How to Install Mate Desktop in Ubuntu 16.04/16.10 and Fedora 22-24 Workstations

MATE desktop is a simple, intuitive and attractive continuation of GNOME 2. It is under active development to bring about constant improvement using modern technologies, while holding to traditional desktop experience.

There are several Linux distributions that support the MATE desktop including of course Ubuntu, and there is a dedicated Ubuntu MATE edition for this elegant desktop environment as well.

In this how-to guide, I will describe the simple steps for installation of the latest version of MATE desktop on Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 16.10 and Fedora 22-24.

Suggested Read: How to Install Cinnamon Desktop in Ubuntu 16.04/16.10 and Fedora 22-24

For Linux users hoping to try out MATE desktop probably for the first time, some of its notable default applications include:

  1. Macro windows manager
  2. Caja file manager
  3. MATE Terminal, terminal emulator
  4. Pluma text editor
  5. Eye of MATE, simple graphics viewer
  6. Atril multi-page document viewer
  7. Engrampa archive manager coupled with many other minor applications

Furthermore, the latest stable release of MATE 1.14 desktop, has the following remarkable features and improvements form the previous versions:

  1. Enhanced GTK+3 support across the whole desktop
  2. Full GTK 3.20 in all themes
  3. Python extensions for Caja file manager can be changed separately
  4. Client side decorated apps render correctly in all available themes
  5. Touchpad configurations supports edge and two-finger scrolling independently
  6. MATE Terminal supports VTE 2.91 API when built for GTK+3
  7. The volume and brightness OSD can be enabled/disabled
  8. MATE panel enables icon sizes to change for menubar and menu items
  9. The MATE NetSpeed Applet was merged into MATE Applets package
  10. Additionally, translations were also updated plus many more things

Install Mate Desktop on Ubuntu 16.04/16.10

You can install the latest version of the MATE desktop via a PPA as shown:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install mate 

In case you wish to upgrade MATE to the latest version, simply run the command below after updating your system:

$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Wait for a few minutes, depending on your Internet connection speeds for the installation process to finish, logout of your current session or restart your system and choose MATE desktop at the login interface as in the image below.

Select Mate Desktop at Login

Select Mate Desktop at Login

Running Mate Desktop in Ubuntu 16.04

Running Mate Desktop in Ubuntu 16.04

Install Mate Desktop on Fedora 22-24

It’s pretty straight forward to install Mate Desktop along side with your current desktop on Fedora using dnf command as shown.

# dnf install @mate-desktop

If you want to install Mate related tools as well, you can install them with this command.

# dnf install @mate-applications

After Mate desktop installation done, logout from the current session and select Mate desktop environment to use and login.

Select Mate Desktop at Fedora Login

Select Mate Desktop at Fedora Login

Running Mate Desktop in Fedora 24

Running Mate Desktop in Fedora 24

If you didn’t liked the Mate Desktop, you can remove it completely from your respective Linux distributions using following instructions.

---------------- On Ubuntu 16.04/16.10 ---------------- 
$ sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/xenial-mate
$ sudo apt-get remove mate 
$ sudo apt-get autoremove
---------------- On Fedora 22-24 Workstation ---------------- 
# dnf remove @mate-desktop
# dnf remove @mate-applications

I hope everything went on well, however, for those who encountered some unexpected errors, or wish to offer supplementary thoughts to this this guide, you can get back to us through the comment section below.

Importantly, if MATE does not meet your expectations presumably as a new user, you can follow up on our up coming how-to guides for installations of other popular Linux desktop environments as well. Remember to always stay connected to

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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10 Responses

  1. David J. Webb Sr. says:

    How did you get the system to give you the choice of desktops?

    Using a odroid xu4 arm based computer with ubuntu 16.4 for arm processors. The desktop does not have but two icons. droid is one. SD Boot is the other.

    What I want is a desktop like the old gnome classic with all the features on the desktop. This did not do it. But there was a flurry of activity on the command line terminal when I did as you said.

    I have a little knowledge of the codes. So I still consider myself new at this.

  2. Peter says:

    apt-get dist-upgrade” doesn’t just upgrade MATE it upgrades the entire OS and can break things and make a system more unstable. Don’t throw this command around as it can easily break a system or just screw it up in general for a new user who doesn’t know what they are doing. It may also remove some things from the system the user might want to keep

    • Aaron Kili says:


      This is correct, it will install latest versions of all packages including MATE DE. This is the usual method if you have MATE already installed.

  3. joe says:

    the OS has better over all stability and functionality when you install the ppa

  4. joe says:

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

  5. Goran Jordanov says:

    Thanks for the guide, loving the wallpaper image in the Ubuntu Mate desktop. Can you share it please. Thanks

  6. xnorsx says:

    For me on Ubuntu 16.10 it installs by just:

    $ sudo apt-get install mate

    to me no need to add repository

  7. Oscar says:

    Thank you very much for the tip..:)

Leave a Reply to Oscar Cancel reply

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