10 Best Lightweight Desktop Environment for Arch Linux
One of the most popular distributors of Linux software is Arch Linux. It’s highly in-demand and revered because of its simplicity. Better yet, Arch Linux is also lightweight on devices. Arch Linux allows older versions of hardware to run smoothly and optimally, which is another aspect that makes it so popular. However, before using any Linux distro, one needs to have a stable and easy-to-use desktop environment to support it. In this article, we’ll be running down the best linux desktop environments that make the most suitable environment for Arch.
Arch Linux is popularly used for beginners because of how entry-level it is, but it is also the preferred choice among other lightweight distros.
The first option for an optimal desktop environment is XFCE. The visuals of XFCE are astoundingly good without weighing down on your device’s processing power. XFCE is also suitable for users of Arch who have older versions of their hardware, because it has a quick response time on top of its simplicity. XFCE is used as the default desktop environment for other distros such as Kali, Manjaro, Linux Lite, and Xubuntu, proving how flexible and recommended it is.
XFCE doesn’t feature other designs like animations, and some find it to be quite outdated, but this is quite expected because of its nature. It still allows for some customization to make it pleasing to the eyes. However, if you’re looking for high functionality at a low cost on your PC’s performance, XFCE is a good desktop environment that is compatible with Arch.
How to install XFCE on Arch? Open a terminal and type: $ sudo apt install xfce4
i3wm, otherwise known as i3, is another well-known desktop environment available for linux that is compatible with Arch. It is one of the lightest but still stylish, making it pleasing to the eyes. It’s similar to XFCE in the sense that both focus more on being minimalistic to maintain productivity. This makes i3wm another suitable option for users with older hardware. However, i3wm isn’t that great for beginners because there aren’t any options to resize the buttons or edges on your desktop.
How to install i3wm on Arch? Click this to know how.
③ KDE Plasma
The third pick on our list is KDE Plasma, which is an environment suited for Arch. This environment is a bit heavier than XFCE or i3wm, but it makes up for it with keyboard-friendly shortcuts and other set of applications such as its file package manager and touchscreen support. It also has other apps that will come in handy for your activity and an efficient software center.
However, KDE Plasma desktop isn’t suited for PCs with older hardware, and it threatens to slow down Arch. KDE Plasma can still be customized to make it optimal for keeping your PC efficient by removing some cosmetic features.
Click this to know how to install KDE Plasma on Arch.
④ Deepin Desktop Environment
Deepin DE is another great choice for a gnome desktop environment to use with Arch because of its attractive interface along with its easy-to-use features. Windows and Mac users will definitely find Deepin OS as a good fit for their desktops while running Arch. Deepin’s user interface is highly customizable while being quick and responsive to command lines.
You can also add other party apps to your computer through its built-in App Store which will make your user experience even better.
How to install Deepin on Arch? Click on this link.
MATE Desktop Environment is another good choice for a lightweight desktop environment that are Arch based and other Linux distributions as well. MATE was developed based on old Gnome 2 which is why it is another compatible choice for older hardware. MATE is similar to Gnome 2, so if you miss the latter’s features, you can consider using MATE for your new environment.
How to install MATE on Arch? Open a terminal and type: $ sudo apt install mate-desktop-environment
Another popular desktop environment you can check out is Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment, otherwise known as LXDE. It has become a popular choice because of its simplicity. It is suited for Windows users who want a similar interface to their default look. With how lightweight it is, it is also the optimal choice for devices such as old netbooks and laptops that you want to install Arch on. It may not be as visually pleasing compared to other environments, but it gets the job done.
How to install LXDE on Arch? Open a terminal and type: $ sudo apt install lxde
LXQt is similar to LXDE because it is another variant of the latter. However, the difference with LXQt is that it was developed using a Qt GUI Toolkit. This makes it a bit heavier compared to LXDE, but it makes up for it with a more modern look for your environment. If you want another lightweight option that is visually similar to environments like MATE and LXDE, you can make use of LXQt.
How to install LXQt on Arch? Open a terminal and type: $ sudo apt install lxqt
For Linux users who miss the feel and look of Gnome, you can think about using Budgie for your new desktop environment. Budgie is another environment that is simple but attractive and efficient window manager, making it suitable for getting a lot of work down. The menu is compatible and friendly for mice and keyboards. It is also lightweight enough for older hardware to handle it.
How to install Budgie on Arch? Click on this link
⑨ Trinity Desktop Environment
Trinity Desktop Environment, also known as TDE is a desktop environment that takes a different approach. As opposed to modernity, TDE has more of a 90s, old-school feel. Because of this, it consumes quite a lot of resources. TDE can be thought of as KDE’s successor because it bridges the gaps that were found in KDE. This makes TDE a suitable option for those who like and miss the look of KDE.
How to install TDE on Arch? Open the Terminal and enter the following commands:
echo “deb http://ppa.quickbuild.pearsoncomputing.net/trinity/trinity-r14.0.0/debian $(lsb_release -sc) main” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/trinity.list
echo “deb http://ppa.quickbuild.pearsoncomputing.net/trinity/trinity-builddeps-r14.0.0/debian $(lsb_release -sc) main” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/trinity-builddeps.list
sudo apt-key adv –keyserver keyserver.quickbuild.pearsoncomputing.net –recv-keys F5CFC95C sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kde-trinity
The final desktop environment on our list is called Cinnamon. Cinnamon was developed after GNOME 2’s disappearance. It is highly compatible and familiar with Arch. Though it’s not as lightweight as other choices on this list, it can still run on older hardware. Cinnamon also has a lot of customizable features such as theming and adding extensions to make the user interface unique.
How to install Cinnamon on Arch? Open a terminal and type this command: $ sudo pacman -S cinnamon nemo-fileroller
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
What is a desktop environment?
A desktop environment is a collection of software that provides a full graphical user interface (GUI) for an operating system. It includes various applications, utilities, and tools to interact with the computer, manage files, and customize the overall look and feel.
Which are the most popular desktop environments for Linux?
The most popular desktop environments for Linux are GNOME, KDE Plasma, XFCE, Deepin, Budgie, MATE, Cinnamon, and LXQt. There are several popular desktop environments for Linux, each offering their own unique user interfaces (UI) and features. One widely used environment is GNOME 3, which is built using GTK and includes a range of widgets and desktop icons. It also comes with a powerful file manager and a sleek design called Lumen.
Another popular choice is Lightweight Linux, which is a fork of GNOME 3 and offers similar functionality but with a more lightweight footprint. For those looking for a different UI experience, Wayland is a popular compositor that is gaining traction. Additionally, FreeBSD offers a range of desktop environments such as Ansehen. Overall, the choice of desktop environments mainly depends on factors like CPU and RAM usage, and specific preferences of the user.
What is GNOME?
GNOME is a highly popular desktop environment for Linux. It offers a modern, intuitive, and user-friendly interface. With its default desktop layout and extensive customization options, it provides a great user experience. GNOME, also known as GNU Network Object Model Environment, is a modern desktop environment for Linux systems. It provides a user-friendly desktop interface with a sleek and intuitive design.
The GNOME Shell, the core component of GNOME, allows users to easily customize and configure their operating system according to their preferences. Popular Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Fedora, and Debian come pre-installed with GNOME, making it accessible to new Linux users. With its lightweight nature and modern features, GNOME provides a seamless and enjoyable desktop experience for Linux users.
Can I customize my desktop environment?
Yes, most desktop environments are highly customizable. You can change the look and feel, personalize the theme, icons, wallpapers, and even switch to different window managers to suit your preferences.
Which is the best lightweight desktop environment for Linux?
XFCE is widely considered as one of the best lightweight desktop environments for Linux. It offers a balance between resource efficiency and a visually appealing interface. When it comes to choosing the best lightweight desktop environment for Linux, there are several factors to consider. One popular option is KDE, which features a versatile taskbar and a range of customization options. On the other hand, GNOME 40 offers a modern look and feel with its common graphical user interface.
If you prefer a more traditional user experience, using GNOME with applications like Konqueror and a text editor might be the way to go. Additionally, GNOME uses GTK and follows the Unix philosophy, making it a reliable daily driver. However, KDE Connect and KWin also contribute to seamless integration across devices, while GNOME Tweak Tool can enhance the desktop environment experience. This flexibility appeals to users with older computers seeking a lightweight and efficient option.
What is KDE Plasma?
KDE Plasma is a powerful and feature-rich desktop environment that provides an elegant user experience with a modern and customizable interface. It is known for its flexibility and extensive configuration options.
Which Linux distro has the best desktop environment?
There are several Linux distros that offer excellent desktop environments. Some popular choices include Ubuntu with its default GNOME desktop, Linux Mint with Cinnamon, and Manjaro with KDE Plasma.
So, if you want to bring back an old system and use it for a contemporary setting, going with Linux, using lightweight distros like Arch is the way to go. To make Arch usable for casual users, choose some of these desktop environments.