Monday, September 2, 2013

MATE, an excellent speedy desktop environment

I am always checking out new software available for Linux.  While checking out Gnome 3, KDE and Cinnamon, I felt they where so slow, and just not my cup of tea.

This is mostly because I have already found the perfect marriage of speed, functionality and form in XFCE.

After trying Cinnamon, I thought MATE would be similar being that Cinnamon and MATE both are aiming to be similar to Gnome 2.

I'm glad I checked it out though, because MATE is very fast, very functional and it's easy to see why people use it.

I don't know how the developers of MATE did it, but MATE has nearly all the speed of XFCE, and yet all the wonderful function of Gnome 2.32.

I have been so enamored with the XFCE desktop environment that I didn't think I would ever have another desktop be my new favorite, but MATE is in the running.

Here is my screenshot:

I left the "drawer" app open here so you can see how useful it is to have your fave apps at your fingertips, and yet tucked out of the way. It's one of the things I missed when Gnome 2 was no longer available.

I followed the instructions at for my version of Ubuntu, which is Xubuntu 12.04.3 LTS 64 bit. (or better known as pangolin)

1) I opened the terminal, and ran this code: sudo add-apt-repository "deb precise main" (which i found at

2) I used sudo apt-get update

3) Then I ran: sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install mate-archive-keyring

4) I re-ran sudo apt-get update

5) And lastly I ran sudo apt-get install mate-core

There is a suggestion to run sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment for all the apps.

I didn't install the extra apps because I already had my favorite apps installed, and I would rather run those.

After all of this, I logged out, chose MATE, and then logged back in.

Here are the instructions from the wiki itself:

MATE Installation (Precise/Quantal/Raring)

Then run the following command to update your repositories and install MATE:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get --yes --quiet --allow-unauthenticated install mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
# this installs base packages
sudo apt-get install mate-core
# this installs more packages
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

I really think if you where a Gnome 2.32 fan, or you are a fan of speedy desktops like XFCE/LXDE, or if you are looking for a desktop environment most conducive to work, this is the desktop environment for you.


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