Alternatives to Xfce for all platforms with any license

Platforms

Desktop

Indie / Classic

Other Platforms

  • GNOME icon

    GNOME

    The GNOME project provides two things: The GNOME desktop environment, an intuitive and attractive desktop for users, and the GNOME development platform, an extensive framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of...

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • KDE icon

    KDE

    KDE is an international technology team that creates Free Software for desktop and portable computing. Among KDEs products are a modern desktop system for Linux and UNIX platforms, comprehensive office productivity and groupware...

    Open Source Mac Windows Linux BSD

  • Cinnamon icon

    Cinnamon

    Cinnamon is a Linux desktop which provides advanced innovative features and a traditional user experience. The desktop layout is similar to GNOME 2. The underlying technology is forked from GNOME...

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • MATE icon

    MATE

    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. MATE is under active development to add support for new...

    Open Source Linux BSD

    • MATE is a good alternative to XFCE because it is similarly light on system resources (runs well on computers that aren't the fastest/newest) but MATE has slightly more intuitive configuration for the desktop appearance (e.g. moving icons on panels, making panels transparent).
      JohnFastmanDec 2016 Disagree   Agree
    • Mate is light on system resources. Perhaps not as light as XFCE, but still good on old computers. Additionally, the Mate desktop panels are more customizable than on XFCE. Under-rated desktop environment.
      JohnFastmanDec 2016 Disagree   Agree
  • LXDE icon

    LXDE

    The "Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment" is an extremely fast-performing and energy-saving desktop environment. Maintained by an international community of developers, it comes with a beautiful interface, multi-language...

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • Unity icon

    Unity

    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 space given the limited screen size of netbooks.

    Open Source Linux

    • Xfce is lightweight and the single biggest reason it's chosen. Unity is not lightweight - so not an alternative to xfce.
      Jupiter2Aug 2016 Disagree   Agree
  • LXQt icon

    LXQt

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

    Open Source Linux BSD

  • Enlightenment icon

    Enlightenment

    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 than doing it the old fashioned way and fighting with...

    Open Source Mac Linux BSD

  • Budgie icon

    Budgie

    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

  • 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 distribution on the PC-BSD package repository as well

    Open Source Linux BSD PC-BSD

  • EDE icon

    EDE

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

    Open Source Linux BSD Solaris

  • CDE (Common Desktop Environment) icon

    CDE (Common Desktop Environment)

    The Common Desktop Environment was created by a collaboration of Sun, HP, IBM, DEC, SCO, Fujitsu and Hitachi. Used on a selection of commercial UNIXs, it is now available as open-source software for the first time.

    Open Source Linux BSD

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  • Elokab icon

    Elokab

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

    Open Source Linux

  • Bluetile icon

    Bluetile

    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 tiling layouts where windows are arranged to use the entire...

    Open Source Linux

  • Cairo Shell icon

    Cairo Shell

    Cairo Shell is a replacement shell for the Microsoft Windows operating systems. Like other shell alternatives, it replaces the default Windows Shell. Cairo Shell will be free to download and use when it is released.

    Free Windows

    • Discontinued While not officially stated as such anywhere since there is no blog or forum this project should be marked as discontinued. The code repository has seen no changes since 2010 and the site hasn't been updated since 2009 (check the copyright).
  • Emerge Desktop icon

    Emerge Desktop

    Emerge Desktop is a replacement Windows "shell" (the desktop environment normally provided by Windows Explorer) for Windows 2000 and above. In order to replace Windows Explorer as a shell, it provides a system tray (the area...

    Open Source Windows

    • Discontinued Emerge Desktop is no longer maintained. Last version, 6.1.3, released in 2012, and the source code are still available on SourceForge

Xfce Comments

My experience with Xfce has not been positive. It did not o ...

Comment by julianbrelsford
about Xfce Jun 2011

My experience with Xfce has not been positive. It did not offer noticeable savings in hard drive space or memory usage, as compared to Gnome. On two different eeePC machines, I found that Xubuntu (the Xfce version of Ubuntu) ran no more quickly than the standard Ubuntu. Furthermore, it encountered problems that didn't exist in Gnome: I was not able to open files by double-clicking the file in a file manager. If you want a lightweight window manager, consider LXDE. If you want a window manager where everything works with no fuss, consider Gnome.

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