Xfce and LXDE the lightweight desktop environments.

Are not window managers neighborhoods, are the desktop environments, light, yes. If you ask me which one I like the most, I wouldn't know what to say, I like them both, I use both. I use them daily, and even so, curiously, I cannot give many technical details, I did not pay attention to that, only my impressions and if I am wrong, correct me, I do not know everything.


Both have good integration with gtk for drawing the graphical interface, which has the advantage that most programs use this (without underestimating Qt which is also very good). Xfce uses xfwm as a window manager and LXDE, open box.

In both, the desktop can be configured so that, by right-clicking on the desktop, the menu exits. In both also, you can use the key combination Alt + F2 (actually in most desktop environments if configured) and call any application (and even control panels from other desktop environments) from there. LXDE uses pcmanfm as file manager and Xfce uses Thunar.

LXDE it is more beautiful than Xfce, due to Openbox, the window manager it uses. And not only that, but also that you can use on older machines. Xfce needs gtk-engines-xfce to be able to use the themes of gtkI don't think LXDE needs that. It has very few dependencies and the components can be used independently, which is a great advantage, if you want to try it, go ahead, install a couple of things and go. It is fast and easy to use, as well as being adjusted to the standards of freedesktop.org

Xfce, the one that many say is ugly, has composing, this is the transparencies. In addition, there are many topics of xfwm, the window manager, which also allows you to roll up the windows among other things. Do you have multiple monitors? Xfce is the one that best supports Xinerama. It is comfortable and pleasant to use, with tools such as xfce-settings-show, xfce4-appfinder, xfce-MenuEditor. It is fast, very stable and easy to use.

For my part, I use either one, using the Alt + F2 key combination to invoke tools from the other. More specifically Xfce or LXDE invoking the Xfce tools.

Which one would they decide on?

Image created by me, as in the post "Testing Ubuntu 9.04" and "Linux is difficult. And Windows?«

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  1.   Laura said

    Hahaha, Compiz is the last thing I think about, not for nothing, but because "how it looks" I don't care too much xD

  2.   f sources said

    Great article, just what @seth had asked me to read in Chuenga, Laura thought it was a good idea I see.

    Little more to limit: That the "bad" of LXDE and good of XFCE is that in the first one, the Compiz is a bit far-fetched to use and almost nobody uses it thinking in 3D. In XFCE you have access to all this in a normal way.

    I like LXDE.

  3.   Walker said

    I use Zenwalk and I think it uses one of those chitchat, the truth does not concern me much but in the rucas machines it pulls well.

  4.   Martin said

    I never used LXDE, but I can assure you that I will never use Xfce again. In my Debian and in my current machine, Xfce was crawling, something that I disliked if they say that it is a light environment. Since then I use Kde 3.5 and it is going great. My computer is a Duron 1016 Mhz, with 512Mb of ram. Which should be suitable for Xfce, I don't know, for now I'm not going to give it a second chance !!

    See you :)

    1.    Cuauhtemoc Vega Torres said

      at midnight in leap year open the terminal and type the following command
      satan_dame_el_poder - for the honor of baphometh

      daz enter and your gpu firmware will start to load in a new kernel space-continuity and you will get compiz 3d, and if it doesn't work, use windows.

  5.   isengrin said

    The detail that you are missing, little Laura, is that XFCE is a much more mature environment than LXDE. :3

    I have used both a little, perhaps just to experiment. But despite being a big Openbox fan, as DE I prefer XFCE. Maybe it's that it's more complete, or maybe it's just the nostalgic feeling it inspires ... or maybe I'm just crazy (but I'm not going to deny that LXDE is, as we say in Mexico, "in chinga").

    By the way, I feel that LXDE lacks polishing details. Nothing vital, but there is something.

    Be happy. =)

  6.   Laura said

    @ seth, the idea was good :)

    @ Isengrin, hahaha that's just what I said, which is very stable;)

    @ jocho, thanks for the information, another one to the list xD

    @ Martin, that is strange, but everything has been seen, depending on the processes and services, a "light" environment weighs more than one that is not. Or maybe they were some heavy programs. With kde are you using exactly the same programs that you used with xfce? Or the use of certain libraries, I don't know ... it's weird.

    @Walker, if I'm not misinformed, Zenwalk uses Xfce :)

    @ Pastor, no, I don't know how to activate Compiz in xubuntu :(

    Regards ;)

  7.   Pastor said

    I use Xfcea daily and am impressed by its power and stability. Very fast, and because of the ugliness, with time and some tests it can be customized to bring it up to the best current environments. Does anyone know how to activate compiz in xubuntu? search synaptic and install all compiz packages and even my card drivers. I have the compiz effects manager, but after activating the effects, they don't work.

  8.   jojo said

    Antico recently appeared, another desktop environment but based on qt4 so it would be more convenient for my uses (I like programs in qt better), also lighter than kde4 but it still has a long way to go to be stable. I have tried it and it works fine :)

  9.   Laura said

    @ Nacho, nothing better than the comment of the one who uses Openbox to talk about Openbox, thanks for the information;)

    @ bachi.tux, thank you! :)

  10.   seth said


    As Isengrin says, lxde has some details and I don't like that. I used it for a couple of days and went back to kde

  11.   Nacho said

    Just one thing: Openbox also has transparencies. It is enough to install xcompmgr (It controls a light compositing, shadows and such) and with xcompmgr activated, install transset, which provides transparency by percentage of the desired window (I have it like this in the openbox menu.
    For the rest, xfce seems ugly to me (But even to say enough) and lxde is an openbox ... which they have taken away the beauty xD


  12.   Laura said

    Tastes, colors ... I appreciate all comments. Greetings

  13.   bachi.tux said

    I stay with LXDE. I have used it (yes, virtualized), but I have been fascinated with the solidity and neatness with which it is made. I like it much more than Xfce, which I take as a hybrid between Gtk + and Qt, and Gnome with KDE don't go…: D

    Good preview!

  14.   Darhak said

    Well, I liked Xfce more than LXDE, it will suddenly be that it has more customization tools, or that I simply uploaded the compiz in LXDE and it definitely underperformed. Which does not happen to me in Xfce.
    @Pastor .. try compiz –replace from a terminal, if it works for you, put it between the login programs .. and voila;)

  15.   olovram said

    I love openbox, but I feel like Xfce a bit
    more complete.
    However, LXDE does not lag behind n_n

  16.   Cyberpunk said

    I have only used xfce when I just bought my lap acer aspire one, and in my opinion, it is quite ugly, but quite effective for teams with few resources, from then on, I prefer to use something else heh

  17.   vincegeratorix said

    well, on my pc I have kde 3.5, gnome 2.x (I don't remember which one and I'm lazy to see) and JWM, TWM (for leisure)
    And the truth is, I have tried Xfce and I don't like it, because at first it minimized and XD disappeared, although later I saw about the menus ...

    Fluxbox, noooooooooooooooo
    It cannot be used, I mean, it is very complicated and you have to customize it to start using it, I also spend time using it, opening konqueror to open folders because with nautilus the whole menu is screwed up.

    Xfce, I do not like it because I do not find it comfortable in the aspect of being complicated, and having to get used to something very different, then use something else (win for example) and it costs me.

    I don't like KDE, it wastes a lot of resources, I don't like the way it looks, I find that it looks very 'crappy' as they say, half full of things.

    I use Gnome, because I don't have to get used to strange things, access to folders and menus is easy, and it is easily configurable, and I only configure it at aesthetic levels (icons, login, colors, and those things) and applications are not lost as in win

    JWM is good because it is sooo light (ugly, too ugly, but light) and there are tooooooooo all applications (even to open the python interpreters that in the terminal you have to write 'python' XDDDD and the terminal says 'bash emulator': That reminds me of GNU)

    I don't use compiz, I would just use it to show off, which I don't do much, plus I spend time setting it up.

  18.   vincegeratorix said

    applications are not lost as in win

    I should say:
    I do not lose the applications like in windows

    That is, I am not full of applications that I find difficult to find, something that is in practically all environments, but I say it as an addition, in the sense that if I did not have that I would look for a script to change it XDDDDD

  19.   German said

    "LXDE is more beautiful than Xfce ..."
    Naaaaaa… Xfce is beautiful, fantastic, everything works
    perfect… I love Xfce! Of course, I already use Gnome, KDE, LXDE, Openbox ..., I am a lover of GNU / Linux above all things ... but lately that my notebook got old, Xfce fits me like a glove.
    Well thank you Laura for your post!

  20.   Danniel said

    I am installing debian 5 over the network with LXDE on a pIII-800mhz-256ram, I have not tried LXDE but if it is used by a distro as good as knoppix as the main one I think it must be quite good.


  21.   Abel said

    Do I have to install some old machines ... for educational purposes ... the pc's have 128 MB of RAM and are fast with 40 GB of hdd ... what do you recommend?
    PCs should only have a browser, office applications and a player.

  22.   Abel said

    I forgot ... the distro to be used is debian. I have the CD with the iso that I downloaded from the official site. Does this ISO install many unnecessary dependencies?
    The idea is to get the most out of the PCs possibly trying to compile the kernel for the hardware ... although that is new to me.

  23.   Laura said

    Abel, I think the netinstall will be fine for you, don't install the graphical environment when I ask you and then with apt-get you will add whatever interests you. If you don't want to do netinstall with the cd, you get the same thing since Lenny asks you. Greetings

  24.   TheErzengel said

    Abel I think a more optimized distribution like Arch Linux will be better for you, which to my liking is faster than Debian (but less stable since Debian is the king of stability) and using one of the two desktop environments mentioned here would be cool ;)

    PS: Laura's great entry by the way, very nice you.
    PD2: I use Gnome and for now I will try LXDE


  25.   jortecus said

    considering the interface people will think that Lubuntu is a light version of Kubuntu and Xubuntu a light version of Ubuntu xD

  26.   Sigmund said

    I am using lxde and as it has improved a lot, it is stable, it is fast, and in terms of configurable it has improved a lot, I recommend it, for those who like speed and stability over aesthetics, we hope it does not move away from its goal , be a light environment,

  27.   Antonio said

    For my part I am using linux mint lxde and I find it fantastic, I love how it looks and it is quite fast, I even have compiz activated.

    I have tried xfce and lxde on older computers and the truth is that lxde works a little better on computers with very limited resources.

  28.   Sigmund said

    I stay with lxde lately, it is running very well, light, it does not lack anything that the standard user needs, and I have felt it with much more stable and fast, before I used gnome, then xfce and now lxde.

  29.   OscarR said

    Hi, I was using Ubuntu 9.10 with Gnome, 2 days ago I installed LinuxMint 10 LXDE, I like it better, I have a 2400GHz AMD Sempron 1,67 with 256 + 128 RAM
    with Gnome it started with 180MB used
    now with LXDE it starts with 140MB used
    It looks lighter, stable.
    I do not recommend the LXDE version of Sabayon, since the disk partition stage is not clear and it also only installs in text mode because my memory is not enough.
    Oscar of Tandil

  30.   nitro said

    You use xfce in slackware and it goes for 10!
    A question to all linux users present… .Most of you are computer science students, or just PC and OS lovers? I am the second .. greetings

  31.   Sigmund said

    i am a simple hobbyist using linux debian squeeze 64 with lxde