Difference between revisions of "MATE"

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(Additional MATE packages)
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* {{Pkg|mate-themes-extras}} - Collection of GTK2/3 desktop themes for MATE.
* {{Pkg|mate-themes-extras}} - Collection of GTK2/3 desktop themes for MATE.
* {{Pkg|gnome-main-menu}} - A mate-panel applet similar to the traditional main-menu, but with a few additions.
* {{Pkg|gnome-main-menu}} - A mate-panel applet similar to the traditional main-menu, but with a few additions.
The following are also available via the AUR and integrate with MATE but the packages are not maintained by the MATE team.
* variety - Variety changes the wallpaper on a regular interval using user-specified or automatically downloaded images.
* mintmenu - Linux Mint Menu for MATE.
== Starting ==
== Starting ==

Revision as of 11:10, 11 March 2014


From MATE homepage:

The MATE Desktop Environment is the continuation of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. MATE is under active development to add support for new technologies while preserving a traditional desktop experience.


MATE is available in the official repositories and can be installed with one of the following:

  • The mate-panel package provides a minimal desktop shell.
  • The mate group contains the core desktop environment required for the standard MATE experience.
  • The mate-extra group contains additional utilities and applications that integrate well with the MATE desktop. Installing just the mate-extra group will not pull in the whole mate group via dependencies. If you want to install all MATE packages then you will need to explicitly install both groups.

Additional MATE packages

There are a few additional packages that are not included in the mate or mate-extra because they are not neccessarily useful to everyone.

  • The mate-netbook package provides a MATE panel applet that might be useful to owners of small screen devices, such as a Netbook. The applet will automatically maximize all windows and provides an application switcher applet.
  • The mate-user-share package provides user level public file sharing via WebDAV.
  • The mate-system-tools package provides a suite of tools for MATE to simplify configuring workstations, some of which are not at all useful on Arch Linux.

There are also a number of other MATE applications that are contributed and maintained by the MATE community and therefore not included in the mate or mate-extra groups.

The following are also available via the AUR and integrate with MATE but the packages are not maintained by the MATE team.

  • variety - Variety changes the wallpaper on a regular interval using user-specified or automatically downloaded images.
  • mintmenu - Linux Mint Menu for MATE.


MATE can be started via a display manager or manually.

Graphical log-in

Just select MATE from the Sessions list of your favorite Display manager. The MATE team recommends LightDM as the display manager with the GTK+ (2) greeter, which can be installed with the lightdm-gtk2-greeter package.


If you prefer to start MATE manually from the console, add the following line to your ~/.xinitrc file:

exec mate-session

Then MATE can be launched by typing startx.

See xinitrc for details, such as preserving the logind session.

MATE Applications

MATE is largely composed of GNOME 2 applications and utilities, forked and renamed to avoid conflicting with their GNOME 3 counterparts. Below is a list of common GNOME applications which have been renamed in MATE.

  • Alacarte is renamed Mozo.
  • Nautilus is renamed Caja.
  • Metacity is renamed Marco.
  • Gedit is renamed Pluma.
  • Eye of GNOME is renamed Eye of MATE.
  • Evince is renamed Atril.
  • File Roller is renamed Engrampa.
  • GNOME Terminal is renamed MATE Terminal.

Other applications and core components prefixed with GNOME (such as GNOME Panel, GNOME Menus etc) have had the prefix changed to MATE so they become MATE Panel, MATE Menus etc.

Network Management

It is recommended that you use Network Manager for managing networks in MATE. Please see the wiki page for more details on installing and configuring it.

Tips & Tricks

Upgrading from 1.6 to 1.8

Do the upgrade:

pacman -Syu

Agree to all the package replacements, it should look something like this.

:: Starting full system upgrade...
:: Replace mate-document-viewer with community/atril? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-file-archiver with community/engrampa? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-file-manager with community/caja? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-file-manager-gksu with community/caja-extensions? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-file-manager-image-converter with community/caja-extensions? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-file-manager-open-terminal with community/caja-extensions? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-file-manager-sendto with community/caja-extensions? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-file-manager-share with community/caja-extensions? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-image-viewer with community/eom? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-menu-editor with community/mozo? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-text-editor with community/pluma? [Y/n] y
:: Replace mate-window-manager with community/marco? [Y/n] y

When the MATE 1.8 upgrade is complete there are a few packages you can remove because some of the MATE 1.6 libraries are not required by MATE 1.8.

pacman -Rs libmatekeyring libmatewnck mate-character-map mate-keyring

Upgrading from 1.4 to 1.6

MATE 1.6 migrated from gconf to gsettings. If you are updating from an MATE 1.4 you might end up with an empty panel. To resolve the issue reset the panel configuration to its defaults using

# mate-panel --reset

Then use...

# mate-conf-import

to restore most of your old settings. After upgrading from MATE 1.4 to MATE 1.6 you should remove the some of the old MATE 1.4 libraries that are not required by MATE 1.6, this can also improve the start-up time of MATE.

# pacman -R ffmpegthumbnailer-caja libmate libmatecanvas libmatecomponent libmatecomponentui libmatenotify libmateui mate-conf mate-conf-editor mate-corba mate-mime-data mate-vfs python-corba python-mate python-mate-desktop

You can also use:

# pacman -R $(pacman -Qtdq)

to remove any orphaned packages. Packages which are not orphaned are probably still required.

Note: The command to remove orphaned packages will need to be executed multiple times to ensure that all packages are cleaned up.
Warning: When removing the deprecated libraries take care to not remove other important packages as well.

Bluetooth applet

Bluetooth support for MATE 1.8 is pending the completion of a new version of Blueman. Details will be added here shortly.

Enabling Compositing

Compositing may not be enabled by default. To enable it, run dconf-editor (from dconf), then navigate to org>mate>marco>general. Tick the check box next to "compositing-manager". Alternatively, you can run the following from the terminal:

$ dconf write /org/mate/marco/general/compositing-manager true

Show or hide desktop icons

By default, MATE shows multiple icons on the desktop: The content of your desktop directory, computer, home and network directories, the trash and mounted drives. You can show or hide them individually or all at once using dconf.

Hide individual icons

Hide computer icon:

$ dconf write /org/mate/caja/desktop/computer-icon-visible false

Hide user directory icon:

$ dconf write /org/mate/caja/desktop/home-icon-visible false

Hide network icon:

$ dconf write /org/mate/caja/desktop/network-icon-visible false

Hide trash icon:

$ dconf write /org/mate/caja/desktop/trash-icon-visible false

Hide mounted volumes:

$ dconf write /org/mate/caja/desktop/volumes-visible false

Replace false with true for the icons to reappear.

Hide all desktop icons

$ dconf write /org/mate/desktop/background/show-desktop-icons false

Use a different window manager with MATE

The default window manager in MATE is called marco, a fork of the GNOME 2 window manager metacity. You can replace marco with another window manager via a number of different methods:

  • The easiest way to change the window manager is to autostart it using mate-session-properties. Open the System menu, navigate to the Preferences menu and click on Startup Applications. In the dialog click Add. Enter a name and comment in the name and comment sections and in the command section add a command of the following syntax: "name of window manager" "--replace"

For example: for openbox you would use the command openbox --replace.

Log out and log in again and marco should be replaced by the window manager of your choice. To revert to marco simply delete the entry you created in Startup Applications.

  • Alternatively you can specify the desired window manager in dconf:
$ dconf write /org/mate/desktop/session/required-components/windowmanager "'mywindowmanager'"

replace "mywindowmanager" with the name of the window manager of your choice e.g. openbox or metacity.

  • Killing MATE's window manager (marco) and starting your prefered one (this method is not recommended!)

Edit your .xinitrc as follow:

exec mate-session
killall marco
exec mywindowmanager

and replace "mywindowmanager" with the name of the window manager of your choice.

Note: This method is relevant only for those who start the MATE session using the startx command. Users of display managers will need to use one of the previous two methods.

Change window decoration button order

You can change the button using dconf. The key is in org.mate.marco.general.button-layout. Use the graphical dconf-editor or the dconf command line tool to change it:

$ dconf write /org/mate/marco/general/button-layout "'close,maximize,minimize:'"

and put menu, close, minimize and maximize in your desired order, separated by commas. The colon is the window title (it is necessary for the changes to apply).

Change window placement of new windows

By default, new windows are placed in the top-left corner. To center new windows on creation, edit the org.mate.marco.general.center-new-windows key:

$ dconf write /org/mate/marco/general/center-new-windows true

Auto open file manager after drive mount

By default, MATE automatically opens a new file manager window when a drive is mounted. To disable this, change the following key in dconf:

$ dconf write /org/mate/desktop/media-handling/automount-open false


MATE uses mate-screensaver to lock your session. By default there are a limited number of lock-screens available. To make more lock-screens available, install the mate-screensaver-hacks package. This will allow you to use Xscreensaver lock-screens with mate-screensaver.

Lock screen & default background image

You can change the background of the lock screen by creating the following file:


Then, re-compile the schemas:

# glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/

Finally, restart your X session for the change to effect.

Styling Qt applications

To make Qt4 applications inherit the MATE theme, do the following:

* Navigate to System -> Preferences -> Qt4 Config or execute qtconfig-qt4 from a shell.
* Change GUI Style to GTK+.
* File --> Save.

See Uniform Look for Qt and GTK Applications for more details.

Consistent cursor theme

To ensure a consistent cursor theme edit ~/.icons/default/index.theme to include:

[Icon Theme]

See also