Friday, July 27, 2012

Install Latest MATE in Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint

The MATE desktop environment is a fork of GNOME 2, bringing back full experience of classic/traditional desktop metaphor found in GNOME 2.x.

MATE desktop probably is the best choice especially for Linux users who can't get used to the mobile-device-centric desktop environment like GNOME Shell or Ubuntu Unity, and want to keep using the classic, simple yet highly customizable, GNOME 2 look and feel instead.

Since its first release in late last year, now MATE has been consider stable enough for everyday use, with its latest release that has reached 1.4 version today.

Below is the screenshot of MATE 1.4 running on top of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin, with some customization.

As someone asked in the comment below, I used zonColor GTK theme on the screenshot.


What's New in MATE 1.4

According to MATE's official wiki page, here are changes from previous release:
  • Fix remaining applications in Mate-Extra
    • mate-character-map ported
    • mate-disk-utility removed
    • mate-policy-kit removed
  • Fix mate-keyring
  • Add caja-dropbox package
  • Caja improvements
    • Restore toggle button for button and text-based location bar
    • Add the ability to open bookmarks in the places side pane via the enter and space keys
  • mate-notification-daemon
    • New themes: coco, nodoka
    • Fix big icons issue
  • Fix mate-indicator-applet (not all distros have the required dependencies)
    • Remove indicator-applet-session
  • Fork gnome-user-share (as mate-user-share)
  • Fork libwnck (as libmatewnck)
  • Remove evolution dependency from caja-sendto and create a generic email plugin
  • mate-media: remove unworking mate-sound-recorder
  • mate-screensaver: add GDM support for user switch
  • Add an option to marco to enable fast alt-tabbing when compositing is enabled
  • mate-icon-theme-faenza
  • Translations sync with transifex


Install MATE in Ubuntu, Debian

  1. Add APT Repository

    • For Ubuntu
      Run in Terminal:
      sudo add-apt-repository "deb `lsb_release -cs` main"
      The above command will add MATE repository into source.list. Your Ubuntu version codename will be detected and inserted into the command automatically.

      Alternatively, you can use the following command but first you need to replace [CODENAME] with your Ubuntu codename (e.g.: oneiric, precise, or quantal) manually before executing it:
      sudo add-apt-repository "deb [CODENAME] main"

    • For Debian Sid/Wheezy
      Run in Terminal:
      echo "deb wheezy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mate.list
  2. Install MATE Keyring

    Run in Terminal:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
    sudo apt-get update
  3. Install MATE packages

    Choose one of these:
    • Install base packages only
      Run in Terminal:
      sudo apt-get install mate-core

    • Install more (complete) packages
      Run in Terminal:
      sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

For Linux Mint users, Linux Mint 13 Maya already has MATE in its official repository. You can install MATE using Software Manager or Synaptic. Or better yet, download Linux Mint 13 Maya MATE Edition iso image from Linux Mint website.

For other Linux distros, see this MATE installation page.


MATE Issue: QT Apps Ignoring GTK Style/Theme

Up until now, there is still an issue (bug?) with QT applications (e.g. Clementine, VLC) running in MATE session: they use native/generic QT style instead of GTK style/theme, so that they don't integrate nicely with MATE desktop environment.

Here's how to solve this issue:
  1. Install qt4-qtconfig package in Ubuntu/Debian by using Synaptic or Software Center, or by installing it via Terminal:
    sudo apt-get install qt4-qtconfig
  2. Then search and run the QT 4 Settings application you just installed (System => Preferences => QT 4 Settings) ==> set GUI style to GTK+ ==> save the change.

Done. Now your QT apps should follow your chosen GTK theme.


PS: Still, sorry for my English :)
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