MATE is a fork of classic Gnome 2 Desktop, it is the default in Linux Mint. MATE 1.6 has been released days ago. This simple and brief tutorial will show you how to install it in Ubuntu 13.04 Raring & 12.10 Quantal.

Here are the main changes in MATE 1.6:

  • Systemd-logind support:
    Added support for systemd-logind in mate-session-manager, mate-screensaver and mate-power-manager (now you can reboot/shutdown without ConsoleKit)
  • Caja (file manager) improvements:
    Improved places sidebar
    Added support for new thumbnailers specification
    Added a new frame for thumbnails
    Wallpapers are now cached for a better memory management
    New connect server dialog from Nautilus 3
    Added support for File Manager DBus Interface
    Fixed back vs parent directory selection
  • Panel improvements:
    Added –run-dialog option to open the run dialog window
    Window list: you can use the mouse middle click button to close a window
    Workspace switcher: Added an option to wrap around between workspaces with the mouse wheel
    Added a simple way for distributions to override the default panel layout
    Unfortunately, due to migration to GSettings, you will lose your current panel layout. All other settings will be migrated if you have MateConf 1.4 installed
  • Marco (window manager) improvements:
    Added option to open new windows on the center of the screen
  • Control center improvements:
    Added option to enable Marco compositing manager and fast alt-tab in window preferences
    Set GSettings/GConf metacity theme if compiz or metacity are running
    Use same GNOME proxy settings of gsettings-desktop-schemas package
    Default applications: allow to set default terminal
  • Atril (document viewer) improvements:
    Added XPS backend
  • Calc improvements:
    Updated codebase
    Added buttons to support inverse trigonomic functions
  • Notification daemon improvements:
    Added option to specify which screen to display notifications on
    Show always a notification if it has ‘expires never’ as timeout (also if screensaver is active or there are active fullscreen windows)
  • Themes improvements:
    New GTK2/3 themes (Menta, BlackMATE, GreenLaguna, TraditionalGreen)
    Added GTK3 support for other GTK2 themes (TraditionalOk, TraditionalOkTest, ContrastHigh)
  • Icon theme improvements:
    New theme with green folders (Menta)
    Enabled text preview for text files
    Added some new icons
  • Settings daemon improvements:
    Added support for MPRIS2 to send media keys to media players
    Added option to draw the background if caja is not active
    The daemon is now restarted by mate-session if it crashes
  • Caja open terminal extension improvements:
    Support opening a remote terminal
  • Netbook applet improvements:
    Enable maximus only when window picker applet is added to the panel
  • Dropped packages:
    Replaced MateConf with GSettings
    Replaced MateCorba/MateComponent with DBus
    Replaced MateVfs with GIO/GVFS
    Replaced libmatenotify with libnotify
    Removed deprecated packages: libmateui, libmatecanvas, libmatecomponentui, mate-mime-data
    Removed libmate (mate-open replaced with gvfs-open, GSettings schemas moved to mate-desktop package
  • Other improvements:
    Fixed a lot of code deprecations
    Fixed a lot of bugs
    Added and improved a lot of translations

Install MATE Desktop in Ubuntu:

Hit Ctrl+Alt+T to open terminal for running commands.

Run following 2 commands to add the repository:

sudo add-apt-repository "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main"

sudo add-apt-repository "deb $(lsb_release -sc) main"

Then update and install the keyring:

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

Finally install MATE:

sudo apt-get install mate-core mate-desktop-environment

After installation, log out and choose login with MATE: