Fedora Linux Desktop Environments: Our Top 5 Picks in 2023

Fedora Linux Desktop Environments

Fedora Linux is a popular operating system that is known for its flexibility and customizability. One of the primary ways that users can customize and personalize their Fedora experience is through the use of desktop environments. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the different desktop environments that are available for Fedora Linux and explore their features and benefits.

A desktop environment is essentially the graphical user interface (GUI) that users interact with when using an operating system. While Fedora Linux is known for its stability and robustness, users can create a unique user experience by selecting a desktop environment that aligns with their needs and preferences. Some of the popular desktop environments for Fedora Linux include GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce, Cinnamon, and MATE. Each of these environments has its own unique set of features and benefits.

Top Fedora Linux Desktop Environments

Fedora Linux provides users with many options to choose from in terms of desktop environments. A desktop environment is responsible for creating a graphical user interface on top of the underlying operating system. It includes several components such as windows, toolbars, buttons, icons, and widgets, providing the user with a convenient way to interact with the computer.

Here are some of the top desktop environments available for Fedora Linux:


GNOME is one of the most popular desktop environments available for Fedora Linux. It provides a clean and modern user interface, with a focus on simplicity and usability. GNOME integrates well with the rest of the operating system, creating a seamless user experience. It also provides a wide range of productivity tools such as the GNOME Terminal, Nautilus file manager, and GNOME Calendar.

KDE Plasma

KDE Plasma is a powerful and customizable desktop environment that is ideal for users who prefer a traditional computing experience. It provides a high degree of customization options, allowing the users to tweak almost every aspect of the graphical interface. KDE Plasma includes several applications such as the Dolphin file manager, Konsole terminal emulator, and Okular document viewer.


Xfce is a lightweight and fast desktop environment designed for low-end systems. It is highly customizable and provides a clean and minimal user interface. Xfce includes several tools such as the Thunar file manager, Whisker Menu, and the Xfce terminal emulator. It is an excellent option for users who want a fast and responsive desktop environment.


Cinnamon is a popular desktop environment that provides a traditional computing experience. It is known for its customizable and user-friendly interface. Cinnamon includes several applications such as the Nemo file manager, Cinnamon Screensaver, and Xed text editor.


Mate is a lightweight and customizable desktop environment designed for users who prefer the classic GNOME 2 desktop interface. It provides a familiar user interface and includes several tools such as the Caja file manager, Mate Terminal, and Pluma text editor.

These are some of the top Fedora Linux Desktop Environments available for users. Each desktop environment has its unique features and caters to specific user preferences. Users can choose the one that suits them the best and enjoy a personalized computing experience with Fedora Linux.


GNOME is one of the most popular Linux desktop environments, thanks to its user-friendly and intuitive interface. Fedora Linux comes with GNOME as the default desktop environment, making it easy for users to dive right into their work.

Here are some key features of GNOME on Fedora:

  • Activities Overview: GNOME’s Activities Overview provides an intuitive way to manage applications and windows. Users can easily switch between applications and workspaces, without getting lost in a cluttered interface.
  • Customizable Menus: GNOME allows users to customize menus according to their preferences. This makes it easy to access frequently used applications and tasks, increasing productivity.
  • Integrated Search: GNOME has an integrated search feature that allows users to quickly find files, applications, and settings. This can save a lot of time and effort, especially for power users.
  • Easy Theming: GNOME provides a built-in theming system that allows users to customize the look and feel of the desktop environment. Fedora Linux comes with a number of pre-installed themes, making it easy to find the perfect look for your system.
  • Accessibility: GNOME is known for its accessibility features, allowing users with disabilities to use the desktop environment effectively. With features like the Orca screen reader and high contrast mode, GNOME ensures that everyone can use Fedora Linux.
  • Resource Efficiency: GNOME is designed to be resource-efficient, ensuring that even low-end hardware can run the desktop environment smoothly. This makes Fedora Linux with GNOME a great choice for users looking to revive an old system or run Linux on a budget.

Overall, GNOME on Fedora is a powerful and user-friendly desktop environment that is perfect for both beginners and advanced users. With its customizable menus, integrated search, and resource efficiency, it offers a seamless experience that boosts productivity and enhances the Linux experience.

KDE Plasma

KDE Plasma is a popular desktop environment that provides a modern and customizable user interface. It is known for its beautiful graphics, flexibility, and rich features. KDE Plasma is one of the official desktops supported by Fedora, so it is easy to install and use. Here are some of the key features of KDE Plasma:

  • Quick and easy access to applications. KDE Plasma has a customizable application launcher that lets you easily launch your favorite applications and tools.
  • Flexible and powerful workspaces. KDE Plasma allows you to organize your workspaces the way you want, so you can be more productive. You can choose from different layouts, customize hotkeys, and create your own shortcuts.
  • Stunning graphics and desktop effects. KDE Plasma boasts of beautiful graphical effects, such as transparent windows, dynamic desktop backgrounds, and animated task switchers, which can make your desktop experience more enjoyable and visually appealing.
  • Integrated search and file management. KDE Plasma integrates search and file management features that allow you to find and manage your files and folders with ease.
  • Support for multiple devices. KDE Plasma is highly compatible with a range of devices, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. With KDE Connect, you can even connect your phone to your desktop and receive notifications, transfer files, and control your music player.

In addition to these features, KDE Plasma also has a large community of users and developers who provide support, create new themes, and develop new apps. Overall, if you are looking for a flexible, powerful, and aesthetically pleasing desktop environment for Fedora Linux, KDE Plasma is definitely worth giving a try.


Xfce is a lightweight, free, and open-source desktop environment that emphasizes speed and user-friendliness. It is designed for Unix-like operating systems and is particularly favored on older or less powerful hardware.


The Xfce desktop interface is clean, organized, and straightforward, with a menu, toolbar, and desktop icons. Its layout is consistent, and users can manage and customize the interface as per their preferences. Additionally, it is highly intuitive, making it ideal for new Linux users.


Xfce is a highly optimized desktop environment that consumes very few system resources, including memory and CPU. It does not use many system processes, and even on relatively low-end systems, users can get an excellent desktop experience. By default, it has minimal visual effects and runs smoothly on older hardware.


Although it offers a basic interface, Xfce still comes packed with many features. Some of the standard features include the ability to customize your desktop environment through themes, backgrounds, icons, and widgets, which can be easily added or removed. It also provides a range of system settings, including display settings, keyboard shortcuts, and power-saving settings.

Comparison to other Linux desktop environments

Xfce is similar to other lightweight and user-friendly desktop environments such as LXDE, LXQt, and MATE. However, in comparison, Xfce has a more polished and modern look. It has a more comprehensive settings manager and supports more customization options, making it ideal for users who desire sophistication in their desktop environment.

In conclusion, Xfce is an excellent desktop environment option for users who value speed and simplicity. It provides a clean and organized interface, consumes fewer system resources, and offers several customization features. With its efficient design, it can give users proficient performance even on low-end hardware.


Cinnamon is a popular and user-friendly desktop environment that you can install and use on Fedora Linux. It’s designed to be simple and easy to navigate, especially for those who are new to Linux.

Here are some key features and benefits of using Cinnamon on your Fedora system:

  • Intuitive interface: Cinnamon’s interface is similar to Windows, making it easy for users who are familiar with Windows to transition to Linux.
  • Customizability: You can customize Cinnamon’s look and feel according to your preference. You can change the theme, icons, and fonts, and even add applets to the panel.
  • Stability: Cinnamon is known for its stability and reliability, thanks to its focus on delivering a consistent and bug-free experience.
  • Performance: Cinnamon is designed to be lightweight and fast, making it ideal for older hardware or low-spec systems.
  • Accessibility: Cinnamon also has accessibility features built-in, such as supporting a magnifying glass, high contrast themes, and screen reader functionality.

Overall, Cinnamon is a great choice for those who are looking for a simple, reliable, and customizable desktop environment on Fedora Linux. If you’re new to Linux or just want a hassle-free experience, Cinnamon is definitely worth checking out.

Here’s a quick table of important points to summarize what we just discussed:

Feature Benefit
Intuitive UI Easy for Windows users to switch to Linux
Customizability Customize the look and feel to your preference
Stability Consistent and bug-free experience
Performance Lightweight and ideal for older or low-spec systems
Accessibility Built-in accessibility features for all users


Mate is a lightweight and user-friendly desktop environment that is ideal for Fedora Linux users who prefer a traditional desktop interface. Mate is built on the Gnome 2 codebase and offers a well-known environment that many users appreciate.

With its sleek and intuitive interface, Mate provides users with a customizable and versatile environment that offers unparalleled ease of use. It’s perfect for those who need to switch between workflows quickly or those who prefer a minimalistic approach with a little flair.

One of the major benefits of using Mate is its flexibility. Users can customize the interface to meet their specific needs by adjusting settings, adding extensions, and creating new workspaces. It also has a wide range of available themes that users can use to modify the look and feel of their desktop background, icons, menus, and windows.

Mate is an excellent choice for users who need a reliable and efficient desktop environment. It’s lightweight and nimble, meaning it won’t slow down your system, and it provides a smooth and seamless experience. Whether you’re a Fedora Linux beginner or an experienced user, Mate is a great choice for a powerful desktop environment.

Here are some additional features of Mate that users might appreciate:

  • Support for multiple monitor setups
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts
  • Easy access to applications, files, and settings
  • Built-in system tools and applications
  • Compatibility with many third-party apps, tools, and plugins

In summary, Mate is a lightweight, customizable, and user-friendly desktop environment that offers an excellent alternative to other Fedora Linux desktop environments. It combines simplicity with functionality and provides users with a smooth and seamless experience.


LXDE is a lightweight desktop environment that was first released in 2006, designed to be fast and energy-efficient. Its main components are Openbox as the window manager, and LXPanel as the panel to manage application launchers, taskbars, and system tray icons.

One of the advantages of using LXDE is that it is very resource-friendly, making it an ideal choice for older or underpowered hardware. It can also be customized easily with themes and icons. The default desktop layout consists of a panel at the bottom of the screen that houses the menu, taskbar, and system tray. Users can easily add or remove panel items to fit their needs.

Another feature of LXDE is its user-friendly interface. The main menu is simple and intuitive, allowing users to quickly access their installed applications. The default applications included in LXDE are basic but functional, such as the PCManFM file manager and the Leafpad text editor. Additional applications can easily be installed via the software center or by using the command line interface.

LXDE also has a strong community, providing support for users and developers alike. It is actively maintained, with regular updates and bug fixes. As of Fedora 33, LXDE is included in the official repositories and can be installed with a few clicks.

Overall, LXDE is a great lightweight desktop environment for users looking for speed, efficiency, and ease of use. It may not have the bells and whistles of more feature-rich desktop environments, but its simplicity and speed make it a solid choice, especially for older hardware.


Pantheon is a desktop environment designed for elementary OS, but it can also be installed and used on Fedora Linux. It offers a beautiful and minimalistic user interface that focuses on simplicity and ease of use.

Made using Vala and GTK, Pantheon is a lightweight desktop environment that runs smoothly even on older hardware. It includes various built-in applications, such as Files (file manager), Photos (image viewer and organizer), and Music (audio player).


  • Pantheon has a clean and modern design with intuitive navigation, making it easy to use for both beginners and advanced users.
  • It offers an application launcher, called Slingshot, which allows users to easily search and launch applications, files, and settings.
  • Pantheon’s multitasking view provides a simple and elegant overview of open windows, making it easy to quickly switch between applications.
  • The desktop environment offers several keyboard shortcuts to improve productivity, such as a hot corner for showing all open windows and a shortcut for moving windows to other workspaces.

Pros and Cons


  • Pantheon offers a beautiful and modern user interface with intuitive navigation, making it easy to use.
  • It is lightweight and runs smoothly on older hardware.
  • The desktop environment includes several built-in applications, reducing the need for users to download third-party software.


  • Pantheon is only officially supported on elementary OS, so there might be compatibility issues when using it on other Linux distributions.
  • Some users might prefer a more customizable desktop environment with more advanced features.


Enlightenment, also known as E, is a lightweight and visually stunning desktop environment that is perfect for users who want a fast and customizable user interface. It provides a complete set of tools to manage the system and applications, with great emphasis on efficiency and speed. Enlightenment is known for consuming less memory and CPU, which makes it ideal for older machines or devices with limited resources.


Enlightenment has a long history in the Linux community, having been in development for over 20 years. Its creator, Carsten Haitzler, aimed to create a desktop environment that was visually appealing, efficient, and easy to use. Enlightenment was initially built as a window manager, but it has now grown into a full-fledged desktop environment.

Key Features

Enlightenment has a plethora of features that make it a popular choice among Linux users. Here are some of the key features:

  • Visual Appeal: Enlightenment has stunning visual effects that can be customized to users’ preferences. It allows users to define their themes, icons, and graphical elements, so the desktop matches their style.
  • Lightweight: Enlightenment is one of the lightest desktop environments available, consuming only about 100MB of RAM. This makes it ideal for use on low-end systems or devices with limited resources.
  • Customization: The desktop can be customized with ease, using the built-in configuration tools or by editing configuration files manually. Users can define their own keyboard shortcuts, mouse behaviors, and desktop widgets to make their experience more tailored.
  • Efficiency: Enlightenment is known for being fast, efficient, and responsive. It has a small memory and CPU footprint, which makes it an excellent choice for users who prefer speed and efficiency over eye candy.
  • Compatibility: Enlightenment is compatible with a vast range of hardware, from low-end ARM boards to high-performance machines.


After exploring the various Fedora Linux desktop environments, we have come to the conclusion that the best choice boils down to personal preference and specific needs. Here is a brief summary of our findings:

  • GNOME: with its sleek, modern interface, this environment provides an exceptional experience, especially for users who prioritize productivity.
  • KDE Plasma: this environment is feature-packed and provides a great degree of customization and flexibility.
  • Xfce: with its simplicity and lightweight design, this environment is a great choice for users with older hardware.
  • LXDE: as one of the lightest environments, it’s ideal for resource-constrained systems.
  • Cinnamon: with its intuitive interface, it is a familiar and user-friendly option for those transitioning from other operating systems.

Each of these environments has its strengths and weaknesses, so we recommend that users try out each one to determine which best suits their needs.

Overall, Fedora Linux provides users with a versatile and robust platform that can be tailored to their specific requirements. With a wide range of applications and desktop environments to choose from, it’s no wonder that it’s a popular choice for Linux enthusiasts. We hope this article has provided valuable insights into the various desktop environments available in Fedora Linux.

Marshall Anthony is a professional Linux DevOps writer with a passion for technology and innovation. With over 8 years of experience in the industry, he has become a go-to expert for anyone looking to learn more about Linux.

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