Ubuntu releases a new version every six months with each one bearing an “.04” or “.10” at its end indicating its year and month of release.
Many GNOME applications have been upgraded using libadwaita to enhance performance and provide modern UI styling, providing improved performance as well as more distinct appearance. You can even opt for dark themes if desired to further differentiate.
1. GNOME 3.22
GNOME is the desktop environment available through Ubuntu Linux and offers customizable, user-friendly desktop environments packed with features.
GNOME offers numerous improvements for users and developers in its latest version, such as batch file renaming with integrated compressed file support in GNOME Files app and improved GNOME Calendar supporting alarms/dragging events into it, along with enhanced GNOME Music app features.
Significant updates include comprehensive Flatpak integration. Users can now easily install Flatpak applications through GNOME Software and various UI improvements are implemented such as new keyboard settings, an improved dconf Editor, and a revised GNOME Control Center panel.
Notable changes include an updated Polari IRC client that remembers NickServ passwords, clone functions in GNOME Videos (Totem), an Epiphany web browser with shortcut windows and context menus, as well as built-in performance profilers in Builder IDE; various bugs have also been fixed.
2. Xfce 4.12
Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment that uses minimal resources while offering optimal performance, making it popular on older computers or PCs with limited specifications.
Xfce 4.16 features several innovative new features, such as the ability to split the screen in half for multitasking, clocks and battery monitor plugins in its panel, virtual workspace switcher with multiple virtual workspaces capability and folder support within file manager for taking screenshots and recording videos.
Additional new features include initial support for Apple M1 hardware. Furthermore, there is now a Realtek RTL8188EU Wi-Fi card driver.
Installing Xfce on Ubuntu involves selecting either the lightweight xubuntu-core package with less applications or the more comprehensive xubuntu-desktop option, lightdm for example, then setting your display manager. Once your installation is complete, log into your account using both username and password to gain entry to your new Xfce desktop environment.
3. LXDE 4.12
Are you an efficiency and customization-minded Linux user looking for something lightweight but customizable? LXDE might just be what’s missing from your desktop experience! Designed with resource efficiency in mind, this lightweight X11 desktop environment combines performance and simplicity in an elegant user experience that is simple yet stylish. Ideal for revitalizing older hardware that struggles to keep up with more resource-demanding environments or optimizing new devices – LXDE could just be what’s missing from yours!
LXDE desktop offers a highly configurable panel, accessible through Edit > Preferences menu. Multiple desktops may also be managed using switcher in panel. PCManFM file manager serves as default and may also be customized through Edit > Preferences menu.
LXDE desktop computers feature Openbox window manager, an exceptionally flexible solution with plenty of customization capabilities and resource usage-minimizing benefits that have proven particularly efficient – such as cutting memory usage by up to 50% while using less energy on mobile devices than competitive solutions.
4. GNOME Shell 3.22
GNOME Shell 3.22, the latest major release for this desktop environment, introduces several significant updates. One notable modification is dynamic transparency for its top panel; by default this feature is enabled; you may disable it via the settings menu if desired.
Gnome’s Wayland support has also been enhanced and now supports more display drivers than before – this means enhanced performance on Intel and Raspberry Pi graphics cards as well as more effective runtime power management for NVIDIA GPUs.
Other features in the new version include an easier-to-navigate and more user-friendly keyboard shortcuts list, as well as the Files application enabling multiple files to be renamed at once using template mode renaming – useful when including details such as track numbers, artist names and album names in music files.
GNOME has enhanced their Software Center to be more intuitive for setting changes and feedback, with larger icons and licensing info separated into its own tab. Furthermore, their Dconf Editor application was revamped with an innovative path bar interface.
5. Xfce 4.12
Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment designed for older computers that uses less system resources than its Linux/Unix counterparts and often becomes the go-to option when hardware specifications are limited.
This release of Xfce features several significant upgrades for desktop use. These include only showing Alt-Tab dialog on primary displays and allowing users to zoom the cursor within window switchers; new modern keyboard shortcuts; updated layout configuration dialog; as well as clock and battery monitor plugins as well as multithreaded email checker plugins within its panel.
To install Xfce Desktop Environment on Ubuntu, use this command. When asked for display manager selection, lightdm should be chosen. After installation has completed, reboot your system and choose “xfce session” at login prompt to access and enjoy your new Xfce desktop!
7. Xfce 4.12
Xfce is an extremely lightweight desktop environment with a modular set of applications. The latest release, version 4.8, brings many exciting innovations such as an overhauled configuration system that makes customizing Xfce easier than ever.
The xfce4-settings-editor utility now allows you to edit settings directly in a GUI instead of manually editing XML files, providing more flexibility for altering both appearance and functionality of Xfce without changing its underlying config file.
Corner tiling is another new feature; when you move a window into any corner, it will automatically snap to that quarter of the screen. Furthermore, you can now zoom windows by holding Alt and scrolling your mouse wheel.
Application Autostart in Xfce’s Settings Manager makes it possible to automate the launch of custom programs at startup. Alternatively, add the command directly into xinitrc (or your display manager’s X startup script). Finally, with xfce4-terminal you can enable shell autocompletion by including “exec xfce4-session -a” into your terminalrc file /.terminalrc.
8. GNOME 3.22
GNOME’s desktop environment, a staple on many Linux systems, receives major attention in this Ubuntu release. One major change is Wayland becoming the default display server; this will expose millions of users to it and allow developers to find bugs more effectively and provide motivation to fix them faster.
GNOME has also seen significant enhancements, with new Photo sharing features, NickServ integration in Polari (GNOME’s IRC application), revised keyboard settings and an upgraded Software application being among its highlights. Furthermore, its developer tools have also been upgraded; GTK+ now provides direct access to Flatpak “portals” while Builder IDE now features support for CSS blend modes.
The Files application has been enhanced, adding batch file renaming capability as standard and offering better sorting, viewing and zoom control options. Other improvements include sorting options as well as simplification of zoom control. Furthermore, Software now integrates fully with Flatpak so users can install and update cross-distribution apps without ever needing the command line; various applications have also seen updates such as Videos providing support for playback at different rates or Boxes providing virtual machine clone functionality.