6 Best Linux Desktop Environments [Part – 2]

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Linux has been developing at a good pace through this last years and with development comes better support for different hardware regarding support for proprietary drivers for video cards, better file systems, more choices in what operating system to use and one of the things that have it importance is distros graphical environment.

Linux difference with other Operating System is that you can make it just like you want it. If you migrated from Windows or MacOS and are more familiarized with that interface you can’t make it look like your previous OS. Today we will give you five top Desktop Environment part 2 (Because everything good has a sequel)  for ubuntu, for you to decide what best suits you.

Also, don’t forget to take a poll in the last of this article.

Part 1 – 5 Best Linux Desktop Environments

1. Plasma Desktop

One of the modern and very customizable desktop environments is Plasma. If you are looking for something beautiful and modern this should be one of your first options. This environment is built using KDE Frameworks 5 and QT5 which lets developers create more intuitive user interfaces applications for multiple targets faster than previous versions and better touch screen capabilities.

The latest stable version on PLASMA is 5.6 and this version came with new features stated below

  • Dolphin File Manager – a lightweight file manager designed with simplicity in mind. It supports split view for easy drag and drop (for copying or cutting files)
  • Kwin window manager – uses 3D effects for handling windows making windows management smoother and more natural.
  • Better support for lower hardware –  for computer with old hardware or graphics it will automatically adjust for better performance ​

plasma desktop environment

2. Budgie

Budgie is a new desktop environment written from scratch which is part of Solus-Project including its OS Solus.
It integrates with GNOME, it uses an applet named RAVEN for easy accessing calendar information, media player control and volume, system notifications, quick access to system settings and more. I personally like this Environment because of its dark color themes.

budgie desktop environment

The theme is also customizable, you can change cursor themes, widgets, tweaks, add desktop icons with just one click, etc.

budgie calendar applet

3. Pantheon

This OSx look alike is the desktop environment powering elementaryOS distribution it offers a clean and organized experience for users with minor visual features contributing to its smoothness and good performance on old systems.

pantheon desktop environment

4. LXQt

A lightweight Qt desktop environment focused on being a classic desktop with a modern look and feel using low system resources. This Environment is a merge of LXDE-Qt, an initial Qt flavor of LXDE, and Razor-qt, a project aiming to develop a Qt based desktop environment with similar objectives as the current LXQt. Its default environment for some Linux distribution as Lubuntu.

Uses pcmanfm-qt file manager, a Qt port for PCManFM and libfm, lxterminal, a terminal emulator, lxqt-runner, a quick application launcher, lxsession session manager and many more good features. The latest stable release is LXQt 0.11.

lxqt desktop environment

5. Xfce Desktop

Like the LXQt this Desktop Environment is lightweight with better support for old systems but without losing it beautifulness. Its first release was in 1996 and now with latest release 4.12 supporting GTK+3. It can be used in some unix-like distros being one of the most popular xubuntu. The windows managers support some modern features such as:

  • Drag and drop windows to tile it on the side;
  • Window preview;
  • Intelligent hide of taskbar when a window is dragged near it;
  • support for multi monitor;
  • change themes color and icons and other cool features.

xfce desktop environment

6. Bonus: Unity 8

Although this still not a full baked Environment is a very promising one. It supports convergence between different types of systems (Desktop, tablets, phones, etc), with better support for touch devices which is a good thing with systems such as touch laptops, tablets or phones. Again,  you can use scopes on the desktop while using unity 8. This environment runs on MIR which is a new display server created by canonical, more secure to run snappy (snap) applications. Snaps new way of packaging where all the dependencies are satisfiable within the package and this package and the application stays confined separated for the whole system and uses transactional updated for installed apps.

Ubuntu 16.10 already comes whith a preview for unity 8 option, for using just switch for it on the login screen and then you are all set.

install unity 8

unity 8 desktop environment

Has it was said earlier note that this still need to go a long way to get it at least usable on a daily basis.
One thing noted is that unity 8 consumes much more resources than its predecessor unity7.

In my own opinion Unity 8 will come to be one of the most modern, beautiful and full of features comparing to other environment and not to talk about its convergence but, it’s up to you to choose what best suits you regarding your system capabilities or your own choices.

Conclusion

Linux Desktop Environments with the help of communities has developed in such a way that has become very beautiful and with many options for every user. And most of them give you the option to adapt it to the way you like it. That is one of the advantages of F.O.S.S (Free and Open Source Software), you can have a huge community working to solve or create something within a short period and the result is something as beautiful as this Desktop Environments. So, what will you choose for your Desktop Environment? Let us know your opinion in the comments.

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1 Comment
  1. Emanuel says

    Great post dude. Thank you!

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