Try MATE Desktop 1.7

As usual during MATE development, when unstable tarballs are ready for users testing, we prepare repositories and ask them to help us to make it ready to become stable.

At the moment, there are guidelines for Arch Linux, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo and Ubuntu in this wiki page.


Packages are compiled with GTK2, and some of new features are:

  • caja: Add option to use IEC units instead of SI units
  • caja: Add “Open parent location” option in context menu in search view
  • engrampa: Show always the “extract to” action in caja extension
  • eom: Migration to lcms2
  • eom: Add shuffle mode in slideshow
  • marco: Add window snapping
  • mate-applets: Add undo functionality to sticky note applet
  • mate-applets: New command and timer applets
  • mate-control-center: Add support for 'artist' tag in xml backgrounds files
  • mate-media: Middle click on applet toggles mute state
  • mate-screensaver: Show date and time in lock dialog
  • Replace mate-doc-utils with yelp-tools
  • Drop libmatekeyring/mate-keyring for libsecret/gnome-keyring
  • Drop libmatewnck for libwnck
  • Drop mucharmap for gucharmap

Please notice that this will be the first release with working documentation links, so help us to debug manual too.

Thank you!

Status of MATE with GTK3

GTK3 support adding in MATE is going on, almost all packages now build with GTK3 flag enabled. There are still a lot of small things to fix, but at least now we can have a running MATE session with latest GTK library.

Here's a couple of screenshots posted some days ago by Sander Sweers on #mate-dev.


In this wiki page you can follow the status of MATE 1.7. Roadmap for 1.8 release is here.

How to use GSettings/dconf with dynamic paths

As you know, MATE 1.6 migrated to GSettings/dconf and dropped MateConf (the GConf fork). In this post I’ll give you some tips to learn this new configuration system.


First, I would like to spread this nice guide written by Infirit on our wiki about GSettings and dconf in MATE 1.6:

A thing you could miss in dconf-editor is the edit of GSettings values with dynamic paths. Some MATE applications use dynamic paths:

  • mate-panel, for applets and panels configuration
  • mate-terminal, for profiles configuration
  • mate-control-center, for custom keybindings settings

dconf-editor doesnt know the used schema in dynamic paths, so you need to use gsettings tool to change these values:

gsettings get SCHEMA[:PATH] KEY
gsettings set SCHEMA[:PATH] KEY VALUE

For example:

gsettings set org.mate.panel.applet.clock:/org/mate/panel/objects/clock/prefs/ show-seconds false

Looking to the MATE future

There are a lot of things that we will implement in MATE Desktop releases after 1.6:


  • New exciting features, like window snapping in window manager, a plugin system for the file manager (currently extensions cant be enabled/disabled without restart Caja), epub support in document viewer…
  • Add option to use Metacity as default window manager (this is already possible, but we’ll support completely Metacity also in control center, workspaces names, etc.)
  • Support GStreamer 1.0
  • Support completely new features of systemd
  • Support GTK3, keeping availability to build with GTK2
  • Support Wayland

What’s new in upcoming MATE 1.6

This is a list of new features planned for the upcoming MATE Desktop 1.6 release. The list doesnt contain all the removed deprecated packages replaced with new technologies in glib/gio.

  • Caja (file manager): Added support for new File Manager DBus Interface.
  • Atril (document viewer): Added backend for XPS files.
  • Panel: Added –run-dialog option to open the run dialog.
  • Panel (windows list applet): You can use middle click button to close windows.
  • Control center (Windows applet): Added option to enable compositing manager and fast alt-tab.
  • Control center (Appearance applet): Set gconf/gsettings metacity theme if metacity or compiz are running.
  • Control center (Network applet): Use same GNOME proxy settings in gsettings-desktop-schemas.
  • Marco (window manager): Added option to open new windows on the center of the screen.
  • Calc: Added buttons to support inverse trig functions.
  • Notification daemon: Added option to show notifications only on one screen.
  • Themes: Added GTK3 support for most themes.
  • Settings daemon: Added support for mpris2 dbus interface for media keys.
  • Session manager: Added initial support for systemd-logind to shutdown and reboot without ConsoleKit.
  • Open terminal caja extension: Allow to opening a remote terminal on sftp mounts.

I would like to thank all people involved in the development and debug in the past months, and of course everyone that uses MATE.

Try MATE Desktop 1.5

You can test the development (and unstable!) packages of MATE Desktop 1.5, they are already available for some distributions. Obviously, dont use them in a production machine :-)

List of new features and changes in 1.6 is available on MATE wiki

Debian Wheezy

You can add deb wheezy main to your /etc/apt/sources.list.

Ubuntu Quantal

You can add deb quantal main to your /etc/apt/sources.list.

Fedora 17+

1.5 packages, also if unstable, are already on official Fedora repositories.


1.5 packages are available through OBS:


You can build 1.5 packages using PKGBUILDs from

MATE Desktop success stories

This is a short list of some “success stories” for MATE Desktop that I know.

  • Some distributions include MATE Desktop officially (and some of them have a dedicated MATE edition too): Fedora, Linux Mint, Sabayon and Salix OS.
  • The Physics Department of the Freie Universitaet Berlin in Germany deploys MATE on their Debian Wheezy desktops for both students and employees.
  • Portuguese Insurance company Tranquilidade has planned to migrate to Ubuntu 12.04 and MATE Desktop on their offices.
  • Canadian Legal Aid Manitoba has planned to migrate to MATE Desktop 1.6 on their offices, and their sysadmin is helping on its development too.
  • First Colo, a German Datacenter, has planned to migrate to MATE Desktop, and donated us a dedicated server to support our development.
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