MATE 1.20 review

I’m not the author, I’ve just found this long review, his feedback might be useful in some way:

Hi @ssspacez,

I think that is the Debian version and not Ubuntu Mate, he rants on about there not being a Live CD:
(" Looking at the MATE site, there just isn’t a live CD demonstrator the way KDE (neon) offers, for example").

Further, he also goes on about adding PPA’s which aren’t necessary if he got an ISO from the Ubuntu Mate website!. All he had to do was go here: :smiley:

So basically he got out of the wrong side of the bed that day!. :smiley:

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I think he was using MX Linux(Debian+Xfce) and installed MATE on top of it… which I think is a bad idea, mixing DEs is usually messy.

Some points of the long review:

Desktop icons

The one thing MATE did not let me do is - make the desktop icons disappear. Here, I did need to use dconf-editor and make a “tricky” configuration change. Some distributions, like Linux Mint, do have helper tools that work around these, but the stock environment needs some polish.


MATE does offer its own search-enabled menu called Brisk, and it looks reasonable. However, Whisker in Xfce is superior, and it can also be resized. Brisk did not have an option to change its height and width, resulting in partially cropped menu entries. That just looks odd.

I’ve suggested this already on the Thoughts & Feedback section, if not enabled by default it could be an option somewhere inside Mate Tweak, some people like to resize the menu.

System tray icons

Going up to 36px or alike makes icons pop up in size in a rather unpredictable manner.

I think Martin said the other day that you guys are working to improve this area of the panel.


As it turns out, there’s a screensaver. And it would not let me type when I tried to unlock the screen. I had to open a virtual console and kill the program.

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Seems the case (more days than not?) I’ve previously been critical of Dedoimedo’s methods and reviews, and this is another example. If I remember correctly, Ubuntu Mate, Solus, and Manjaro all had Mate 1.20 available for upgrade quite quickly after release.

HI @Sothis6881,

I had read some bad reviews of his in the past too, he has some good ones as well so he isn’t all bad!. :smiley:

The screensaver problem is probably because lock on suspend doesn’t work “out of the box” on MX, which is a serious security flaw. I had to uninstall xscreensaver and install light-locker to fix it.

Also, MX is very tightly bound to xfce. Other desktop environments are provided as options but you have to start off with xfce so, if you install one, the end result is neither one thing or the other. So the review got off to a bad start …

(MX generally gets good reviews but does have glitches …).


His methodology for this review is quite flawed. He installs an XFCE focused distro (MX linux). Installs MATE from a PPA on top of that, and then complains that it conflicts with XFCE and that MATE is less polished than XFCE.

Comparing one desktop that’s included by default and setup/configured nicely by the distro vs installing another on top from a PPA is just ridiculous.

He surely would have had a much better experience with a distro using MATE out of the box like Ubuntu MATE.

Or, if he really wanted to review just ‘vanilla’ MATE, he should have used something like Arch linux, and compared vanilla MATE to vanilla XFCE.


That’s why I don’t mix Desktop Environments anymore, I’ve learned the hard way that this usually makes a mess, 2 or more softwares that do the same thing(like 2 different terminals, 2 calculators, etc), and things can get weird.

If someone is willing to test an Desktop Environment, test it using a virtual machine(use VirtualBox, GNOME Boxes or other softwares) and install the distro with the DE of your choice, it’s the best way, or use a live media(CD/DVD/pendrive) and test it with the live session(this is not ideal, installing in a virtual machine is better).


Slow sarcastic applause :clap: :rolling_eyes:

A review based on an unofficial PPA, that I know brings all manner of breakage, installed over another distro that ships a different desktop environment by default.


He just had a bad hair day, that’s all Martin!. LOL. :smiley: