MATE (software)

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MATE Desktop Environment 1.8 - About.png
MATE Desktop Environment 1.8
Developer(s) Perberos and MATE Developers
Initial release August 19, 2011; 4 years ago (2011-08-19)
Stable release 1.12[1] / November 5, 2015; 3 months ago (2015-11-05)
Development status Active
Written in C, C++, Python[2]
Operating system Unix-like with X11
Available in Multilingual
Type Desktop environment

MATE (/ˈmɑːt/; 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.[3] The use of a new name, instead of GNOME, avoids conflicts with GNOME 3 components.


GNOME 3 (released in April 2011) replaced the classic desktop metaphor, substituting its native user interface: GNOME Shell. This action led to some criticism from parts of the free software community. Some users refused to accept the new interface design of GNOME and called for continued development of GNOME 2.[4] An Argentine user of Arch Linux started the MATE project[5] in order to meet this demand[6] and announced the availability of Mate on 18 June 2011.[7]

Software components[edit]

MATE has forked a number of applications originating as the GNOME Core Applications, and developers have written several other applications from scratch. The forked applications have new names - mostly 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 Archive Manager)
  • MATE Terminal – Terminal emulator (from GNOME Terminal)
  • Marco (frame) – Window manager (from Metacity)
  • Mozo (waiter)  – Menu item editor (from Alacarte)

Further development[edit]

MATE fully supports GTK+ 3.

The project is supported by Linux Mint developers:[8]

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[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.[11]

Releases history[edit]

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


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] Linux Mint Debian Edition 201303,[14][15][16][17] Snowlinux 2 "Cream",[18] Sabayon Linux 10,[19] Fedora 18,[20] and Ubuntu MATE 14.10.[21]

MATE is also available in the official repositories of several other Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Debian, Mageia, Gentoo, openSUSE and PCLinuxOS.[22] Aside from that, there are third party repositories for Slackware.[23] 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,[24] and the first in a BSD-derived OS.

Ubuntu MATE[edit]

Main article: Ubuntu MATE
Ubuntu MATE logo

In November 2014, the Ubuntu MATE team released version 14.04 LTS, which will be supported until April 2019.[25]

In March 2015, Ubuntu MATE was granted official Ubuntu flavour status from version 15.04 onwards.[26]


See also[edit]

  • Cinnamon (software) - desktop environment developed by the Linux Mint team and based on GNOME 3
  • Xfce - similarly lightweight desktop environment that utilizes the GTK+ 2 application framework


  1. ^ Wimpress, Martin (2015-11-05), MATE 1.12 released, retrieved 2015-11-05 
  2. ^ "MATE". Retrieved 12 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "MATE Desktop Environment - Where does the name come from?", MATE, retrieved 2015-07-03 
  4. ^ Laishram, Ricky (2011-08-04), Linus Torvalds Ditches GNOME For Xfce, Digitizor, retrieved 2011-11-08, While you are at it, could you also fork gnome, and support a gnome-2 environment? – Linus Torvalds .
  5. ^ "A Gnome 2 Fork: The MATE Desktop Environment", ingeek, retrieved 2011-12-05 
  6. ^ Larabel, Michael (2011-08-17), "A Fork Of GNOME 2: The Mate Desktop", Phoronix, retrieved 2011-12-04 
  7. ^ "Mate Desktop Environment - GNOME2 fork". Perberos. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Lefebvre, Clem (2011-12-01), "Important fix for MATE – Feedback needed", The Linux Mint Blog, retrieved 2011-12-10 
  9. ^ Karapetsas, Stefano (2012-01-03), "Undo/Redo in Caja", Stefano Karapetsas's Blog, retrieved 2014-04-15 
  10. ^ Karapetsas, Stefano (2012-06-17), "What's new in next Caja", Stefano Karapetsas's Blog, retrieved 2014-04-15 
  11. ^ "MATE: Roadmap". Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  12. ^ Lefebvre, Clem (2011-11-26), "Linux Mint 12 Release Notes", Linux Mint, retrieved 2011-12-04 
  13. ^ Holwerda, Thom (2011-11-27), "Linux Mint 12 Released", OSNews, retrieved 2011-12-05 
  14. ^ "Linux Mint Debian 201303 released!". The Linux Mint Blog. 2010-07-21. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  15. ^ "Linux Mint 13 MATE". Desktop Linux Reviews. May 24, 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  16. ^ "Linux Mint 14 MATE". Desktop Linux Reviews. January 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  17. ^ "Linux Mint 15 Olivia MATE review". Linux and Life. June 2, 2013. Retrieved 2013-10-09. 
  18. ^ "Snowlinux 2 "Cream" MATE released! - Snowlinux - free Debian GNU/Linux-based distribution". Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  19. ^ lxnay (2012-09-13), "Press Release. Sabayon 10", Sabayon Linux, retrieved 2012-09-15 
  20. ^ Mashal, Dan; Dieter, Rex (2012-07-19), "Features/MATE-Desktop", Fedora Wiki, retrieved 2012-09-15 
  21. ^ "Ubuntu MATE Utopic final release/". Retrieved 1 November 2014. 
  22. ^ "Which distributions support MATE?". Retrieved 23 August 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 
  23. ^ "MATE Desktop Environment - Which distributions support MATE?", MATE, retrieved 2014-04-28 
  24. ^ "3.5 "Levi" Released". GhostBSD. Retrieved 2014-04-02. 
  25. ^ Sneddon, Joey-Elijah. "Ubuntu MATE 14.04 LTS Now Available to Download". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  26. ^ Sneddon, Joey (1 March 2015). "Ubuntu 15.04 Beta Available to Download, Ubuntu MATE Is Now An Official Flavor". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 

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External links[edit]