Linux For Beginners: What’s A Desktop Environment?


As I continue my journey into the world of Linux, I’ve realized that one of its most distinct advantages over Windows and macOS can also be one of its most confusing hurdles for beginners. Choice has a tendency to be overwhelming, and Linux is all about choice. Let’s say you’ve set your sights on using Ubuntu. That’s a safe decision, but there are eight official “flavors” of Ubuntu that all look and behave differently. For the most part, that comes down to which desktop environment each distribution is using….

Before you can understand exactly what a desktop environment is, let’s dig deeper into the core of any operating system. Windows 10, Linux and macOS all have something called a kernel. The kernel is what directly controls your hardware, and it translates the commands given from a piece of software into something your hardware can understand and act on. It also manages those hardware resources intelligently (such as memory management) for the various pieces of software you’ll be using.

So the kernel is the engine, the brain of your operating system. 

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