The Best Lean Linux Desktop Environment: LXDE vs. Xfce vs. MATE

Bertel King Updated 28-11-2019

Sometimes you need to get the most out of an old PC. Other times you have a high-performance system and want to dedicate all of that power to the task at hand. Either way, keeping everything as slim as possible is key. When you install Linux, there’s not a whole lot that you can easily modify in order to cut down on crud—except for one thing: your desktop environment.


If you want a lightweight Linux desktop, you need to choose the right environment.

What Is a Desktop Environment?

kde5 desktop

A desktop environment is the interface you see on screen. It’s the panel across the top and bottom. It handles how you switch between apps and manage windows.

Some desktop environments come with niceties that require more system resources, such as animations and transparent windows. Others try to provide a lightweight Linux desktop with as little impact to system resources as possible.

The Best Lightweight Linux Desktop Environments

There are several desktop environments that don’t require much to run and to run well. Let’s look at some of your best options.



Xfce application menu and file browser

Xfce is the oldest of the popular lightweight Linux desktop environments. It uses the GTK+ toolkit, just like the more popular GNOME interface that serves as the default for Ubuntu and Fedora (two of the largest Linux-based desktops out there).

Xfce is an environment you can scale up or down to fit your tastes. You won’t find animations here, but if you like transparent windows, shadows, and similar niceties, you have the option.

Xfce hasn’t changed much over the years, so increased system requirements are often due to the size of default apps. Mozilla Firefox is more bloated than it was back in the day. Yet this will be true regardless of which lightweight Linux desktop environment you choose.


Here is a more in-depth look at the Xfce desktop Xfce Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Speediest Desktops If you've recently switched to Linux and are finding things a bit slow going, you probably need a lighter desktop environment. One good option is Xfce. Read More .


MATE desktop with file browser

MATE is a fork of GNOME 2 that formed when GNOME was transitioning to version 3.0. If you’ve ever used a version of GNOME from before 2011, then you’ve essentially used MATE. Some things have changed, but the fundamentals remain the same.

MATE is slightly glossier than Xfce, but not by much. Back in the GNOME 2 days, Xfce was considered a lightweight alternative. GNOME 3 has changed and added so much since then that the distance between Xfce and GNOME 2 seems much smaller.


Here is a more in-depth look at the MATE desktop MATE Explained: A Look at One of Linux's Most Enduring Desktops Unlike commercial operating systems, Linux lets you change your desktop environment. One of the most popular is MATE, but how good is it, and should you install it on your Linux PC? Let's find out. Read More .

LXQt (Formerly LXDE)

LXQt desktop

A few years ago, LXDE was considered the lightest graphical desktop environment around. It launched in seconds and only used a couple hundred megabytes of RAM. You could revive a Windows XP machine with an interface that felt very similar.

LXDE is so light that the Raspberry Pi makers used this code to create Raspbian, the device’s official operating system.


LXDE uses GTK+ 2, which is now very dated code. The lead developer took issue with GTK+ 3 and decided to switch to Qt instead. He combined his efforts with the RazorQt team to create LXQt, to replace LXDE which is being discontinued.

LXDE and LXQt use interchangeable components with very few dependencies (background components required for software to function). A lightweight app with many dependencies can still slow your system down; this is why the apps you run matters nearly as much as your choice of desktop environment.

Here is a more in-depth look at the LXQt desktop What Is LXQt? The Most Lightweight Linux Desktop Built Using Qt Looking for a new Linux desktop environment with a light footprint? With the latest release of LXQt, your wish has been granted. Read More .

Head-to-Head Comparisons

Need help deciding between any two of the above desktop environments? If you want the most lightweight desktop, it’s hard to beat LXQt or LXDE. But there are reasons many people prefer one of the alternatives. Here are things to keep in mind when comparing two of these interfaces directly.

LXQt/LXDE vs. Xfce

LXQt and LXDE are lighter than Xfce, but that’s only part of the story. Put bluntly, LXDE looks basic. With enough effort, Xfce can feel like a more modern desktop environment. The primary difference between LXQt and Xfce is that LXQt uses Qt rather than GTK+ What's the Difference Between GTK+ and Qt? You've probably heard of GTK+ and Qt, but what are these development toolkits? And how do they impact how you use Linux? Read More . If you prefer GTK+, you’re better off using Xfce.

Installing GTK+ apps on LXQt will require downloading some dependencies that come as part of Xfce that aren’t already part of LXQt.


LXDE is lighter than MATE, but MATE is a more feature complete desktop. Newcomers may find that MATE is easier to grasp. While neither desktop is hard to use, MATE presents apps and information in a way where less technical knowledge is required to find your way around.

Again, with LXQt vs MATE, the primary different again comes down to Qt vs GTK+. What kind of apps do you prefer? If you prefer Qt software and you want a lighter desktop, then LXQt is a no-brainer.

Xfce vs. MATE

Out of the box, MATE has a few more bells and whistles than Xfce, but it’s also a little less customizable. You might find that it feels a little bit more put together. Xfce uses fewer resources, but this advantage begins to erode as you install and run apps that depend on GNOME libraries. Really, when it comes to MATE vs Xfce, you’re kind of splitting hairs.

Your Lightweight Linux Desktop Could Be Even Lighter

If you know your way around Linux, then you can build your own system using whatever components you want. Rather than installing a full-blown desktop environment, you can opt for a window manager. Openbox and fluxbox are two options. If you want to try a tiling window manager, consider i3, Xmonad, and awesome. Then there’s dwm, which is more of a jack of all trades.

But there’s only so much you can do. LXQt uses Openbox, and you will be hard pressed to find lighter background components than the ones LXQt provides. So your machine won’t get much lighter unless you stick entirely to the terminal. The most straightforward option for less technical or busy users is to install a lightweight Linux desktop distribution The 8 Smallest Linux Distros That Are Lightweight and Need Almost No Space Strapped for hard disk space? Install one of these small and lightweight Linux distros to make your PC usable again. Read More .

Related topics: Linux Desktop Environment, LXDE, LXQt, Ubuntu MATE, Xfce.

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  1. lorenzo brown
    January 22, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    LUBUNTU is the clear winner until you realize what apps & preferences you actually rock. I’ve never used lubuntu but every tests shows that it can turn an old trash CPU with 1GB RAM into a capable experience. This is important to preventing needless tech waste & preserving our ECO future.

    I like xubuntu & mint MATE b/c I rely heavy on libreoffice.
    I use xubuntu on a usb drive but install MINT MATE on other people’s older CPUs b/c it is polished & resembles windows XP. For new PC’s with 8-16GB RAM, I like default Ubuntu & openSUSE

    I LUV LINUX b/c there are always 2-3 good options. Whenever I setup a new CPU, I always have 2-3 distros on 2-3 DVDs b/c each user & their desktop is different. If the user does not like the 1st distro I install, I just try another distro/desktop instead of trying to convince them about the 1st option I presented.

    LINUX winning users 1-by-1

  2. rpiws
    December 30, 2019 at 12:35 am

    LXQT im sad to say is nothing what LXDE used to be, lxqt isnt fast and menus seem
    slow so no mather what s.c experts tell you it is sluggish i might like the concept of
    QT based OS but that being said im no going QT if lxqt is what the result is
    ill stick to LXDE, im running GTK3 version of lxde and it works like a charm.

  3. Jim
    August 7, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Any article determining the best is BS at best. The best is what you want, and what works for you, and that can be very different for different people, depending on their wants and needs.

  4. DJ
    May 20, 2019 at 4:39 pm

    I have to stick with MATE.
    easier control and function. I have to have the access to the bar menu and upper/lower panels.

  5. techmedixx
    December 4, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    Your article was right on point. Since a couple of years has passed since it was posted I want to point out some of the things that have changed.

    Mate and Xfce are still among the most popular lightweight environments. LXQt is the heir apparent to LXDE. Personally, I believe LXQt will be a major interface improvement. With Xfce being the notable exception, the lightweight DE's are hard on the eyes.

    I have been fortunate enough to have several computers that are all powerful enough to allow for the bling. Deepin 15.8 and KDE Neon are my daily drivers.

    What is amazing is that both Deepin 15.8 and KDE Neon are surprisingly lean on resource consumption. Both come in at well under 700 Mbytes/RAM at boot. They also have comparable boot times to their lightweight counterparts.

    A system that would have struggled mightily to run Plasma 5 only a year ago would be able to manage it now. Believe me, because I have tested that exact scenario and was just amazed.

    The latest editions of Deepin and Neon are fast and responsive on medium strength equipment. I have experienced the same results from Plasma on my workstation running openSUSE Krypton.

    With these sort of advancements happening with the traditional 'heavyweight' environments I can only imagine what can happen with the rest in terms of performance.

  6. Justsomeolddude
    September 4, 2017 at 2:51 am

    i tried 3 of these distros on a Pentium 3 3.1ghz machine. All took much longer than the old XPpro which took 14 seconds to boot.

    • stepes
      November 29, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      I could suggest you trying the AntiX linux distro. It consumes 220mb of RAM and boots about 13-15 sec on my old Assus x200 netbook with 1.8GHz processor.

    • gary7
      August 27, 2019 at 7:00 am

      In addition to Stepes excellent suggestion, keep in mind that Microsoft shows you all the pretty icons right away while most of the OS is actually still booting in the background. They've been doing it since, at least, the Win98 days (I never owned a Win95 machine).

      I serviced lots of computers by simply telling people to wait until the OS has actually booted before clicking on programs to start.

      Keep an eye on the furiously blinking HDD LED light (which has unsurprisingly disappeared on nearly all modern devices), task manager or an installed cpu applet. Don't be so easily fooled by our tech overlords.

  7. CFWhitman
    June 2, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    One thing that people might want to be aware of about this comparison is that the Ubuntu spins of these desktops have more changes made than the desktops themselves. They contain the configurations and applications that the creators of the distributions decided on, and they aren't necessarily generic setups at all (I know this is certainly true regarding Xubuntu vs. a generic Xfce setup, and it could be true of the others as well).

    If you want to experiment yourself, you can look at Debian and its more generic implementations of the desktop environments. Slackware is about as generic as anything gets, but not all desktops will be pre-packaged for Slackware, and it is not a beginner friendly distribution.

  8. glen
    May 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    I tried several lightweight distros and Lubuntu was by far the best

    • glen
      June 15, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      agree, I put it on an old PC with low ram & it's lightning fast...I tried many and it's the best

    • Newt
      June 20, 2017 at 1:55 am

      Agreed. I have a small fleet of older Dell Laptops and with Lubuntu they run great.
      I do use LibreOffice though - absolutely must have Calc. :)

  9. Piriponzolo
    May 13, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Very interesting and very well done article!

  10. jamie
    May 1, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    Sure, LXQt looks better than the aged LXDE, but I cannot use it for one very simple reason - it does not have the ability to open it's menu with the Super keys. A quick look on Github shows that the current developers are even completely unwilling in making the effort to implement this function! This ineptitude does not exactly instill confidence in their abilities.

  11. Arturo Santos
    February 19, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Thank you for this enlightenment post. I just was looking for a light distribution that runs smoothly on a virtual machine like vmware or virtual box.

    Thank you in advance.


  12. Jane
    February 13, 2017 at 7:39 am

    I personally run Linux Mint Mate 17.1 & love it for it's outright usability. I appreciate the forums, software manager & other easy tweaks, which are laid out & implemented in a straight-forward way. However, I have 16GB RAM & an i5-quad.

    I'm always looking for something to install on older PC's for the mainly pensioners I service. Many are on either 3Ghz single-core CPU's or lower specced core2's. Most have 2GB RAM.

    Would a regular version of Mint suffice on an old system? How much of a hit would it make on performance? I ask here, as there seem to be many who have run a lot of the recent distros. The ones listed here look okay, but do they have something akin to the Mint software manager & is updating as easy?


    • OlderOwl
      March 19, 2017 at 4:43 am

      Lubuntu would be best for 1-2GB. Browsers are very RAM and CPU hungry these days and therefore we have no choice but to keep the rest as lean as possible. I am presently running LUBUNTU on a 1GB netbook with Intel Atom processor and very satisfied with the performance. I usually have Gnumeric, Abiword and a few Firefox tabs open simultaneously and experience no lag at all.

    • glen
      June 15, 2017 at 9:57 pm

      try Lubuntu, by far the best I've tried

    • stepes
      November 29, 2017 at 8:58 pm

      You can try either AntiX linux or Puppy linux. Both are very tiny, user-friendly and consumes at start 180-220 mb of RAM, smoothlz flying on 1.6 Ghz processor. As modern browsers consume about 500-900 mb of RAM at a time. I also suggest using NetSurf browser or Seamonkey or Pale Moon browsers with blocked flash player and NoScript addon (web pictures and pop-ups take most of resources while text oriented sites are easy to go).

  13. Barry
    January 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I realize this is a little older thread, but just a couple of observations. The first is that all 3 comparisons are based on Ubuntu derivatives. Which leads me to believe that the author is aiming the article at those that are either new to Linux, less experienced, or have limited hardware resources to work with. Second judging from the comments I would say for the most part that those that commented are of the less experienced.

    For those that think that the bottom panels in Mate or the Dock in XFCE are taking up extra display space both can be removed. There is nothing on either that can't be added to the top panels of either DE. The top panels can also be moved to the bottom or sides and set to auto hide. Just takes a little time to set those options.

    Another factor to consider is the compositor if any that is being used, and whether it is software or GPU based.

    I realized that Ubuntu based derivatives make an easier transition for those migrating from Windows, because they require less actual hands on configuration, and no how by by a new user to get installed, and up and running.

    A lot of times to take full advantage of the system defaults need to be tweaked. There are actually a lot of Linux distros that perform much faster that Ubuntu based ones, and are almost as out of the box easy for a new user to set up. There are other distributions that work fantastically that require a little more hands on and knowledge to get installed, setup, and running efficiently. Like everything it just takes the time and effort of the user to research and be willing to learn them.

    • Open Boxer
      January 19, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Very good points.

      I'm using both SalentOS (Debian stable based) and SparkyLinux Minimal (Debian testing based), both OpenBox faced.

      There is a learning curve, starting with installation, but both are probably more customisable than Ubuntu derivatives, with the fairly rock solid Debian base, and a wealth of information available on the Debian website/wiki.

      The irony is that the default ease of use of Ubuntu based distros can become restrictive once you start to tweak and personalise your own installation.

      I learned more from using the no longer extant CrunchBang#! than I ever learned with Ubuntu. And once you get the feel of tinkering with and tweaking your own installation, the limitations of certain DEs become very apparent.

      I would say, though, that if you're coming from MSW, then Lubuntu is probably not too far from the comfort zone.

      • Barry
        January 20, 2017 at 4:51 am

        I started out 20 something years ago with about a 200 page book and a dozen or so 1.44s I picked up at a CompUSA. If I remember right it was RedHat 4 something. It was several years pre Fedora Project. Back then you could literally set the system up exactly how you wanted it. It seams these days everything is part of a meta package where removing one thing puts the whole system at risk.

        Myself I like debian testing. Start with a bare bones install and only add the stuff I want and use. I avoid as many metapackages as possible. I'mgetting older and lazier so xfce does me a fair job on the frontend. Debian is the base for a lot of other distributions. If you no how to use it, it is an exceptionally clean and streamlined tool.

        • Open Boxer
          January 24, 2017 at 7:50 am

          As a Linux power user with about 10 years experience, and almost exclusively Linux since Ubuntu 9.04 (before I discovered CrunchBang and MadBox), I see your point, although I do find that Debian Testing can be a bit erratic, and the necessity of using backports in Debian Stable can have a similar effect.

          I've recently discovered Ubuntu-based IceBox, which I actually find to be more reliable than either of the Debian-based distros I mentioned. IceBox is very much bare bones, <600MiB ISO, so perhaps not the best choice for a beginner, but I like to do all my own configs.

          But, yes, having tried several other Linuxen, I do prefer the Debian origin over any other. It is very reliable, can be set up in an hour or two, and doesn't break after a week.

    • Dilbert
      March 5, 2017 at 4:20 am

      Maybe you wont see this, but if you do I was wondering what distros you might suggest? I've been running Ubuntu for my daily driver for the last couple of weeks or so and I've honestly really enjoyed it, but felt the responsiveness is a bit lacking on my older hardware. I've been considering the xfce DE of fedora, manjaro, or mint distros, but this article has gotten me to consider the lxde DE also, and obviously I'm going to have to try each out for myself. I guess another question I have would be, what sort of process other than reading the limited description given on DistroWatch and going through each one of them one by one might you suggest?

      • Barry
        March 10, 2017 at 2:57 pm

        Somethings to consider when it comes to Fedora is the fact that for one it is the test bed for RedHat Enterprise. It tends to run fairly bleeding edge and due to that can often break causing you to spend several hours on there forum looking for solutions. If I were going to run a RedHat based distro it would probably be CentOs.

        If running XFCE is what you are wanting to try I would probably suggest Debian stable for an older system. The installer is a little on the archaic side of things, but once installed it runs well and is light on system resources. The drawback is the fact that the system will be very vanilla. Any polish will require installing the apps you prefer and removing those you do not want. On the multimedia side of things it will also require editing your souces list to non-free and adding the multimedia repo to get non-free apps and codecs. That is just for starters and can go alot further.

        Manjaro XFCE is a decent system loosly based on Arch. It installs fairly easily and has and has a ton of software available as well as documentation. It also has a fairly decent forum community where users are more than willing to help.

        I myself am not a big fan of Mint in any form. If I use an Ubuntu flavor it's Ubuntu Mate. It's stable and has a lot of good features without being a huge system hog. Mint is basically Ubuntu with a bunch of Mint stuff installed. My laptop has 12 GB ram with nn i7 processor and Mint boots extremely slow on it.

        At the end of the day it's usually best to try a few distros and see what works for you. Everyone has different tastes and experience levels. It also comes down to how much time you want to spend tweaking your system. Myself after years of the tweaking I'm starting to lean more towards install, set it up to my taste and leave it alone until the LTS runs out.

  14. Open Boxer
    January 15, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    (Lenovo T420, quad core, 8GiB RAM/Acer Aspire ZG5, 1.5GiB RAM)

    I concur with you on LXDE, even though I generally use OpenBox (which is of course included in LXDE, and most OpenBox-fronted distros are pretty much LXDE anyway). I have total control of my system, write all my own keyboard shortcuts in xml (unlike with most other Linux DEs, I rarely use the mouse in LXDE) , and can customise to my heart's content - yes: 'my computer'. I'd go as far to say that an LXDE distro would be the best replacement for Windows XP, not least because of its similar feel and user-friendliness.

    Another good thing about LXDE is that removing one component does not remove your entire DE.

    My only dislike with LXDE is that PCmanFM no longer shows what it is doing when copying files.

    XFCE is not actually that lightweight anymore, and is hampered by 'integrated dependency hell': there're always those extra bits you have to install along with the application you want (if you want to use a component from XFCE in another DE, even when apt is configured to 'no recommends/suggests'). Crucially for me, keyboard shortcuts are a pain to configure, XFCE is far too mouse-dependent.

    Speaking of which, MATE is a personal nightmare. I have just spent the best part of a day trying to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. Editing keyboard shortcuts changes nothing, so forget about not using a mouse. Also, it is apparently impossible to have just one panel: there's one for the system, and one for running applications, and if you delete that one, then none of the running applications show on the system panel, no matter how many notification areas you assign. And where are the configuration files? I cannot even find any useful MATE configuration information on the ArchLinux wiki, and if it can be done, then it will have been done on ArchLinux, and documented. MATE is such a 'black box', it may as well be closed source. Apparently, LinuxMint has dropped its MATE release. I wonder why.

  15. Udog8
    December 5, 2016 at 5:17 am

    LXDE. Most responsive, better than Mate Gnome and of course Unity.

  16. Benjamin
    December 2, 2016 at 8:41 pm

    I've got a little netbook that I bought in 2009 for college. The unit is by no means powerful, only having an Intel Atom N450 (1.6ghz) processor, and 2gb RAM. The netbook sees use as my Twitter feed, and music player, and light internet browser at work, alongside my desktop machine. I was able to upgrade the horrendous Windows 7 Starter that it came with to Windows 10, with mixed results. Even after installing an SSD, Windows 10 chugs along. By contrast, this is a dual-boot machine, running Lubuntu on the other half of the drive. I tried Linux Mint, Peppermint, and a few other lightweight distros before settling on Lubuntu. That said, Lubuntu makes this ancient machine perfectly usable, while Windows 10 is bogged down by endless processes that drive my CPU usage to 98% or more, practically all the time (even when I'm not using the machine). Lubuntu consistently runs the CPU at 27-30%, with spikes here and there as I open and close applications. Even RAM usage is significantly reduced. Windows 10 uses 1.5gb, all the time, and Lubuntu uses around 500mb. I can vouch for Lubuntu as a great alternative for older hardware, and it's overall ability to breathe new life into a machine that would've already been tossed in the recycle bin.

  17. James Mullin
    December 1, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Interesting read, and the links were interesting. I am running an old system with two MB of ram, and all three are acceptable to me. I do have one I avoid like the plague -- KDE. Fifteen (? ) years more-or-less and they still don't have an out of the box handle on font size changing grossly from application to application.

  18. Thomas
    November 8, 2016 at 8:46 am

    "it takes the brain a few fractions of a second to realize when the desktop has finished loading, so that’s why I couldn’t be exact"

    Next time, you could use your smartphone camera to be more accurate

  19. Eetu
    August 18, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Well, different distros (even if they are all spin of ubuntu) may load different startup programs, therefore effect the boot time and this may not be related to desktop environment at all. So, the article is kind of useless..

    • Phil Mulley
      October 16, 2016 at 10:48 am

      That seems harsh. The reviewer was trying to compare the 3 desktops using the same base so that the comparisons would be valid.

      • Frank Merenda
        December 18, 2017 at 6:15 am

        Totally agree! :)

  20. Dietz
    August 12, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Love the article. Still prefer KDE because of the 'bloat'. I use most of the 'K' apps/programs as I find them more stable than most other apps/programs out there. And, yeah, it's like owning a Lamborghini but only driving it in the city. Still, I have the power when I need it. Been testing Linux distros for years and found that the few seconds longer KDE takes is worth it.

  21. Jorge Sanchez
    July 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    KDE was supposed to be the feature-rich heavy-resource DE, but suddenly around 3.5 the other DEs started getting heavier while KDE managed to include pretty much every useful feature imaginable without increasing the footprint. I was a lifelong slacker until kde went plasma (vista anyone?), since then I've been primarily a lubunt, but I still dream of being reunited with a full, actively developed KDE 3 system. In my opinion Trinity Desktop Environment currently provides the best combination of speed and power features on older and newer systems alike...but it is a challenge to integrate into a distro, usually requiring you to strip down a plasma install. Q4OS is the only actively developed distro I know of that is centered around TDE, but it is more of a linux newbie slanted distro than even the buntus. Anyways, TDE has way more configurability and simple power than any of these and on all of my systems it feels quicker than mate, cinnamon, and xfce, with no noticeable responsiveness variance between TDE and LXDE on a system with a gig of ram and any post 2010 GPU or even APU: so if your main purpose is to save resources for efficient work and power use of desktop applications, you may, like me wish for a tubuntu or a matured Q4OS in the near future... Anyone who wants a look for themselves can download a kubuntu 14.04 converted to TDE from the TDE site or try out the latest Q4OS...

    • Frank Rizzo
      October 1, 2016 at 6:57 am

      Thanks for the tip on TDE. I miss KDE 3.5

      • Joe P
        April 27, 2017 at 3:34 pm

        This. If they could have fixed icon zooming and left it in KDE 3.5, it would have been perfect.

  22. Frank
    July 14, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Kde was once quite lite and nice. now it is a peace of bloated software.
    Unite is a totaly useless DE. Just made to waste your time trying to work with it.
    Mate, XFCE, and Gnome2 use 2 bars reducing the usable display area, old stile stupidity.
    XFCE is quite fast, still one remark not to forget....
    After all this useless turbulence with DEs you are left with almost only one left, LXDE. The DE which saved us from all this bloated useless software which the DEs became in the Linux environment.
    If you need a fast system to run your applications go for LXDE, you will be on the right path.
    Greetings to all.

    • Teemu
      May 12, 2019 at 9:45 am

      If you don't like XFCE using two panels, you can easily remove one of them, or even both of them.

  23. Stacey
    July 11, 2016 at 11:41 pm

    Xubuntu runs faster on my Late 2009 iMac than Ubuntu MATE did that's for sure. And there are absolutely NO freezes when using the Nouveau open source driver (screen tearing is horrid with proprietary graphics drivers for the NVIDIA Geforce 9400 card in my system).

    Xubuntu is snapper than every other Linux OS I've ran on this machine and when I get my custom built system, I'm gonna opt for reinstalling Xubuntu using a SystemBack full restore image.

    Xubuntu FTW!

  24. Josef
    June 14, 2016 at 9:06 pm

    LXQT is best for me

  25. Adam
    June 14, 2016 at 8:27 pm

    I like Xfce, there seems to be a maturity and stability to it. You can install it on Ubuntu variants to Fedora and it's variants. I just deployed a Centos server and I want a light a Desktop on it, fully functional for the other non-linux admins. Load on Xfce and off to work. Can't find any sources to load on the LXDE Desktop however much I wanted it.

  26. David
    May 31, 2016 at 2:03 am

    That is exactly the reason I stopped using Cinnamon/Mint in general, do not take me wrong I love Mint, but am running a low resources machine, Celeron1.2, 4Gb Ram, shared video.
    It was painful to even try to do light coding in Windows (having notepad++, filezilla, and FF, was so slow), Nevermint trying to listen to music or God forbid open another program.
    Switch to my beloved Mint XFCE, better although not so much, Lubuntu and sweet life now, am reading news in one browser, atom working, ftp mounted in files-system, Musique, Thunderbird and if I want to i can just fire up GIMP and things will still run just fine.
    If only drivers where not a issue anymore. I wish someday GNU/Linux communities will realize how powerful we are united and stop forking all software, instead focus and polish one to make a more centralized almighty Linux Operative System. Meanwhile great post lest keep spreading the love.

  27. jojo
    May 11, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Do we still use "low fancy DE", YES.
    my system a Thinkpad T530, i7-3520, 2.9Ghz, 12M. Ram, standard Intel HD4000 GPU.
    running OpenSuse 42.1 leap with LXDE as DE. stable as a rock.

    My opinion, an OS should give as many resources back to your applications as possible, and support you with an "easy to go" interface.

    Drop all this fancy stuff with 3D, Flipping A to B or what ever ......!! just eat up your CPU, GPU power for nothing.

    I guess most of us are buying a PC so we can run our Applications !

  28. John O'Shaughnessy
    April 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    somebody mentioned i3..... I have it but don't always use it. However I could imagine getting hooked on it... I tiles the windows in a very nice way and makes all applications easily accessible without delay. It works really great with dmenu and cuts down the amount of clutter on your screen

  29. Ben
    April 7, 2016 at 10:01 pm

    If you want to invest a little time, to get really efficient in interacting with your machine, i would highly recommend i3. I am using it for quite some time now, and i cant imagine myself going back to any other environment. :) The level of efficiency i3 provides is awesome. Give it a try!

  30. Anonymous
    March 21, 2016 at 11:19 am

    I have found Mate to be the best for myself. It seems as fast as XFCE and customizes much easier and how I want my desktop to look than eihter XFCE or LXDE. I was a Gnome guy until Gnome 3, then switched to LXDE and now Mate with which I am the happiest.

  31. agent
    March 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I agree with the fact that for lightweight lxde is better than others. Xfce is much more mature than mate and lxde if you want a full easily customizable desktop.

  32. UnhappyGhost
    March 12, 2016 at 9:04 am

    to check the usage of the RAM on Xubuntu, you could open the terminal and run this command
    watch -d "free -m"
    and it would show you the usage of the RAM "continuously"

    • Anonymous
      June 2, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      You could do that,.....or you could put Conky on your desktop and never need to open a terminal to know what is going on.

      Not that opening a terminal is wrong, but why put yourself to any extra trouble or effort?

      • joshua.pettus
        June 14, 2016 at 2:03 am

        If you are on linux and don't have a terminal open at all times anyway, you're doing it wrong :p

        • Anonymous
          June 14, 2016 at 8:32 am

          I use a terminal that slides down from the top and slides back up out of the way when I am done.

          Why would I want to leave it constantly in my way?

        • joshua.pettus
          June 14, 2016 at 8:34 pm

          and I minimize/maximize, doesn't matter as long as you have quick access to it.