I was wondering how could you install MATE on ubuntu without having to change to Ubuntu MATE, since I have lots of work. I want to do this because I would like to test the flavour.

I am also wandering the same question with xfce for the same reason.

Thanks for your support, if you can solve this problem. :)

1 Answer 1


There are meta-packages available for both desktops (MATE and Xfce4) that install all needed packages to provide the desired desktop. You also should be able to select which desktop to start in the login screen.

MATE can be installed with the command as follows.

apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

Xfce4 can be installed with the command as follows.

apt-get install xfce4

For both desktops you may want to install further packages. To do so, use apt-cache search mate or apt-cache search xfce to list the available packages.

  • Thanks! It worked! I decided to go with xfce, it was much better! I moved all my important files on my newly bought thumb drive and cut and pasted them on the fresh Xubuntu Aug 15, 2018 at 20:37
  • Note for server/minimal installations: You might have to enable the universe repository first with sudo add-apt-repository universe (askubuntu.com/questions/148638/…)
    – chrki
    Mar 6, 2019 at 21:58

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