GNOME 3.36 is a default Ubuntu 20.04 desktop environment but this does not stop you to install and use other desktop environments. In fact, you can install a desktop environment with a single command!

Our list of recommended desktops for Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa 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.

The screenshots included in this guide will give you the first impression of the desktop environments, which will hopefully help you to find the one that suits you most.

You can also see the desktop section of our Things to Install on Ubuntu 20.04 article for even more options.

DID YOU KNOW that you can download Ubuntu 20.04 dedicated desktop flavours? This way Ubuntu provides users with an alternative desktop experience distinct to the default GNOME Ubuntu Desktop.

Gnome desktop

GNOME, GNU Network Object Model Environment is a graphical user interface (GUI) in Linux and, in particular, in the Ubuntu 20.04 operating system. It includes a variety of desktop applications and its aim is to make a Linux system easy to use for non-programmers.

When you install Ubuntu 20.04 it will come with the default GNOME 3.36 desktop. Gnome 3.36 is full of improvements and results in better performance and a more aesthetically pleasing graphical experience.

If you decide that you would like to stay with this default desktop environment you might be interested in installing GNOME shell extensions or GNOME tweak tool to customize Ubuntu's looks and behavior. You may also be interested in Gnome minimal install.

Gnome Dekstop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa
Gnome Dekstop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa
To install GNOME desktop you can follow our instructions by navigating to How to install Gnome on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux:


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KDE Plasma Desktop

KDE Plasma desktop is a widget-based environment which makes it very adaptable. You can move, add or remove anything you like to make it suit your style as well as possible. Plasma is fast and efficient. It uses only few resources and is full of well designed features.

KDE plasma desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
KDE plasma desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
To install KDE Plasma read our How to install KDE plasma desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux:

Mate Desktop

MATE is an intuitive, comfortable to use and attractive desktop environment.

Development of Mate was started by Arch Linux as a fork and continuation of GNOME 2 in response to the negative reception of GNOME 3. Therefore, this desktop is the first choice for many users that liked GNOME 2.

MATE desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
MATE desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
Navigate to How to install Mate desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux and follow our Mate installation instructions:



Budgie Desktop

Budgie is a desktop environment that is also based on GNOME. It resembles GNOME with its modern design and focuses on efficiency, simplicity and elegance. The usability is also emphasized in Budgie, which makes the desktop seem familiar and intuitive.

Budgie desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
Budgie desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
To install Budgie navigate to How to install Budgie desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux:

Xfce/Xubuntu Desktop

Xfce is a default desktop environment on Xubuntu. It's main feature is that it is lightweight. It is low on system resources, hence, it offers stable operation.

Xfce / Xubuntu desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
Xfce / Xubuntu desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
You can read our install guide by following the link:



Cinnamon Desktop

Cinnamon desktop is another fork of the GNOME desktop. It has a rather conservative design and is similar to Xfce. It is uncomplicated to learn and from this reason might be a good choice for someone who is new to Linux.
Cinnamon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
Cinnamon Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa
To read our install guide navigate to How to install Cinnamon desktop on Ubuntu 20.04:

GNOME Flashback Desktop

GNOME Flashback is a trimmed version of GNOME 3 shell based on GNOME 2 desktop. It is a lightweight desktop to help you to get the most out of any low profile PC.
Gnome Flashback Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04
Gnome Flashback Desktop on Ubuntu 20.04
To read our install guide navigate to How to install Gnome Flashback desktop on Ubuntu 20.04:


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LXQt Desktop

LXQt is a default desktop environment on Lubuntu. One of the features of LXQt is that it has comparatively low resource requirements.
LXQt desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
LXQt desktop on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux
To read our install guide navigate to How to install LXQtdesktop on Ubuntu 20.04:

Note also that as an alternative to installing a chosen desktop environment, you may decide to download Ubuntu 20.04 flavour which already has the desktop environment you like as the default desktop. See also how to install Ubuntu 20.04 GUI with the tasksel command.
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