21 November 2012

Mint / MATE

Yesterday was released the new Linux Mint 14 codenamed "Nadia" in two flavours: Cinnamon and MATE. I downloaded the 32 bit MATE version, put it on a bootable USB for a quick try.

mint mate

At the first look is a plain and simple (remember, for a desktop, "plain and simple" is a good thing) traditional GNOME 2.x desktop with a lot of gray, a bit of green and a single-panel layout. It was not a big effort to bring it to something familiar. This is the natural GNOME 2 successor.

mint mate

It have an own applications menu, but only a couple away is the classic Applications-Places-System GNOME 2 menu. The themes available are limited and defaulting to green - easy to customize, I bet you can put GNOME 2 themes in place.

Compared with a Fedora desktop spin, the default application selection is richer: you will find GIMP, you will find Libre Office, you will find a working media player (I know about the "forbidden items", of course) and such. Obviously, there could be more of them :)

Look forward earlier next year for the Fedora 18 release which will have MATE available for repos for a yum install (probably Fedora 19 later next year will have a dedicated spin).


  1. Doesn't fedora 17 already have mate in the repos?
    I can also see a group "MATE Desktop Environment".

    yum along man... :)

    1. i am still on F14, didn't see a reason to update to F17 at release... will update to F18 probably at Beta release

  2. I'm using F18 with MATE as my default desktop right now. It seems pretty stable :)

  3. Well, this is not a successor to gnome 2, this is gnome 2. If you look at the code, you will see that changes are either :
    - variable/etc renaming, and trivial stuff
    - backports of some gnome 3 bug fixes ( and given the nature of the fork, this will become harder and harder as time pass )

    For example, most of the commits on https://github.com/mate-desktop/mate-file-manager/commits/master come from gnome.

    So I personnally think the fork is not sustainable enough ( which doesn't mean it will not survive if people are happy with keeping the code compiling, why not )

    1. is still young and so far backed only by Mint, will have a chance to survive it enough people will switch to it. if not, it will be natural selection.

  4. Nicu, As one person already said... the have added the MATE desktop to Fedora 17. It wasn't available when the original install media was made several months ago... but you can easily install it with:

    yum install @mate-desktop

    Also, cinnamon is available if anyone wants that too. Just:

    yum install cinnamon

    So far as the default software selection goes... Fedora includes a few additional things that take up room... like SELinux and related tools. Also, if Mint is like Ubuntu... they get away with leaving a bunch of off the media because it downloads quite a bit during the install. Fedora could easily fit more software in the builds if everyone was willing to drop the idea of a single CD for their spins and move to a single DVD.

    You don't have to wait for a MATE desktop spin to materialize. You can make your own. As you may or may not already know, Fedora releases all of the kickstart files that they use to make their spins and if you want to modify an existing one or make a completely new one, it is easy to monkey-see monkey-do with those. That's how I make my remix which is about 2GB (6GB installed) and includes GNOME 3, KDE, XFCE, LXDE, Cinnamon, and MATE... along with a good set of desktop applications. I have remixes for Fedora 17 and 18 (pre-release). It is a bunch of fun.

    1. Mint dropped the single-CD idea, the ISO is 966 MB: LivdDVD or Live USB. There is talk about Fedora doing the same for years.

      MATE is an official feature for F18: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Releases/18/FeatureList that is what "normal" people are supposed to use.

      I played with Cinnamon and F17 back when it was in an external repo and the experience was less than ideal.

      Anyway, the news are positive: easy install in F18, easier in F19.

  5. Linux Mint FTW! It's almost the last of the sane-GUI distros.