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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Graphical User Interface
3.
GNOME - Desktop Environment
3.1.
Installation of GNOME on Ubuntu 20.04
3.2.
Advantages of GNOME
3.3.
Disadvantages of GNOME
4.
Cinnamon - Desktop Environment
4.1.
Installation of Cinnamon on Ubuntu 20.04
4.2.
Advantages of Cinnamon
4.3.
Disadvantages of Cinnamon
5.
MATE - Desktop Environment
5.1.
Installation of MATE on Ubuntu 20.04
5.2.
Advantages of MATE
5.3.
Disadvantages of MATE
6.
XFCE - Desktop Environment
6.1.
Installation of XFCE on Ubuntu 20.04
6.2.
Advantages of XFCE
6.3.
Disadvantages of XFCE
7.
KDE Plasma - Desktop Environment
7.1.
Installation of KDE Plasma on Ubuntu 20.04
7.2.
Advantages of KDE Plasma
7.3.
Disadvantages of KDE Plasma
8.
Frequently Asked Questions
8.1.
What is Graphical User Interface?
8.2.
Why choose a desktop environment?
8.3.
What is the MATE?
8.4.
What is the GNOME?
9.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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Desktop Environment for Linux Cheat Sheet

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Introduction

For people who are interested in a good Graphical User Interface (GUI) can now choose their favorable desktop environment for Linux, and this is what we will be going to do in this article. The desktop environment basically provides you with a graphical user interface (GUI) by which you can interact with the Linux system.

Desktop Environment for Linux Cheat Sheet

In the article “Desktop Environment for Linux Cheat Sheet”, we will discuss the graphical user interface, and different desktop environments for Linux with their advantages and disadvantages for a better choice.

Read about Linux Environment and Linux - Commands List

Graphical User Interface

In the article “Desktop Environment for Linux Cheat Sheet”, we will discuss Graphical User Interface. Also known as GUI, it is nothing but an interface by which the user can interact with the Linux environment using different GUI components such as Icons, Panels, Menu, Windows, and Graphics.

Graphical User Interface is one of the factors by which you can choose the desktop environments according to your choice. Choosing a desktop environment for your interest is the most important part of Linux.

Here are examples of the desktop environment for Linux:

  • GNOME
  • Cinnamon
  • MATE
  • XFCE
  • KDE Plasma
     

In the next sections, we will discuss the above desktop environments, and you will be able to choose the best desktop environment for use based on the advantages and disadvantages of them.

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GNOME - Desktop Environment

GNOME is an open-source and free desktop environment that anybody can use. GNOME stands for GNU Network Object Model Environment. There are different features of GNOME, such as user interface design, accessibility, localization, and internationalization. GNOME is generally used for the core applications, games, and development tools.

Installation of GNOME on Ubuntu 20.04

Installation of GNOME can be done on Ubuntu with the help of the taskse1 command. First, we will have to check if the taskse1 command is available on our system or not by the following command:

sudo apt install tasksel

 

Next, we will install GNOME directly with the help of taskse1 by the following command:

sudo tasksel install ubuntu-desktop


After installing GNOME, we can reboot the system by the following command:

sudo reboot

Advantages of GNOME

  • Modern User Interface
     
  • Different options to customize the themes and extensions
     
  • Simple and Intuitive design for users
     
  • The community is active and results in regular updates

Disadvantages of GNOME

  • Desktop Environment KDE has better customization than GNOME as it has limited customization.
     
  • The workflow is a bit different from the traditional desktop environment, which can be different for some users.
     
  • In the current version of GNOME, some of the features are removed that is resulting the mix reviews from users.

Cinnamon - Desktop Environment

Cinnamon is a desktop environment that combines the traditional desktop layout with the modern environment effects. One of the strengths of the Cinnamon is that it focuses on the simplicity and is easy to use. The underlying technology was forked from the GNOME desktop.

Installation of Cinnamon on Ubuntu 20.04

To install Cinnamon on Ubuntu, we need to add Universe PPA to the system with the following command:

sudo add-apt-repository universe

 

Next, we should update the apt cache with the following command:

sudo apt update

 

Finally, we can install Cinnamon on the Ubuntu system:

sudo apt install cinnamon-desktop-environment

 

After installing GNOME, we can reboot the system by the following command:

sudo reboot

Advantages of Cinnamon

  • Provides a modern layout with a resemblance to the traditional desktop.
     
  • The performance of Cinnamon is stable and reliable.
     
  • Cinnamon supports a wide range of hardware configurations
     
  • The community is active and results in regular updates

Disadvantages of Cinnamon

  • The touch-screen support is limited as Cinnamon follows the traditional desktop usage.
     
  • Cinnamon desktop may need the initial setup and configurations.
     
  • The desktop can be the resource-intensive as compared to the lightweight desktop environment.

MATE - Desktop Environment

MATE is also a desktop environment in Linux which is a lightweight and traditional desktop environment that provides you with a simple and stable GUI to interact with the system. One of the strengths of the MATE is its lightweight nature.

Installation of MATE on Ubuntu 20.04

To install MATE on the Ubuntu system, we don't need any external package. We can install MATE on Ubuntu directly. First, we should update the apt cache with the following command:

sudo apt update

 

Now, to install MATE on Ubuntu directly, we can use the following command:

sudo apt install ubuntu-mate-desktop

Advantages of MATE

  • MATE is lightweight and efficient to use.
     
  • The performance is stable and reliable.
     
  • The interface is simple and intuitive to use.
     
  • The compatibility of MATE is good with other Linux distributions.

Disadvantages of MATE

  • There are some advanced features that are not available in MATE but in other Linux environments.
     
  • The options in the customization are not extensive as compared to other desktop environments.
     
  • Some users may feel less visually modern as compared to other environments.

XFCE - Desktop Environment

XFCE is a lightweight and efficient desktop environment in Linux that results in a stable and resource-friendly nature. One of the strengths of XFCE is its lightweight nature. In XFCE, the components that are created for GUI are very lightweight and perform the specific tasks, which helps in reducing the overhead.

Installation of XFCE on Ubuntu 20.04

We can install XFCE on Ubuntu directly without any other package. First, we will update the apt cache with the following command:

sudo apt update

 

To install XFCE, we can run the following command on the terminal:

sudo apt install task-xfce-desktop -y

Advantages of XFCE

  • XFCE is a lightweight and efficient desktop environment.
     
  • In view of performance, XFCE is one of the stable environments.
     
  • XFCE provides a simple Interface by resembling the traditional environments.
     
  • XFCE supports a wide range of Linux distributions.

Disadvantages of XFCE

  • Some users may feel less visually modern as compared to other environments.
     
  • The touch-screen support is limited as XFCE follows the traditional desktop usage.
     
  • Some of the advanced features may not be available in XFCE.

KDE Plasma - Desktop Environment

KDE Plasma is a desktop environment that is highly customizable and advanced features for Linux. Users using KDE Plasma can easily configure and customize the layout, appearance, widgets, and desktop effects.

Installation of KDE Plasma on Ubuntu 20.04

We can install KDE Plasma on Ubuntu directly without any other package. First, we will update the apt cache with the following command:

sudo apt update

 

To install KDE Plasma, we can run the following command on the terminal:

sudo apt install kde-full

Advantages of KDE Plasma

  • Advanced features are also available in KDE Plasma that the majority of desktop environments do not provide.
     
  • The community is active and results in regular updates
     
  • KDE Plasma provides a wide range of customization options like themes, widgets, and icons.
     
  • The performance of KDE Plasma is stable and reliable.

Disadvantages of KDE Plasma

  • The configuration may not be easy for some users as the customization is wide.
     
  • The touch-screen support is limited as KDE Plasma follows the traditional desktop usage.
     
  • While using advanced visual effects and animations, the system can be resource-intensive.
     

In the article “Desktop Environment for Linux Cheat Sheet”, we have discussed the various desktop environment, now let's read some frequently asked questions.

Read about Linux Environment and Linux - Commands List

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Graphical User Interface?

Graphical User Interface, also known as GUI, is nothing but an interface by which the user can interact with the Linux environment using different GUI components such as Icons, Panels, Menu, Windows, and Graphics.

Why choose a desktop environment?

It is a very important part of choosing a desktop environment because there are various factors that you have to consider while choosing, such as performance, modern feel, stability, advanced features, etc.

What is the MATE?

MATE is a desktop environment in Linux which is a lightweight and traditional desktop environment that provides you with a simple and stable GUI to interact with the system. One of the strengths of the MATE is its lightweight nature.

What is the GNOME?

GNOME is an open-source and free desktop environment that anybody can use. GNOME stands for GNU Network Object Model Environment. There are different features of GNOME, such as user interface design, accessibility, localization, and internationalization.

Conclusion

Choosing a desktop environment for your interest is the most important part of Linux, as there are various factors that can be varied. In the article “Desktop Environment for Linux Cheat Sheet”, we discuss what are graphical user interfaces (GUI) and different desktop environments with their advantages and disadvantages to know which will be best for you to choose.

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