I installed Mate desktop environment in Ubuntu 18.04 as described in the this blog.

The following commands -

$ sudo apt install tasksel
$ sudo apt update
$ sudo tasksel install ubuntu-mate-desktop

But I didn't like Mate therefore I tried to uninstall it -

sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

But above command did not uninstall Mate environment completely.

How to remove Mate completely from Ubuntu 18.04?

  • The sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3 command just re-runs the post-installation script for package gdm3 (gnome's display manager). You should sudo apt remove ubuntu-mate-desktop – guiverc Aug 4 '19 at 8:47

To remove MATE DE completely you can use the following commands:

  1. Parse dpkg --list output to get all mentions of MATE and then remove packages with MATE in its description:

    sudo apt-get purge $(dpkg --list | grep MATE | awk '{print $2}')
  2. Remove some leftover packages (including Plymouth boot screen) manually with commands below:

    sudo apt-get purge libmate-sensors-applet-plugin0
    sudo apt-get purge libmateweather-common libmateweather1:amd64
    sudo apt-get purge mate-accessibility-profiles
    sudo apt-get purge mate-notification-daemon
    sudo apt-get purge mate-notification-daemon-common
    sudo apt-get purge plymouth-theme-ubuntu-mate-logo 
    sudo apt-get purge plymouth-theme-ubuntu-mate-text

    (they are presented by single lines to to be more fail-proof - to avoid the situation if one of them are not installed)

  3. Install system components back if there were removed with previous commands:

    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-release-upgrader-gtk update-manager update-notifier
  4. And then finally reconfigure your login screen with

    sudo dpkg-configure lightdm # for LightDM
    sudo dpkg-configure gdm3 # for GDM3

Note: the MATE itself is more flexible than GNOME. Also you may want to try Xfce or KDE.


The sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm3 command just re-runs the post-installation script for package gdm3 (gnome's display manager). If you have more than one display manager installed, you'll be asked which you want to run, but no package changes will be made (that would require a dpkg or apt like command; the reverse of your tasksel which is a front-end tool for install meta packages - https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Tasksel).

You should sudo apt remove ubuntu-mate-desktop, OR to remove remove configuration files as well sudo apt purge ubuntu-mate-desktop

You'll likely be left with the plymouth screen (which is the graphic that hides the boot messages) as that's not considered part of the desktop (it's like a wallpaper), so if that annoys you please refer to How do I change the plymouth bootscreen? which will allow you to change the Ubuntu-MATE plymouth screen to any other you have installed.

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