Are there any major differences between Solus MATE and Ubuntu MATE?

Obviously, one uses Ubuntu, the other Solus as its basis but are there any other notable differences?

Thank you!

Solus has a massively reduced, by comparison to Ubuntu Mate, set of software packages available to install (or, at least, available to install easily - you can always try installing from source. But that requires a much higher level of expertise than an average user possesses).

This may change at some point in the future. But as of now, that is the case.

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Solus is also a rolling distro, so you only need to install it once and it will update itself ‘forever’

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Being a multi-edition distro, Solus is also prone to ship with unpleasant behaviour from its non flagship DEs. Solus is mainly a Budgie release, with Gnome and MATE tucked in for choice. My experience with distros featuring multiple editions has always been to stick to the flagship edition.

Solus, ships with the latest MATE 1.18. This means gtk3, brisk menu (much better than the Mint-MATE mess of a menu), the excellent MenuLibre, copy pausing and queues on Caja, and improvements to the notifications system. But it also means it won’t probably work right of the box for you. There are issues with the notification system in 1.18 that take some trouble to solve, polkit has a bug that shows up also in Solus, and I have also experienced problems getting MenuLibre to run on that distro (as well as Antergos MATE edition).

I’ve been recently through a number of distros trying to look for a replacement to the ubuntu base. And what I have found out is that no one beats Ubuntu MATE in its implementation of the MATE DE. Just no one. Needs to be said that this only applies to LTS releases. But that is precisely what LTS stands for and no one does it better than @Wimpy & Team.

I ended giving up and moved to Xfce which is now running on top of Manjaro. It’s the closest I got to getting a MATE DE on my computer. Saddens me to have abandoned MATE because of an unrelated need for a different repo experience. But as happy as I am (and I am!) with Xfce, I’m also very loyal when it comes to computer things. So, I have no doubt that as soon as the tweak & fix bug bites me, I will want to go back to MATE and set it up properly on Antergos/Arch. It just so happens that right now I need a working solution and don’t have the disposition for much tinkering.

So, to conclude, stick to Ubuntu MATE LTS if you want a top MATE experience. No one else is doing it. Unless you feel like tinkering. On that case go for it! Although I’d reinforce @stevecook172001 post here. Solus migh not be what you want right now.

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I have recently done the same and arrived at exactly the same conclusion

I might be a little off topic but few days ago I’ve decided to give Solus a try with budgie desktop, as said in earlier answers the flagship is the flagship and should be the best choice for a Solus try.

I have a lot of respect for Solus team for doing things fro the scratch and working more on the mechanics than the visual part (also not bad imo).

This interview below really pushed me to think about trying Solus on my other laptop, seems like Ikey knows what he is talking about. Even Martin asked about what OS would he used if he couldn’t use his own said it would be Solus :slight_smile:

Getting back to the topic I second the opinion that Solus should be tried with budgie, to get the full experience, other options seem good, but they are probably just an addition, an extra flavor, how to say it… not 100% compatible?

Thanks, guys!

My short conclusion:

Solus for Budgie, Ubuntu MATE for MATE.

It will be exciting to see how Budgie and Solus will evolve now given that Ikey decided to work full-time on this.

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