Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This question already has an answer here:

What are "lenses?" I keep seeing the term in comments by people who have been around Linux forever, but it does not appear in any of the legends on the Ubuntu desktop.

And now you people are driving me up the wall - why are you confusing me with kubuntu, xubuntu, edubuntu, lubuntu ... and "Unity" ????????????????

How does KDE relate to Ubuntu?

I am trying to get a handle on Ubuntu, and now people are talking about Unity - which it appears is for nerds. There is no hope for refugees from Windows, looks like I will have to keep plugging along with Win 7.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by souravc, bodhi.zazen, Avinash Raj, Rinzwind, Mitch Apr 6 '14 at 6:23

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

You should Search and read about that terms at it will be easy to understand!! Wikipedia – Sagar Panchal Apr 6 '14 at 9:24

In Linux there are a variety of desktop or window managers, gnome, kde, xfce, lxde, fluxbox, openbox. Each desktop have various features.


"Ubuntu" bu default uses Unity (gnome), and various versions use other desktops (kubuntu uses kde, xubuntu uses xfce, etc). See What different desktop environments and shells are available?

Lenses are one of many features of unity, see

share|improve this answer

Here are some answers -

  • Kubuntu, Edubuntu and generally something-buntu's are derivatives of Ubuntu, which are modified for certain needs. Edubuntu for example is for educational purposes.
  • KDE, GNOME, XFCE, etc. are "Shells". Linux OS's don't have one single interface which the user has to use. Users can use different interfaces, i.e shells. What these do under the hood is the same, although their look and feel is quite different from each other. Under the hood, all of them just communicate with Ubuntu and tell it to do stuff, like connect to the Internet, mount a pen drive, tell the contents of a pen drive, etc. So in short, these are shells, which provide different interfaces for Ubuntu.
  • Unity is also a shell, which is provided by default with Ubuntu. But you can still install above mentioned shells and enjoy.
  • Lenses are a feature of Unity. Quite cool actually.

If you liked Windows' interface a lot, you can check out KDE, although I haven't tried it our myself, it looks like Windows to me. But personally, I like GNOME way more, especially the amount of customization it has.

A really useful question is What different desktop environments and shells are available?. The answers have different shells and how to install them too.

Welcome to the world of Linux. Have fun.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.