New default layout in Ubuntu MATE 18.04

Thanks @vkareh. That worked after installing Dconf, but it’s to much clicks to get to that state.

@Alif_Dal_Mim and @stevecook172001 as you can see on my screenshoot above those settings are grey out and can’t be chosen in Familiar layout, but that got me thinking that it would be easier to do the opposite and chose Traditional and add Brisk menu and untick Applications and System and rearrange stuff to have menu first and places next, if I ever decide to use that when 18.04 comes out.

It’s great we have all those options and things that can easily be changed with few clicks, here and there to make it custom to each user preferences :smile: :thumbsup:


Yes, that is certainly one solution over and above the layouts available in Mate Tweak

Well i’m only a nubie here… but I’ll throw my oar in…

I did try a nightly release of mate 18.04, and when it fired up i was met with the new menu…
I thought the world had come to an end…

But a few mins of jiggling and I had those 3 familiar words in the top left corner again…

Meant with the greatest respect for Mr W…

I’m one of those that took to mate because of the old Gnome 2 style menu…
It’s still going strong in distros like fedora… red hat… Solaris unix and linux… and Ghost BSD uses mate

Look how fast Mate became a ‘proper’ ubuntu on the main website… It wasn’t because they liked the colour scheme…

Mr W hit the nail bigtime when he decided to resurrect the G2 style panel… and i dont think it can be inproved on…

BUT it is Mr W’s project and he has the right to take it where he see’s fit… but I look at so many distros now and they all want to be ‘elementary’ or like microsloth windoze…
I get that attracting new users is a good thing, but all the windoze users ive ever tried with linux dont seem to mind about the menu, it just annoys them that they cant click a file twice to rename it… and worst of all is the linux way of 1 icon does all movies and other multimedia.

I tried solus but thought that menu was worse than a pron site pop up… not for me…

So Mr W… i respect your want to take mate a certain way… but please dont loose what made Mate what it is…

Lol, i did try elementary for a few months, and spent all that time trying to find out how to get the wingpannel out of it and replace it with the Mate panel… Because that wingpanel launcher was just horrible…


Another possible idea:

In the first boot, a window shows up with all the themes(with screenshots), explaining each one, and the user select what they like more.

And somewhere saying:

“If you want to change the theme later use MATE Tweak.”


That’s a terrific idea. Though, I have a feeling it won’t be implemented. However, I will be delighted to be proved wrong on that.


Suggested before by myself.

This would also reassure people that nothing has been removed.

There is implicit and explicit muttering about the “conservatism of the user base”, but I found it very surprising that 40% of Firefox users have installed no extensions, including those using development and beta versions of the browser. (Intuitively, I would have expected 4% rather than 40%).


Anyone? What happened to the “Shut Down…” applet now missing from far upper right in both Familiar and Traditional? Last seen in 17.10 but I think goes back at least a decade.

I don’t miss it but others may. I use Ctrl+Alt+Delete. :slight_smile:

Its in the “add to panel” and also now located at the bottom of the menu.

It's that new icon to the left of the weather\clock\calendar applet.

I honestly don't mind the new menu it just shouldn't be where it is. If they need that to become a permanent part of the menu then the smart thing to do would be to change the Clock\Calendar to be an indicator and lock it to the left of the new system icon menu. (What is the name of that indicator any way?)

I went hunting for a indicator of that type and found the indicator-datetime but it seems to have a bunch of unity dependencies. Maybe future work could be to decouple it from unnecessary stuff like that and Evolution and it can be made to work as a part of the whole? If nothing else, it will provide a consistent look at least, one on par with what is expected from the Traditional look.

At this point if I get the name of the new indicator I plan on uninstalling it in favor of the old applet as soon as it's safe to do so. (No longer in Beta or RC.)


Excellent. It looks great, I’m looking forward to it.

I'm running a a different theme, but they are all the same. There is a invisible bar that if you right click on it will tell you the app name.

Why not just change the panel theme with MateTweak?

Because it’s not that simple…

Maybe this will help you understand what I mean:

The indicator-applet is a package deal for the most part.

You can remove the logout applet though.

sudo apt remove indicator-session

Conversely, I've followed the directions listed at the end of this thread in hopes of a more perfect theme.

Make Top Right Panel in Mutiny more like Unity?

Despite all appearances this thread is actually about the indicators and the issue with the icon ordering which Wimpy explains in this post is something being worked on and is much more complicated than it might seem.

lah7 gives some nice instructions on how to make it work if you're willing to work for it.

That worked out quite well. Some nice instructions for this stuff on these forums, just a pity that it usually takes using Google to find it sometimes.


And I’m glad you found your answer. :wave:

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I’ll definitely not be the first to wonder about this. The thread I linked to was for 17.10 so people expect there to be things that are out of place because they’re being worked on and tested. On LTS releases people expect that to be done and over with.

If there’s not a reasonable way to place things in the right order it might be wise to simply put the transition on hold for the final release and rejoin when the dependencies have been decoupled and there is a way to do this without needing to edit with dconf-editor. Even then you’ll have those who will complain that the weather is no longer a part of the calendar\clock applet. Honestly I don’t like having to use weather report myself, I much rather have it work the old way. That said the new calendar is kind of neat and while some refinement is definitely preferred I can see it becoming a new default once the bugs and theming have been worked out.

Regardless of a way for individual users to fix things I must predict that this will be a common question coming up when 18.04 releases: ‘Where’s the shutdown button?’ followed by ‘Why can’t I move the button to the end?’ and so on.

Actually the more I look at it the busier it looks. I may just remove the applet you mentioned and put the Mate clock\weather\calendar back in…LOL…

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Simple counterpoint to what seems to be the upset over spilled milk sentiment here since I’m not recognizing anything remotely resembling breaking changes here.

The tech stack for Ubuntu is changing - alot.

Martin / UM team has kept up. Quite nicely I might add.

They want to entice more users so there is momentum and funding to continue to do so from said supporters. To not respond to that would actually be irresponsible for the UM team and Mr Wimpress.

By definition your obviously more conservative desires for the UM desktop are going to be diluted by the preferences of the new userbase. The fact that UM is clearly working quite definitively to preserve your preferred user experience and (exceedingly well I’d say by almost any measure) managing to do that and allow new users to come aboard and be happy with the experience is basically the topic of the day, and what the team is to be commended for. Literally as he said, you can restore the defaults quicker than you wrote this post.

Additionally, just as the other counterpoint, if they’d kept the traditional default menu and desktop metaphor (and not enabled Superkey function), I would specifically NOT use Ubuntu Mate because I don’t like the default metaphor or menu. I’m not a Gnome user from way back when, and thus that layout is neither familiar or desirable to me.

Another commenter mentioned bugginess for the Brisk Menu - if that’s the case then hey that’s valid criticism. I’ve not experienced it, but if it is present, I would second the motion to say that if it’s the default choice, it needs to be pretty close to bug free.

Thanks for the post - I think you were able to express yourself without being harsh or rude, but just wanted to point out that ensuring the best overall experience for his userbase (folks continuing to follow the parade leader) is in my opinion exactly what Martin has accomplished here. It’s a fine line to walk to be able to support a dual platform (x86 and ARM) userbase, folks with strong opinion about keeping the old traditional UI - and manage to be one of the more respected choices for all of the above, so hats off to the team and also to all of the behind the scenes general linux improvements to the community this project has both funded supported and otherwise dedicated resources to.


Again, I am compelled to reply to this. The problem, speaking only for myself, was not the layout change per se. It was:

  1. The change being made despite a consultation and poll that was carried out that showed the vast majority of users in that consultation and poll did not want the change, despite your assertion to the contrary.

  2. The change being made without informing users first. Now, I know that the change, initially, was in the beta and the usual repost is that is was merely “experimental”. Well, we know now that it was anything but “experimental” since it has since been implemented in the upcoming LTS. And, just to add insult to injury, the new Brisk layout was going to be called “traditional”, just to confuse the issue further.

  3. The change, having been initially implemented in the beta, did not still provide the original Traditional (Gnome-2-like) layout in Mate Tweak. To confuse things even further, the new layout was going to be a Frankenstein mixture of parts of the Traditional menu along with the Brisk menu. The only way, then, that users would be able to implement the original traditional menu layout would me to manually re-build it.

However, following the strong objections raised in the previous thread on this issue to all of the above, there has now been an entirely sensible arrangement arrived at;

Firstly, the Brisk menu will, indeed be the basis of the new default layout. But, it will not be called “Traditional” and will, instead, be called “Familiar”. Secondly, the original “Traditional” layout will be offered as one of the layout options in Mate Tweak. Thirdly, all layouts will be offered at initial login on the welcome screen.

All of which is entirely commendable and excellent.

None of which, I would contend, would have happened if significant objection in the previous thread had not occurred.

That, for me, is (or should be) the end of the matter.

But, I object to and will continue to object to, where I see it, a re-writing of events. A re-writing that can only be based on either ignorance of those events or on a disingenuous recounting of them


You are correct @stevecook172001

Perhaps the only good thing that came out of the poll is that the traditional layout is still included. If we all had not voted to keep it as the default, it may have been done away with all together, which may still happen someday.


however remember that poll was whether or not pantheon, I wouldn’t like pantheon though I would care,this is not pantheon there has been no poll between Familiar and traditional so one doesn’t know how the community would have voted, there would be many potential reasons to vote against pantheon but not familiar ie plank, HUD, one panel vs 2, workspace switcher placement, lack of window menu… I’m not against having either, but I see Martin’s logic behind the change and think it good, ie most windows users have used the super key for opening the menu