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Desktop Environment

DEs are generally tightly integrated. A full DE install is required for systematic control of userspace applications.


1989-2000, Sun Microsystems

Common Desktop Environment



  • Glade - a RAD tool to enable quick & easy development of user interfaces for the GTK+ toolkit and the GNOME desktop environment. The user interfaces designed in Glade are saved as XML, and by using the GtkBuilder GTK+ object these can be loaded by applications dynamically as needed. By using GtkBuilder, Glade XML files can be used in numerous programming languages including C, C++, C#, Vala, Java, Perl, Python,and others.

currenttime=$(date +%H:%M)
if [[ "$currenttime" > "21:00" ]] || [[ "$currenttime" < "06:00" ]]; then
     export GTK_THEME=Adwaita:dark
     export GTK_THEME=Adwaita:light






  • MATE Desktop Environment - the continuation 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 technologies while preserving a traditional desktop experience. See the Roadmap The MATE Manifesto outlines some of the principles that guide the project.


Material Shell

  • - A modern desktop interface for Linux. Improve your user experience and get rid of the anarchy of traditional desktop workflows. Designed to simplify navigation and reduce the need to manipulate windows in order to improve productivity. It's meant to be 100% predictable and bring the benefits of tools coveted by professionals to everyone.



  • Trinity Desktop Environment - a computer desktop environment for Unix-like operating systems with a primary goal of retaining the function and form of traditional desktop computers.



  • 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 traditional toolkits, not to mention a traditional window manager. It covers uses from small mobile devices like phones all the way to powerful multi-core desktops (which are the primary development environment).


  • Xfce Desktop Environment - a lightweight desktop environment for UNIX-like operating systems. It aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly.



  • ROX is a fast, user friendly desktop which makes extensive use of drag-and-drop. The interface revolves around the file manager, or filer, following the traditional Unix view that `everything is a file' rather than trying to hide the filesystem beneath start menus, wizards, or druids. The aim is to make a system that is well designed and clearly presented. The ROX style favours using several small programs together instead of creating all-in-one mega-applications.


  • Regolith - a modern desktop environment designed to let you work faster by reducing unnecessary clutter and ceremony. Built on top of Ubuntu, GNOME, and i3, Regolith stands on a well-supported and consistent foundation.


  • Sugar Labs - a learning platform that reinvents how computers are used for education. Collaboration, reflection, and discovery are integrated directly into the user interface. Sugar promotes "studio thinking" and "reflective practice". Through Sugar's clarity of design, children and teachers have the opportunity to use computers on their own terms. Students can reshape, reinvent, and reapply both software and content into powerful learning activities. Sugar's focus on sharing, criticism, and exploration is grounded in the culture of free software (FLOSS).



  • EDE - small desktop environment built to be responsive, light in resource usage and to have familiar look and feel. It runs on Linux, *BSD, Solaris, Minix, Zaurus and even on XBox.


Budgie Desktop

  • Budgie - a desktop environment originally started in 2013. It aims to provide a familiar, modern and functional experience whilst getting out of the user’s way. Since its inception, the project has seen many enhancements and evolutions, as we continuously enhance the experience to better suit the growing needs of our users.




Modular DE for non-DE window managers?


  • - a tool to automate your Linux desktop. It has similar goals as hammerspoon. But it aims to be more extensible and support for more language. Background: Desktop Environments (DE) are great, as long as your way of using your computer is the same as the designer of the DE. Otherwise you will have a hard time bending the DE to your will, and the end result might still be unsatisfying. That's why a lot of people choose to carefully hand pick all the tools they use, and build their own "Desktop Environments". However, with Desktop Environments come great integration. The various tools come with the DE are usually designed to work together. So you can do things like dimming the screen when you unplug, applying settings when you plug in a new device, etc. Building a customized "DE" means sacrificing that integration. Sure, one can try to glue things together by writing a bunch of shell scripts, but that will not be officially supported, and a headache to maintain. So I decided to make deai. deai tried to expose common desktop events and interfaces to scripting languages, so users can write scripts to react to those events. This way the users will be able to implement a lot of the "DE features" with a scripting language they like. And unlike using shell scripts, the users don't need to trust a gazillion different command line tools anymore, which will leads to easier maintenance.



  • - desktop environment that brings NeXTSTEP look and feel to Linux. I try to keep the user experience as close as possible to the original NeXT's OS. It is developed according to "OpenStep User Interface Guidelines". [8] [9]

Looking Glass


  • - a now inactive free software project under the GPL to create an innovative 3D desktop environment for Linux, Solaris, and Windows. It was sponsored by Sun Microsystems.Looking Glass is programmed in the Java language using the Java 3D system to remain platform independent. Despite the use of graphics acceleration features, the desktop explores the use of 3D windowing capabilities for both existing application programs and ones specifically designed for Looking Glass.