GNOME 3 is a default Ubuntu 18.04 desktop environment but this does not stop you to install and use some other desktop environments as there are many to choose from.
To make your search for the best Ubuntu desktop environment easier, we choose 8 Ubuntu desktop environments for your consideration. Our list of recommended desktops for Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Linux is complemented with links to instructions on how to install each desktop environment which we hope will turn out to be a very useful feature of this article.
So have fun and experiment with different desktop environments to find the one that suits you most. Follow the links and navigate to our desktop installation articles to see more screenshots of the Ubuntu desktop that interests you the most.
Other Versions of this TutorialUbuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa)
GNOME DesktopGNOME 3 desktop is a default Ubuntu 18.04 desktop so it comes with the installation of your operating system. GNOME project points out various features of this desktop such as, for example, simplicity of use:
GNOME 3 offers a focused working environment, which makes you more productive. It is designed with attention to detail and recommended for users that store documents using online services. It integrates very well with online accounts so you can access your data from one place.
A press of a button is all it takes to view your open windows, launch applications or check if you have new messages. Having everything in one place is convenient and means that you don’t have to learn your way around a maze of different technologies.gnome.org
KDE Plasma DesktopKDE Plasma desktop is a widget-based environment which makes it very flexible. You can move, add or remove anything you like to make your experience as good as possible.
Plasma is fast and efficient. It uses only few resources and is full of well designed features.
Mate DesktopThe MATE Desktop Environment is based on GNOME 2 and preserves its traditional metaphor. It features an intuitive, comfortable to use and attractive desktop environment. This desktop is the first choice for many users that liked GNOME 2.
Budgie DesktopBudgie is a desktop environment that is based on GNOME. It's design is modern, it focuses on efficiency, simplicity and elegance. The usability is also emphasized in Budgie, which makes the desktop seem familiar and intuitive.
It in many ways resembles a desktop of a mobile operating system such as Android but at the same time looks a lot like GNOME. It is not overly configurable and is not recommended for handling of virtual desktops.
Xfce DesktopXfce's main feature is that it is a lightweight desktop environment. Therefore, it offers stable, fast operation by being low on system resources. At the same time it is still visually appealing, configurable and user friendly.
Xubuntu DesktopXubuntu is an elegant desktop environment which works well also on older hardware. It is user friendly, easy to use and comes with the Xfce desktop environment.
It is designed for users who want the most out of their computers. It has rather modern look and offers efficiency for daily use.
Cinnamon DesktopCinnamon desktop is another fork of the GNOME desktop. Cinnamon is used primarily with the Linux Mint distribution but it is also suitable for Ubuntu 18.04 and other Linux distributions.
Cinnamon has a rather conservative design and is similar to Xfce and GNOME 2. It is uncomplicated to learn and from this reason might be a good choice for someone who is new to Linux.
Unity DesktopUnity was originally developed by Canonical Ltd. for Ubuntu and it was designed to make better use of limited size screens such as netbooks. It features a vertical application switcher called the launcher and a horizontal top menu bar which saves a lot of space.
Unity was, however, abandoned in favor of GNOME 3, which is now the default desktop environment in Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Some users that are used to Unity might be, therefore, interested in how to switch from GNOME to Unity in Ubuntu 18.04.