Fedora MATE vs Ubuntu MATE

Due to some reasons, I am experimenting switching from Ubuntu 17.04 to Fedora 26.

Thanks to the MATE desktop, there is very learning curve required. At least for now.

However, I was wondering whether someone with more experience in both Fedora MATE and Ubuntu MATE, can enlighten me about what are the major differences between the two?

Thanks in advance.

There are several differences, since I am more fond of the MATE-Compiz spin of Fedora I feel compelled to mention some of these differences;

  • Instead of yum / dnf and copr, you have dpkg and apt-get / apt.
  • Speaking of, while fedora gets yumex off the hop, synaptic is no longer a default package manager.
  • to sort of make up for this, Ubuntu MATE’s welcome screen acts as a software installer for curated apps.
  • It is by no means complete, and you should install synaptic anyway.
  • Ubuntu MATE has the mate-tweak tool which can use useful for initial configuration.
  • Fedora MATE-Compiz uses 0.8, while Ubuntu MATE uses 0.9; to downgrade, I have a handy guide for that.

The rest of your knowledge outside of Fedora should apply mostly the same, the curve for you would be more gradual, only needing to learn dpkg and apt.

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I switched from Ubuntu Mate 16.04 to Fedora Mate 25 a few months ago and I didn’t notice any significant differences regarding the desktop, except perhaps the absence of mate-tweak and welcome apps but since I don’t use them it wasn’t a problem. Both distributions work well, personally I like that Fedora has most unofficial apps in a single place (rpmfusion) while Ubuntu has many ppas for different programs, but on the other hand Ubuntu LTS releases have a much longer lifespan than Fedora releases.

I’ve used Fedora before and it does not theme as well without things breaking. Additionally, the range of software is very much reduced compared to Ubuntu and other Debian derivatives.

If you intend to just install it and do very little tweaking and don’t need to access much extra software over and above the obvious stuff, it’ll probably be okay. Otherwise I would recommend avoiding it.

This is a great forum!

Never could I have imagined to receive so many replies in such a short time, even for such a relatively esoteric question.


Again, as I mentioned in the beginning, I am “experimenting” switching to Fedora, after having used Ubuntu, almost exclusively, since 9.04.

The reason I want to consider something other than Ubuntu was that I need a Chinese language environment, but the Ubuntu Chinese language team seems to have been withholding updates for some key components (e.g., ibus, ibus-libpinyin, ibus-pinyin, etc), apparently in favor of some commercial alternatives.

With only about one week of experimentation, I am actually seeing myself using Fedora 26 as my main OS.

MATE made this switch, not only possible, but also almost painless!

And I am very appreciative of the fact that, although this is a “Ubuntu” MATE forum, it does not discriminate against Fedora-wanna-bes.


A lot of us are Ubuntu wanna-bes, but the more hardcore fellows here aren’t gigantic dicks either because we’ve seen that and they always suck.

I dual-boot. To some here that is a sin only resolvable by removing Windows but I don’t feel like dropping my Windows system just yet; need a better machine I can VM well with before I would bother.

I’m kind of caught in the “Gamer trap” where if I void myself of Windows I also void myself access to select titles I enjoy playing (because their dependent libraries hadn’t been ported to Windows, and developers had not cared about porting to open-source systems due to it) and being that some friends play what I play I’m not willing to sacrifice so much, so readily.