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I used the following commands to install mate on my Ubuntu 16.04.2 desktop.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate
sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

I restarted the computer and it comes up in the unity desktop. I tried several times to install and no luck. Anyone have any ideas?

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It should be as CelticWarrior said above. Use

    sudo apt install ubuntu-mate-core

instead of full-upgrade (which upgrades an already installed mate desktop). Have a good day!

  • I think that did it! Desktop still has the Unity look to it though. I need to do some more checking to see what the deal is. Thanks for your help! – bksumm Apr 16 '17 at 3:15
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I think you do not really need MATE from PPA. I use MATE 1.12.1 from official xenial universe repository for 6 months and it works great. You may want to start with purging MATE PPA with sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate.

I installed MATE with sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop^.

Or more specific: sudo apt-get install grub2-themes-ubuntu-mate ubuntu-mate-desktop^ ubuntu-mate-artwork ubuntu-mate-default-settings ubuntu-mate-icon-themes ubuntu-mate-wallpapers-complete human-theme

Then I removed some packages which I do not want to use with: sudo apt-get purge synapse software-center ubuntu-mate-welcome account-plugin-flickr account-plugin-google deja-dup deja-dup-backend-cloudfiles deja-dup-backend-gvfs deja-dup-backend-s3 deja-dup-caja snapd synapse tilda zeitgeist libcontent-hub0 python-zeitgeist zeitgeist-core activity-log-manager-control-center zeitgeist-datahub activity-log-manager alacarte metacity account-plugin-facebook snapd-login-service libsnapd-glib1 click click-apparmor gir1.2-click-0.4 libclick-0.4-0 python3-apparmor-click python3-click-package libubuntu-app-launch2 qtdeclarative5-ubuntu-content1 evince evince-common webbrowser-app

and finally sudo apt-get autoremove

After it I removed Unity and GNOME packages manually with aptitude. Be careful here.

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