Installing MATE Desktop

This tutorial is for those with little to no experience with Linux that want to get a nice setup going with a beautiful desktop interface. MATE is a fork of GNOME 2. You can install Mate as an addition to your Desktop or as a single system on base Ubuntu. I chose to do it using Ubuntu Server as the base and make it a stand alone. Doing this is really straight forward and easy. You will have a functioning system in no time and will be glad you left your propitiatory system or the bloated desktop interfaces behind.

MATE is a fork of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. MATE is under active development to add support for new technologies while preserving a traditional desktop experience.

MATE is available via the official repositories for the following Linux distributions:

  • Fedora
  • Linux Mint
  • Mageia
  • PCLinuxOS
  • Point Linux
  • Sabayon
  • Salix

MATE is available via unofficial repositories for the following Linux distributions, but inclusion in their official repositories is planned:

  • Arch Linux
  • Debian
  • Gentoo
  • openSUSE
  • Slackware
  • Ubuntu

Installing MATE Desktop on Ubuntu

Once you install the server, you will want to edit your sources file:

vi /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following lines at the end:

### MATE Desktop Repo
deb http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu quantal main
deb-src http://packages.mate-desktop.org/repo/ubuntu quantal main

Update and install the system

apt-get update
apt-get install mate-archive-keyring
apt-get update

Install MATE Core

apt-get install mate-core

Install MATE Extras

apt-get install mate-desktop-environment

Install Extra Packages

sudo apt-get install xorg xterm lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter mate-core menu gksu synaptic --no-install-recommends

Install Login Manager

apt-get install lightdm

Setting MATE as the default

sudo /usr/lib/lightdm/lightdm-set-defaults -s mate-session

Start Lightdm

sudo service lightdm start

Customize It

Remove Guest Login

vi /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

FROM:

[SeatDefaults]
user-session=mate-session

TO:

[SeatDefaults]
user-session=mate-session
allow-guest=false

Change background color and add logo

vi /etc/lightdm/lightdm-gtk-greeter-ubuntu.conf

Change or add this:

[greeter]
background=#000000  (or whatever color number you wish or whatever path to background you wish)
logo=/usr/share/icons/lightdm/login-computer.png  (or where ever you are maintaining it, if you will be using one.)

Reboot your system

reboot

Installing MATE Desktop on Debian Wheezy

Same as Ubuntu here, I started out with an bare-bone install and worked my way from there.

  • Once you install the server, you will want to edit your sources file:
vi /etc/apt/sources.list
  • Add the following lines at the end:
### MATE Desktop Repo
deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/debian wheezy main

Update and install the system

apt-get update

Install MATE by picking one of the apt-get options below:

  • This will install the base packages required for a minimal MATE desktop
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-core
  • This will install the complete MATE desktop
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment
  • This will install the complete MATE desktop including a few extras
sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment-extras

Install Extra Packages

sudo apt-get install xorg xterm lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter mate-core menu gksu synaptic --no-install-recommends

Start Lightdm

sudo service lightdm start

Network Manager

apt-get install network-manager-gnome

Install Mozilla Iceweasel and Icedove

apt-get install -t wheezy-backports iceweasel icedove

Install LibreOffice

sudo apt-get install libreoffice

Install package management

sudo apt-get install synaptic apt-xapian-index gdebi gksu

Install Debian Firmware

sudo apt-get install firmware-linux

Install Extra Fonts

sudo apt-get install ttf-freefont ttf-mscorefonts-installer ttf-bitstream-vera ttf-dejavu ttf-liberation

Install Flash Plugin

sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree

Install Applications

sudo apt-get install file-roller evince parcellite qalculate clementine vlc bleachbit gimp shotwell gparted gnome-disk-utility libreoffice-writer libreoffice-calc libreoffice-impress chromium

Install multimedia codecs

sudo apt-get install gstreamer0.10-plugins-ugly gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer0.10-fluendo-mp3 gstreamer0.10-pulseaudio
sudo apt-get install libgstreamer-perl libgstreamer-interfaces-perl

Reboot your system

reboot

 

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