New default layout in Ubuntu MATE 18.04

You’re absolutely right–you can’t please everyone all the time, and sometimes the right decision isn’t the easy one. The new default embraces the adage of “retrospective future” by blending a bit of old and new.

Ubuntu Budgie has a section on themes in their current 18.04 Welcome, perhaps something similar can be added to Mate’s where the layouts are featured?

My only other comment/question is that I personally find Places to be quite helpful, is there a plugin that can be used for this Familiar layout instead of the menu from the Traditional layout?


That is a quirk of history. GNOME back in the day when it was GNOME 2 always had two toolbars. (It is interesting how little has changed in 13 years - the screen resolution has roughly sextupled and the fonts and icons have improved, but good basic user interface design persists).

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Yes, to add the Places menu, you can add the traditional menu (called Custom MATE Menu in the applets list) and in its preferences you can hide the Applications and System parts.

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I think this is a good change. It is hardly revolutionary but adapts the traditional style to current advances in MATE. I think those who are used to the old default will have no problem changing it. Thanks!

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Yes, we’re going to expose layouts in Ubuntu MATE Welcome. I added the API to MATE Tweak to support this early in the 18.04 cycle.


No love for Cupertino layout? That’s my go-to for Ubuntu MATE :slight_smile: I’ve tried out Kubuntu and Ubuntu Budgie, and keep coming back (I do like that Raven bar, though)

Keep going, Mr Wimpress!

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I have always thought that the “contemporary” layout should be the default one.
The HUD is a very useful, advanced and, as far as I know (and now that unity is not around anymore), unique feature that is not being used as a default.
Ubuntu MATE should show the amazing progress that has been done so far and I think this is a great choice towards that goal.
Great job!

You’ve laid out explicitly and honestly what you want to do and why

Meanwhile, traditional is still being shipped and is easily available as a layout option inside Mate Tweak for newcomers (and established users like me) who want it

That’s good enough for me Martin

Thank you


Thank you for that. :slight_smile:

Seriously? I had no idea. For how long has it been this way?

We’ve made some improvements to Cupertino, it’s still there for you and is now the layout I chose to use on laptops :grinning:

In 18.04 the HUD is no longer tied to any specific layout, as it was in 17.10. The HUD is no an option in MATE Tweak and can be enabled for any layout :grinning:

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Since Ubuntu MATE 15.10.

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My tuppence worth.

I too like the traditional desktop layout, as @Wimpy has pointed out; it is still there and all we need to do is make a couple of mouse-clicks and we can have it again. I honestly don't know what all the fuss is about (directed at those complaining!), just open Mate tweak and change the layout, is that really so bad?.

I don't know of any other distro that has so many desktop tweaks like this one, it is innovative and fresh, Welcome is great for beginners and all the devs should be applauded for their efforts!. :smiley:

Thanks Wimpy and the devs for all you do, have done and continue to do!. :smiley: Lets also not forget all the forum members who spend time helping others, there are too many to be listed here!. :smiley:

Keep up the good work chaps and chappettes. :+1:

My current 18.04 with Pocillo icons, Chameleon cursor and Traditional Panel layout and My Weather Indicator:


Agree. I came to Mate essentially because of the Gnome menu. I want simple and efficient UI in a stable system. Please always remember why folks came to Mate in the first place.

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See? That’s great, Martin. There’s a lot of people who are angry because they like to be angry. Good for you for keeping your temper. I love this stuff, Mr W - keep it up :blush: - Jason

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I personally agree wholeheartedly with the move. The pessimists who criticize this move are the reason that Linux maintains its 2% marketshare; moves like these are what increases it. I know of almost no other OS that came with nothing tied to the super key, and lacked the ability to search your apps. By integrating this into the default we are able to provide a superior OOB experience.

Thank you Wimpy! It is moves like these that define one distro from the rest. The ability to break with the past when necessary is important and can hurt people, but it ultimately drives one forwards.

(And we’re not even breaking with the past that much guys; it’s a simple menu change. Personally, I’d like to see the GLobal menu and HUD enabled by default as well.)


That’s brilliant! I didn’t know that, another step forward, Thanks :grinning:

Because 0.9, for what its worth sucks.

But the reasons why it sucks is nuanced and intangible. I’m use to doing more with Compiz and 0.9 lacks features I want from 0.8 because plugins require porting for use in 0.9 and Scott Moreau’s repo compiles everything for 0.8 without issue.


I started using Ubuntu full-time prior to the introduction of Unity, and I have been using Ubuntu-Mate continuously on at least one device since the initial beta. I guess that makes me an “old-timer.” :slight_smile:

I am not sure why there is a debate about defaults when Ubuntu-Mate is so easily customized. Nothing has been taken away. Defaults only really matter for people who haven’t explored Gnome2 or Mate before, and for those people, the new defaults are going to give a better first impression.


Great decision Martin!

I’m a new Ubuntu MATE user, who came back to Linux after a 7-8 year break. I kind of feel like someone who has a view of the past that appreciated Gnome 2, but I also feel like a new user that Ubuntu MATE would like to attract as a new user too.

I took a break from Linux when I didn’t have a spare machine to use. My primary computer at work and home needed to be Windows so I can run a specialized program for my job that only runs on Windows. My last experience with Linux was Fedora running Gnome 2 just before the move to Gnome 3.

When I installed Ubuntu MATE 17.10 the Traditional layout felt familiar. However, I soon switched to Contemporary so I could have a Super Key menu and application search at my finger tips. I also wanted to try the HUD which was a completely new desktop feature for me. I can have a flexible work flow that adapts to a variety of desktops. I have dabbled with I3wm in the past and just a few months ago. I came back to Linux and landed first on Kubuntu than KDE Neon and ran those happily for 6 months.

I appreciate this decision for the sake of new users. I doubt that you will find many new users who even have a history with Gnome 2 like I have, and are now coming back to Linux and want that same exact experience from 2010. By having the default layout one that has a Super key driven menu, application search with the menu launch, and now add the HUD and you have a powerful, modern, feature rich desktop operating system that shows how powerful and user friendly Linux can be. I also love choice and think that it is great for long time Linux users to be able to switch back to a desktop layout and work flow that they love and see no reason to use the newest features in Ubuntu MATE. Let’s let new installs show off the amazing work of the Ubuntu MATE developers. I’m planning to upgrade to 18.04 in April, and I’m looking forward to that upgrade. Also, I love the green theming both of the desktop and the website.

Thank you for such a polished and feature rich desktop!