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

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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 GNOME, KDE, XFCE, 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.

rest here




worthwhile reading...

...to gain some insight for reviewing your desktop environment in Linux.

What I find very helpful is a comparison chart in which he lists the RAM and CPU resource needs of the top six desktop environments and top five window managers for Linux. I would agree with one comment on the author's site, that Enlightenment (as always) could be argued is both a window manager and desktop environment, as it does both. With that in mind, Enlightenment comes out in front as requiring the least to do the most.
(full disclosure: In our home, we have three Linux machines, two running LinuxMint 11 (Gnome 2), and one running BodhiLinux (Enlightenment).)

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