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Ubuntu Mate Vs. Mint Mate: Mate Desktop Environment Face-off

Ubuntu Mate Vs. Mint Mate: Mate Desktop Environment Face-off

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Executive Summary

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The MATE desktop environment is a lightweight, user-friendly desktop environment that resembles the classic GNOME 2 desktop experience. It is popular among users who prefer a traditional desktop layout and a stable computing experience, as well as those running older hardware. In this comparison, I will be delving into the differences between two popular MATE-based distributions: Ubuntu MATE and Mint MATE. I will cover aspects ranging from feature set to base OS stability, package availability, and community support to guide you in choosing the best option for your needs.

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Introduction

Choosing a Linux distribution can be overwhelming, especially when faced with multiple options based on the same desktop environment. Ubuntu MATE and Mint MATE are two well-regarded distributions that offer a genuine MATE experience. Understanding their strengths and weaknesses will enable you to make an informed decision.

Feature Set

Ubuntu MATE

  • Traditional GNOME 2 Look and Feel: Ubuntu MATE provides a consistent and intuitive desktop layout that closely resembles the classic GNOME 2 interface, complete with a panel at the top and a system tray at the bottom.
  • MATE Tweak Tool: This powerful utility provides granular control over the desktop appearance, including panel settings, window behavior, and keyboard shortcuts.
  • Pluma Text Editor: Ubuntu MATE features Pluma, a lightweight and user-friendly text editor designed for basic text editing and note-taking tasks.

Mint MATE

  • Cinnamon Spice: Mint MATE incorporates the Cinnamon Spices, a collection of extensions that enhance the desktop experience with features such as window snapping, desktop effects, and a customizable menu.
  • X-Apps: Mint MATE includes a suite of X-Apps, which are custom applications designed to integrate seamlessly with the desktop environment. These include an image viewer, a music player, and a file manager.
  • Blubuntu Panel: The Bluubuntu Panel is a specialized panel applet that provides access to Bluetooth settings and device management.

Base OS Stability and Package Management

Ubuntu MATE

  • Based on Ubuntu: Ubuntu MATE is built upon the stable and widely supported Ubuntu base, ensuring regular software updates, security patches, and long-term support (LTS) releases.
  • APT Package Management: Ubuntu MATE utilizes the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT), a comprehensive package management system that offers a vast repository of software packages and easy installation and removal.
  • Support for Flatpak and Snap Packages: Ubuntu MATE supports both Flatpak and Snap packages, providing access to a wide range of applications that may not be available in the official repositories.

Mint MATE

  • Based on Debian: Mint MATE is based on the Debian distribution, known for its stability and wide range of software packages.
  • APT Package Management: Mint MATE also uses APT for package management, ensuring seamless installation and removal of software.
  • Limited Flatpak Support: While Mint MATE supports Flatpak packages, it does not natively support Snap packages.

Package Availability

Ubuntu MATE

  • Large Software Repository: Ubuntu MATE benefits from the extensive software repository of the Ubuntu base, providing users with a vast selection of applications to choose from.
  • Regular Updates: Ubuntu MATE receives regular software updates, ensuring access to the latest versions of applications and security patches.
  • Commercial Software Support: Ubuntu offers commercial software support through Ubuntu Advantage, providing enterprise-level support for mission-critical applications.

Mint MATE

  • Smaller Software Repository: Mint MATE’s software repository is smaller compared to Ubuntu MATE, but it still offers a wide range of essential and popular applications.
  • Delayed Updates: Package updates in Mint MATE may be slightly delayed compared to Ubuntu MATE due to its conservative approach to stability.
  • No Commercial Software Support: Mint does not offer commercial software support, but it provides extensive community support through its forums and documentation.

Community Support

Ubuntu MATE

  • Active Community: Ubuntu MATE has a large and active community providing support through forums, documentation, and social media channels.
  • Regular Development Cycle: Ubuntu MATE follows a regular development cycle, with new releases every six months, ensuring continuous improvement and bug fixes.
  • Paid Support Options: Ubuntu offers paid support options through Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, for enterprise users requiring dedicated assistance.

Mint MATE

  • Dedicated Forum: Mint MATE has its own dedicated forum specifically for Mint MATE users, providing a platform for support and discussion.
  • Community-Driven Development: Mint MATE relies heavily on community contributions, promoting user involvement in the development process.
  • Volunteer-Based Support: Support for Mint MATE is primarily provided by volunteers through the forum and documentation, but the response times may vary.

Conclusion

Both Ubuntu MATE and Mint MATE offer a distinct user experience and cater to different preferences and needs. Ubuntu MATE provides a stable and traditional MATE desktop environment with a vast software repository and commercial support options. Mint MATE offers a more customizable desktop experience with its collection of Cinnamon Spices and X-Apps, but it may have a smaller software repository and slightly delayed updates compared to Ubuntu MATE. Ultimately, the best choice between Ubuntu MATE and Mint MATE depends on your individual priorities, workflow, and technical expertise.

Keyword Phrase Tags

  • MATE Desktop Environment
  • Ubuntu MATE vs. Mint MATE
  • Lightweight Linux Distributions
  • Traditional GNOME 2 Interface
  • Community Support in Linux
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Comments 10
  1. I’ve been using Ubuntu Mate for a while now and I’m really happy with it. It’s a great distro for people who want a lightweight and customizable desktop environment. The Mate desktop is very easy to use and it has a lot of features that make it a great choice for everyday use.

  2. I’ve tried both Ubuntu Mate and Mint Mate, and I have to say that I prefer Mint Mate. I find it to be more stable and reliable than Ubuntu Mate. I also like the fact that Mint Mate comes with a lot of pre-installed software, which makes it a great choice for people who are new to Linux.

  3. The Mate desktop environment is a great choice for people who want a lightweight and customizable desktop environment. It’s very easy to use and it has a lot of features that make it a great choice for everyday use.

  4. I think Ubuntu Mate is a better choice than Mint Mate because it has a more up-to-date software stack. Mint Mate is based on Ubuntu 18.04, while Ubuntu Mate is based on Ubuntu 20.04. This means that Ubuntu Mate will receive security updates for longer than Mint Mate.

  5. I’m not sure why anyone would choose Mint Mate over Ubuntu Mate. Ubuntu Mate is clearly the superior distro.

  6. Mint Mate is the best! It’s so much better than Ubuntu Mate. I don’t know why anyone would use Ubuntu Mate.

  7. I’m thinking about switching to Ubuntu Mate. I’ve heard it’s a great distro for people who want a lightweight and customizable desktop environment.

  8. I’ve used both Ubuntu Mate and Mint Mate, and I have to say that I prefer Ubuntu Mate. I find it to be more stable and reliable than Mint Mate. I also like the fact that Ubuntu Mate has a larger community than Mint Mate.

  9. I’m not sure why anyone would choose Mint Mate over Ubuntu Mate. Ubuntu Mate is clearly the superior distro.

  10. I think Ubuntu Mate is a better choice than Mint Mate because it has a more up-to-date software stack. Mint Mate is based on Ubuntu 18.04, while Ubuntu Mate is based on Ubuntu 20.04. This means that Ubuntu Mate will receive security updates for longer than Mint Mate.

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