New Ubuntu MATE Objectives?

The Ubuntu MATE team has succeeded in creating an exceptionally well-organized, stable, and innovative distribution. As with all evolving projects, some objectives may have become less important while others may have gained in importance. With a growing user base there may also be different ideas as to the future of Ubuntu MATE. This thread is intended to collect critical feedback on the current objectives and to point towards possible improvements.

My suggestions for new objectives:

1st Beginner-friendly for Windows and MacOS migrants: I have chosen Ubuntu MATE because of its ease of use, beginner-friendly Software Boutique, and its overall out-of-the-box experience. I believe the project was originally conceived to make the transition from Windows/Mac environments to a Linux-based OS as easy as possible.

2nd User-centered architecture and technical freedom: Apart from the fact that the MATE desktop environment is functional and customizable, it seems to me that what distinguishes Ubuntu MATE from many other Ubuntu derivatives is its commitment to reduce software dependencies. This gives users a maximum degree of flexibility in how to configure their system. The use of distro-agnostic apps is encouraged wherever possible and recent discussions seem to suggest that it will be possible to even safely remove and replace default applications through the Software Boutique in future UM versions.

3rd Internet Literacy and Safe Computing: Ubuntu MATE could promote digital (and especially Internet-related) literacy as part of its Welcome application (there is lots of free space to be creatively used!) and thereby provide an additional educational experience aimed to complement a smooth transition into the Ubuntu world for OS-migrants. This concept is entirely different from security- or privacy-related distros such as Kali Linux and Tails. What I have in mind is something similar to the concept of safer sex, perhaps with a nicely-designed condom-like logo. :grinning:I am sure this would generate quite some media buzz. The point is that all security- and privacy-related tools are largely inefficient if users do not know how to use them properly. And more importantly, by learning safe computing techniques such as how to generate strong passwords, how to encrypt, how to backup regularly, what websites to turn to for information, how to deal with data collection and surveillance, how to protect your network in a public WIFI, etc., each and everyone can do something analogous to safer sex: to learn to be more informed and reasonable citizens of cyberspace.


One of the things that might put off new users is how it’s comparatively easy to break one’s system when using GNU/Linux.
Of course, it comes with the freedom: your system will let you do what you want even if it’s not a good idea.
I’d really like a snapshot-restore-like feature where one could take an image of a current working state of the system and then roll back to it when it’s broken.

I’m excited about the idea of having some self contained system to learn how things work.
But I wouldn’t push all that through the Welcome app, maybe through the “Education” section of the software boutique.

Among the cool stuff it could contain would be lessons on:

  • Command line basics
  • Linux System basics
  • Google-foo
  • Intro to Programming in Python
  • Networking basics
  • Troubleshooting and Bug reporting

What do you guys think?

1 Like

I think this is a feature currently developed for Solus as far as know. I think it is more important for rolling release distros though.

Sounds great! It sounds very much like a broader educational channel which could be fed with very specific lessons.

[quote=“ouroumov, post:2, topic:7687, full:true”]
I’d really like a snapshot-restore-like feature where one could take an image of a current working state of the system and then roll back to it when it’s broken.[/quote]

I do this weekly (or on demand, depending on what I did to the system) with Clonezilla. Of course, that requires some understanding, which is not ideal for newcomers. However the whole process can be scripted, which leads me to the next point…

I don’t know. Over time I’ve grown distrustful of in-house solutions. I’d rather a distro concentrates on its “core business” of facilitating a working computer environment and leave the rest to the community to build upon. I think the more responsibilities distros accumulate, the less quality we will get from its overworked maintainers.

I think that’s precisely one of the places where a small group of dedicated volunteers could make a much better job than any distro maintainer could hope for, taking into consideration his many other responsibilities. Besides there is an argument to be made that in fact it should fall on the community the task of educating its users.

However, I think the above would not work well on a wiki. Everything is a wiki these days. And that’s just not good. These are good for reference and cherry picking, but are not ideal for chapter-based learning. A Wiki doesn’t offer opportunities for progression in learning. It’s not a book, or a manual, it’s in fact a dictionary. However there are blog templates very well suited for this type of learning.

Huh? compared to what, Windows? Google “Not Genuine Error After Update”

This hit me on my one remaining Windows 7 system, wasted the entire weekend searching and trying various solutions and update remove/reinstall to no avail. I haven’t installed anything to this system in well over a year – all I use it for is video editing with Vegas Video and photo printing with Photoshop Elements.

The system rollback feature you seem to think so highly of didn’t work (or the bad upgrade quickly re-installed itself) and left me with broken Internet Explorer afterwards (not that I care about IE not working).

Unless you are willy-nilly deleting files or editing config files without a clue before backing them up, I find it near impossible to break an apt based Linux system. Although Debian can be very fragile if you mix stable and testing repos.

Request to not make this a part of Ubuntu MATE, and instead elevate this issue to other distribution maintainers and Linux media sources to collaborate on a universal educational tool made available through multiple distributions.