If you’re not happy with the default desktop environment (Unity shell on GNOME3) in Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal), then you can try installing some alternative desktop such as MATE, Cinnamon, KDE etc or a lightweight desktop environment such as XFCE.
Why go for a Lightweight Desktop Environment ?
low resource requirements (it can also run smooth on older computers)
The highlight of this edition is the lightweight Xfce 4.10 desktop. Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment which aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. It embodies the traditional UNIX philosophy of modularity and re-usability.
Linux Mint 15 Codename ‘Olivia’ Xfce Edition is released with the exciting features stated below. Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment aiming to be fast instead of low system resources. In this edition, Xfce 4.10 desktop, all the improvement with latest packages are included. In...
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XFCE is a lightweight desktop environment. For Linux Mint 13, the was
an XFCE edition in addition to the Cinnamon and Mate editions, but for
Linux Mint 14, there isn't. This short guide explains how to install
XFCE on your Linux Mint 14 desktop.
Linux Mint Debian Edition has proven to be a popular release for the Linux Mint developers. It's certainly at the top of my list of favorite distros. Linux Mint Debian edition uses the GNOME desktop and, as good as it is, it's just not right for some folks (especially those on older or slower computers). Enter Linux Mint 201104 Xfce version.
Xfce is a niche desktop environment. But given the moves developers are making with changes to KDE 4 and Gnome 3, not to mention Ubuntu's new Unity desktop, Xfce may be just the ticket to take you to a calmer, more satisfying computing environment while staying with your favorite Linux distro. Think of the Linux desktop shell as a mode of automotive transportation.
The SparkyLinux development team has announced earlier today, January 31, the immediate availability for download of a new edition of their popular Linux operating system, this time based on the lightweight Xfce desktop environment.
The team is proud to announce the release of Linux Mint 16 'Petra' Xfce. Xfce is a lightweight desktop environment which aims to be fast and low on system resources, while still being visually appealing and user friendly. This edition features all the improvements from the latest Linux Mint release on top of an Xfce 4.10 desktop.
I have always been running XFCE on my Ubuntu machines for its performance advantage over the other DEs. However I run my favourite applications on it which includes apps traditionally bundled with GNOME and KDE (gnome-power-statistics, gnome-system-monitor, kate, kdesvn to name a few).
Does this significantly diminish the performance advantage I get from using a lightweight Desktop Environment?