Linux Mint

Linux Mint Cinnamon vs Linux Mate vs Linux Xfce: Which One Is Better

Linux is the popular and widely used operating system with multiple distributions. Linux Mint is the second most famous distribution of Linux and is based on Ubuntu and Debian. The purpose of this OS is to provide a comfortable, easy-to-use, and powerful OS. It comes with three different desktop versions including Linux Mint Cinnamon, Linux Mate, and Linux XFCE. They all have different features and environments. In this article, we will compare these three different versions of Linux Mint.

Linux Mint Cinnamon Vs Linux Mate Vs Linux XFCE: Which one is Better?

Linux Mint is not only the distribution that provides multiple desktops versions other are

Manjaro, Fedora and Ubuntu. The three versions of Linux Mint are:

1: Linux Mint Cinnamon

The most modern, full-featured, and innovative desktop version of the Linux Mint is Cinnamon. It is the flagship desktop environment of the Linux Mint full of new features specially designed for Linux Mint. The performance of Cinnamon has improved but to use it you must have a dual-core CPU with 4GB of RAM. It opens the files quickly and comes with easy and understandable fonts.


  • It has pleasing aesthetics, an excellent layout
  • It is highly customizable
  • GUI Looks like Windows 7
  • It is secure and fast


  • It is not for 2GB RAM systems
  • Buggy graphics drivers

2: Linux Mate

The traditional and faster desktop version of Linux Mint is Linux Mate. It is developed by Linux Mint and is the continuation of GNOME 2. It was the default desktop of Linux Mint from 2006 to 2011. This desktop uses fewer resources and runs faster on older devices as well. The CPU usage in the Mate is lower and hence in better battery life. It does not feel snappy as Xfce but has a slight edge on performance over Cinnamon as it uses fewer CPU resources. You must have 4GB RAM with a dual-core processor to get the best user experience.


  • Lightweight without compromising on features
  • More customization is possible


  • Outdated feel because of traditional looks

3: Linux XFCE

The XFCE is XForms Common Environment. It is a lightweight stable desktop and uses fewer resources. It does not support as many features as Linux Mint Cinnamon and Mate support. It is the flagship desktop for many Linux distributions including MX Linux and Manjaro.


  • It has a user-friendly interface
  • It is lightweight and stable


  • Not much customization
  • Outdated look


All three versions of Linux Mint have exciting features. Cinnamon is more popular and cleaner and sleek. Linux Mint Mate is more stable, and XFCE has a light-weight interface. But based on customization, more apps, security, and less resource consumption Linux Mint Cinnamon is better for new users and Mate is recommended for experienced users.

Bottom Line

The three different desktop versions of Linux Mint come with different features, performances, panels, and configuration. They all provide different support; some run faster and use less resources. All three versions are based on the GTK toolkit and they all are easy on system resources. They perform well on laptops with 4GB RAM. Choose the one desktop environment, according to the features you require and where you feel comfortable.

About the author

Zainab Rehman

I'm an author by profession. My interest in the internet world motivates me to write for Linux Hint and I'm here to share my knowledge with others.