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The MATE Desktop Environment Project is an attempt at forking and maintaining GNOME 2. For more information, see this forum thread.

Obtaining MATE via AUR

MATE is currently available in the AUR (Template:Package AUR), hosted on Github and hosted on two pacman mirrors.

Installation via MATE mirrors

To install MATE via pacman add one of the following mirrors to your pacman.conf:

Server =$arch
Warning: There is a new set of packages as of 10th February 2012 with a different version numbering in the repositories. In order to safely update your system you'll have to use
# pacman -Syuu

once. Otherwise pacman will warn you about local packages being newer than the ones in the repository. The old packages are considered development packages from now and will only be updated sporadically! If you would like to stay with them please update your pacman.conf like so:

Server =$arch

Run -Syy and then:

# pacman -S mate

You are very likely to get file conflicts when installing. Simply rename the offending files (I only had one conflict, migrating from XFCE) or install with the --force flag.

You will also require a display manager (I use Template:Package AUR) and dbus.

Note: Currently, many MATE packages do not provide, conflict or replace any GNOME packages.

Starting MATE

Always make sure dbus is in your DAEMONS array in rc.conf before starting MATE.

GDM (Old)

If you are using gdm-old from the AUR, simply select the MATE session from the Sessions list. For your first time launching MATE, make sure to click "Just this session" when prompted.

No display manager (startx)

In order to start MATE without using a display manager, you must add

exec ck-launch-session mate-session

to your ~/.xinitrc file and then run

$ startx

Rebranded Core Applications

It is important to note that many GNOME core applications are rebranded for MATE, as per the licensing terms. Here is a simple Rosetta Stone of GNOME -> MATE applications.

  • Nautilus is renamed caja
  • Metacity is renamed marco
  • Gconf is renamed mate-conf

Other applications and core components prefixed with GNOME (such as GNOME Panel, GNOME Menus etc) have simply had the prefix renamed "MATE" and become MATE Panel and MATE Menus.

Extra Applications

Not all of the GNOME extra applications (built for GTK2) have been forked yet. The following extra applications are available in MATE:

  • Totem (mate-video-player)
  • Eye of GNOME (mate-image-viewer)
  • Gedit (mate-text-editor)
  • File Roller (mate-file-archiver)
  • GNOME Panel applets (mate-applets)
  • GNOME Terminal (mate-terminal)

If you are using NetworkManager to connect to the internet, you can install Template:Package AUR from the AUR for a GTK2 nm-applet. You will need to modify the PKGBUILD to depend on mate-bluetooth rather than gnome-bluetooth to prevent a recursive dependency on gnome-desktop.

Using Compiz Fusion sans Emerald

If you would like to use Marco with Compiz Fusion, install and start Compiz Fusion as you would normally and install the package gtk-window-decorator and run the following command to create a symlink:

# ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

Enable the Window Decoration plugin in the Compiz Fusion settings manager and use

gtk-window-decorator --replace

as the command. However, without recompiling gtk-window-decorator, the necessary mateconf keys will not be created and you will be stuck with Cairo based decorations. It may be possible to create these keys yourself.

Known Issues

Endless spawning of file manager instances

You may find that after you log in, the Caja file manager keeps spawning new instances and never stops. A temporary fix is performed with the following command:

# ln -s /usr/lib/ /usr/lib/

Log out and log back in again once you perform this command.

This may also fix an issue where the Clock panel applet does not appear.

Qt Applications are not styled

You may find that Qt4 applications are not inheriting the GTK2 theme like they should. This can be fixed easily by installing libgnomeui with the --force flag. This is likely to be fixed as MATE development continues.

Evolution Email Not Working

Please see Evolution#Using_Evolution_Outside_Of_Gnome.