MATE 1.8 released!
by clem 12

Last week saw the anticipated release of MATE 1.8.

This new version of the MATE desktop will be featured in Linux Mint 17 which is planned for the end of May 2014.

On behalf of the Linux Mint project I’d like to thank and congratulate the MATE development team and I’m excited to echo their release announcement here on Segfault.

The team is proud to announce the release of MATE Desktop 1.8. We would like to thank every MATE contributor and user.


The main changes in 1.8 are:

Caja (file manager)

  • Added an option to use IEC units instead of SI units
  • Added “Open parent location” option in the search view context menu

Marco (window manager)

  • Added side-by-side tiling


  • Added support for Metacity keybindings in the run dialog and main menu
  • Added a progress bar to the logout dialog

Control center

  • Added support to use Metacity as a window manager

MATE Desktop library

Eye Of MATE (image viewer)

  • Added shuffle mode to the slideshow

Engrampa (file archiver)

  • Always display “extract to” context menu to Caja


  • Displays date and time in lock dialog


  • Added undo functionality to the sticky note applet
  • Added a new “command” applet to show the output of a command
  • Rewrote the “timer” applet in C
  • Clicking the middle mouse on the volume applet toggles mute

Dropped packages

  • Replaced mate-doc-utils with yelp-tools
  • Replaced libmatekeyring and mate-keyring with libsecret and gnome-keyring
  • Replaced libmatewnck with libwnck
  • Replaced mucharmap with gucharmap
  • Replaced mate-bluetooth with blueman
  • Merged all Caja extensions into a single package
  • Removed the modem lights applet, as the netspeed applet provides similar functionality

Other improvements

  • Fixed a lot of code deprecations
  • Fixed a lot of bugs
  • Improved the build system
  • Added and improved a lot of translations

As usual, we asked people from distributions that ship MATE what they think about our Desktop Environment.

Mike Gabriel, Debian developer and MATE maintainer:

I forsee MATE being one of the most used desktop environments in Debian Jessie (and beyond).

Tom Wijsman, Gentoo developer and MATE maintainer:

Some of our users express that they want to stay with GNOME 2; because they like how things used to be, they run older hardware or they want a more lightweight desktop. Given that GNOME 2 became unsupported and will eventually be removed from our meta distribution due to various maintenance, regression and security issues; MATE brings back all the glory with an active development team. Their continuation of GNOME 2’s development fixes outstanding issues, brings new and useful features and keeps the good old experience alive and kicking.

Willy Sudiarto Raharjo, Co-developer of MATE SlackBuilds Project:

MATE shared the same basic philosophies of Slackware, such as simplicity, stability, and no fixed release schedule. It will be released when it’s ready and preserving the same metaphor which is proven to be working well. MATE is also easy to be maintained and integrated on top of Slackware since Patrick Volkerding has given a solid foundation as the base layer in which MATE could fill the need of GNOME-based Desktop Environment which Slackware lack of since 2005. I’m looking forward for the evolutionary changes that MATE developers will integrate for the next major release of MATE.

Chess Griffin, Co-developer of MATE SlackBuilds Project:

MATE is a great desktop environment for those who like the old GNOME 2 experience. I greatly appreciate all the hard work that is put into MATE to keep it stable and mature yet at the same time incorporating new bits where appropriate. The effort to keep MATE agnostic in terms of the user’s operating system or distribution is also to be applauded. I enjoy being a part of the MATE SlackBuilds project, which aims to bring the MATE desktop to the Slackware Linux community. Thanks to the entire MATE team!

Benjamin Denisart, openSUSE MATE maintainer:

The openSUSE team wants to thank the MATE developers for their efforts in providing this new version and is proud to announce the availability of gnome-main-menu, which will please users attracted by a traditional and easy to use desktop. It’s a pleasure for us to work with the MATE team and we want to send them our congratulations.

Clement Lefebvre, Linux Mint founder and project leader:

MATE proudly carries the colors of GNOME 2 and continues where the project left off. In many ways and for many people MATE just feels like home. It’s simple, stable and full featured. While more recent desktops experiment with new concepts, MATE provides an environment which works exactly as you’d expect it. It’s popular with our users and it’s the desktop on top of which Linux Mint built its technology and identity since 2006. We’re very proud and very happy to support MATE and delighted with each and every new release.

Wolfgang Ulbrich, MATE maintainer in Fedora:

During the Fedora 15/16 releases I was very dissatisfied with the desktop solutions on offer. After 10 months of using XFCE I discovered MATE and decided to build my own desktop for Fedora in December 2011. This work resulted in the first external MATE Desktop repository for Fedora and was used by many users worldwide, including Fedora spins based on my packages in Russia, Latvia and Indonesia. The corollary to this work was to bring the MATE Desktop inside official Fedora together with Dan Mashal for Fedora 18. Two releases later we have a stable and usable MATE 1.6 desktop solution in Fedora 20. MATE 1.8 is currently in Fedora rawhide and will be released with Fedora 21 in the summer of 2014.

Martin Wimpress, MATE maintainer for Arch Linux:

MATE was originally created by an Arch Linux user and I am delighted that MATE is now available in the official Arch Linux and Arch Linux ARM package repositories. MATE provides a complete, fully integrated, responsive traditional desktop experience and consistent work flow on my Raspberry Pi, CuBox Pro, laptop and desktop. Brilliant!

MATE 1.8 is the result of 11 months of intense development and contains 1845 contributions by 57 people, and more than 291 translators.

12 thoughts on “MATE 1.8 released!

  1. Anand Mar 10,2014 13:11

    Great news. I see that Tiling / Snapping have been implemented from Cinnamon to MATE. Any plans for some MATE improvements to be incorporated in Cinnamon? (Eg: Added a progress bar to the logout dialog or Cinnamon paste tool). I am not a devloper but suppose it is not exactly trivial / copy-paste but feel still porting from GNOME derivative (gtk) may be easier than KDE (Qt).
    Even Wayland support for MATE could pave a way (relatively easy in terms of some amount reuse vis-a-vis MATE not having wayland support) to Cinnamon as well. Glad to hear your views.

    • clem Mar 11,2014 10:08

      Hi Anand,

      I’m not sure it will fit in the roadmap for 2.2, but yes, as a general rule of thumb a lot of ideas and inspiration are exchanged between projects, especially between Cinnamon and MATE.

  2. Mark Walton Mar 10,2014 20:18

    I know we utilise a user guide based on the MATE desktop, but I would love to create a Cinnamon version as it’s the flagship desktop for Mint. Also, there are now so many features specific to Cinnamon that a new user would appreciate documentation that is specific to this desktop.
    Is there anyone on the development team leading the documentation activities to discuss this with?

    • clem Mar 11,2014 10:07

      Hi Mark. I’d be happy to talk about this. Meet us on IRC @ #linuxmint-dev

  3. Monsta Mar 11,2014 08:15

    I’d like this release to get into LMDE…

  4. empty Mar 12,2014 18:07

    I am currently running Mint 16 KDE but would love to try MATE 1.8 now. Is it available in backports, or how would I install it in Mint Mate 16? Thanks.

  5. Zorba Apr 1,2014 01:47

    Great news !! But please fix the “use compositing” option because it does not work on Linux Mint 16 and the top panel looks ugly (no shadow)

    One more thing; please add sound effects to Linux Mint 17 Mate edition like on Cinnamon.

    Thank you!

  6. Dow Hurst May 2,2014 20:21

    Will Mate 1.8 be backported to LinuxMint Maya (13)?

  7. André L. a.k.a. Moi May 21,2014 06:44

    Hi, I really like Mate and the way it is going. I use Linux Mint Mate mostly on my netbook with a naturally small screen and I like simplicity. Therefore I prefer the simple Mate menu to the Mint menu (which takes up half of my screen and adds extra steps to get to all applications if you don’t want lots of stuff in your favourites). There is one feature though that I really miss when using the Mate menu instead of Mint menu: the super-versatile search function. In Mint menu you can for example type the name of any package and if it is in one of the repos, an option to install it will appear – that is so much quicker than going through terminal or synaptic. Is there any way this feature could be included in the Mate menu in a future Mate release or is it already possible by adding a custom script or something that I haven’t noticed? Thanx and keep up the good work!

  8. Jeff May 28,2014 17:47

    Just installed Mint ‘Mate’ 17 on Compaq Presario R3000. The best distro I have ever used.

  9. Daniel Jun 13,2014 11:39

    Hello guys,

    I want to congrats you for adding IEC units to Caja. In my opinion this should be the default. Anyway, I can’t find the option to change it to IEC from SI.

    Where is it ?


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