Ubuntu – the lightest desktop interface for ubuntu and is Unity-2d classified as a ‘light’ interface


With the plethora of potential interfaces available

  • lxde,
  • openbox,
  • fluxbox
  • xfce,
  • gnome2,
  • gnome3,
  • unity-3d,
  • unity-2d etc,

my question is – what is meant by "the lightest desktop interface" – and can you now consider Unity-2d as "Light"?

Any guidance on the pro's and con's would be extremely useful for my evaluation – my target computer is a

  • Pentium 4 1.3Ghz, 512Mb, 32GB HDD, 1024×768 Monitor, Geforce FX5500 256Mb AGP

I would like to use it for web-browsing such as youtube, google-earth, simple graphical picture editing and word processing – all aimed for school student aged 10-15 yrs.

Best Answer

A light interface is basically one that uses little resources, and can optionally depend on compositing and/or 3D capabilities, so even compiz could be called a light desktop interface when configured correctly (I've run compiz on worse specs than those you mentioned and it was fast and pretty stable).

For optimum performance, I would suggest going with Lxde (Lubuntu).

You can also use GNOME or XFCE, but keep in mind that both may get stressed under a heavy work load with that little memory, though you should be safe either way if you are only doing the basics like web browsing, word processing, etc.

Unity 2D is also a light interface, and might be able to run on your hardware.