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I want to know the difference between GNome, XFCE, LXDE & KDE? Why there are so many versions of desktop for Linux? & is Apple Mac based on Gnome?

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closed as too broad by Radu Rădeanu, Braiam, Warren Hill, Seth, BuZZ-dEE Dec 10 '13 at 17:10

There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This is not about Ubuntu. Questions about other Linux distributions can be asked on Unix & Linux. – Radu Rădeanu Dec 10 '13 at 10:09
How is this not about Ubuntu? Ubuntu flavors as Kubuntu und Xubuntu do make use of those Desktop managers. – cuichi Dec 10 '13 at 10:11
@cuichi simple, that invites too many answers and these answers change too fast. Also, is about the DE, which can be used in any OS. And going for the most upvoted answer, only a link to Wikipedia, you can figure. – Braiam Dec 10 '13 at 13:51
The answers prove that this question is not too broad. – Reinier Post Jun 16 '14 at 9:35
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Wikipedia has a comparison so you can look it up there. And the arch wiki has another too. Just read them through.

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  • Unity is a nice 3D desktop environment designed for good performance on recent hardware.
  • GNOME and KDE are alternative desktop environments to Ubuntu's default Unity interface, which have similar system requirements to Unity.
  • Xfce is a lightweight 2D desktop environment designed for better performance on older hardware.
  • LXDE is a minimalistic desktop environment, somewhat like Windows XP in look and feel. It is designed to run on legacy hardware which requires a desktop environment that has minimal system requirements.
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Note that Unity is basically a layer built on GNOME by Canonical Inc. for Ubuntu. It's not really separate from GNOME – JI Xiang Dec 9 '15 at 19:06

these are all desktop environments, you can still launch the same applications but how you get there and what they look like is a bit different. With some desktop environments you can change the appereance a lot (like KDE) while others will hardly allow you to change anything.

an other big difference is how much resources they will take from your system. If you have problems running Unity (default for Ubuntu) or KDE, XFCE or LXDE might run just fine.

As far as I know there is no connection between Gnome and the Mac OS.

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Then on what desktop is Apple Mac based on? Do they use their own desktop version? – K.K.Vinay Kumar Dec 10 '13 at 10:17
Mac OS X is based on a Unix variant called BSD. OS X uses its own proprietary desktop environment, designed by Apple. – karel Dec 10 '13 at 10:41

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