Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Try Different Desktops – Part 16

Last Updated on May 22, 2022


The MATE Desktop Environment is the continuation of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. MATE is under active development to add support for new technologies while preserving a traditional desktop experience.

Before we start, open up a Terminal and make sure your system is up-to-date with the command:

$ sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

There’s a couple of ways of installing MATE. We can issue the command:

$ sudo apt install mate-desktop

This installs 4 packages including the desktop environment and its user guide. It’s a small download (approximately 8.2 MB) and uses 87.6 MB of additional disk space.

We recommend you install MATE with this command:

$ sudo apt install mate-core

mate-core is a meta package. It installs 46 new packages including mate-desktop. It’s a 41.6 MB download using 300 MB of additional disk space.

Here’s an image of MATE in action. We’ve added a few things to the desktop.

Linux for Starters - MATE Desktop Environment
Click image for full size

Page 5 – Budgie

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction
Page 2 – KDE Plasma 5
Page 3 – XFCE
Page 4 – MATE
Page 5 – Budgie

All articles in this series:

Linux For Starters: Your Guide to Linux
1What is Linux? Why use Linux? What do I need?
2Choose a Linux distribution meeting your specific needs and requirements.
3Make a bootable Ubuntu USB stick in Windows.
4We show you how to install Ubuntu 21.04 on your hard disk.
5Things to do after installing Ubuntu.
6Navigating your way around the Desktop.
7Updating the system, install new software.
8Open source replacements for proprietary Windows desktop software.
9Get started with the power and flexibility of the terminal.
10We cover the basics of files and permissions.
11Getting help from your system.
12Learn all about the file system.
13Manipulating files from the shell.
14Maintain your system with these simple tips.
15Managing users on your system.
16Explore different desktops to GNOME 3.
17Gaming on Linux.
18Protect your privacy with this guide.
19Access the Windows desktop from Linux using a remote desktop client.
20Set up a virtual machine running Ubuntu as the host and openSUSE as the guest.
21Wine lets you run Windows programs on Linux without emulation.
22Extend your GNOME desktop with extensions and themes.
XUseful Linux commands.
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Mod User
Mod User
2 years ago

Well, before coming to this article I only knew about KDE, xfce, Gnome etc. as Linux desktop environments.
But the way you represented it looks completely confusing to me at least from the naming conventions (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu Mate etc.).
But I must thank you for such a well organized content structure. I might have to go through some more article to connect the dots.

2 years ago
Reply to  Mod User

Kubuntu, Lubuntu,and Ubuntu MATE are Linux distributions (derivatives of Ubuntu), not desktop environments.

KDE, XFCE, GNOME are desktop environments.

The former can use the latter. For example Ubuntu MATE uses MATE as its default user interface.