10 Best and Most Popular Linux Desktop Environments of All Time

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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32 Responses

  1. Whid says:

    Canonical almost lost me back in 2011 when they “forced” Unity on the world, but after 6 months on the “Mint lifeboat”, I found my way back and they completely won me over. In my opinion, Unity is just so much more polished and well designed in comparison to anything else out there. Just wish it was a bit better optimized but feel this will improve in Unity 8 which will shave off all the Compiz hackery.

    The only other DE I use frequently is GNOME 3 – I use it on my HTPC and it’s surprisingly well laid out as a “from your couch” interface. I dabble with other DEs from time to time, but nothing else has really “spoken” to me yet. Enlightenment is nice but unpolished, and I’ve never been a KDE man. Cinnamon reminds me too much of Windows. I did use XFCE for a period out of nostalgia for GNOME 2 (did the same recently with MATE), but always seem to come crawling back to Unity.

  2. Ryan says:

    I just wanted to say “Thanks for the list”. I’m always looking for something new to mess with, and my current usage is as follows (all on top of Slackware):

    KDE Plasma (for when I’m lazy or “need” things done “for” me; also love the polish and commercial feel – sometimes)

    Xfce (when I want speed and simplicity; I treat it as a glorified WM, for when I want to polish my command line skills, but still want/need a graphical interface for other tasks)

    Enlightenment (for when I want to feel uber cool and have a fully customized desktop and act like I know how to use it :P )

    Keep up the good work!

  3. lzone says:

    Are you kidding me ? Where is i3wm.org ? That’s the best one. Obviously It’s not for everyone.

    • Robert says:

      Desktop Environments are not Window Managers. i3wm is a WM like openbox, fluxbox, metacity, kwin, pantheon. Don’t mess with them.

  4. Aaron Kili K says:


    That is true, Metacity was the default window manager in GNOME 2. Many thanks for the useful correction.

  5. Hannar says:

    Clarification on Gnome 3 desktop, Mutter is the default window manager and not Metacity. Avid Mate user but finding Gnome 3 more and more appealing…

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