MATE Desktop version 1.2 arrives- Install in Ubuntu 11.10 & 12.04 Precise Pangolin

MATE a traditional desktop environment that forked from Gnome 2 and is available as for those users who want the original Gnome 2 environment. The name ‘mate’ is derived from the South American beverage called mate that is made from the herb ‘yerba mate’. MATE, the desktop, is now available on Linux Mint and is packaged for – Arch Linux,Linux Mint as well as Debian/Ubuntu.

MATE gained in support especially after the release of GNOME 3, which users classified as “lacking in intuitive use and was less customizable.” It was started in June 2011 by an Arch Linux user and describes it as, “MATE Desktop Environment, a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users, using traditional computing desktop metaphor. Also known as the GNOME2 fork.”

The creators of MATE along with forking GNOME 2.32 also set forth to rename the applications as well as other components so as to ensure it would not clash with newer editions of GNOME and installing it with other desktop environments would not cause issues.

MATE 1.2 latest version is a ‘huge step forward’ following the 1.0 and later the 1.1 development releases. In fact, developers believe it is the most stable release so far.

MATE 1.2 being stable will support other applets, backends as well as applications.

It’s major improvements as well as changes will include fixing all GNOME conflicts, fixing bugs, porting of configuration files to ~/.config/mate. Caja would also include a undo as well as redo feature.

Opening applications has now gathered speed  with the Libmate’s mate-open command. Additionally, PulseAudio as well as GStreamer backend is also supported.

Mention has to be made of the new applications now available on MATE 1.2 -mozo, which is a fork of alacarte, as well as python-caja, caja-image-convertor as well as caja-gksu.  Another major feature change on MATE 1.2 is the Artwork. All themes for MATE are now renamed so not to cause conflict with GNOME. A new addition is an all –new MATE wallpaper and now also has an icon of its own.

MATE, in less than a year, has evolved in to a well-supported desktop environment and continues to thrive on the core philosophy of open platform. The advantages of developing newerdistributions that optimize as well offer unique productivity options is the driving force that has been the journey of FOSS so far.

MATE by far, and in the recent months, Cinnamon, continue from where GNOME stopped being the familiar GNOME 2.x allowing developers who have made the choice to prolong GNOME’s traditional desktop environment a chance.

MATE, ever since its birth, has quickly become the torchbearer for all features traditional as GNOME and Ubuntu looks to become a more inclusive software option. By continuing to be available for the purists or traditional GNOME 2.x users, MATE and Cinnamon, ensure the true philosophy of open source platform is met.

To install Mate1.2 in Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04 use the following repository:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb $(lsb_release -cs) main"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-core

The above command is to run Mate, to install some extra packages for Mate use the following command:

sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment