Available desktops

From PCLinuxOSHelp Knowledge Base
Jump to: navigation, search
  • Relevant to All editions of PCLinuxOS.

This page enumerates and briefly describes the different desktop environments available in PCLinuxOS.


PCLinuxOS has 3 officially supported Desktop Environments (DEs) (KDE/Plasma 5, MATE and XFCE) plus a few "community remasters" which provide other DEs.

Most are installed by downloading an installation image (ISO file) and performing a standard installation process. It is possible for one installation to host multiple desktop environments and the user can select which DE to use at the login screen. This can be achieved by installing a base OS and then adding an additional DE by installing a special "meta" package using Synaptic. These packages are named task- followed by the name of the DE (e.g. task-mate, task-xfce etc.)

KDE/Plasma 5

Desktop Name : KDE/Plasma 5

Status : Official

User Target : New/Experienced User

Minimum System : Minimum hardware requirements

Philosophy : For users on Linux and Unix, KDE offers a full suite of user workspace applications which allow interaction with these operating systems in a modern, graphical user interface. This includes Plasma Desktop, KDE's innovative desktop interface. Other workspace applications are included to aid with system configuration, running programs, or interacting with hardware devices. While the fully integrated KDE Workspaces are only available on Linux and Unix, some of these features are available on other platforms.

Project Website : www.kde.org

Meta-package install available : Yes (task-kde-plasma)

More information : Get KDE

PCLinuxOS has 3 different installation ISOs providing different package selections and hence installation sizes.

  • kde5 is the "standard" KDE installation with a specially chosen set of applications for network, multimedia and office applications.
  • kde5-darkstar provides a minimal installation which consist ONLY of the standard KDE desktop. It is intended for advanced users who wish to install and configure their preferred applications from the software repository.
  • kde5-magnum installs a large assortment of applications. A great way to showcase what is available in Linux to people who are curious about the operating system.


Desktop Name : Mate

Status : Official

Philosophy : It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

Project Website : mate-desktop.org

Meta-package install available : Yes (task-mate)

More information : Get MATE


Desktop Name : XFCE

Status : Official

User Target : Average/Experienced User

Minimum System : P3 w 256 MB Ram to Hardware recommendations

Philosophy : Xfce 4.6 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.

Project Website : www.xfce.org

Meta-package install available : Yes (task-xfce)

More information : Get XFCE


Desktop Name : Enlightenment

Status : Community

User Target : Average/Experienced User

Minimum System : We have run and tested on x86-32, x86-64, Atom, Power-PC, ARM (ARM9, ARM11, Cortex-A8 and more), MIPS, Sparc, and many other architectures. The suggested minimum RAM required for a full Linux system + EFL application is 16MB, but you may be able to get by on 8MB. For full functionality 64MB or more is suggested. As little as a 200Mhz ARM core will provide sufficient processing power (depending on needs).

Philosophy : 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).

Project Website : www.enlightenment.org

Meta-package install available : No


Desktop Name : LXDE

Status : Community

User Target : New/Average User

Minimum System : It is especially designed for cloud computers with low hardware specifications, such as, netbooks, mobile devices (e.g. MIDs) or older computers.

Philosophy : 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 support, standard keyboard short cuts and additional features like tabbed file browsing. LXDE uses less CPU and less RAM than other environments. LXDE can be installed with distributions like Ubuntu or Debian. It provides a fast desktop experience; connecting easily with applications in the cloud. LXDE supports a wealth of programs that can be installed locally with Linux systems. The source code of LXDE is licensed partly under the terms of the the General Public License and partly under the LGPL.

Project Website : www.lxde.org

Meta-package install available : Yes (task-lxde)


Desktop Name : LXQt

Status : Community

Philosophy : A lightweight, modular, blazing-fast and user-friendly desktop environment, product of the merge between the LXDE-Qt and the Razor-qt.

Project Website : lxqt.org

Meta-package install available : No


Desktop Name : Trinity

Status : Community

Philosophy : A desktop environment for Unix-like operating systems with a primary goal of retaining the function and form of traditional desktop computers.

Project Website : trinitydesktop.org

Meta-package install available : No