Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Linux How To: Install MATE Desktop Environment on Ubuntu

If you were a die hard GNOME 2 user, you might not want to hear that it is now considered old, and is not supported anymore by the GNOME team. Well If you want to keep using something similar, then I recommend you use the MATE desktop environment.

MATE is a fork of GNOME 2. It still retains the look and feel of GNOME 2, and also has the same core.

Lately, a new version of MATE has been released. MATE 1.2 is available now for grabs, and I am going to do an how to for people who want to install MATE.

Below is some improvements for MATE 1.2.

  • Numerous Bug Fixes
  • All conflicts with GNOME were fixed
  • All configuration files were moved to ~/.config/mate
  • An undo/redo feature was added in  Caja
  • Libmate's mate-open command is now faster to open applications
  • Mate settings daemon now supports Pulse Audo and GStreamer backends
  • New applications: mozo (alacarte fork), python-caja, caja-gksu, caja-image-converter
  • Mate themes were renamed to avoid conflicts with GNOME
  • A new MATE wallpaper was added
  • MATE now features its own icon
Install on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
Although, MATE was introduced by Linux Mint, Ubuntu users can install it on their distributions including the newest version Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin. Please run the following commands to install MATE 1.2 on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin.

Open a terminal by clicking the Ubuntu button on the top left in Unity, and typing in "Terminal" the one with the ">" in a green color is the one you should select. If you are using GNOME 2, go to Applications >> Accessories >> Terminal.

  • sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu precise main"
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get install mate-core (This installs base packages)
  • sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment (This installs additional packages

  • If you are running another Linux distro besides Ubuntu, then refer to the MATE install instructions.

    Now all you have to so is logout, click the button to the top right of your name, and select MATE. Login, and you should be in the MATE desktop environment now. If you are not, go over the steps above to reinstalling.