Alternatives to KDE for all platforms with any license


Show 6 less popular platforms
  • Xfce icon


    Xfce (pronounced as four individual letters) is a free software desktop environment for Unix and other Unix-like platforms, such as Linux, Solaris and BSD. It aims to be...

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • Cinnamon icon


    Cinnamon is a Linux desktop which provides advanced innovative features and a traditional user experience. The desktop layout is similar to...

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • MATE icon


    MATE is a fork of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • LXDE icon


    The "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment" is an extremely fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment.

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • Unity icon


    Unity is a shell interface for the Gnome desktop environment developed by Canonical Ltd for its Ubuntu operating system. It is designed to make more efficient use of...

    Open Source Linux

    • Discontinued Cannonical has announced that Unity will be discontinued in favour of Ubuntu 18.04 using GNOME. Article at
  • LXQt icon


    LXQt is the Qt port and the upcoming version of LXDE, the Lightweight Desktop Environment. It is the product of the merge between the...

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • Enlightenment icon


    Enlightenment is not just a window manager for Linux/X11 and others, but also a whole suite of libraries to help you create beautiful user interfaces with much less work...

    Open Source Mac Linux BSD

  • Budgie icon


    Budgie is the flagship desktop of the Solus OS and is part of the Solus Project. Designed with the modern user in mind, it focuses on simplicity and elegance.

    Open Source Linux

    No features added Add a feature
    • Budgie is a new desktop environment built on top of Gnome, essentially. It looks and feels nice in principle, but it's not the finished article. Slow and buggy, it might have a bright future but for the moment KDE's Plasma is much better. JohnFastmanJan 2017 Disagree   Agree
  • Lumina Desktop Environment icon

    Lumina Desktop Environment

    Lumina is a lightweight, BSD licensed, standards-compliant desktop environment based upon Qt and Fluxbox. It is being developed on PC-BSD, and is being packaged for...

    Open Source Linux BSD PC-BSD

  • EDE icon


    Equinox Desktop Environment is simple and small graphical desktop environment for UNIX operating systems

    Open Source Linux BSD Solaris

    No features added Add a feature
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  • Elokab icon


    Elokab Desktop Environment is an open-source independent desktop environment for Linux which uses QT libraries like KDE .

    Open Source Linux

    No features added Add a feature
  • Bluetile icon


    Bluetile is a tiling window manager for Linux, designed to integrate with the GNOME desktop environment. It provides both a traditional, stacking layout mode as well as...

    Open Source Linux

  • Cairo Shell icon

    Cairo Shell

    Cairo is a desktop environment for Windows. Its goal is to develop a desktop experience that increases productivity and advances current technology standards.

    Open Source Windows

KDE Comments

The Linux desktop situation is analogous to the current US election though.

Comment by Evi1M4chine_
about KDE and Xfce, Cinnamon, GNOME · Nov 2016 ·

Gnome and KDE seem like the only real alternatives,
with everything else being very very focused (some say unhealthily obsessed) with minimalism or nostalgically memberberrying some mediocre past.

But Gnome systematically targets the dumbest common denominator, and its main development is removing features and everything that isn’t used by literally everyone and their dog. Even more so than the Apple desktops it badly tries to hide it imitating from. Including the ability to even theme the thing. Leaving a very… lacking… desktop to be frank.

And KDE having just tacked-on semi-great features left and right without forethought or keeping an eye on the overall architecture, kinda like Windows ME, making the generally great concept of empowering users look bad, and now with Plasma 5 also going the way-of-the-moron… plus imitating so much bad from Windows 8/10 yet again, which it never even tried to hide.

Which seems to leave the actual computer user… who needs a system that fits him and has as much power per code line as possible… … as opposed to the clicker of colorful clickables and mere consumer of fixed-function modules (applications) that merely happen to run on a computer… in quite a vacuum.

Actually though, the whole concept of a ”desktop” should already be rejected as nonsensical for an actual computer user. This clears the way of the mind for Linux’s actual biggest advantage: Small modules that do one thing and do it right, which can be glued together to your liking, without forcing you into a “framework” that doesn’t allow any other gods beside it. A window manager, a program starter, a task manager, a console, maybe a window decorator, some notification and status information somethings, and tools from all over the Linux landscape… even KDE and Gnome ones… Giving you everything that you need and want, and exactly as much power as, where and how you need it.

So maybe it’s not much like the US election.
Or maybe it is, with all the delusions about limited choice going on.


KDE vs. Cinnamon

about KDE and MATE, Cinnamon, Ubuntu · · 2 Helpful

I tried first time Linux a year ago.
My first Linux (except of Android) was Ubuntu with Unity, I think this was v. 14...
Yeah, my first Desktop Environment was been Unity... I removed Ubuntu on the same day. :D

Than I tried a Debian just servers for a long time.
The time Linux Mint 17.02 was been released I tried my second Desktop Environment (Cinnamon). Cinnamon looks very nice, it really is easier for ex-win users. But Cinnamon used 15% of my CPU and in addition it was really buggy.( I mean it crashes for me every 2h.)

Than I tried out MATE. I wonder it look's so strange like Win2 winNT (never tried on of these). But MATE is working very well, and it is stable.
Just I want something what isn't really hungry for resources AND looks good.

Yesterday I bump into KDE.
Installed the 300 MB on my Linux Mint 17.3 and "WOW". It do not look like a Tablet like Unity, don't overheat my CPU like Cinnamon and is looks modern.
I really want to know why you don't setup the feature for the Desktop Folder to default. Also why some windows looks the same like MATE.

Now my experience to these DE's.
Unity: This DE is for Tablet's and 100% not for PC (and totally not for a gaming computer)
MATE: Really powersaving, light DE, best for "Pentium 4".
Cinnamon: This DE is a developing, and I think it will take time until it is really stable.
KDE: It is really nice, but there is everywhere Add for KDE. I mean you just installed it and see everywhere a dammed letter "k". The most standart software is also different, you hasn't thunderbird like in every ether version of Linux Mint, no you have K-Mail.

Really recommend all of the desktop environments!
Choose yourself, support Freedom!

[Edited by Translator5, January 24]


Best Desktop: KDE Plasma

about KDE · · -1 Helpful

I agree. KDE Plasma desktop is by far the most advanced, most powerful and most flexible desktop ever created. Very modular and customizable so it works just the way you need it to work. Also it is very easy to change the look by using SVG vector graphics.

[Edited by JRepin, April 30]


KDE Plasma is the best computer desktop that exists today. ...

Comment by Marjana
about KDE · Jun 2011 · -1 Helpful

KDE Plasma is the best computer desktop that exists today. Very powerful and with a lot of innovative features. Many options to customize it and personalize it to your liking. It's so flexible you can change it to emulate almost every bit of any other desktop out there.