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Ubuntu MATE

Ubuntu MATE is an open-source and free distribution of Linux and Ubuntu's official derivative. Its primary difference from Ubuntu is that Ubuntu MATE applies the MATE desktop platform as its user interface (default) which is based on GNOME 2 rather than the GNOME 3 desktop platform that is the user interface (default) for Ubuntu.

Ubuntu MATE represents the simplicity of a standard desktop environment. It is the continuation release of the GNOME 2 desktop. GNOME 2 desktop was the default desktop of Ubuntu until 2010 October.

The desktop environment of MATE facilitates an attractive and intuitive desktop environment with classic metaphors for Unix and Linux-like operating systems. MATE is upon active development for adding support for newer technologies at the time of preserve a classic desktop experience.

Linux is an open-source operating system. It includes Linux kernel, a wide range of applications, and utilities of the kernel. There are several Linux distributions that are different in the format which these components are presented and packages.

In this Linux distribution (MATE), the graphical desktop is known as MATE. Mate is considered from GNOME 2 which is an efficient interface for Linux.

Workstations of Ubuntu MATE

  • The workstations execute Ubuntu MATE 16.04.
  • It is the latest LTS release of the Ubuntu OS.
  • Ubuntu Mate is Ubuntu's derivative and it is developed to easily be installed and used.
  • Intrinsically, Linux is robust and safe with no requirement for antivirus protection.
  • Ubuntu MATE is very portable and it features 3D graphics on the Laboratory workstations.
  • However, it will also execute on less strong graphics processors.
  • Mate includes a user interface that is menu-based where users could look from installed applications mentioned in categories.
  • It makes installed applications easy to search relatively.
  • Mate is one of the great software managers of Linux.
  • We can use a software manager for finding an application if we can't find it.

Where does the term come from?

The term "MATE" comes through the yerba mate which is a holly native species to South America (subtropical). The leaves of this species include caffeine and can be used for making infusions and the beverage is known as a mate.

Which Distros Support MATE?

MATE is existed by the official repositories for the Linux distros which are mentioned below:

  • Void Linux
  • Vector Linux
  • Uruk Linux/GNU
  • Ubuntu MATE
  • Ubuntu
  • Trisquel Linux/GNU
  • Solus
  • Slint
  • Salix
  • Sabayon
  • PLD Linux
  • PCLinuxOS
  • Parrot Security OS
  • openSUSE
  • Manjaro
  • Mageia
  • Linux Mint
    Hamara Linux
  • GNU GuixSD and GNU Guix
  • Gentoo
  • Fedora
  • Debian
  • Arch Linux
  • AOSC
  • Antergos
  • Alpine Linux

MATE is existed by unofficial repositories for the Linux distros which are mentioned below:

  • Slackware

Maybe we prefer UNIX:

  • OS108
  • TrueOS
  • OpenIndiana
  • FreeBSD
  • GhostBSD

History of Ubuntu MATE

The project, i.e., Ubuntu MATE was detected by Alan Pope and Martin Wimpress and started as Ubuntu's official derivative using a base of the 14.10 version of Ubuntu for its first version (The 14.04 LTS version of Ubuntu shortly followed).

As of 2015 February, Ubuntu MATE obtained the official flavor status of Ubuntu from Canonical Ltd. as per the 15.04 Beta 1 release. In addition to x86-64 and IA-32 which were the first supported environments. Also, Ubuntu MATE supports ARMv7 and PowerPC (on the ODROID XU4 and Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 as well).

In 2015 April, Ubuntu MATE published a partnership with the British computer reseller Entroware. It is enabling the customers of Entroware to buy laptop and desktop computers using the Ubuntu MATE release pre-installed with complete support. Various other deals of hardware were published later.

Important: In the 18.10 release of Ubuntu MATE, the support for 32-bit was dropped.

Releases of Ubuntu MATE

Version Release Date Code Name Supported Until Remarks
14.04 LTS 2014-11-11 Trusty Tahr April 2019 Published after 14.10 version for providing LTS support until 2019.
14.10 2014-10-23 Utopic Unicorn July 2015 The initial version of Ubuntu MATE.
15.04 2015-04-23 Vivid Vervet January 2016 The initial version of the Official Ubuntu release.
15.10 2015-10-22 Wily Werewolf July 2016 Features the 1.10 version of MATE and by default, Ubuntu Software Centre is not installed.
16.04 LTS 2016-04-21 Xenial Xerus April 2019 Initial official LTS version. It features 1.12.x DE version of MATE expanded software and welcome application Boutique. It has by default built-in ZFS.
16.10 2016-10-13 Yakkety Yak July 2017 Complete MATE desktop's GTK3+ implementation. Most of the default applications are "Suggested" and can hence be uninstalled without a problem.
17.04 2017-04-13 Zesty Zapus January 2018 Old non-LTS Ubuntu MATE version along with 9 months of support. It includes migration to GTK3+.
17.10 2017-10-19 Artful Aardvark July 2018 Old non-LTS release. The 17.10.1 version was published on 12 January 2018. Also, it fixed an issue that prevented the BIOS and UEFI firmware.
18.04 LTS 2018-04-26 Bionic Beaver April 2021 Old LTS release. It supports Raspberry Pi B2/B3/B3+ and Pocket 2 & GPD Pocket.
18.10 2018-10-18 Cosmic Cuttlefish July 2019 End of the support of the 32-bit release and Old non-LTS 64-bit-only version. It features the 1.20 version of MATE.
19.04 2019-04-18 Disco Dingo January 2020 Old non-LTS 64-bit-only version. It features NVIDIA Drivers and MATE 1.20.
19.10 2019-10-17 Eoan Ermine July 2020 Non-LTS 64-bit-only version. It substitutes VLC along with GNOME MPV as a default media player and features the 1.22.2 version of MATE.
20.04 LTS 2020-04-23 Focal Fossa April 2023 Latest LTS 64-bit-only version. It Features the 1.24 version of MATE.
20.10 2020-10-22 Groovy Gorilla July 2021 It features the 1.24.1 version of MATE.
21.04 2021-04-22 Hirsute Hippo January 2022 The latest version, 64-bit-only. It features the 1.24.2 version of MATE.

Applications of Ubuntu MATE

MATE is made up of a wide range of applications. The renaming is essential for avoiding conflicts with the components of GNOME. Some of these applications are listed and discussed below:

Ubuntu MATE
  • Caja
  • Pluma
  • Eye of MATE
  • Atril
  • Engrampa
  • MATE Terminal


Caja is a file manager (official) for the MATE desktop. It permits browsing directories and preview files as well and launches applications related to them. Also, it is liable to handle the icons on a MATE desktop. This application works on remote and local filesystems. Caja application can also be described as a Nautilus fork.


The pluma application is used as a text editor. It supports most classic features of the editors. Also, it extends this common functionality using other aspects not usually detected in a general text editor.

Pluma application can be described as a graphical application and it supports editing more than one text file in a single window (sometimes called MDI or tabs). Pluma completely supports text (international) by its Unicode UTF-8 encoding use in edited files.

The core feature set of pluma contains syntax highlighting of printing support, auto indentation, and source code (using print preview). Pluma application can also be described as a Gedit fork.

Eye of MATE

Eye of MATE can also be known as EoM. The Eye of MATE of eom is a general graphics viewer for a MATE desktop. It applies a library, i.e., gdk-pixbuf. It could also deal with big images and could scroll and zoom with constant usage of the memory.

The goals of the Eye of MATE are standards compliance and simplicity. This application can also be described as an Eye of GNOME fork.


Atril is a general multi-page document viewer. This application can be used for displaying and printing the Portable Document Format (PDF), XPS, DVI, DJVU, Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), and PostScript (PS).

Also, it allows copying text on the clipboard, finding for text, table-of-contents bookmarks, and hypertext navigation when supported via the document. Atril can also be described as an Evince fork.


This application is the archive manager for a MATE desktop environment. It permits us to make and change archives, show the contents of the archives, extract the files through an archive, as well as show the file resided in an archive. This application can also be described as a File Roller fork.

MATE Terminal

It is specified as the terminal emulation application that we can use for accessing the UNIX-shell within the MATE desktop environment. We can execute any application with it that is created for running on xterm, VT220, VT102 terminals.

Also, the MATE Terminal contains the capability to use more than one terminal in one tab (window) and supports different profiles (configurations) management. MATE Terminal application can also be described as a GNOME Terminal fork.

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