MATE (software)

MATE is a desktop environment composed of free and open-source software that runs on Linux and BSD operating systems. An Argentine user of Arch Linux started the MATE project to fork and continue GNOME 2 in response to the negative reception of GNOME 3, which had replaced its traditional taskbar with GNOME Shell. MATE aims to maintain and continue the latest GNOME 2 code base, frameworks, and core applications.


MATE is named after the South American plant yerba mate and tea made from the herb, mate. The name was originally all capital letters to follow the nomenclature of other Free Software desktop environments like KDE and LXDE. The recursive backronym "MATE Advanced Traditional Environment" was subsequently adopted by most of the MATE community, again in the spirit of Free Software like GNU. The use of a new name, instead of GNOME, avoids naming conflicts with GNOME 3 components.


MATE has forked a number of applications which originated as GNOME Core Applications, and developers have written several other applications from scratch. The forked applications have new names, most of them from Spanish. MATE applications include:
MATE fully supports the GTK+ 3 application framework. The project is supported by Ubuntu MATE lead developer Martin Wimpress and by the Linux Mint development team:
"We consider MATE yet another desktop, just like KDE, Gnome 3, Xfce etc… and based on the popularity of Gnome 2 in previous releases of Linux Mint, we are dedicated to support it and to help it improve. The most popular Linux desktop was, and arguably is, Gnome 2."

New features have been added to Caja such as undo/redo and diff viewing for file replacements.
MATE 1.6 removes some deprecated libraries, moving from mate-conf to GSettings, and from mate-corba to D-Bus.
One of the aims of the MATE developers is to provide a traditional user experience while using the newest technologies. In MATE 1.20, which was released in February 2018, support for HiDPI was added and the GTK+ version got increased to 3.22. The MATE 1.22 release migrated many programs from Python 2 to Python 3 and from dbus-glib to GDBus. In an upcoming version, support for Wayland will be added.



MATE 1.2 was released on 16 April 2012. MATE has been one of the default desktop environments shipped with Linux Mint since version 12 "Lisa", LMDE since "2013.03", Sabayon Linux since release 10, a Fedora spin, and as the desktop environment in Ubuntu MATE 14.10.
MATE is also available in the official repositories of several other Linux distributions, including Arch Linux, Parabola, LMDE, Debian, Ubuntu MATE, Linux Mint, Solus, Kali Linux, Fedora, openSUSE, Gentoo, Mageia, OpenMandriva, ROSA, and PCLinuxOS. Aside from that, there are third party repositories for Slackware. Version 3.5 and up of GhostBSD include MATE as the default desktop environment, making it the second inclusion of MATE as a default desktop, after Linux Mint, and the first in a non-Linux OS. It is also available for FreeBSD and NetBSD and is default on OpenIndiana.

Arch Linux

MATE was initially announced on the Arch Linux forum on 18 June 2011, and became an official community package in January 2014.


Parabola is a popular Arch derivative and the first Linux distribution to use MATE as its default desktop environment.


Since Flidas alpha, Trisquel has begun to adopt MATE 1.18 instead of GNOME desktop environment.

Ubuntu MATE

In November 2014, the Ubuntu MATE team released version 14.04 LTS, which was supported until April 2019.
In March 2015, Ubuntu MATE was granted official Ubuntu flavour status from version 15.04 onwards.


MATE is available for Slackware users via project. SlackBuild script for MATE can be obtained from .


MATE can be selected as desktop during the installation of Debian. Live images for MATE are also created by Debian. It is supported by Debian stable, testing and sid.


MATE is supported both by openSUSE Leap and Tumbleweed. It can be selected as the desktop during the installation.


MATE Desktop is the preferred default desktop of GhostBSD.


MATE Desktop is the default desktop of the Illumos-based operating system OpenIndiana, which is the continuation the former GNOME 2, which was the default desktop of OpenSolaris.


is one among the different spins of Fedora. This Fedora Spin bundles MATE Desktop with Compiz Fusion.

Linux Mint

MATE is one of the 3 major desktop environments on Linux Mint. Other two are Xfce and Cinnamon