MATE (desktop Environment)
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MATE Desktop Environment
Ubuntu Mate 18.04.1 with MATE 1.20.1.png
Ubuntu MATE, featuring the MATE desktop environment
Developer(s)Stefano Karapetsas, et al.[1]
Initial releaseAugust 19, 2011; 9 years ago (2011-08-19)
Stable release
1.24 / February 10, 2020
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC, C++, Python[2]
Operating systemUnix-like with X11 (X Window System)
TypeDesktop environment
LicenseGPLv2, LGPLv2

MATE is a desktop environment composed of free and open-source software that runs on Linux and BSD operating systems.[3] An Argentine user of Arch Linux started the MATE project to fork and continue GNOME 2 in response to the negative reception of GNOME 3, which had replaced its traditional taskbar (GNOME Panel) with GNOME Shell. MATE aims to maintain and continue the latest GNOME 2 code base, frameworks, and core applications.[4][5][6]


MATE is named after the South American plant yerba mate and tea made from the herb, mate.[7] The name was originally all capital letters to follow the nomenclature of other Free Software desktop environments like KDE and LXDE. The recursive backronym "MATE Advanced Traditional Environment" was subsequently adopted by most of the MATE community, again in the spirit of Free Software like GNU ("GNU's Not Unix!"). The use of a new name, instead of GNOME, avoids naming conflicts with GNOME 3 components.


MATE has forked a number of applications which originated as GNOME Core Applications, and developers have written several other applications from scratch. The forked applications have new names, most of them from Spanish. MATE applications include:

  • caja (box) – file manager (from Nautilus)
  • pluma (quill/feather/pen) – text editor (from Gedit)
  • Ubuntu MATE 18.04 with the MATE Desktop Environment version 1.20
    atril (lectern) – document viewer (from Evince)
  • engrampa (staple) – archive manager (from Archive Manager)
  • mate-terminal – terminal emulator (from GNOME Terminal)
  • marco (frame) – window manager (from Metacity)
  • mozo (waiter)  – menu-item editor (from Alacarte)


Screenshot of MATE 1.10, GTK3 version, on Manjaro Linux

MATE fully supports the GTK 3 application framework. The project is supported by Ubuntu MATE lead developer Martin Wimpress and by the Linux Mint development team:

"We consider MATE yet another desktop, just like KDE, Gnome 3, Xfce etc... and based on the popularity of Gnome 2 in previous releases of Linux Mint, we are dedicated to support it and to help it improve. The most popular Linux desktop was, and arguably is, Gnome 2."[8]

New features have been added to Caja such as undo/redo[9] and diff viewing for file replacements.[10] MATE 1.6 removes some deprecated libraries, moving from mate-conf (a fork of GConf) to GSettings, and from mate-corba (a fork of GNOME's Bonobo) to D-Bus.

One of the aims of the MATE developers is to provide a traditional user experience while using the newest technologies. In MATE 1.20, which was released in February 2018, support for HiDPI was added and the GTK+ version got increased to 3.22. The MATE 1.22 release migrated many programs from Python 2 to Python 3 and from dbus-glib to GDBus. In an upcoming version, support for Wayland will be added.[11]


Date Version
2011-06-18 Announced at Arch Linux forum
2011-08-19 Initial release
2012-04-16 1.2
2012-07-30 1.4
2013-04-02 1.6
2014-03-04 1.8
2014-09-29 1.8.1
2015-03-13 1.8.2
2015-06-11 1.10
2015-11-05 1.12
2016-04-08 1.14
2016-09-21 1.16
2017-03-13 1.18
2018-02-07 1.20
2019-03-18 1.22
2020-02-10 1.24


Screenshot of a PC-BSD 10.1.2 desktop (MATE) with dual monitor (dual head, pivot). The running free and open-source (FOSS) programs are: GIMP, OpenShot Video Editor, file manager, Eric Python development IDE. Also shown: Minecraft 1.8.7 (with "Forge" mods).

MATE 1.2 was released on 16 April 2012. MATE has been one of the default desktop environments shipped with Linux Mint since version 12 "Lisa",[12][13] LMDE since "2013.03" until the release of LMDE 3,[14][15][16][17] Sabayon Linux since release 10,[18] a Fedora spin (since Fedora 18),[19] and as the desktop environment in Ubuntu MATE 14.10.[20]

MATE is also available in the official repositories of several other Linux distributions, including Arch Linux, Parabola, LMDE, Debian, Ubuntu MATE, Linux Mint, Solus, Kali Linux, Fedora, openSUSE, Gentoo, Mageia, OpenMandriva, ROSA, and PCLinuxOS.[21] Aside from that, there are third party repositories for Slackware.[22] Version 3.5 and up of GhostBSD include MATE as the default desktop environment, making it the second inclusion of MATE as a default desktop, after Linux Mint,[23] and the first in a non-Linux OS. It is also available for FreeBSD (alongside its derivatives, such as PC-BSD)[24] and NetBSD[25] and is default on OpenIndiana.[26]

Arch Linux

MATE was initially announced on the Arch Linux forum on 18 June 2011,[27] and became an official community package in January 2014.


Parabola is a popular Arch derivative and the first Linux distribution to use MATE as its default desktop environment.[28]


Since Flidas alpha (its version 8), Trisquel has begun to adopt MATE 1.18 instead of GNOME desktop environment.

Ubuntu MATE

Ubuntu MATE logo

In November 2014, the Ubuntu MATE team released version 14.04 LTS, which was supported until April 2019.[29]

In March 2015, Ubuntu MATE was granted official Ubuntu flavour status from version 15.04 onwards.[30]


MATE is available for Slackware users via MSB (Mate SlackBuilds) project. SlackBuild script for MATE can be obtained from GitHub.


MATE can be selected as desktop during the installation of Debian. Live images for MATE are also created by Debian. It is supported by Debian stable, testing and sid.


MATE is supported both by openSUSE Leap (stable version) and Tumbleweed (rolling release). It can be selected as the desktop during the installation.


MATE Desktop is the preferred default desktop of GhostBSD.


MATE Desktop is the default desktop of the Illumos-based operating system OpenIndiana, which is the continuation the former GNOME 2, which was the default desktop of OpenSolaris.


MATE-Compiz spin is one among the different spins of Fedora. This Fedora Spin bundles MATE Desktop with Compiz Fusion.

Linux Mint

MATE is one of the 3 major desktop environments on Linux Mint, with the other two being Xfce and Cinnamon.

See also


  1. ^ MATE Developers
  2. ^ "MATE". Retrieved 2015.
  3. ^ "MATE: Install". Retrieved 2021.
  4. ^ "A Gnome 2 Fork: The MATE Desktop Environment", ingeek, 2011-11-17, archived from the original on 2014-02-14, retrieved
  5. ^ Larabel, Michael (2011-08-17), "A Fork Of GNOME 2: The Mate Desktop", Phoronix, retrieved
  6. ^ Laishram, Ricky (2011-08-04), Linus Torvalds Ditches GNOME For Xfce, Digitizor, retrieved , While you are at it, could you also fork gnome, and support a gnome-2 environment? - Linus Torvalds.
  7. ^ "MATE Desktop Environment - Where does the name come from?", MATE, retrieved
  8. ^ Lefebvre, Clem (2011-12-01), "Important fix for MATE - Feedback needed", The Linux Mint Blog, retrieved
  9. ^ Karapetsas, Stefano (2012-01-03), "Undo/Redo in Caja", Stefano Karapetsas's Blog, retrieved
  10. ^ Karapetsas, Stefano (2012-06-17), "What's new in next Caja", Stefano Karapetsas's Blog, retrieved
  11. ^ "MATE: Wayland". Retrieved 2020.
  12. ^ Lefebvre, Clem (2011-11-26), "Linux Mint 12 Release Notes", Linux Mint, retrieved
  13. ^ Holwerda, Thom (2011-11-27), "Linux Mint 12 Released", OSNews, retrieved
  14. ^ "Linux Mint Debian 201303 released!". The Linux Mint Blog. 2010-07-21. Retrieved .
  15. ^ "Linux Mint 13 MATE". Desktop Linux Reviews. May 24, 2012. Archived from the original on October 11, 2013. Retrieved .
  16. ^ "Linux Mint 14 MATE". Desktop Linux Reviews. January 2, 2013. Archived from the original on October 11, 2013. Retrieved .
  17. ^ "Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE review". Linux and Life. June 2, 2013. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved .
  18. ^ lxnay (2012-09-13), "Press Release. Sabayon 10", Sabayon Linux, retrieved
  19. ^ Mashal, Dan; Dieter, Rex (2012-07-19), "Features/MATE-Desktop", Fedora Wiki, retrieved
  20. ^ "Ubuntu MATE Utopic final release/". Retrieved 2014.
  21. ^ "Which distributions support MATE?". Retrieved 2014. MATE is available via the official repositories for the following Linux distributions: Arch Linux Debian Fedora Gentoo Linux Mint Mageia openSUSE PCLinuxOS PLD Linux Point Linux Sabayon Salix Ubuntu
  22. ^ "MATE Desktop Environment - Which distributions support MATE?", MATE, retrieved
  23. ^ "3.5 "Levi" Released". GhostBSD. Retrieved .
  24. ^ "The FreeBSD GNOME Project".
  25. ^ " NetBSD".
  26. ^ "Illumos based OpenIndiana MATE 2016.08.16 released". OpenSourceFeed. Retrieved .
  27. ^ "Mate Desktop Environment - GNOME2 fork". Perberos. Retrieved 2014.
  28. ^ "Get Parabola". ParabolaWiki.
  29. ^ Sneddon, Joey-Elijah. "Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS Now Available to Download". Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ Sneddon, Joey (1 March 2015). "Ubuntu 15.04 Beta Available to Download, Ubuntu MATE Is Now An Official Flavor". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 2015.

External links

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