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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.

Detailed Overview of Ubuntu MATE Releases

Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS

The team of Ubuntu MATE published Ubuntu the MATE 14.04 LTS version, which was supported until 2019, as Ubuntu MATE 14.10 was the initial release of Ubuntu MATE, which was supported for nine months only.

Ubuntu MATE is the unofficial flavor of Ubuntu which utilizes MATE as the default DE. Ubuntu 14.04 version, by default, ships with MATE 1.8 and not with MATE 1.6, which is present inside the official repositories of Ubuntu 14.04. It was possible as Ubuntu MATE isn't yet the official flavor of Ubuntu, and that, by default, is permitted with the Ubuntu MATE PPAs.

By default, Ubuntu MATE 14.04 ships with a few new installed packages:

  • MATE Tweak (or a MintDesktop fork): It is a tool that allows us to set up which icons to display on the desktop, disable/enable compositing, modify the window buttons design, hide/show icons buttons, in menus, and others.
  • MATE Menu (or a MintMenu fork): For the MATE panel, it is a searchable menu. It isn't the default menu, although we can include it in the panel after right-clicking on the panel, choosing the "Add to Panel" option, and including the "MATE Menu".
  • VLC had been replaced from Totem as per the community poll.

Ubuntu MATE 15.04

Ubuntu MATE 15.04 is available now. This version develops on Ubuntu MATE Beta 2, and almost all bugs are fixed.

New features of Ubuntu MATE 15.04

Some of the new aspects of Ubuntu MATE 15.04 are listed below:

  • Ubuntu MATE 15.04 is the official flavor of Ubuntu.
  • Created a hardware collaboration with Entroware.
  • Have Raspberry Pi 2 and PowerPC as supported architectures of hardware.
  • Have a new theme known as Yuyo.
  • Supports fully integrated Compiz.
  • Have Tilda pull-down terminal.
  • Have Folder Color.
  • Have the settings for LightDM GTK Greeter.
  • Have several categories for the system menus.
  • Upgraded to the 3.19 Ubuntu version.
  • Upgraded to the 1.8.2 MATE Desktop version.
  • Upgraded to the 37 Firefox version.
  • Upgraded to the 4.4 LibreOffice version.
  • Added systemd in place of upstart.

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

New features in Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS

  • Added the ubuntu-snappy-cli option to install (default).
  • Upgraded Ubuntu MATE Welcome to the 16.04.9 version.
  • Upgraded MATE Menu to the 5.7.1 version.
  • Upgraded MATE Tweak to the 3.5.10 version.
  • Upgraded Caja Dropbox to the 1.12.0-3 version.
  • Upgraded Blueman to the 2.0.4-1ububtu2
  • Upgraded Ubuntu MATE Artwork to the 16.04.6 version.
  • Upgraded MATE Control Center to the 1.12.1 version.
  • Upgraded MATE Session Manager to the 1.12.2 version.
  • Prepared the image of Ubuntu MATE 16.04 for the Raspberry Pi 3 and Raspberry Pi 2.

Ubuntu MATE 17.04

New features in Ubuntu MATE 17.04

The team of MATE Desktop did a great job publishing MATE Desktop 1.18.0, which finalizes the GTK3+ transition, fixes endless bugs, and announces some much-required new aspects and modernizations.

  • New icons are added, which provide a panache and style.
  • Upgraded many MATE Desktop 1.18 elements, fixing several bugs and a few memory leaks.
  • MATE Themes 3.22.10
  • MATE Icon Theme 1.18.1
  • MATE Utils 1.18.1
  • Caja 1.18.1
  • Pluma 1.18.1
  • MATE Settings Daemon 1.18.1
  • MATE Sensors Applet 1.18.1
  • Engrampa 1.18.1
  • Eye of MATE 1.18.1
  • MATE Panel 1.18.1
  • MATE Control Center 1.18.1
  • MATE Applets 1.18.1
  • libmatekbd 1.18.2

Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS

New features in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS

  • MATE Desktop 1.20.1: MATE Desktop has changed from the GTK 2.24 to the GTK 3.22-based MATE 1.20.1. This transition took many years in the creation process, and most of 2017 and 2016 were spent clarifying the GTK3 implementations.
  • HiDPI: High DPI shows a high resolution associated with their physical size that provides an enhanced pixel density than the standard DPI displays. Mostly, they are found in high-end monitors and laptops.
  • Caja (File Manager): Many new aspects are added to the File Manager, including advanced bulk rename, encryption, hash checking, advanced ACL properties, upgraded folder color, etc.
  • Macro (Window Manager): Now, the Window Manager composting is hardware accelerated if our drivers/hardware support DRI3. Dramatically, it increased 3D rendering performance, specifically in games. If our hardware does not support the DRI3, Macro will return back to the software compositor.
  • Desktop layouts: We can try many desktop layouts to get one that matches our requirements with MATE Tweak. A new design has been included in the collection of the Ubuntu MATE 18.04. it is known as familiar and is Traditional layout-based using the menu bar (System, Places, Applications) substituted by Brisk Menu. Now, the default layout is Familiar.
  • Global Menu: The implementation of the Global Menu has changed to Vala Panel AppMenu from TopMenu, which is suitable with Electron, Google Chrome, Thunderbird/Firefox, LibreOffice, Qt, GTK, and others.

Ubuntu MATE 19.04

New features of Ubuntu MATE 19.04

  • NVIDIA Drivers: Vulkan, Linux kernel, Mesa, and firmware were all upgraded to guarantee that they provided the best support to extract AMD GPUs during the development cycle of Ubuntu 18.10. During the cycle of 19.04, AMD support is again uplifted, but they have developed the "out of box" action for owners of NVIDIA GPU too.
  • MATE Dock Applet: It has been upgraded to the 0.88 version, which announces a few new visual options, Unity desktop look based. It has been used within the Mutiny layout to mimic Unity 7.
  • GPD Pocket: Ubuntu developers also publish bespoke images for the GPD Pocket 2 and GPD Pocket with the generic image for Intel 64-bit PCs. These contain hardware tweaks to bring these devices running "out of box".
  • Remote Desktop Awareness: The packages of MATE Desktop 1.20 ship using patches for supporting Remote Desktop Awareness. RDA enables MATE Desktop to be more aware of the execution context; thus, it differently behaves if executed in a remote desktop session than if executed on local hardware.

Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS

New features of Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS

  • Added two or more colored theme varieties.
  • Added the install option of experimental ZFS.
  • Added GameMode through Feral Interactive.
  • Set up many crashers inside the Brisk Menu and included keyboard navigation.
  • Set up panel layout switching, now reliable and stable by Ubuntu MATE Welcome and MATE Tweak.
  • Set up icon sizes within the MATE Control Center and also made them deliver on HiDPI displays.
  • Set up rendering window controls in HiDPI displays.
  • Set up Caja extensions.
  • Set up mate-power-manager to utilize upower-glib get_devices2().
  • Set up Pluma plugins.
  • Set up a crasher inside MATE Dock Applet because of an Attribute bug in adjust_minimise_pos().
  • Set up auto-start bugs in mate_session_manager.
  • Set up restoring/saving custom panel designs by MATE Tweak.

Ubuntu MATE 21.04

New features of Ubuntu MATE 21.04

  • MATE Desktop: The team of MATE Desktop published maintenance updates for the latest stable 1.24 version of MATE. The MATE packaging has also been updated in Debian to consolidate each translation update and bug fix and synced these packages.
  • Ayatana Indicators: Ubuntu MATE 20.10 version was the changeover to Ayatana Indicators. The team added new releases of Ayatana Indicators, such as "Indicators" settings, which can be applied to set up the installed indicators.
  • Yaru MATE: A new version of the Yaru theme, known as Yaru MATE, has been designed in association with the Yaru team. The team decides to provide only dark and light Yaru MATE variants because it makes managing the theme much more convenient. The combined dark/light Yaru theme does need additional work to manage because of the edge situations it surfaces. Also, providing only dark and light variants guarantee better application unity.

Ubuntu MATE 22.04 LTS

New features of Ubuntu MATE 22.04 LTS

  • MATE Desktop 1.26.1: MATE Desktop 1.26.1 comes with MATE 22.04. It was announced in the 21.10 version and benefits from serious effort in resolving bugs, plugging memory leaks, and optimizing performance.
  • Yaru: MATE 21.04 was the initial version shipping with the Yaru theme's MATE variant. Later, Yaru brought complete MATE compatibility with upstream Yaru, such as every color variety.
  • MATE Tweak: Changing layouts using MATE Tweak is the most powerful feature. Restoring custom designs and Desktop designs switching reliability is improved.
  • MATE HUD: The latest rofi versions, the tool applied via MATE HUD to anticipate menu searches, include a fresh theme system. It has been upgraded to support the fresh theme engine and provides two different MATE themes (mate-hud-rounded and mate-hud) that automatically fit to match the chosen GTK theme currently.
  • Shadows and Windows: In Yaru, Macro/Metacity (MATE Window Manager) is updated to guarantee that they match Handy/CSD/GNOME windows for a steady feel and look around every window type and third-party compositors, such as picom.

Ubuntu MATE 23.04

New features of Ubuntu MATE 23.04

  • MATE Desktop: Both Ayatana Indicators and MATE Desktop have seen a few release bumps that resolve an assortment of secondary bugs.
  • PipeWire: Since Ubuntu 22.10, PipeWire, by default, comes pre-installed in MATE 23.04. The meta packages of Ubuntu MATE have been upgraded to install the pipewire packages on Ubuntu.
  • Updated Applications: Ubuntu MATE 23.04 introduces several updated applications, including Thunderbird 102.10, LibreOffice 7.5.2, and Firefox 111.
  • Updated Subsystems: Ubuntu MATE 23.04 introduces several updated subsystems, including xdg-desktop-portal 1.16, Poppler 22.12, PipeWire 0.3.65, NetworkManager 1.42, new cups-filter, and BlueZ 5.66.

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