Alternatives to Xfce for all platforms with any license

  • Cinnamon

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

    Free Open Source Linux BSD

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    Cinnamon icon
  • MATE

    Many users of GNOME 2 dislike GNOME 3. MATE is a fork of the good old GNOME 2.

    • 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 • 1 agrees and 0 disagrees 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

    Free Open Source Linux BSD FreeBSD OpenIndiana GhostBSD

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    MATE icon
  • LXDE

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

    Free Open Source Linux BSD

    LXDE 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...

    Free Open Source Linux BSD

    LXQt 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.

    Free Open Source Linux

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    Budgie 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...

    Free Open Source Mac Linux BSD

    Enlightenment 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.

    Free Open Source Windows

    Cairo Shell 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...

    Free Open Source Linux BSD PC-BSD

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    Lumina 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...

    Free Open Source Linux BSD

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    CDE (Common Desktop Environment) 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...

    Free Open Source Linux

    Bluetile 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...

    • Discontinued Emerge Desktop is no longer maintained.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

    Free Open Source Windows

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    Emerge Desktop icon
  • EDE

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

    Free Open Source Linux BSD Solaris

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    EDE icon

Platforms

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Xfce Comments

Comment by karlblass
about Xfce · Mar 2017 · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

Best desktop environment for Unix/Linux I know of.

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Comment by julianbrelsford
about Xfce · Jun 2011 · Helpful Not helpful Report as spam

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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Window manager and desktop environment are not the same. WM can be a DE but DE is not just WM. Lightweight WM is Openbox, less quick are xfwm, metacity, kwm.

This 2010 comment is old and outdated. Compared to the current Gnome3, Xfce (as well as LXDE) is lightweight (memory usage, disk space, etc.). It should also be significantly quicker, although it will never be as quick as the minimalistic Openbox or Fluxbox WMs. Opening files by double-clicking should work out of the box in Thunar, but if you don't like Thunar feel free to use Nautilus within Xfce.

As far as I go, Xfce has a more elegant and consistent design than LXDE.