  2. Mate Desktop might have a more restricted ecosystem and audience, which will slow the release of new features and bug fixes while maintaining attention to urgent problems.


LXQt has developed as a popular alternative among Linux desktop users looking for a lightweight and contemporary experience. LXQt unites the best of LXDE and Razor-Qt, two renowned lightweight desktop environments, to provide a smooth and effective desktop environment that works with older and newer hardware.

LXQt provides a variety of customization choices, including icons, widgets, and themes. It includes a collection of lightweight apps that accommodate third-party applications for additional functionality. LXQt works flawlessly with various Linux distros and window managers, assuring compatibility and reliability. The project has a dedicated group that gives help and constantly works to improve the desktop environment. 


  1. LXQt is intended to be lightweight, making it suitable for machines with little horsepower or outdated hardware.
  2. Users can personalize their desktops to create a distinct appearance and experience.
  3. LXQt is compatible with various Linux distributions and window managers, providing a consistent user experience.
  4. The LXQt program has a thriving, committed community. 


  1. For certain purposes, users might need to install extra third-party software.
  2. Although a thriving community exists, locating thorough guides and tutorials for particular problems or setups could take more work.

Deepin DE

The Deepin DE desktop environment is free and open-source software created by Wuhan Deepin Technology Co. Ltd. This Chinese firm was also responsible for developing the Deepin Linux distribution. Deepin DE’s streamlined, contemporary user interface is intended to be both vibrant and simple to use. It is very resourceful on the system and consumes roughly 400 MB of RAM, thus making it appropriate for low-end PCs. 

Deepin DE’s Deepin Music and Deepin Movie programs are notable for their uniqueness. These apps, created explicitly for Deepin DE, offer a stylish and contemporary experience for watching movies and listening to music. Another key characteristic of Deepin DE is the Deepin Store, a package manager that simplifies program installation, removal, and updates.


  1. Sleek and contemporary design for easy and intuitive use.
  2. Easy modification is available in Deepin De 
  3. Includes its own application and app store.
  4. It uses fewer resources and is compatible with older desktops as well.


  1. Because it has its app store, some software may not be available, which might be problematic for users dependent on specific software.
  2. It may have occasional instability or bugs affecting a user’s performance.


Enlightenment Desktop, called E17, is a highly configurable and lightweight desktop environment designed for Linux operating systems. It offers numerous desktop layouts, intelligent window management, a customized user interface, and an extensive collection of desktop widgets. Enlightenment comes with an integrated file manager named “Efm.” It provides an intuitive file and directory management interface that streamlines and expedites operations like organizing and manipulating files. Furthermore, Enlightenment is compatible with a wide spectrum of Linux distributions. By balancing performance and aesthetics, it aims to deliver a visually spectacular experience without compromising system resources.


  1. Enlightenment uses fewer resources and can be used with older or lower-quality hardware.
  2. Enlightenment improves the user experience overall by offering aesthetically beautiful effects and animations.
  3. It provides sophisticated window management capabilities like virtual desktops, tiling, and adjustable window behavior.
  4. Users have total control over their desktop’s appearance with the abundance of pre-installed themes.


  1. It is not beginner friendly.
  2. Enlightenment may have less support than more popular desktop environments, although it functions well with most Linux apps.


Pantheon Desktop is a stunning, intuitive desktop environment for the Elementary OS Linux distribution. Constructed upon the GNOME 3 framework, it offers a recognizable GNOME-based interface with a distinct, understated appearance. Apple’s MacOS inspires its user interface (UI) and is famous for its simple and attractive design. It places a high value on usability and simplicity, making it simple for novice users to navigate. It also provides a seamless user interface experience when combined with the Elementary OS Files file manager.  Additionally, Pantheon Desktop is open-source, which permits unrestricted use and modification. Despite being mainly made for Elementary OS, It may be installed on other Linux distributions with a little work. Nevertheless, as some features are designed to only function with Elementary OS, they might not work completely with other distributions.


  1. It requires very few hardware resources. It can function well even on outdated or low-end hardware, improving user experience.
  2. The desktop environment provides essential programs that provide a seamless user experience.
  3. It is user-friendly for novice and expert users, offering simple navigation and an efficient workflow.
  4. Pantheon Desktop has a sleek, contemporary UI that is similar to macOS.


  1. Pantheon Desktop was explicitly built for elementaryOS and might not work as well on other versions of Linux.
  2. Even emphasizing ease of use and simplicity, Pantheon Desktop can lack some sophisticated capabilities that other desktop environments lack.


Choosing the ideal desktop environment is a subjective decision since it is determined by individual tastes & work. However, after researching the most prominent desktop environments, it is possible to conclude that GNOME, KDE, and XFCE are among today’s most excellent desktop environments. KDE is adaptable and configurable, XFCE is portable and ideal for outdated PCs, and GNOME has an easy-to-use interface. When selecting the optimal desktop environment, users should consider their tastes and the nature of the job they will be performing on the computer.

About the author

Prateek Jangid