Thursday, April 19, 2012

Install MATE in Ubuntu Precise and Oneiric

MATE is a promising project dedicated on keeping the old traditional Gnome 2.x desktop alive. They aren't adding any new features but they are maintaining Gnome 2.x and making it compatible with new desktops, and also fixing any bugs they find in this process.

They have already ported several themes, applets and applications to MATE which were initially written for Gnome 2.x, and the list keeps growing. Most importantly, they have succeeded in resolving conflicts between MATE and Gnome 3.x, which means that MATE is now usable on distributions that come with Gnome 3.x without breaking anything.

However, one of the limitations of MATE at the moment is that it doesn't work very well with Compiz. I myself tried to run MATE with Compiz and the result was non-decorated windows. Some say that MATE when running with Compiz, starts eating up too much CPU.

Default MATE desktop, Ubuntu Precise:

MATE 1.2 was released a couple of days ago. It comes with numerous stability fixes and added support for various applications. The changes include:
  • 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 the PulseAudio 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
For a screenshot tour of MATE, please take a look here:

You might also want to take a look at known issues before installing MATE:

Ubuntu Installation

For installing MATE in Ubuntu Precise, get to a Terminal and run:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb precise main"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-core
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

To install it in Ubuntu Oneiric, just replace "precise" with "oneiric" in the first command.

MATE Session

Once MATE is installed, log out, and from the login screen, choose MATE as your session and login.

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