MATE (software)

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MATE Desktop Environment 1.8 - About.png
MATE desktop environment version 1.8
Developer(s) Perberos and MATE Developers
Initial release August 19, 2011; 2 years ago (2011-08-19)
Stable release 1.8 / March 4, 2014; 4 months ago (2014-03-04)
Development status Active
Written in C, C++, Python
Operating system Unix-like with X11
Type Desktop environment

MATE (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈmate]) is a desktop environment forked from the now-unmaintained code base of GNOME 2. It is named after the South American plant Yerba mate and tea made from the herb, mate.[1] The use of a new name ("MATE" instead of "GNOME") avoids conflicts with GNOME 3 components.


GNOME 3 replaced the classic desktop metaphor; this concept design is realized through its native user interface: GNOME Shell. It led to some criticism from the Linux community. Many users refused to accept the new interface design of GNOME and called for someone to continue development of GNOME 2.[2] The MATE project was started by an Arch Linux user[3] in order to fulfill this task.[4]

Software components[edit]

MATE has forked a couple of applications belonging to the GNOME Core Applications, and several other applications have been written from scratch. The forked ones have been renamed (note that most of the names are in Spanish):

  • Caja (box) – File manager (from Nautilus)
  • Pluma (quill) – Text editor (from Gedit)
  • Eye of MATE – Image viewer (from Eye of GNOME)
  • Atril (lectern) – Document viewer (from Evince)
  • Engrampa (staple) – Archive manager (from File Roller)
  • MATE Terminal – Terminal emulator (from GNOME Terminal)
  • Marco (frame) – Window manager (from Metacity)

Further development[edit]

MATE currently only supports GTK+2 but will also support GTK+3 in the next upcoming release, so the next version will be compatible with both GTK+2 & GTK+3.[5] The project is supported by Linux Mint developers:[6]

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.

New features have been added to Caja such as undo/redo[7] and diff viewing for file replacements.[8]

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.[9]


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",[10][11] Linux Mint Debian Edition 201303,[12] [13] [14] [15] Snowlinux 2 "Cream",[16] Sabayon Linux 10,[17] and Fedora 18.[18] MATE is also available in the official repositories of several other Linux distributions including Arch Linux, Debian, Mageia, and openSUSE. Besides, there are third party repositories for Gentoo, Slackware and Ubuntu[19] Version 3.5 and up of GhostBSD include MATE as the default desktop environment, making it the first inclusion of MATE as a default desktop outside of Linux Mint.[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Where does the name come from?, "About MATE", MATE, retrieved September 15, 2012 
  2. ^ Linus Torvalds Ditches GNOME For Xfce, Digitizor, 2011-08-04, retrieved 2011-11-08, "While you are at it, could you also fork gnome, and support a gnome-2 environment? – Linus Torvalds" .
  3. ^ "A Gnome 2 Fork: The MATE Desktop Environment", ingeek, retrieved 2011-12-05 
  4. ^ Larabel, Michael (2011-08-17), "A Fork Of GNOME 2: The Mate Desktop", Phoronix, retrieved 2011-12-04 
  5. ^ "Status of GTK+3 Development", MATE, retrieved 2014-02-13 
  6. ^ Lefebvre, Clem (2011-12-01), "Important fix for MATE – Feedback needed", The Linux Mint Blog, retrieved 2011-12-10 
  7. ^ Karapetsas, Stefano (2012-01-03), "Undo/Redo in Caja", Stefano Karapetsas's Blog, retrieved 2014-04-15 
  8. ^ Karapetsas, Stefano (2012-06-17), "What's new in next Caja", Stefano Karapetsas's Blog, retrieved 2014-04-15 
  9. ^ "MATE: Roadmap". Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Lefebvre, Clem (2011-11-26), "Linux Mint 12 Release Notes", Linux Mint, retrieved 2011-12-04 
  11. ^ Holwerda, Thom (2011-11-27), "Linux Mint 12 Released", OSNews, retrieved 2011-12-05 
  12. ^ "Linux Mint Debian 201303 released!". The Linux Mint Blog. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  13. ^ "Linux Mint 13 MATE". Desktop Linux Reviews. May 24, 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  14. ^ "Linux Mint 14 MATE". Desktop Linux Reviews. January 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  15. ^ "Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE review". Linux and Life. June 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  16. ^ "Snowlinux 2 "Cream" MATE released! - Snowlinux - free Debian GNU/Linux-based distribution". Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  17. ^ lxnay (2012-09-13), "Press Release. Sabayon 10", Sabayon Linux, retrieved 2012-09-15 
  18. ^ Mashal, Dan; Dieter, Rex (2012-07-19), "Features/MATE-Desktop", Fedora Wiki, retrieved 2012-09-15 
  19. ^ Which distributions support MATE?, "MATE Desktop Environment", MATE, retrieved 2014-04-28 
  20. ^ "3.5 "Levi" Released". GhostBSD. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 

External links[edit]