In this article, we’ll be comparing the two popular desktop environments – KDE vs XFCE.
KDE Plasma Desktop and XFCE are popular Linux (and other UNIX-like) desktop environments. KDE Plasma Desktop offers a beautiful yet highly customizable desktop, whereas XFCE provides a clean, minimalistic, and lightweight desktop. KDE Plasma Desktop environment might be a better option for the users moving to Linux from Windows, and XFCE might be a better option for systems low on resources.
KDE Plasma Desktop developed by KDE using Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks, whereas XFCE was initially started by Olivier Fourdan and built using GTK toolkit, the same toolkit used by the GNOME desktop environment but, XFCE is not a fork of GNOME.
KDE vs XFCE Desktop Environments
In this section, we compare KDE Plasma to the XFCE desktop environment.
#1: Linux distributions with KDE Plasma or XFCE as the default desktop environment
KDE Plasma Desktop is the default desktop environment out of the box in various Linux distributions such as Kubuntu, KDE Neon, Manjaro KDE, Fedora KDE, and many more.
XFCE is too shipped as the default desktop environment for many Linux distributions such as Xubuntu, LinuxMint XFCE, Manjaro XFCE, MX Linux, and many more.
You can also install KDE Plasma Desktop or XFCE alongside any other desktop environment on your Linux distribution. KDE Plasma Desktop and XFCE desktop environments are widely available in official repositories of all popular Linux distributions and can be installed easily with the help of the distribution’s default package manager.
#2: Idle Memory Usage KDE vs XFCE
KDE Plasma Desktop (KDE Neon) seems to use more memory than XFCE (Xubuntu) desktop environment. KDE Plasma Desktop is using 580 MB when idling with no applications running beside the terminal application.
Whereas XFCE is using around 476 MB when idling with no applications running beside the terminal application.
We also tried launching Firefox Web Browser with a single tab browsing our LinuxForDevices home. The KDE Plasma was using around 920 MB whereas the XFCE desktop was using around 760 MB.
#3: Stability KDE vs XFCE
KDE Plasma Desktop and the XFCE desktop environment, both offer very stable desktop environments. XFCE has existed for over 25 years since its initial release in 1996 and to date being actively developed. KDE Plasma Desktop has a larger community and its patrons include companies like Canonical, Google, OpenSUSE, etc…
#4: Customizability KDE vs XFCE
In this section, we compare the customizability of the KDE Plasma Desktop and XFCE desktop environment.
KDE Plasma Desktop
KDE Plasma Desktop offers a lot more customizable desktop compared to XFCE. Plenty of beautiful themes to choose from, widgets, easy to customize, and it also comes with polished professional tools and applications like Krunner, Dolphin File Manager, and much more.
XFCE desktop environment
XFCE is a minimalistic desktop environment, it follows the Unix philosophy of modularity and re-usability. XFCE aims to be fast and low on resources, but with lesser customization options as compared to KDE Plasma Desktop. It is simple yet has plenty of features.
KDE Plasma Desktop and XFCE are both great desktop environments. For a more minimalist and lightweight desktop, XFCE might be a better option, but for a beautiful customizable desktop environment, KDE Plasma seems to be a better option.
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