I have seen several youtube videos that are showing MATE (The Gnome 2.x fork) installed in 11.10. How can I install it to test it out in 11.10 and above.

If it helps the only sources I know of are:

SourceForge, GitHub, and Matsusoft

  • 4
    Wait... Can someone explain this "MATE is an evil spawn of Gnome 2.x which is non-intuitive, unattractive and ugly for end users ... viruses, troyans, worms, spywares, security holes, mermaids, seamonkeys, narnian characters, lords of the ring dragons and whatnot as mentioned in the Matsusoft site" - I thought mate was a pretty decent desktop environment? Oct 5, 2015 at 21:02

6 Answers 6


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12.04 - 13.10

If you want MATE without the minty-freshness (sic) you could use the debian repo specifically for Ubuntu.

This repository contains 300Mb of pure Mate-desktop packages - that is, the Gnome-2 packages after the fork together with fixes released since.

Examining the package list, there doesn't appear to be much/if any updates to the base Ubuntu package lists.

What this means is that - unlike the Linux Mint derivative - the Mate-Desktop in this repo will sit much more comfortably along side any other desktops installed on Ubuntu - for example, Gnome-Shell, Unity, LXDE etc..

The Linux Mint Mate repo contains Mint specific changes but more importantly, later versions of the Gnome-3 packages that will upgrade Unity & Gnome-Shell packages - it is a more one way install.

to install the repository

sudo add-apt-repository "deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu $(lsb_release -cs) main"

install MATE desktop

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
# this installs base packages
sudo apt-get install mate-core
# this installs more packages
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

14.04 users

The official MATE development team have maintained PPAs which when used, uplifts Ubuntu 14.04 to Mate 1.8.1

In order to correctly install and configure MATE 1.8.1 on Ubuntu Trusty you will also need to add their PPAs:

Open a terminal complete the following steps to enable the appropriate PPAs and install MATE 1.8.1 on Ubuntu Trusty.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/ppa
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/trusty-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends ubuntu-mate-core ubuntu-mate-desktop
  • How do you get MATE to look like that? for me it looks like Windows 98...
    – Alvar
    Feb 19, 2013 at 22:54
  • 3
    It is how Ubuntu looked like, before the dark times, before the Unity. I still prefer it
    – Mustafa
    Mar 8, 2014 at 18:24
  • 1
    These are the instructions for installing MATE in Ubuntu 14.10. Run this command: sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-extras. There are also other optional MATE packages available in the Ubuntu Software Center in Ubuntu 14.10, which are listed in this answer.
    – karel
    Nov 3, 2014 at 0:55

Since there is now an official Ubuntu Mate release ("15.04 and later"), why not just switch to that:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop^

should do that for you (offering another desktop alternative, just like lubuntu-desktop etc)

  • 2
    I just used apt-get install ubuntu-mate-core ubuntu-mate-desktop. These packages are in 15.04 and later. They are NOT in 14.04.
    – mpb
    Mar 26, 2016 at 18:22

CAUTION - Mixing the ubuntu and mint repos can cause serious problems. My advice would be to wait for a ppa. If you use the mint repos, disable them after installing MATE or use Pinning

You can install it from the mint repos

deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ lisa main upstream import

Add that line to /etc/apt/sources.list

# command line
sudo -e /etc/apt/sources.list

# graphical
gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Then update and install. You will get a complaint about a missing (gpg) key, which we will fix.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring # Fixes gpg error
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y mint-meta-mate

Log out and choose MATE from your login menu

Mate login

I would be surprised if a ppa does not pop up =)

I would consider disabling the mint repo after installing MATE, and would install as few packages as possible from mint (to avoid any conflicts).

Note: Do this at your own risk, it is possible the mint repo will cause problems, and I would not do something silly like sudo apt-get dist-upgrade with the mint repo activated.

You might want to make or wait for a ppa.


yes, it is. check the link provided by Martin.

Open the terminal iin Ubuntu either by opening the dash and searching for the word "Terminal" or by using the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T

For Ubuntu Precise Pangolin (12.04)

type these 2 commands in the terminal:

sudo add-apt-repository -y "deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu precise main"

sudo add-apt-repository -y "deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/ubuntu precise main"

For Ubuntu Quantal Quetzal (12.10) repository

sudo add-apt-repository -y "deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu quantal main"

sudo add-apt-repository -y "deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/ubuntu quantal main"

Then run these commands one by one : the "#" is a comment to explain. don't type it

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
sudo apt-get update
# this will install base packages
sudo apt-get install mate-core
# this will install more packages
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

As for your 2nd question:

Is this gonna install the exact same DE that LinuxMint uses? Or slightly different...more Ubuntu style-like Mate? ?

Answer: Am not sure. Probably someone with more knowledge can help you. But basically installing Mate in Ubuntu is the same as installing it in linux Mint. in other words, Mate will install the same apps and packages in both Distros. But the differences in Ubuntu and Mint are there even if you don't install mate. For example: shortcuts and packages in Ubuntu are different from linuxMint as you said:It is more Ubuntu style-like Mate difference. as for the glitches LinuxMint is based on Ubuntu so it works fine on both


It's not bundled with the distro as of 12.04, but you can dowload and install it.

Instructions and download

  • Just noticed you asked if it's available without any glitches and bugs. Well, tha's impossible, but I'm sure you already know that. Do you mean serious/significant bugs? Well, I'm downloading it and I'll give it a try. If I face important problems, I'll let you know. Nov 27, 2012 at 1:01
  • Welcome to Ask Ubuntu! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – nanofarad
    Nov 27, 2012 at 1:13
  • Thanks Martin. I'd really appreciate that. I am gonna do the same on my virtualmachine.
    – Elysium
    Nov 27, 2012 at 7:52
  • I've installed it yesterday and so far so good. Changed its look and feel to a 21st century one :) and looks great. I still prefer XFCE, so I won't use it much. But I'm a desktop freak and have instaled all alternatives I've found so far. Be warned, though, that you will have many duplicate menu entries. You'll have settings and utilities from MATE and the other DE's you have installed. Nov 27, 2012 at 14:57
  • Is there a way to put Mate on the Unity Shell on Ubuntu 12.10 without any of the above mentioned complications (basically with "complications" I am referring to the duplicate utilities).. By the way....is cinnamon better in your opinion?
    – Elysium
    Nov 27, 2012 at 17:40

Please note that these instructions were derived from this website: http://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-linux-tips/install-linux-mint-mate-desktop-in-ubuntu-11-10/

First of all, install MGSE (Mint Gnome Shell Extension) in Ubuntu 11.10 by entering this command in Terminal.

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

This will pop-up a gedit window, where you will require adding the following line at the end (as exactly shown).

deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ lisa main upstream import

Once done, enter these commands in Terminal.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring
sudo apt-get update

After following the procedure described above, MGSE and MATE will become available in Ubuntu Software Center. Now, search and install Mint Gnome Shell Extension, followed by Mint Meta Mate from the Ubuntu Software Center.

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