Changes I'd like in 20.04

Well, maybe I will be the unique one here to post, in that I joined just to reply to this, and because I am NOT a user.

I really like this DE because it's more familiar to me than others from past experience, and it has some new features included already, while escaping the Gnome 3 stuff and all those extensions and other negatives for some. But there is some room for improvement in the Mate DE itself despite the point of the fork. I would hate to see you guys not move it forward.

1- I would really like to see an update to the panels. Specifically, I would like to see a way to condense the upper and lower panels together from say the Traditional option, or Familiar option. There is a bunch of dead space in the middle of the top panel, and we could stick the bottom panel "IN" the center of the top panel if we are being honest. Especially if we were able to select what we want on the panels, distance between icons and etc, in some way like you can do in Ubuntu Budgie.

2- I would like to see the addition of an ability to "pin" in the left pane of Caja. Oh it hurts me to say this... like windows 10.

3- Some more modern looking themes, icons, etc prebundled. I could not get my 20 year old college student to choose Ubuntu Mate over Ubuntu Budgie. I honestly still preferred Ubuntu Mate, but I am older and she is younger. Some changes like above would allow this to appeal to me and the rest of your user base, while attracting some younger users too.

I think you all are doing a great job, and doing us a great service. But I had been away for a while, and my daughter wanted as far away from Windows as she could get. So I also installed Ubuntu Budgie so I could better help support her as she joined me moving back to Linux. After I get Budgie down and knock of a bit of the general Linux rust I would like to maybe start over and install both or both of us move to Mate because a lot of things are better over here like Caja file manager, window manager options, etc, etc,

Hello Dusty

Remark 1: last sentence
You can already do this :slight_smile:

Remark 2:
You can already do this :slight_smile:

As you are "not a user" I did not include "how-to". Ask again if you want to know how.

Yeah I would like to know how to do these things. It's not an option I saw looking in the menus when we were playing with it, but I do still have an Ubuntu Mate live usb to tinker around with.

Hello Dusty


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image A
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Can you follow that? :slight_smile:

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Oh yeah, thank you.

I went searching too and found this thread too since I can't just send messages here yet

Also thanks to those who didn't complain at me for mucking up the thread.

  1. Transparent background to the panel applets
  2. Smooth, fast and pleasant animation in Marco
  3. Yaru theme

Oh dang, I think I have figured out how to accomplish a lot of this now that I have spent a while tonight playing with "add to panel" which was something I hadn't seen before. I added 'window list' to my top panel and that has me going in the right direction.

I can't figure out how to tweak and edit the stuff on the far right of my top panel though. 'Indicator applet complete'

Hi @Dusty,

Indicator applet complete is a container for different system indicators. Some of these indicators are more or less configurable through dconf. Could you please give more information about what are you trying to achieve?


I get what you are saying now, those icons to the right are part of a tray. I was trying to tweak and adjust. Get rid of some space between the icons, get rid of the clock it includes, etc. I guess the best answer is to dump the tray and use individual things. Not sure if they are all available individual though.

I am trying to effectively keep the basic bottom panel functions of Gnome 2 by adding them to the top panel. This way I can turn on plank dock, and I have a fresh clean updated looking desktop when I boot up. But while I am working and multitasking I have my window list and all that for productivity. I just have to see if I can get used to it on the top.

Tray is such an ambiguous word :slight_smile: . We have notification area which is, well, a Gnome 2 tray. You can add or remove it from panel. Some applications still use it. For example, if you use several layouts, keyboard indicator will appear in notification area. But the majority of system indicators are displayed in indicator applet now. This approach was introduced in Unity desktop for several reasons and now is deliberately implemented in Ubuntu MATE. Vanilla MATE desktop, however, does not provide indicator applet area, so you can get a more gnome-2-ish experience in other MATE distributions out of the box.
So yes, in theory, you may remove indicator applet, add some standalone applets and force your apps to show icons in notification area. But Ubuntu MATE developers are doing the opposite :slight_smile: .
Concerning tweaking the indicator applet itself:

  • here is a nice discussion about spacing;
  • to completely get rid of the clock you'll probably have to uninstall indicator-datetime;
  • I am sure I saw some discussions about icon rearrangements inside indicator applet in this forum too.

Good luck!

Thank you for the information.

Yeah, you get what I am saying. I only really need the far right button, a better battery indicator with %. Wifi, Notificatons, as I like the time with date thing I have in the center better, which I could move to the left or the right in place of the time only.

Anyways, here is a screenshot of where I am with melting traditional with new.

Yes those into the new look will say programs showing in the top look like crap. But they are only there when I am doing things. And I find that to be productive for switching as I multitask. I know everyone is not the same, but for me its faster/smoother than hotcorners or going to the bottom to unhide plank. I guess I have spent too much time in a traditional DE and Windows. In Budgie I was actually going into plank settings and turning off auto-hide while multitasking. It helped but I still found myself fumbling trying to select the right icon if that makes sense.

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You're welcome!
I am using window list applet too and I personally find it very convenient in my workflow.
I see now why you want to get rid of the clock. Is actually the absence of date a deal-breaker for you? Because, luckily, indicator-datetime supports custom date and time formats and you can display date inside indicator applet area.
However, if you prefer clock in the center for aesthetic reasons, you may use standalone clock applet as you've already discovered. And you may remove indicator-datetime package, re-login, and the redundant clock inside indicator applet area will disappear.


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Ah, the clock being in the center is not really a big deal to me. I just like the day month date time layout in one place. I probably would have put it over in the right tray if possible.

I don't know how now, but I got rid of the clock in the tray. I can't explain that I don't know if I did it and then went to sleep and didn't retain it, or if I did it by accident somehow. I'm going with by accident because it seems I have lost my battery monitor too. Sad I know.

Anyways, now I can't decide where I like the day month date time one to be at either lol. I would rather do it like you have it but I don't see that in the dropdown option and I can't remember how I did what you did in budgie. Seems like Budgie had some kind of tool for formatting that was an extension out of the dropdown settings.

I actually kept it up and worked through a whole day with it and like it pretty good. But I will admit that I kind of suck. I'm struggling a little bit between the tabs in firefox, the tabs in master pdf editor and the program 'tabs' in the top panel. I'm doing some fumbling there with everything on the top. I guess it is because the window list is in the bottom in traditional Gnome 2 and Windows. So it is one of those things I would have to see if I could get used to. Not sure if it is muscle memory, gray matter memory, or if it is just too much in the top and I won't ever stop fumbling? But I feel like I have at least sort of accomplished what I was trying to do with setting it up, except I can't seem to find a search option for the "Main Menu".

I like it enough I am somewhat dreading killing the live session to double check that all my work is indeed going to display fine in other environments like Windows. And after I want to try to do all of this again, but in 18.04... because yes Marco is better in 19.10 than it was in 18.04 but it is the only choice and there is still some "screen tearing" issues sometimes when scrolling. I think someone already mentioned bringing back the other window manager options like compiz and compton in 20.04!

Well, I had to shut down the live session and double check my work files before sending. All was well.

When I went back into tinker mode, I decided to boot an 18.04 stick. I like it a lot better. The time is not in the tray and everything works well. I even have my temperature and all working. So I am going to test drive this a bit. I made some changes to the window borders that I hope will help me stop fumbling. That brings up the question, just because I am curious... why do some applications not adhere to the window border selections I have made? Is it because they technically do not have a title bar border? Mate terminal for example.

Should I decide to, is there a way I could install this version of Mate Desktop on my Unbuntu Budgie 19.10? If possible, would it be OK for a bit, or would it be a can of worms?

I did not take into consideration you were using live session. All changes you did are unrelevant now since you rebooted. Probably, an installation in virtualbox is better for playing with all these settings, installing/uninstalling stuff.
I don't see any significant visual difference between 18.04 and 20.04. There are plenty of unseen or nearly unseen changes, though. And yes, clock applet was replaced with indicator in 19.10. But clock applet is available for adding to panel. If you decide to stick with new indicator you still may ask for configuration tips.
You may install MATE on top of your Budgie, of course, but you may face problems because your installation will have some Budgie-specific packages and potentially miss some Ubuntu MATE packages. And your potential problems may be uncommon or unknown for a majority of Ubuntu MATE users. This is a broad topic worth discussing in a separate thread. Take a look at mate-desktop-environment metapackage (original MATE DE experience) or ubuntu-mate-desktop metapackage (Ubuntu MATE experience). Do not install them on your production machine unless you know what you are doing, test in virtual environment first.

Ubuntu MATE 18.04 is using MATE Desktop 1.20, Ubuntu MATE 19.10 is using MATE Desktop 1.22. You'll probably have to downgrade installed packages then.

I don't know. Maybe your live session is the reason. MATE Terminal for sure respects your theme selection. Try to re-login.


OK, i would just install 18.04 Mate then.

Logging out did make everything but firefox adhere to my window border selections.

I thought about what I had already said myself after some head scratching, and then went and turned on the title bar for firefox and it will adhere to my window border selections as long as that is on. Go figure lol. I don't typically use it but it makes everything uniform. So I left it on. I found as much as I don't like the title bar it is helping me a little with the fumbling I think because it's a separator between the firefox tabs and the top panel program tabs.

You may force your window manager to undecorate maximized window if you are somewhat unhappy with titlebar. The setting is in MATE Tweak / Windows section. This may help you to save some precious screen space.