Ubuntu Mate Vs. Mate Desktop: The Mate Experience

Ubuntu Mate Vs. Mate Desktop: The Mate Experience


Ubuntu Mate and Mate Desktop are two Linux distributions that use the Mate desktop environment. Mate is a lightweight and user-friendly desktop environment that is based on the GNOME 2 codebase. It is designed to be a modern and easy-to-use desktop environment, while still being lightweight and efficient.


Ubuntu Mate is a Linux distribution that is based on Ubuntu. It uses the Mate desktop environment and includes a variety of software applications. Ubuntu Mate is a good choice for users who want a lightweight and user-friendly Linux distribution.


Mate Desktop is a stand-alone desktop environment that can be installed on any Linux distribution. It is a good choice for users who want to use the Mate desktop environment but do not want to use Ubuntu Mate.

Comparison of Ubuntu Mate and Mate Desktop

The following table compares Ubuntu Mate and Mate Desktop:

Feature Ubuntu Mate Mate Desktop
Based on Ubuntu Any Linux distribution
Desktop environment Mate Mate
Included software Variety of software applications None
Target audience Users who want a lightweight and user-friendly Linux distribution Users who want to use the Mate desktop environment

Which one is right for you?

If you are looking for a lightweight and user-friendly Linux distribution that uses the Mate desktop environment, then Ubuntu Mate is a good choice. If you are not interested in using a Linux distribution, then you can install the Mate desktop environment on any Linux distribution.## Ubuntu Mate Vs. Mate Desktop: The Mate Experience

Executive Summary

Ubuntu MATE and MATE Desktop Environment are two versions of the MATE desktop environment, but the key distinction between them is that Ubuntu MATE includes all essential components of a complete operating system bundled together, whereas MATE Desktop Environment is the desktop environment component only. This detailed article provides a comprehensive analysis of both for users seeking a desktop experience that emphasizes both tradition and effectiveness.


For traditionalists who favor a user interface design reminiscent of older GNOME versions and the earlier days of Linux desktops, the MATE environment shines. It includes several features tailored for users accustomed to that classic desktop experience. This article explores essential distinctions and overlaps between Ubuntu MATE and MATE Desktop, empowering users to make informed choices based on their preferences and technical requirements.

Ubuntu MATE vs. MATE Desktop: Breaking Down Key Features

1. Operating System vs. Desktop Environment

  • Ubuntu MATE is a full-fledged operating system based on Ubuntu. It packages essential software applications, system tools, and desktop components tailored for the MATE desktop experience out of the box.

  • MATE Desktop Environment, in contrast, is the desktop environment component only. Users must separately install an underlying operating system, such as Ubuntu, Debian, or Arch Linux, and integrate MATE Desktop on top of it to utilize its graphical interface and applications.

2. User Interface and Design

  • Ubuntu MATE provides a polished, consistent user experience reminiscent of GNOME 2 with modern refinements. Its panel-based layout, familiar menus, and classic applications offer a nostalgic yet functional interface.

  • MATE Desktop Environment, being a standalone component, adapts to the underlying operating system’s theme. While it retains the core MATE design elements, its overall look and feel may vary depending on the host system’s customization.

3. Application Ecosystem and Support

  • Ubuntu MATE comes with a pre-installed suite of applications curated for everyday computing needs. These include document editors, media players, file managers, and system tools, ensuring users have a functional system without additional software installations.

  • MATE Desktop Environment, being modular, requires users to install applications separately. While it supports a wide range of third-party applications compatible with the GTK+ toolkit, users may need to manually configure and install these applications themselves.

4. Stability and Performance

  • Ubuntu MATE benefits from regular security updates, bug fixes, and performance optimizations provided by the Ubuntu project. Its focus on stability ensures a reliable user experience.

  • MATE Desktop Environment relies on updates from its own development team. While it aims for stability, its performance and compatibility may vary depending on the underlying operating system and user configuration.

5. Hardware Compatibility and Customization

  • Ubuntu MATE provides broad hardware compatibility out of the box, leveraging the extensive hardware support offered by Ubuntu. Users can expect most modern hardware to function smoothly.

  • MATE Desktop Environment inherits hardware compatibility from the underlying operating system. While it generally supports a wide range of hardware, users may encounter compatibility issues or require additional driver installations, depending on the host system.


Ultimately, choosing between Ubuntu MATE and MATE Desktop Environment boils down to individual needs and preferences. Ubuntu MATE offers a convenient, out-of-the-box solution for users seeking a complete operating system with a classic desktop experience. MATE Desktop Environment provides a modular, customizable option for users comfortable with manually managing their system components. Both Ubuntu MATE and MATE Desktop Environment offer solid choices for users seeking a traditional and user-friendly desktop environment.

Keyword Phrase Tags

  • Ubuntu MATE vs. MATE Desktop
  • MATE Desktop Environment
  • Ubuntu MATE Operating System
  • Classic Desktop Experience
  • Customizing Linux Desktops
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Comments 10
  1. An informative comparison. Thank you for this in-depth analysis, it helps me decide which distro is best for my needs.

  2. This article is biased towards Ubuntu Mate. It downplays the strengths of Mate Desktop like customisability.

  3. The author seems to misunderstand the concept of a stand-alone desktop environment. Mate Desktop is not a distro.

  4. Well, well, well, would you look at that. It’s almost like you’re implying one size fits all in the world of Linux.

  5. Oh, the joys of endless customization! Mate Desktop is perfect for those who love tweaking their system into oblivion.

  6. Why so serious? Ubuntu Mate is for people who want a chill desktop experience, like sipping tea on a rainy afternoon.

  7. The article fails to mention the latest features of Mate Desktop, which include performance improvements and new plugins.

  8. I’m new to Linux distros, could someone explain the difference between a distro and a desktop environment?

  9. In the realm of Linux, choice is paramount. The beauty lies in finding the perfect harmony between distro and desktop environment that aligns with your unique needs.

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