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Linux Mint: Mate vs XFCE


New-ish to Linux. I have a few questions but it's best if I dedicate each question to a single thread.

I love both of these desktop environments. Don't really know which one to go for.

Which one is 'better': More stable, more supported, etc.

What are the differences between the two? I have heard that Mate is on its way out. Is that true?

Also, why does XFCE have two terminals? That really annoys me. They seem to be the exact same thing. One is named the terminal emulator and the other is labelled the command line. Or something like that.

Also, which one is more friendly for lower end hardware. I have an ultrabook i3 - 5th gen (cba to look up the name for this generation) with 8GB RAM. So I'm not entirely on low end hardware, though I would prefer the Linux being as lightweight as possible.


  • torreydale
    It's been almost two months since you asked this question. You've probably already done your homework. I'm just now seeing it, though.

    Xfce has been around about 4-5 times longer, and is considered very stable. An article I read said if you're having a problem with your system, it more than likely is not the fault of Xfce.

    I have a laptop with similar hardware specs to your ultrabook. I use Linux Lite, which runs Xfce by default, and Xfce is its only supported desktop environment. Linux Lite with Xfce runs very fast on that hardware. And it only has one terminal by default.

    I don't think MATE is on its way out. It's is one of the primary desktop options for Linux Mint and they continue to develop and support it. I have played with MATE via Linux Mint on different hardware, and I like it, too.

    I'm very happy I'm with Linux Lite and Xfce, and I would recommend that to anyone. If you're just starting out, it's a very close coin toss between MATE and Xfce. I think they both will work well with your machine. Both are lightweight. Both are very customizable. Both are friendly to lower end hardware. But you will see Xfce as a desktop environment option for more Linux distros because of its track record of development and predictable stability, and in the end, it beats MATE in terms of being lightweight by a nose.

    I hope that helps. I don't think you can go wrong with either choice, though.

  • Bubbadoobop
    I use both, they both have their pros and cons, but I honestly prefer XFCE, it's just far more stable then Mate.


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