Support Linux Voice!

The MATE team encourages you to head over to Linux Voice on indiegogo and find out why you, as an Open Source user and enthusiast, should back Linux Voice. Here are some of the reasons we are endorsing this project:

  • Formed by the majority of the editorial team behind Linux Format magazine.
  • 50% of Linux Voice profits will go back to Free Software and Linux communities.
  • Linux Voice content will be published for free after 9 months under CC-BY-SA license.
  • One of the Linux Voice team is interested in covering MATE if their project is successfully funded.

You can also find out more about how the campaign is progressing by visiting the Linux Voice website.

MATE 1.6 packages for Arch Linux

MATE 1.6 packages have been available for Arch Linux for a good while now. So why the blog post?

Over the last few months the MATE 1.6 packages for Arch Linux have been fixed, cleaned up and enhanced. Here is an overview of what we’ve been working on:

  • All Arch Linux specific bugs have been fixed.
  • New automated build scripts and build cluster.
  • Full support for the following platforms:
    • armv6h (Raspberry Pi)
    • armv7h
    • i686
    • x86_64
  • Packaged 9 additional applications/applets contributed by the MATE community.
  • Choice of Pulse Audio or GStreamer backends.
  • Cherry picked some systemd and logind features from MATE 1.7.
  • Cherry picked some upower features from MATE 1.7.
  • Cherry picked miscellaneous bug fixes from MATE 1.7.
  • MATE 1.6 PKGBUILDs now automatically synced to the AUR.
  • The Arch Linux package repository for MATE is now signed.

You can find out everything you need to know about installing MATE 1.6 on Arch Linux from the following wiki page:

I’d like to say a special thank you to:

  • Wolfgang Ulbrich for working with the Fedora development team to hunt down systemd, logind and upower fixes that are hugely beneficial for Arch Linux and also for contributing a good number of the community applications.
  • Sander Sweers and Stefano Karapetsas for welcoming me to the MATE Team and helping me out on IRC.

Now that the MATE 1.6 packages are in good shape I will start the process of getting MATE into the official Arch Linux repositories. You can help with that by voting for MATE packages in the AUR.

Debian MATE Packaging Team


The MATE Team is very happy to say hello to the new Debian MATE Packaging Team, that is working hard to get MATE included into the next release of Debian.

First packages are already in the repositories and there are many others in ftp-master NEW queue.

A big thanks to:

If you want to join the team, please reach the members on IRC in the #debian-mate channel @ freenode.

Website re-design

We have given the MATE website a make-over and also migrated from Wordpress to Nikola in the process.

The main objective of the re-design is to create simple, elegant site that helps you find the information you’re looking for quickly. Access to most MATE resources should be no more than two clicks from the homepage.

A secondary objective was to migrate to a content management system with a work-flow the developers and contributors are more familiar with and that also facilitates contributions from the wider community. This is the principile reason we migrated to Nikola, which is a static site generator.

Anyone can submit a new blog post, corrections or translations to the MATE website by creating a free account on GitHub, forking the repository and creating a pull-request. Pull-requests for will be reviewed by our Webmasters, merged and published here. The are some other benefits of using a static site generator.

Unfortunately, we have decided not to migrate comments from the old website. From this point forward each new blog post will be linked to a topic in the MATE forums. We are doing this because we already have a dedicated team of forum moderators and don’t want to draw on their limited time by asking them to moderate blog comments on a 3rd party comment provider. Besides, this approach will drive more readers to the MATE forums and will hope fully help grow and develop the community. We hope you understand our decision.

New repositories for openSUSE


On the way to getting MATE officially available on openSUSE, the community repositories have to be changed in YaST. For that, go to YaST -> Software -> Software Repositories and remove the X11:MATE:Factory repo and next, click on the following links in function of your openSUSE version:

Thank you!

MATE 1.6 released

The team is proud to announce the release of MATE Desktop 1.6. This release is a giant step forward from the 1.4 release. In this release, we have replaced many deprecated packages and libraries with new technologies available in GLib. We have also added a lot of new features to MATE. We would like to thank every MATE contributor and user.


Main changes in 1.6 are:

systemd & logind support

  • Added support for systemd-logind in mate-session-manager, mate-screensaver and mate-power-manager (now you can reboot/shutdown without ConsoleKit)

Caja (file manager)

  • Improved places sidebar
  • Added support for new thumbnailers specification
  • Added a new frame for thumbnails
  • Wallpapers are now cached for a better memory management
  • New connect server dialog from Nautilus 3
  • Added support for
  • File Manager DBus Interface
  • Fixed back vs parent directory selection
  • Open terminal extension now support opening a remote terminal


  • Added --run-dialog option to open the run dialog window Window list: you can use the mouse middle click button to close a window Workspace switcher:
  • Added an option to wrap around between workspaces with the mouse wheel
  • Added a simple way for distributions to override the default panel layout Unfortunately, due to migration to GSettings, you will lose your current panel layout. All other settings will be migrated if you have MateConf 1.4 installed.

Marco (window manager)

  • Added option to open new windows on the center of the screen

Control center

  • Added option to enable Marco compositing manager and fast alt-tab in window preferences
  • Set GSettings/GConf metacity theme if compiz or metacity are running
  • Use same GNOME proxy settings of gsettings-desktop-schemas package
  • Default applications: allow to set default terminal

Atril (document viewer)

  • Added XPS backend


  • Updated codebase
  • Added buttons to support inverse trigonomic functions

Notification daemon


  • New GTK2/3 themes (Menta, BlackMATE, GreenLaguna, TraditionalGreen)
  • Added GTK3 support for other GTK2 themes (TraditionalOk, TraditionalOkTest, ContrastHigh)
  • Enabled text preview for text files
  • Added some new icons

Settings daemon

  • Added support for MPRIS2 to send media keys to media players
  • Added option to draw the background if Caja is not active
  • The daemon is now restarted by mate-session if it crashes

Netbook applet

  • Enable maximus only when window picker applet is added to the panel

Dropped packages

  • Replaced MateConf with GSettings
  • Replaced MateCorba/MateComponent with DBus
  • Replaced MateVfs with GIO/GVFS
  • Replaced libmatenotify with libnotify
  • Removed libmate (mate-open replaced with gvfs-open, GSettings schemas moved to mate-desktop package
  • Removed deprecated packages
    • libmateui
    • libmatecanvas
    • libmatecomponentui
    • mate-mime-data

Other improvements

  • Fixed a lot of code deprecations
  • Fixed a lot of bugs
  • Added and improved a lot of translations

We asked people from distributions that ship MATE what they think about our Desktop Environment.

George Vlahavas, Salix founder and project leader:

We believe MATE is a perfect match for Salix. MATE provides us with a familiar desktop environment that is powerful, solid and fast. Also, the MATE team are very friendly and a pleasure to work with and this means a lot to us. Thanks for giving us the choice of sticking with our favourite desktop guys

Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint founder and project leader:

It’s extremely important to us that people are happy with their computer. When that environment we all loved and worked hard to improve since 2006 was discontinued we weren’t happy to let it go and to ask people to migrate to something new or something different. We worked really hard on making sure our users could continue to use their computer the way they wanted and we met a team of like-minded people who had taken the initiative to support that environment and to develop it even further. Mint and MATE go hand in hand and the relationship between the teams is excellent. Mint played an important role in the promotion and backing of MATE and we continue to help with its development. We’re very pleased with MATE, it’s exactly what we wanted, it started where GNOME left off and with each new iteration it keeps getting better.

Joost Ruis, strategy consultant of Sabayon:

We don’t like how upstream forced changes to users and want our users to have the option to decide what to use. With MATE in our repositories we are certain our users can always choose what works best for them.

Dan Mashal, MATE maintainer in Fedora:

Ever since the release of Fedora 15 was released I was extremely unhappy and frustrated with my desktop experience until I discovered MATE. Now on Fedora I can finally have a desktop that is sane, stable, fast and most importantly easy to use. With the hard work the team has done to also patch compiz to work on the newer releases of Fedora I can now have my Fedora 14 (considered by most to be the best release of Fedora) experience back with wobbly windows, desktop cube, animations, and 3d effects. I can’t stress how big of a loss this was to many users including myself. Now with MATE I don’t have to worry about what is going to break with the next Gnome release and what crazy design ideas they are going to have making me have to relearn a desktop interface every single Fedora release. With MATE 1.6 I can feel right back at home on my favorite Linux distribution and get back to work.

We also asked for a comment from the company who donated the server where we host MATE services. Martin Verges, CEO of FirstColo GmbH:

We are really happy to use the MATE Desktop Environment. This way we can keep a clean and well working desktop without lots of useless and distracting stuff. Until the end of 2012 our whole company were working with Ubuntu, but with the Unity Desktop and many other “end user features”, we were searching for new ways to get a desktop, free of software that pretends to make our lives easier. With MATE Desktop on Debian 7 Wheezy, we found a good working, high performance desktop that just works as we know it from years. We hope that the MATE Team will keep our classic Linux Desktop and bring to it new life some with new features, but with the good workflow kept in hand. So far, they have done great job, and we hope that soon the Debian Maintainers will add the MATE Desktop to their mirrors (and of course, that many others will use MATE too!).

MATE 1.6 is the result of 8 months of intense development and contains 1800 contributions by 39 people, and more than 150 translators.

New themes

The team is proud to announce the new themes for MATE 1.6.

Menta will be the default theme for the upcoming new release. It consists of a nice GTK2/3 theme (based on Mint-Z Improved, no longer maintained, customized for MATE and updated for GTK3.6) and a child theme of mate-icon-theme with green folders.

Menta theme

There will be also other two new themes:

  • BlackMATE: A black based theme, without green.
  • GreenLaguna: A nice theme based on green color.

We would like to thank Wolfgang Ulbrich and Marcel Dijkstra for this great job.

BlackMATE theme

BlackMATE theme

GreenLaguna theme

GreenLaguna theme


There are a lot of people in the world who get access to their GNU/Linux desktops via thin clients, and one of the longest running thin client projects out there is the LTSP project. The MATE desktop offers a fantastic desktop experience on thin clients; fast, stable, and efficient. Libraries, schools, and businesses looking for a GNU/Linux desktop using traditional paradigms their users are used to will find MATE a excellent alternative to going to a Unity/Gnome 3 desktop. As both an LTSP and MATE developer, I put together a short video on some of the developments in both.

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