MATE: Small improvements in display settings and power management
by clem 16

Work continues on MATE.

The display settings received the following improvements:

– They show the output names as well as display names (This feature was recently added to Cinnamon 2.8).
– A new “Set as primary” button was added to set the selected monitor as primary (among other things this allows you to define where the mate-panel appears).
– The ultra-confusing “Make default” button was renamed “Apply system-wide” and given a tooltip to explain what it does (I’m personally in favor or removing it completely but I couldn’t reach consensus on this) :)

The power manager now also shows vendor and model information, similar to what was done for Cinnamon 2.8:

16 thoughts on “MATE: Small improvements in display settings and power management

  1. Baldrick_NZ Sep 4,2015 19:49

    Hi Clem,

    Awesome to see MATE getting some well deserved attention. Are there any plans afoot to incorporate color management into MATE, such as in Cinnamon’s ‘Color’ module?

    Such a feature could only further enhance this lightweight distro.


    • clem Sep 4,2015 21:27

      Not that I know no…

      There’s more in store for MATE though, I just changed its session DBUS name back to org.gnome.SessionManager. That results in Gtk.Application (along many other apps which hardcode the address) to support MATE in a few different ways.. inhibition for instance, typically that makes VLC, Totem and all inhibit mate-screensaver now, but also session-management… for instance say an app needs to save something, it’s aware you’re trying to logout and asks you to save, and it exists cleanly before mate-session-manager does (a good example of that is gedit, more generally any gtk.Application too).

      And that’s just the Mint roadmap for MATE. There’s also a MATE roadmap and individual MATE devs are working on other things too.

      • peter Sep 5,2015 16:14

        very good to know! thanks for getting the word out.
        (I assume your work applies to Mint and LMDE)

  2. Bumblebum Sep 8,2015 16:00

    Hi Clem and Mint/MATE team.

    A question that plagues me since quite a while: I once tried LMDE, hoping to benefit from Debian’s speed advantage and the fact that I don’t need to install a new version every 6 mths. But I found MATE on LMDE somehow misseing some stuffs I loved in the *buntu version, so I went back, tail between my legs.

    How is the situation these days? Did LMDE finally catch up with the main edition? That would be like heaven and pretty much the end of all searching and distrohopping.

    Thx and merci beaucoup for a quick reply.

    • clem Sep 8,2015 16:40

      What did you find was missing? In regards to MATE only Compiz should be missing.

  3. Bumblebum Sep 9,2015 03:05

    Uh ok. That’s that then. Will give LMDE another go.
    If memory serves I guess it was the Nvidia driver that was missing and … and … shit, I’m sooo forgetful. Gonna install it now and let you know what I find missing, if anything at all. ;)

  4. Bumblebum Sep 9,2015 06:05

    Now I got it:
    No MHWD, no driver support.

    And what’s up with forcing users to have a EFI partition? I’m not planning to let any M$ crap anywhere close to my precious hardware so no need for compability with Windows. Why can’t the installer leave me alone? What do they mean with first partition? I only have one HDD, one partition. It’s all I need and want. If LMDE really needs to waste my precious storage area for Micro$oft why can’t it partition automatically like the main edition does? I’ll be damned before I manually configure a EFI partition.

  5. Bumblebum Sep 9,2015 16:57

    @ Peter: MHWD = Mint Hardware Detection , that thing that figures out what kinda GPU and printers adn whatevers you’ve installed on your system. You have a Nvidia gpu and reverted back to the default driver? That stinking piece of Nouveau crap? You crazy Bro? Don’t you ever game? Why you have an Nvidia card in the first place if you run it on Nouveau driver? In the main edition I get a small collection of Nvidia drivers right in the system control thingy. 346.82 is installed in a matter of minutes with just 2 mouseclicks. Not so in LMDE I guess. Anyway, I didn’t even install it since the installer was a bit too nosy and commanding for my taste.

    I know that LMDE is for experienced users but I prefer to stay the eternal n00b. And Clem just told me there are no differences between the main and LMDE version except Compiz. And I need Compiz as much as a hole in the head so that’s ok.

    • peter Sep 9,2015 20:28

      @Bumblebum “You have a Nvidia gpu and reverted back to the default driver? That stinking piece of Nouveau crap? You crazy Bro? Don’t you ever game?”
      no, I do not game. my computers are used 95% for work. I use hot rod graphics for Acad (I multi boot, run it with W7)
      with the Nvidia driver all seemed fine, no real difference other than slower boot time.
      the next several of my USB ports were not working. I reverted to the default and all was good. Unrelated? I don’t know. Did not make sense to me but I had work to do and did not have time to mess around.
      on the other laptop no ill effects (other than dog slow boot), but no benefit either… so I reverted there too.
      try the DDM tool if you like. it works well
      Clem is right, there is not much difference other than Ubuntu. Maybe you can try dual booting and see.

  6. mikef90000 Sep 12,2015 20:26

    Hi Clem and Mint devs,

    One reason I don’t use MATE yet is the limited and awkward panel configuration tool, a holdover from GNOME2.
    Any possibility of ‘encouraging’ some dev into making this function work like, say, the XFCE way?

    TIA, Mike

    • peter Sep 13,2015 19:09

      if you prefer xfce you should use it.
      personally, I love the ability to configure the Mate/Gnome2 panels. I find it both very easy to use and robust.
      I wish I could provide you a link to a Mate tutorial, but I have found none… somebody should do that.

      as an aside, I am not too thrilled with the default Mate configuration and the “Mint Menu”, but I can rearrange it to the Traditional format and the “Menu Bar” while I wait for the first update/upgrade after the fresh install.
      The “xfce way” for Mate would destroy it.

      be well

    • mikef90000 Sep 13,2015 21:51

      @peter, I’m not asking for MATE to be a complete XFCE clone. I just want a sane way to configure the panels besides D-N-D.

      Example – if you add a transparent or undefined widget (such as a separator) to a panel it is maddening to find it in order to move it, delete it, configure it, etc.

      Don’t send me to gconf-editor, it is obsolete, ugly, newbie hostile and is no substitute for a proper panel preferences dialog. I hated it in GNOME2 and nothing has changed. If there’s a better GUI I’d like to see it.

      Unfortunately lxqt may regress in the the same way unless the devs pull their head out, three dialogs to configure panel widgets? Ugh.

    • RichardG Sep 14,2015 11:29

      I don’t know about the XFCE way but this discussion triggered an idea :
      Showing the bar as a readable, segmented, list where you could Dnd the order :

      Left part
      Center part Left
      Window List
      Centerpart Center

      Center part Right

      Right part
      Virtual Desktops

      This way any hidden or hard to grab elements are easily to change.

      This could work for all DE’s *beside* the existing method(s).
      Basically a user-friendly way to the gconf-editor.

      Maybe for Cinnamon (as that’s what I use) this could be integrated with the applets in use.

      • RichardG Sep 14,2015 11:32

        Ouch, formatting went out the window :-(

        Left part
        Center part Left
          Window List
        Centerpart Center
        Center part Right
        Right part
          Virtual Desktops

        Maybe a preview window for this blog would help a bit :-)

  7. NJ Sep 28,2015 22:08

    Suggestion – for all versions of Mint: replace hyphens in reports of hours remaining with colons. That way, there is no (momentary?) impression that a negative amount of time remains.

    This proposed change is small – yes. Yet, it seems to me that many small improvements such as these will improve the experience of using Mint.


    (I am using Cinnamon on 17.2.)

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