Distrotalk | What are your favourites aside from UM?

I think it is always good to keep an eye on what is happening with other distros and their communities. Ubuntu MATE has been extremely innovative and I settled on it as my favourite distro primarily because of its ease of use. I have to say that my main motivation to use it has not been the MATE desktop environment (even though I like it a lot) and I am somewhat hoping that it will sooner or later develop a profile that is not mainly defined through its desktop environment (like Linux Mint and Manjaro). The Software Boutique is a great step toward such a goal and generates a broader appeal beyond the MATE desktop environment.

What are your favorite distros aside from Ubuntu MATE or which releases are you mostly looking forward to? What features do you feel are missing in UM that you have found in other distros and how do you deal with it?


Apart from Ubuntu Mate, my other favourite distros, in no particular order of ranking, are:

Mint Mate
Debian Mate
Manjaro Mate
Arch Mate

Notice a pattern?..:grinning:

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Ubuntu MATE is my daily driver. What I do miss is the possibility to have two different wallpapers when I use dual monitors. In XFCE4 it is possible to set a different wallpaper on each screen.

Besides that I do not need anything else, could be I am not that needy :slight_smile:

I triple boot with Windows 10, Xubuntu-core and Ubuntu MATE.


Ubuntu Mate has been the daily driver on my main machine since September 2014.

I have dallied with other distros prior to that, and on my laptop and netbook I continued to dally until about six months ago when I was cajoled into trying Arch via Carl Duff’s brilliant Architect installer. Consequently, both my other machines are now Arch machines with xfce.

My main machine will stay with Ubuntu Mate though :slight_smile:

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Before Ubuntu Mate 16.04 I used Ubuntu 14.04 with Gnome-Flashback mode. It is really stable and a nice interface, but without the configuration options and regular updates as Ubuntu Mate has. Other than that I mainly stay with Ubuntu and its flavours. Xubuntu is nice but not as complete and user friendly as Mate. (Ubuntu) Gnome does strange things in my opinion. Kubuntu is to big and slow, with many useless extras and buggy. Ubuntu (Unity) is worse than Ubuntu Gnome. Lubuntu is nice but not very user friendly and sometimes too lightweight (at least for me). I tried pure Arch for a while, openSuse and Linux Mint, but Ubuntu is the sweet spot between those IMHO. Although Canonical does some strange things.


  1. Ubuntu Mate
  2. Lubuntu (excited for LXQT)
  3. Xubuntu
  4. Ubuntu Gnome
  5. Kubuntu
  6. Ubuntu

And a big applause to the Debian team, its also a great, rock solid distribution, without them Ubuntu wouldn’t be possible!


I favour Ubuntu Mate for my 64 bit main rig, no question about that.

For my 32 bit laptop and notepad I have, hitherto, been using Lubuntu 32 bit. However, in the last week or two, since learning of Ubuntu dropping 32 bit support, I have been experimenting in Virtualbox with Debian 32 bit with LXQT desktop. To achieve this cleanly, I installed Debian Stretch net-install with no desktop then installed LXQT desktop from the Debian Stretch repositories. A little bit of tweaking and it provides a very nice desktop. Quite an improvement, in my opinion, on LXDE.

See below:

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Arch Linux is my beloved distro. I started learning Linux through it, not falling prey to the usual “it’s not for beginners” mantra. It’s perfect for beginners in a VM environment with VM snapshots and all. There’s no better way to learn Linux, a powerful and feature-rich OS than to get dirty. But once that’s done, that’s done. I never intended it to be my final distro. I need more stability than it offers.

2nd Ubuntu-MATE. I’m not a fan of Canonical by far. But I am appreciative of their effort to keep a reasonable updated set of repos while providing a fair deal of stability. I love MATE and the two combined is why I am here today talking to you.

3rd Solus. Am totally rooting for this distro. A whole new independent distro, a beautiful and completely original DE that nonetheless respects the structure and workflow of Gnome 2. I have it currently on a VM and it’s fantastic. If it gets enough traction, it can become the next big name in the industry, sharing its space with such powerhouses as Debian, Fedora, and SUSE and inspiring all sorts of derivatives.

4th Tails. Brilliantly executed niche-distro in a LiveCD format, for a pluggable full anonymous Internet access experience while optionally offering you all the expected software for daily entertainment and work. Repositories are neatly cared for to offer the best in security and it’s blazing fast that you can run it of an old and beaten USB 2.0 drive without a care in the world. Community is awesome and made up of quite a few security experts, with plenty of scripts and whatnot to buff even more your privacy and security. If you ever wish to carry around a distro on an encrypted USB pen, this is it. No other.


A nice starter Linux is Rosa Linux, it is a very clean and sharp looking DE which is very appealing to the eye, I find it a good Linux version for beginners to advanced as it offers just about everything, anyone wanting to ditch Winblows or MAC wouldn’t be disappointed with this distro!.

On a daily Linux basis, I only have Ubuntu Mate installed alongside Winblows 10 on my 2 PC’s. I have UM 16.04 (English, UM16.04 (German) and UM16.10 dev versions, all on one PC!. :smiley: On my notebook, I have UM16.04 and Windblows 10!. :smiley:

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You might soon want to add Solus MATE Edition to your list. :grin:

I use Ubuntu Mate as my main dev environment (programming, designing, etc) while dual-booting with Win8.1(games). Other distros I like:

  • Debian (used this one as a backup machine, worked pretty good until my hdd died)
  • Old Ubuntu (you know, the one before Unity came along)

Solus has along way to go before I use it. I wish them luck and I will certainly test run it in a VM from time to time. The problem for me is it has hardly any of the software I use in its repos.

UM has it all. It has a rock solid implementation of Mate. Plus it has access to the universe of software in Cannonical’s repos. Finally, the one thing bugging me with UM, namely Samba, appears to have now been fixed. Though, I should say, this was a Linux wide problem anyway.