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 the desktop. Read more hot
KDE Desktop Environment
KDE (K Desktop Environment) is a free software project which aims to be a powerful system for an easy-to-use desktop environment. The aim of the KDE project is to connect the power of the UNIX operating systems (such as Linux) with the comfort of a modern user interface. Read more hot
LXDE (Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment) is a project with an objective of providing a desktop environment which is lightweight and fast. Read more hot
The ROX Desktop is a desktop environment, a lightweight alternative to GNOME or KDE based on the ROX-Filer file manager. It is inspired by the user interface of RISC OS. Read more hot
Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment for unix-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and easy to use. Xfce 4.2 embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability. It consists of a number of components that together provide the full functionality of the desktop environment. They are packaged separately and you can pick and choose from the available packages to create the best personal working environment. Read more hot
a GNOME OpenGL program that allows you to switch desktops (viewports) in a 3-dimensional way. The default "visualization" maps your screen onto an N-sided polygon which you turn to select the next screen
Three-Dimensional Workspace Manager, a Chalmers Medialab project, released as Free Software under the LGPL license and focusing on the development of a general-purpose platform for 3D user interfaces (3D GUIs). 3Dwm is NOT an X11 window manager and cannot work as such. It is a full 3D user environment, i.e. the 3D equivalent of X11
acidlaunch is a small, light-weight app launcher with a simple XML-based configuration syntax. It's written in C++ using gtk, gdk-pixbuf and libxml2.
AllTray lets you dock any application into the system tray/notification area. A high-light feature is that a click on the "close" button will minimize to system tray. It is written in C using GTK and Xlib. It works well with Gnome, KDE and XFCE.
AntiRight Desktop Environment
a lightweight desktop environment that uses the motif API. AntiRight was developed with lesstif and works on openmotif. AntiRight tries to maintain low hardware requirements and low user experience requirements while still catering to advanced users
Aurora Project consists of the Aurora Desktop Environment which, unlike most other Linux-based desktop environments, don't attempts to accomplish everything but to remove the focus from system configuration and desktop customizing by creating an easy-to-use out-of-the-box intuitive and beutiful desktop experience.
Avant Window Navigator
Avant Window Navigator (Awn) is a MacOS X like panel for the GNOME Desktop written in C. Besides launchers that can be dragged onto the bar, it features a task bar that behaves similar to the MacOS X dock. The window navigator uses the composite extension for transparency and other effects. Read more
a collection of complementing
themes for Enlightenment 16, GTK, Galeon, gkrellm,
BasKet is a desktop organization tool inspired by DropDrawers. It uses baskets and drawers for organizing various objects, such as text, URLs, images, sounds, or other documents.
a small "menubar" that works as the "belt " normally found in MacOS. It has a lot of configuration options and can use multiple configuration files if you want several belts.
a perl program that randomly chooses an image from a directory to display to the background of your screen. It chooses a new image every so often
Blackhome provides a way to use blackbox themes with associated default resource files for customisation of applications; each theme has its own specific application resources, extending the theme concept to allow individual applications to be 'themed'.
Budgie is the flagship desktop of the Solus Operating System, and is part of the Solus Project. Designed with the modern user in mind, it focuses on simplicity and elegance.
Budgie Desktop is a simple, yet elegant desktop. Budgie Desktop integrates with the GNOME stack, and as such requires certain components to operate correctly.
a simple application for the X Window System that sits in the corner of the screen, waiting for you to click on one of the buttons it provides. When you do, it launches the program
Cairo-Dock is an attractive, lightweight eye-candy dock to launch your applications. It has a family-likeness with the OS X dock, but with more options. Read more
ChBg changes the desktop background in a given period. It can render images with 5 modes, e.g. tiled image, tiled mirrored image, maximized image, centered image with selected
background color, centered scaled image.
Cinnamon is a fork of the GNOME 3 shell that is deisnged to offer a transitional option between GNOME 2 and GNOME 3.
ClassicMenu Indicator is a notification area applet (application indicator) for the top panel of Ubuntu's Unity desktop environment.
Compa is a Gnome Panel Applet that can display the output of any system command on the panel. In addition it can display the output of a different command in its tooltip, and launch a different command when clicked.
aims to be an "ActiveDesktop that doesn't suck" and will eventually support these features: Displays images and HTML on your root window. Downloads images and HTML from other computers/internet. Configurable via XML file
DesktopFolders is a FolderView-like application for GTK+-based desktops (GNOME, XFCE, LXDE, etc.).
(commercial) DeXtop is a complete, easy-to-use desktop interface, based on the Open Group's CDE. It is an environment that's familiar to the computer industry, yet easy enough to use for those new to the Linux operating system.
DockBar is a task bar with grouping and group manipulation.
a docking application (WindowMaker dock app) which acts as a system tray for KDE and GNOME2. It can be used to replace the panel in either environment, allowing you to have a system tray without running the KDE/GNOME panel or environment
E-buttons is an Enlightenment epplet to launch an application from a button box.
Elokab Desktop Environment
Elokab Desktop Environment is an open-source independent desktop environment which uses QT libraries.
Equinox Desktop Environment
Equinox Desktop Environment comprises a Desktop Panel, a Window Manager, an Info Panel, Equinox PPP and an Image Viewer. Read more
Etoile intends to be an innovative GNUstep based desktop environment built from the ground up on highly modular and light components with project and document orientation in mind. Read more
a lightweight X11 desktop panel. It requires only GTK-1.2 and X11 to compile and works with any ICCCM / NETWM compliant window manager (eg sawfish, enlightment, kvm)
Foopanel is a desktop panel that is themable and extensible through plugins.
FOX Control Center
FOX Control Center lets the user change all the options for colors, fonts, mime types, etc. for all FOX applications.
FOX Desktop is a lightweight desktop environment based on the FOX Toolkit. It includes various tools and programs to make life easier. It includes a desktop and taskbar.
foXdesktop's control center. It is based on components and can be easily extended this way. Components are written using libfoXcontrol
contains foXcontrol components you can change common settings for all FOX applications with
fpcbol is a desktop user interface written for children and people who want simplicity and speed. It is designed to be as beautiful and simple as possible. It has no menus, just icons to click. It features parental control for children. It has been tested successfully on Debian, Mandriva, and Gentoo. It works well on computers with low system resources (such as a 500Mhz Pentium).
Freerock GNOME is a complete GNOME Desktop distribution designed and packaged specifically for Slackware Linux. Freerock GNOME installs cleanly and non-intrusively by utilizing the standard Slackware software package format (".tgz"). Freerock GNOME integrates seamlessly and easily into Slackware Linux version 10.2.
a panel for Linux that lists all your windows, but the difference is that it's tiny. The binary is about 11k and it takes barely any memory
FVWM-Crystal aims to create an easy to use, eye-candy but also powerful desktop environment for Linux or other Unix-like operating systems. It uses following programs: FVWM as a window manager and "main core", ROX-Filer as file manager (manages icons on the desktop), xterm, aterm, mrxvt or urxvt as terminal emulators, MPD or XMMS as music players (there's built-in support for controlling these programs), and several other tools for different functions, like setting a wallpaper or making screen shots. Read more
FvwmKb is a module for Fvwm window manager that makes it more comfortable to work with several Xkb keyboard layouts.
a bleeding edge GNOME distribution for testers and tweakers everywhere
a Gnome Panel applet designed to change the background on your desktop
gchbkgrd is a program used for automatic and periodic change of the desktop's background.
GEM is a GUI desktop environment produced by Digital Research released under the GPL.
Genmenu is a script for generating menus for the Blackbox and/or Window Maker window managers.
gExec is a very small GUI app written using the Gimp Toolkit, or GTK in C. Its purpose is just to sit in the corner of the screen, and execute apps when you need to run something.
tracks your movement between windows and charges the time you spend in each window toward tasks that you define
a plugin which allows one-click access to frequently used applications from GKrellM
a simple program which provides a "run program" window, featuring a bash-like TAB completion. It uses GTK+ interface. Also, supports CTRL-R / CTRL-S / "!" for searching through history. Running commands in a terminal with CTRL-Enter. URL handlers
gnoclip is a very symple workspace switcher for the GNOME environment.
GNU Applet is an applet that can launch gnu emacs when clicked and open an file on GNU Emacs by draging-and-dropping an icon from gnome desktop. In other word, GNU Applet is a GUI version of gnuclient.
GNU Light Desktop
a small, simple, yet user-friendly desktop. It is WM independent and provides only a panel, used for launching applications from popup menus
GTK Theme Switch
a small and fast command line utility to switch GTK themes on the fly
Gtk-Launch is a small program consisting of just an entry box and a button, which will execute the given command.
GVidChanger-minimal (gvidm) is a gtk app to quickly and easily change video resolutions in X. Running it will pop up a list of available modes, upon choosing a mode or cancelling, it exits.
a proposal for the GNUstep Workspace Manager
Handy Extension Handler
associates file extensions/types with user defined programs/shell scripts and handles/opens them accordingly
Hardware Monitor applet
Hardware Monitor applet is an applet for the Gnome panel which tries to be a beautiful all-round solution to hardware monitoring. It also tries to be user-friendly and generally nice and sensible, integrating pleasantly with the rest of your Gnome desktop.
IceWM Control Panel
IceWM Control Panel is a full-featured, Gtk-based Control Panel for IceWM. It features such tools as Ice Sound Manager (for managing IceWM sound events), IcePref2, a wallpaper manager, and many other tools bundled into a familiar Windoze-like interface.
lets you use blackbox styles natively within kwin, the kde2 window manager
KDE BlogLines ticker
KDE BlogLines ticker is a small application that sits in the KDE system tray and patiently checks a BlogLines account for updates in specified periods, notifying the user of new entries as they appear. Features bells and whistles.
KDE URL Link Launcher
KDE URL Link Launcher allows you to launch URL link files that are found on Microsoft Windows operating systems.
KDE Web Applet
a small KDE applet for embedding web pages. It comes with a script to make your own webpages that are compatible with the applet
translates the KDE-style links into links in wmconfig-style, used by WindowMaker and many others
will help you dock any application in the system tray. This means you can dock openoffice, xmms, firefox, thunderbolt, anything! Just point and click. Works for all NET WM compliany window managers - that includes KDE, GNOME, XFce and many more
kedge is a small utility app to do edge-sensitive virtual-desktop switching with your mouse in KDE 2.x and 3.x.
a KDE 2.0 kicker applet to control your FoldingAtHome client
a KDE application that provides a button-bar like FvwmButtons or tkGoodStuff
The aim of the K Lightweight Desktop Environment (KLyDE) is to provide a lightweight KDE desktop.
a small utility for Linux to magnify a part of the screen. It is very useful for people with visual disabilities and for those working in the fields of image analysis, web development etc
kpanel2 is a modified version of the Corel Kpanel intended to work with the standard KDElibs and KDEcore.
Kredentials is a KDE systray applet for keeping Kerberos and AFS authentication tokens current.
a cool desktop panel (like KDE's kicker) for KDE 3.2 with smooth zooming (2 modes: normal & parabolic). Its aim is to provide a cool alternative/complement to kicker. As it is intended for KDE/Linux, its behaviour will be like that of kicker
offers a highly configurable splash screen for KDE desktops. Unlike the standard KDE Splash Screen (KSplash), this program offers multiple appearances, and now supports a highly customizable theming engine
a small program that will convert Windows themes to KDE themes
The Kuartet Desktop project aims to create a visually appealing, easy to use desktop built upon KDE. It consists of a library written around Superkaramba that makes it easy to write desktop applets that are integrated within a centralized desktop theme, a set of very usable desktop applets, and graphical configuration tools. The main desktop applet is the Kuartet Manager, which provides quick access to documents, applications, bookmarks, etc.
an innovative docker for KDE that is based on the engine from osXBar 1.0.23. It works as a task manager, a mount-point manager, and a launcher
KZoom is a KDE graphical applications which can be used to enlarge parts of your X Window desktop. It's a very handy tool and various zooming controls along with easy of use make it suitable both for professionals in webdesign.
a small program for executing applications, based on WINGs library
an all-in-one file handling solution for use with any software that uses file type to file handler mappings
a library which allows you to write foXcontrol components
a desktop environment where you work by specifying "verbs" and "objects" 1) with complete symmetry, without forcing an order, and 2) with automatic hiding of the things that don't make sense. Also features navigation based on recent usage
Lortug is a scriptable toolbar application. What this means is that you write scripts describing the layout and what you want the toolbars to do and Lortug creates the toolbars.
ltpanel is a lightweight panel, looking similar to the gnome tasklist applet. It uses only xlib and has a very light memory footprint.
a modified version of Deskmate! set to display Lum when it's loaded
a small panel application written in GTK 2.0. It provides a basic icon menu, a group of panel icons, a taskbar and a clock. The intent of the Luminance Panel is to create an easy to use, lightweight application
LXPanel is a lightweight X11 desktop panel based on fbpanel.
LXQt is the Qt port and the upcoming version of LXDE, the Lightweight Desktop Environment. Read more
Macbuntu is an open-source program, designed to transform Linux?s appearance and layout into a Mac OS X environment. Although Macbuntu is dedicated to Ubuntu Linux OS, it could be used in other OS based on Debian/GTK.
MailDooHicky is a configurable Gtk-Perl toolbar that can display the current date/time, mail read/total, overall cpu usage and network interface statistics (cpu/net are linux only). It also has user definable buttons, a run window, simple calendar and a scratch-pad.
manix is a desktop environment which aims to provide a full MacOS 8/9 interface, including an implementation of the Carbon API.
MATE Desktop Environment
MATE Desktop Environment is a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users, using traditional computing desktop metaphor.
MemoPanel is a tiny memo on the GNOME panel.
metisse is an experimental X desktop with some OpenGL capacity. Metisse is constituted by a virtual X server called Xwnc, a special version of FVWM and an FVWM module FvwmAmetista.
a Window Maker dock app for managing your mountable storage devices
a dockable textfield which executes commands
Mutate is a simple launcher inspired by Alfred (OS X app) for Ubuntu. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords and file actions at your fingertips.
neap is a pager that runs in the notification area or systray of your desktop's panel. It follows the freedesktop.org specifications.
netwmpager is an enhanced version of the original netwmpager-1.11 program.
a lightweight pager applet or dockapp. It requires a netwm compatible window manager such as OpenBox. OBPager shows windows in active virtual desktops and allows the user to switch desktops by clicking on the pager dockapp
Original Disk Mount applet
This is the same as the disk mounter included through GNOME 2.8. For GNOME 2.10 the official applet was rewritten, the new version adds the ability to autodetect mountable devices, but drops a significant (all) configurability.
allows easy manipulation of PATH-like environment variables
peksystray is a notification area (system tray) dockapp.
Perl Panel is an attempt to build a useable, lean panel program (like Gnome's gnome-panel and KDE's Kicker) in Perl, using GTK 2. It has an object-oriented design for easy customisation and extension, and an applet architecture.
perlbox is an open source project dedicated to the creation and refinement of a fully featured desktop written in portable perl. PerlBox supports the use of voice commands and response and integrates nicely with blackbox window manager.
Perltop is a project to make a Unix desktop comparable to the user interface aspects of gnome and kde, using gtk/perl. The HCI of Perltop is modelled on the MacOS 9 finder. Perltop is released under the BSD License.
PieDock is a task bar in the shape of a pie menu that appears directly around your mouse cursor. It feels a little bit like the Mac OS X dock but in a circular shape.
Plank is meant to be the simplest dock on the planet. The goal is to provide just what a dock needs and absolutely nothing more.
Pogo is a speedy, highly extensible, skinnable, and user-configurable program launcher and application front-end for X11. It features a set of easy-to-use control options, including icon rotation, shifting, and switchable window orientation. Pogo comes with over 400 different pre-made application launcher buttons to choose from.
a small pager for X Window. It display a clock, and can starts differents commands with mouse button. It works under any gnome compliant window manager (eg. E, SawFish, WindowMaker, IceWM, Oroborus
Project Elevate is an attempt to free users from the desktop metaphor. It offers a fixed set of applications which allow casual users to perform the most usual tasks with their computer.
Razor-qt is an advanced, easy-to-use, and fast desktop environment based on Qt technologies. It has been tailored for users who value simplicity, speed, and an intuitive interface. Unlike most desktop environments, Razor-qt also works fine with weak machines.
a small GTK-application to select easily a GTK-Theme
ROX-Menu is a simple yet useful application menu for your ROX desktop environment.
a really simple session manager. It loads, runs any programs you asked it to, and then quits when you run it a second time (thus ending your session). It does not display any windows until you ask it to quit
enables users to specify any kind of action in a very uniform way, with an artificial intelligence that aids you while you are composing the action, by showing you only the relevant options
a small application (using GTK+) which lets you select your window manager. It looks for a file named .selectwmrc in the user's directory which contains a list of window managers
Setimgr is a simple program to manage queueing of processing, collecting and sending the results of work units from the SETI@Home project.
Shellshape is a gnome-shell extension that adds smart and user-friendly tiling window features to your GNOME desktop, inspired by bluetile.
Simdock is a dockbar that features a zoom effect (like the OS X dock) and customized launchers. It integrates well with GNOME but works on most desktop environment and does not require Compiz or 3D acceleration. Read more
SirTobis ButtonBar is a simple GTK button bar. It has few dependencies, is highly configurable, and is intended to be used for administrating remote servers.
skaMenu is a menu, browser written in python. It's controlled with a lirc device and it's very configurable by an xml configuration file. It supports true type fonts and antialias, and output is done with sdl library.
StateMenu is a popup desktop menu for not only launching apps, but also for monitoring and controlling the state of system resources (like daemons, cpu scaling, firewalls, etc.). It works with Nautilus/GNOME, Xfce4, ROX Pinboard, and other environments.
SuxPanel provides a lightweight X11 desktop panel, similar to the GNOME or XFCE panels. Although small, SuxPanel comes with a number of features, with room to add more; (writing new applets is easy, as is porting applets for other panels, such as XFCE4 or GNOME.
Taschenpanel is a compact panel for the GNOME Desktop. If you consider the GNOME panel beeing too heavingweight, this panel might be an option for you. It provides application launchers, a window list and the obligatory clock. Additionally you get monitors for your notebook battery, network and processor status. Finally it supports freedesktop style notification icons.
Techisa Desktop Environment
TDE (Techisa Desktop Environment) is a lightweight alternative desktop environment developed using Qt. The project's goal is to provide users with a comfortable environment using as few resources as possible.
The Quick Lounge Applet
an applet for the GNOME Panel. Applets are little applications embedded in the Panel
TkPanel is a 'panel' application, greatly inspired by the CDE panel, with some other features; it is basically used to call other programs, that can be configured by the user. Thus, with TkPanel, the programs which are more often executed can be easily called. TkPanel is able to lock the computer, and can run arbitrary command on the fly.
tkwallpaper is an automatic background changing utility.
twin is a text-mode window environment. It turns a text terminal into a X11-style display with window manager, terminal windows, and can also serve as display for remote applications.
The UDE-Project is creating a new Desktop Environment for X11. The entirely original look & feel is mainly optimized for efficient shell usage (as for programming, sysadministration etc). Offers max. screen space, stability and very low resource usage.
Ulteo OVD brings scalability to address IT departments need to manage much larger desktop deployments and application delivery projects.
Unsettings is a graphical configuration program for the Unity desktop environment that lets you change some oft the Unity settings.
Ventana3d is a 3D desktop environment for X11 applications.
a set of tools for handling X Window virtual desktops. It makes it possible to switch the virtual desktop to the one indexed by a command line argument, and displays the number of desktops and index of the currently selected one
a non-window manager-specific wallpaper manager for the X Window System. It aims to be a full featured utility for managing and setting your images you use as wallpaper
a tool for managing the IceWM 'winoptions' file. With this tool, you can control such things as the size and the position of applications, the window icon of the application, as well as the IceWM layer, workspace, and much more
WingPanel is a super sexy space-saving top panel.
a simple application launcher for the Window Maker dock. It is loosely based off of WMButton
a dock App for window maker on linuxppc, monitoring power management on PowerBooks G3 and iBook
wmbutton displays nine buttons which can be configured through a configfile. Each button can be assigned up to three commands (one per mouse button). It is intended as WindowMaker dock-app and can be swallowed by Wharf in Afterstep.
a dock application (dockapp) which provides a drawer (button bar) to launch applications from
wmdropzone is a download manager for the WindowMaker Dock.
a dock app for the GNU Window Maker window manager which makes it more convenient to perform long downloads in the background
wminfo is a Window Maker dockable application that displays text format information using the plugin.
WMKeyboard is a keyboard map mapper/creator. WMKeyboard's dock window switches keymaps when called by user selected shortcut keys. It also has a config panel which allows you to create new/edit/delete keymaps and select default and alternate maps.
provides a popup menu of icons for WindowMaker like in AfterStep, as a dockable application
wmpager is a simple pager docklet for the WindowMaker. wmpager automatically configures according to the number of workspaces and automagically adjusts to the current workspace and features a themeable look and feel as well as workspace tooltips.
wmpal is a Window Maker dockapp based off a Black Box application called bbpal.
wmswallow is a WindowMaker dock applet to make any application dockable in the WindowMaker dock.
Wuja is a Gnome desktop applet for integrating with Google Calendar. It is written in Python and distributed under the GPL.
a simple graphical desktop environment for X-Window. The goal is to create a set of light weight and fast GPL applications that run on a slow computer (i486 66MHz 16MB) and on a small screen (640x480)
Xdgmenumaker is a command line tool that generates application menus using xdg information by scanning *.desktop files in all $XDG_DATA_DIRS/applications directories.
xdock is a program that emulates the Window Maker docks, with the following differences: it runs in any window manager, is client/server, and it is very easy to write docks for it.
XFast is a slim and lightweight desktop environment that incorporates both a window server and window manager within the same project. Its intended use is on embedded platforms where resources are low, as well as everywhere a desktop environment needs to be started very quickly and with low memory consumption.
Xffm is an X background menu that works like a File-Cabinet.
Xmtoolbar is a Motif toolbar to launch applications. Xmtoolbar is easy to configure, it can group buttons for application groups, shrink on a mouse-click and gives quick help info.
XPde aims to recreate the Windows XP desktop environment on Linux in order to allow Windows users to "feel at home" in front of a Linux computer.
XQDE is a docker application that provides functionality similar to KXDocker in many ways. It works together with a compositing window manager.
a command line program that move and resize the focus window
6 of the Best Lean Linux Desktop Environments seeks to identify the best lean desktops for Linux, for users that have old or even ancient hardware.