I've been using Unity for as long as I can remember. However, I was open to try something new. I went for the MATE Desktop Environment.

I installed it using sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment and to be honest, it didn't look anything like this:

MATE Desktop

Instead, I got something that looked like some sort of mutation of Windows 98. How can I get MATE to look like it does when installed fresh?

  • A description of how to install MATE without mentioning the ubuntu-mate-desktop package? Not very useful, IMO. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Jun 30 '16 at 18:16
  • @GunnarHjalmarsson this is about getting just the DE, it's indeed not a full Ubuntu MATE install – grooveplex Jun 30 '16 at 18:24
  • Ok, I see. Why make it easy when it's possible to complicate it. ;) – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Jun 30 '16 at 19:03

I used the good old Unity Tweak Tool, went to Appearance > Theme > Theme, chose Ambiance, and then clicked on Icons and chose ubuntu-mono-dark and my Unity looked like the way it always had again.

Then, it was time to work on MATE. I installed mate-desktop-environment-extras which installed a few extra things, but can most likely be omitted. I opened Unity Tweak Tool and I tried a few themes. They did not work, which was because this is MATE, not Unity and it uses a different way of theming, or somehting.

I had more luck with the MATE Control Center, which looked like this...

MATE Control Center

Until I found Appearance under Look and Feel. I changed the theme to Custom and it all looked a lot better. I also changed the background to 'Ubuntu MATE Cold'.

Various programs

Yay! It works! It looks great now and it's superfast.

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