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I run Precise with Unity3D on my primary laptop, and have grown very fond of the Window Spread feature in Compiz, which I have set to be activated with a top-left Hot Corner. I have recently acquired an HP Mini 210 and have installed Precise on it as well, but due to its low specs I have decided to use MATE as my primary DE (Unity is very sluggish, and I prefer MATE over LXDE or XFCE). Is there a way I can get Window Spread functionality in MATE without using Compiz?

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MATE uses it's own version of the Gnome 2 Metacity window manager, If I remember correctly back then it didn't do much that's why users preferred to use Compiz in Gnome 2. So, what I suggest you to use is the gala window manager, which has a "similar" feature and it's lightweight. It's developed by the elementary Team you can install it using their PPA:

  sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/daily
  sudo apt-get update
  sudo apt-get install gala
  gala --repĺace

While it's still in active development it's really usable.

Another thing you can try is to use muffin the window manager in Cinnamon which also has a similar feature, all you have to do is Install Cinnamon and execute muffin --replace.

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Lubuntu and xfce users have been using a combination of Skippy-XD (expose like functionality) and brightside (hot spots) and compton as a WM. Instructions for their use should be easily applicable to MATE.

Check out http://lubuntublog.blogspot.com.es/p/expos.html and http://lubuntublog.blogspot.com.es/p/compton.html. (in case you want a flashier WM. For brightside check here: http://forum.xfce.org/viewtopic.php?id=8105

Personally tried it but full-time use and prefer gala.

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