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. An Argentine user of Arch Linux started the MATE project in order to meet this demand and announced the availability of Mate on 18 June 2011.
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:
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 and diff viewing for file replacements.
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.
MATE is also available in the official repositories of several other Linux distributions, including Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Debian, Mageia, Gentoo, openSUSE and PCLinuxOS. Aside from that, there are third party repositories for Slackware. 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, and the first in a BSD-derived OS.
Screenshot of a PC-BSD 10.1.2 desktop (MATE) with dual monitor (dual head, pivot). The running free and open source (FOSS) programs are: GIMP, OpenShot Video Editor, file manager, Eric Python development IDE. Also shown: Minecraft 1.8.7 (with "Forge" mods).
^"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