Review: Ubuntu Mate Beta 2, a desktop for nostalgic people

This article was written by Percaff_TI99 and has been taken entirely from GUTL Portal and it has only undergone minor modifications in its edition

The world continues to advance and with it new technologies. GNU / Linux has not been exempt from it, it is common knowledge that both the company rectoryL (Ubuntu), as the developers of Gnome, They decided to make a shift towards what many call a new desktop paradigm.

The rise of mobile devices and tablets encouraged the development of Gnome Shell (GTK3) Y Ubuntu Unity in order to improve the compatibility and productivity of these advances. Desktop development is neglected Gnome traditional (GTK2), something that was necessary if you wanted to compete in today's market.

This decision was a great technological advance for many users, others (including developers) made their skepticism felt regarding the desktop experience. There are also those who think that Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx it was the best version of Ubuntu, and my opinion does not differ at all.

In this context the collective conscience was very important; and based on this, a developer decided to keep the desktop alive Gnome traditional creating project MATE.

Ubuntu Mate

Currently desktop libraries MATE (MDE) are in the repositories of the most recognized distributions. This has been a great boost to the Project MATE, Clement lefebvre (Linux Mint) was one of the first to give his support.

Distributions that support MATE:

  • Arch Linux
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • Gentoo
  • Linux Mint
  • Mageia
  • openSUSE
  • PCLinuxOS
  • Linux PLD
  • Point Linux
  • Sabayon
  • Salix
  • Ubuntu

Unofficial repositories (it is planned to include them in official repositories).

  • Slackware

In systems *BSD:

  • Ghostbsd
  • FreeBSD
  • PC-BSD

However a distribution that was missing and possibly expected by many users of Ubuntu that still retain their preference for the desktop Gnome traditional is Ubuntu MATE.


According to the official site:

Ubuntu MATE It is a stable, easy-to-use operating system with a configurable desktop environment. Ideal for those who want maximum performance from their desktops, laptops and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With modest hardware requirements it is suitable for modern workstations and older hardware alike.

Also Ubuntu MATE sets a series of objectives and goals:

  • Accessible to everyone, regardless of language and physical ability.
  • Increase user adoption in Ubuntu and desk MATE.
  • Ubuntu as an alternative for computers that are not powerful enough to run an effects desktop.
  • First choice of platform Ubuntu for remote workstation solutions such as LTSP
  • Restore the happy days of Ubuntu before the introduction of Unity
  • Use themes and artwork similar to Ubuntu for Ubuntu MATE be immediately familiar.
  • When possible to contribute to Debian therefore the community of Debian y Ubuntu they benefit.
  • Selection of packages that will favor the functionality and stability of lightness and fantasy.
  • Provide a haven for users of Linux who prefer a traditional desktop metaphor.
  • It gets adopted as an official "flavor" of Ubuntu.


The picture ubuntu-mate-14.10-beta2-desktop-i386.iso I downloaded it from the official site of Ubuntu MATE. The installation was done in VirtualBox to which I assigned 900 MB of RAM and 8 GB of disk space.

The wizard guides us through the entire installation process, as with most distributions based on Ubuntu. The user will have no problems in this regard; however, you can boot the live media without installing the system.

  • Requirements 6,3 GB of disk space
  • Installation Type (use entire disk, encrypt partition, use LVM)
  • Location
  • Keyboard distribution
  • Configuration: User and Passwords
  • Installation

Login is managed by LightDM. As an extra feature it offers us to start a guest session, this option does not suit me too much although all the data stored by the guest is deleted when logging out. The point is that anyone will have access to my system without using a password, it is a very personal opinion.

VirtualBox It did not resize the screen automatically as it happens with most of the distributions, but it is easily solved by resorting to the VirtualBox menu: Devices »Insert image of the CD«GuessAdditions»Or by pressing Host + D. then through the terminal, we position ourselves in the address where the CD is mounted and execute the installation script.

gutl@gutl-VirtualBox:/media/gutl/VBOXADDITIONS_4.3.14_95030$ sudo ./

Ubuntu Mate appearance

This section is where a great change has been noticed, new themes for wallpapers and window decoration can already be viewed in this version 14.10-beta2.

Both the theme GTK default Ambiant-MATE and the Wallpaper were designed with green tones as the predominant color (in reference to the color of the yerba mate leaf) without departing from the classic themes of Ubuntu. There are more and more distributions with these distinctive colors.


This is probably something to be missed on a desktop Gnome modern, ease of customization.

Ubuntu Mate Applications

Ubuntu Mate It comes with a good number of applications, apart from Accessibility (implicit in almost all distros) I mention:

  • Firefox 32
  • Thunderbird 31
  • LibreOffice 4.3.1
  • Pidgin 2.10.9
  • Transmission 2.82-1
  • Shotwell 0.20.0
  • Image viewer Eyes of MATE 1.8.0
  • Brazier 3.10.0
  • Videos 3.10.1
  • Rythmbox 3.0.3
  • Box 1.8.1
  • Dconf editor
  • Backups
  • Text editor Pen 1.8.1
  • Document Viewer Lectern 1.8.0
  • Engrampa File Manager 1.8.0
  • Cheese 3.12.2
Ubuntu MATE it does not have the multimedia and flashplugin codecs installed, as usual Ubuntu package must be downloaded ubuntu-restricted-extras.

Ubuntu Mate features

  • Linux 3.16.0-16-generic
  • Xorg-Server 1: 7.7
  • Pulseaudio 1: 4.0
  • Gstreamer 1.4.1
  • Nvidia 304.123 (current version)
  • GCC 4.9.1
  • LSHW 02.16
  • Systemd 208
  • Additional drivers


Minimum Hardware Requirements for Ubuntu Mate

  • Pentium III 750 MHz
  • 512 megabytes (MB) of RAM
  • 8 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space
  • Bootable DVD-ROM drive
  • Keyboard and mouse (or other pointing device)
  • 1024 x 768 or higher resolution monitor and video adapter
  • Sound card

Recommended Hardware Requirements

  • Core 2 Duo 1.6 GHz
  • 2 gigabytes (GB) RAM
  • 16 gigabytes (GB) of available hard disk space
  • Bootable USB flash drive
  • Keyboard and mouse (or other pointing device)
  • 3D video adapter and a widescreen monitor with 1366 x 768 resolution or higher resolution
  • Sound card
  • Speakers or headphones


The system behaved very stable, I had no problems in that aspect, despite the fact that SystemD it reported some errors in the output of the dmesg command pointing to systemd-logind, otherwise everything worked properly.

In terms of application execution and window behavior, it was not as smooth as I would have liked, this is normal when running in a virtual machine with the MB that I assigned. On the hard drive the performance should be much better; although, on a system with minimum requirements such as those recommended, performance is poor.

It is a good opportunity for those users who still maintain their predilection for Ubuntu but they moved away after the incorporation of Unity. Now they have a new version to choose from among those already established, such as: Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu-gnome, Ubuntu-kylin, Ubuntustudio y Xubuntu.


Ubuntu MATE 14.10 Beta2

Ubuntu Mate website:


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  1.   raalso7 said

    I had been using it for a long time I have used mate in Linux Mint and Ubuntu

  2.   sausl said

    mate in debian is very good as in archlinux

    1.    eliotime3000 said

      When I installed Debian Jessie on my PC in May of this year, it was not MATE yet.

      1.    sausl said

        mate on debian along with kde are the desktops that are stable and I had no problems
        cinnamon in mint, and gnome3 in debian were a pain in the ass

        I'm using cinnamon on a whim but it's unstable for my taste but it's what gnome 3 should be or offer as an alternative for desktop pc
        they are aesthetically beautiful but leaves much to be desired in stability for my taste or particular case

      2.    eliotime3000 said

        Well, in case I reinstall Debian Jessie, I'd better do it by installing the greybird theme for MATE to make it look like Cinnamon and thus avoid problems. : v

  3.   enbudle said

    and there is no repo to install it on a common ubuntu?

    1.    sausl said

      you can add mint repository and configure apt-pinning
      or search there is a test repository, use it and I don't like it, it works better from the mint repo
      or use ubuntu utopic repository

    2.    Ghost said

      If there is, but I already tried it and it doesn't work well, I don't recommend it, it's a ppa.

    3.    sausl said

      seeing the ubuntu utopic repo I wouldn't use it since it uses systemd and trusty doesn't
      the mint repo is better
      I am from a minimal installation of ubuntu with cinnamon (I also tried with mate) they run better than installing mint to dry
      from the mint repo you only use the desktop

    4.    Nico said

      This is the official repository that the Ubuntu Mate staff put together for Ubuntu 14.04 users:

      I have that same combination 14.04 + MATE 1.8.1 and it works great for me.

  4.   sputnik said

    It is said «Vox populi».

  5.   jamac4k said

    There is another distribution, based on Debian Testing, that offers Desktop Mate: Sparky Linux. It also has more desktop options like LXDE, e18, Open Box, Xfce, Razor-Qt, etc.

  6.   Menz said

    I remember those times when I used Ubuntu 10.10, it was for me the best Operating System of all time, its speed, customization, plus the Compiz effects was to give a unique touch to what that version was, unfortunately as many know, when it arrived Unity everything took a 360 degree turn causing the extreme change of the environment or OS. I hope this new version recovers what was then the great Ubuntu.

    I'm going to try it, thanks! 😀

  7.   Percaff_TI99 said

    Thank you very much @elav, I will take into account the modifications;). The arrangement of the images were very good, I'll steal your idea = D


  8.   Horacio said

    What good memories it brings back to seeing the traditional Gnome desktop again!

    When I switched to Ubuntu with version 8.04 LTS I quickly adapted to this environment. Then Unity came along and it cost me a bit more; but hey, here we are. It is a matter of opening up to new changes.

  9.   Solrak Rainbowarrior said

    As far as I know, and that someone correct me if I'm wrong, in MATE you can't manage color. The same thing happens to XFCE. I think it is an important lack not being able to characterize the monitor. That is the reason why I use openSUSE KDE. I really like gnome 2, actually I have KDE 4.14 as gnome 2 ^^.

  10.   mat1986 said

    It is a review so well done that it almost made me want to remove Antergos and use Ubuntu xD again ... the truth is that I miss that desktop: that's how I got to know Ubuntu and, therefore, GNU / Linux back in 2006-2007.

    Good review 😀

    1.    eliotime3000 said

      I met Debian Lenny with GNOME 2. Already with Squeeze, it had become my favorite.

  11.   eliotime3000 said

    This is one of the distributions where they make you say:

    Devils! I should have installed Ubuntu MATE instead of Debian.

    1.    eliotime3000 said

      Well, thank goodness Debian Jessie will be with MATE.

  12.   jamin-samuel said

    And xubuntu?

  13.   Ed said

    I also remember Gnome2… what a time !!!!!!
    Out of curiosity I installed Ubuntu-Mate on a laptop (3gbram, 1,65GHz x2), testing distros in VirtualBox does not go with me, it's like they let you test a car, but you go in the passenger seat, although I understand that it is necessary if you do not have more equipment.

    I had no problem with this beta, correct installation, extraordinarily low ram consumption, Box and applications open quickly, 100% customizable ,. very successful desktop themes.

    Don't leave it installed for three reasons. The first is that it is a beta, the second that it is not an LTS version and the third is that I already get used to or adapt to Gnome Shell. When Unity arrived he let me know more about KDE (very good desktop) but finally I returned to Gnome in version 3. Good info, thanks.

    1.    joakoej said

      Rather, it is like being allowed to test a car in a simulator

    2.    Miguel said

      It's like watching the sunset on TV

  14.   Tesla said

    Good review!

    The truth is that with the slow development of Xfce every time Mate throws me more. I, like many, was also a Gnome 2 user and found my refuge in Xfce.

    I am considering replacing Xubuntu with Linux Mint 17 with Mate. Although it is based on Ubuntu it also looks very good. Too bad it's not LTS.

    A greeting!

    1.    Janik said

      Mint 17 is LTS since it is based on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

  15.   Matias said

    Very good review! It left a very good taste in my mouth regarding MATE. But I would urgently change the orange icons for the same ones in green: 3. Outside of that, at any time I install MATE on my Ubuntu machine

  16.   Ator2 said

    Point linux-mate-full 3; I installed it and it is wonderful. The most up-to-date Debian out there and it works perfectly I recommend it. Sludos

  17.   Cristian said

    They could do a review of deepin2014.1, this is wonderful ... although I find it uglier than 2013, it is more "user" proof, just clicked.

  18.   shattered said

    Well, just yesterday, I decided to install Ubuntu Mate and to my surprise, since I am more debianero than ubuntero, I have been so surprised at how well it works, that I think I'm going to stay with it for a long time. Needless to say, it gives you such joy to see the same desk you saw when you started on this 4 years ago (in my case).

  19.   danistov said

    I like ElementaryOS more with its Phanteon, which is beautiful. Before I really liked Gnome panel but I don't want to go back in time ...

    1.    shattered said

      I don't want to go forward in time, it only brings us closer to extinction ... The planet's resources are running out, the Sun is running out ...

      Nor does the Western capitalist philosophy that new is better does not go with me, that works very well for those who have something other than a product to sell and some masses with just enough money to buy it. If the old already serves me and works better, why do I need the new? The new would not do more than take a step back, see the Gnome 3 case.

      Sometimes you have to go back to be able to go forward ...

      : )

      Sorry for the psudo trolling flame that I have done.

  20.   gabriel said

    offtopic: are you going to review gnome 3.14?

  21.   Leo said

    Can anyone tell me how it performs? Is it advisable for teams with a few years old? Is it better than Xubuntu or Lubuntu?

    Greetings to all

    1.    shattered said

      I think it is similar to Xubuntu, but better to be said by someone who is more used to testing resource consumption.


    2.    joakoej said

      I tried both, the resource consumption is similar, but the Xfce consumes less. Anyway, I prefer the Mate because it is better integrated, has fewer bugs and more options and things.

  22.   seta43 said

    It was time.

    The first thing I did when I installed a distribution, and see that I have 5 partitions for 5 different linux, was to install MATE. It just works fine, with Gnome 3 the same thing happens to me as with KDE 4, very nice, very chachi, but I get lost. Each one is as it is.
    The only problem I've had with Mate-Ubuntu is with the nouveau drivers, my computer hangs. I have had to uninstall them and install the Nvidia ones, now it works perfectly.
    Another thing that I missed, after installing the updates are 200Mg, I think it should be a little more updated, I don't know ...

    a greeting

  23.   Javier said

    I was a GNOME user until the release of its new version that to this day, I do not quite like it. I chose to use KDE and I am very satisfied with how it works.

    I don't have much to say about MATE, it's GNOME 2 and using it seems like taking a step backwards. If I ever install it on my computer it will just be to remind me of old times and I will probably stop using it after a few hours.

    But hey, that's my way of looking at the situation. I am not going to put myself in the position of going around telling people what to use, each one chooses what best suits his person.

  24.   apple3 said

    I've been with Mint Mate for a while, right now I have 17, and it's going as it should, like a shot.

    In a laptop with 4gb of ram and dual core from 2008 it goes great, at idle it only asks for 200-220 megs of ram.

    And to work with a gnome2 / mate computer it is ideal, a neat menu, little ram consumption, configurable and well-equipped. With a synapse launcher there is no desktop that comes close.

  25.   shattered said

    I withdraw what I said that I would stay in Ubuntu Mate for a while, I am back in Debian.

    You download Jessie's latest Netinst, beta 2, and when you get to the point of choosing desktop you select Mate and you get to the same point as with Ubuntu Mate, but with Debian, which is faster as always.

    To make matters worse, the murrine package is installed by default, that is, you put the Greybird with one click, the faenza icons also come by default. In short, 4 clicks and you leave Debian with Mate looking great.

  26.   I will miss you said

    I guess they can't use the Ubuntu theme for copyright reasons etc XD

    1.    shattered said

      Yes, you can put the Ambiant theme for Ubuntu, no problem. It is a matter of downloading it.

  27.   nonamed said

    long life to mate 🙂

  28.   kuk said

    I already want the stable chi that chi to come out 🙂

  29.   Anonymous said

    It is not a desk for nostalgic people, but current, for everyone who wants to work comfortably, and without the hassles of 'unity', among others.

  30.   Luis Felix said

    Very good this blog I congratulate you.

  31.   Anibal said

    I've been with ubuntu mate for years and it goes great with 2GB of ram and 320GB of hard disk, the truth is I am happy with the luxury ba in that the truth is that windows 10 is great on the same pc, I stay with ubuntu mate