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What is the difference between GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE?

What is the difference between GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE?

Original Article by by Charles E. Craig, Jr., published on

In Linux, there are so many choices, and this includes the desktop environments and window managers. Four of the most popular desktop environments in Linux are GNOMEKDEXFCE, and LXDE. All four offer sophisticated point-and-click graphical user interfaces (GUI) which are on par with the desktop environments found in Windows and Mac OS X.

When you ask different people which of these four is best, you will likely get many different answers. So which is the best between GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE?

Well….. it is largely a matter of opinion, and the capabilities of your computer hardware can also be important in deciding. For example, users with older computers will be better served to choose XFCE or especially LXDE, while users with newer hardware can get more desktop effects by choosing GNOME or KDE. My recommendation would be to try all four of these desktop environments and decide for yourself which one works best for you. GNOME, KDE, XFCE, and LXDE are all excellent and to varying degrees each can be customized in a number of ways. My personal favorite is GNOME 2.x which is slowly being replaced by GNOME 3, though (very fortunately) GNOME 2.x is still being kept alive in Linux Mint and some other distros. Of the most recent desktop environments, my favorite is the newly-released XFCE 4.8.


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This entry was posted on August 6, 2011 by in link and tagged , , , , , .
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