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What are GUI and DE? What are your differences?

Learn now the difference between a GUI, a DE, a graphical interface and a desktop environment.

One of the doubts and confusions of those starting out in the Linux world: What is the difference between Graphic Interface and desktop environment? If you have been using Linux for a long time and have this doubt, do not feel bad, it is important that we will check this difference right now!

The graphical user interface (GUI) in an operating system, an application, one part of the operating system, is the more comprehensive desktop environment (DE) that encompasses, for example, even the graphic interface itself. The desktop environment is made up of various applications and not just the interface. The interface is one of the applications that comes with the desktop environment and the graphical interface is basically what you see on your operating system screen.

We can use as an example the KDE project, which is responsible for managing many different applications, from applications such as calculator, calendar, our dear Kdenlive, used to edit channel videos and of course the KDE Plasma graphical interface, or just "Plasma" as KDE developers themselves have agreed to call it. Thus, the KDE desktop environment composed of Plasma along with other tools developed by the KDE project.

Although we use KDE as an example, the same goes for virtually any other project. Also, you can use a graphical interface, but with different project applications. A proof of this is to use a distro like Linux Mint, with Cinnamon interface, but with GNOME applications such as System Monitor, that is, you use part of a desktop environment in a distro whose graphical environment corresponds to a different one.

In this video on the channel, we discuss with several examples the difference between graphical interface and desktop environment in Linux and it is very worth checking.

Hope this post and video have helped you 🙂

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