Ubuntu MATE 14.10 and 15.04 Useful Information

You may find the following information useful, which is why we titled the section Useful Information since the information presented here is mostly useful.

EFI and UEFI systems

The Ubuntu MATE amd64 .iso image can boot EFI capable computers from USB and DVD, with or without SecureBoot enabled. However, if you encounter any difficulties booting EFI hardware then try:

  • Disabling SecureBoot.
  • Enabling Legacy BIOS or BIOS emulation mode.

Apple Hardware

The amd64 (Intel x86 64bit) images specifically targeted at Apple hardware (amd64+mac) are no longer produced. Most Apple computers are now capable of booting the amd64 image directly using the EFI (not legacy) boot method so long as their firmware is up to date. If for some reason your hardware doesn’t boot properly using the amd64 image, make sure you don’t have a pending EFI update and if that still doesn’t work, then patch the 64-bit ISO using the software in bug #1298894 (tested working on Macbook 2,1). Alternatively, simply use the i386 (32bit) image instead.

Virtualbox and proprietary drivers

If you have installed Ubuntu MATE in a Virtualbox guest or have hardware that requires proprietary drivers then you can easily install the Virtualbox guest modules and proprietary hardware drivers by navigating to System -> Preferences -> Additional Drivers via the main menu.

You can also start a terminal (CTRL + ALT + t) and install the Virtualbox drivers as follows:

sudo apt-get install virtualbox-guest-x11

Alternative Panel Layouts

Ubuntu MATE includes several panel layout similar in appearance to Windows and Mac OSX.

WARNING! Changing panel layouts will destroy any customisations you have made to your panels.

To enable this alternative panel layout simply open MATE Tweak from `System -> Preferences -> Looka and Feel -> MATE Tweak.

  • The Redmond layouts are broadly simliar to Windows XP and Windows 7,
  • The Eleven are broadly similar to Mac OSX.


Indicators are enabled by default in Ubuntu MATE 14.04 but for Ubuntu MATE 14.10 and 15.04 some configuration is required. The big caveat is that most of the Canonical created indicators dropped GTK2 sometime ago therefore the usefulness of these GTK2 indicators is limited. That said, it does provide a way have a really nice sound indicator.

Install MATE indicator container

Make sure you are using Ubuntu Utopic 14.10 or 15.04. Do not install the recommended packages as that will install all manner of cruft you simply do not require for Ubuntu MATE.

If you want Indicator support the do then start a terminal (CTRL + ALT + t) and do the following:

Ubuntu MATE 14.10

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/utopic-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends indicator-application-gtk2 indicator-sound-gtk2 mate-indicator-applet

Ubuntu MATE 15.04

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-mate-dev/vivid-mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends indicator-application-gtk2 indicator-sound-gtk2 mate-indicator-applet

Activate indicators

You can use MATE Tweak, which should now display Indicator versions of the various panel layouts, to enable a panel layout that has Indicator support and it will automatically activate the required applets.

NOTE! Changing panel layouts will destroy any customisations you have made to your panels.

Shotwell online publishing

Most Shotwell online publishing plugins are not installed “out of the box” because they have dependencies on Unity and Qt5 which vastly increases the iso image size. The Shotwell online publishing can be
installed as follows:

sudo apt-get install account-plugin-facebook account-plugin-flickr \
account-plugin-google libaccount-plugin-generic-oauth \
libaccount-plugin-google unity-control-center-signon

Or you can install the Shotwell online publishing plugins by clicking the link below.

Installing the packages above also installs a number of Unity packages that add duplicate icons and functionality to the MATE control center.

Complex input methods

If you require complex input methods and the default keyboard layouts provided by MATE are not sufficient for your needs then you may want to install IBus or fcitx.

While MATE does currently support complex input methods, Ubuntu MATE will have either IBus or fcitx integrated in a future release to provide comprehensive input method support.

Installing IBus

You can install IBus by clicking the link below.

To set IBus as the default input method open Language Support from System -> Preferences -> Language Support and select IBus as the system input method.

You can switch keyboard layouts by using the <Control>+Space hot key.

In addition to the above you may need to install extra input methods such as ibus-mozc (Japanese), ibus-pinyin (Chinese) or ibus-hangul (Korean).

Installing fcitx

fcitx is considered to be superior to IBus. You can install fcitx by clicking the link below.

Now open a terminal as run the following:

fcitx -r

You should only need to complete the step above once. A white keyboard icon should appear in the system tray. Right click the keyboard icon and choose configure to add additional input type and keyboard layouts.

To set fcitx as the default input method open Language Support from System -> Preferences -> Language Support and select fcitx as the system input method.

You can switch keyboard layouts by using the <Control>+Space hot key.

In addition to the above you may need to install extra input methods such as fcitx-mozc (Japanese), fcitx-libpinyin (Chinese) or fcitx-hangul (Korean).

More MATE for your money

There are some additional MATE specific tools and utilities that are not installed by default in Ubuntu MATE because they are not suitable for everyone.

Caja plug-ins

There are some additional plug-ins for Caja, the Ubuntu MATE file manager, that can be installed via the Ubuntu Software Centre.

  • caja-share - Allows you to quickly share a folder from the Caja file manager without requiring root access. It uses Samba, so your folders can be accessed by any operating system.

  • caja-image-converter - Adds a Resize Images... menu item to the context menu of all images. This opens a dialogue where you set the desired image size and file name. A click on “Resize” finally resizes the image(s) using ImageMagick’s convert tool.

MATE components

Some additional MATE components that you may find useful.

  • mate-netbook - An applet and a daemon to maximize windows and move their titles on the panel. Installing this package is only recommended for netbooks and similar devices with low resolution displays.

  • mate-user-share - Allows easy user-level file sharing via WebDAV. The shared files are announced on the network by Avahi.


This is really nice. I run a single panel at the top, and actually using this and moving it to the top is a great place to start my customization process.

Thank you for this topic. Great stuff!

Hi Wimpy,

I think you should make this a “Sticky”!. :smiley:

1 Like

In case anybody is wondering why there are no video thumbnails in caja, that thumbnailer is a missing dependency in ubuntu-mate-desktop. The following fixes that problem:

sudo apt-get install ffmpegthumbnailer

This is a shame because there are quite many early Intel Macs out there that can benefit from being used again with a modern OS like Ubuntu MATE. First and second gen Mac Pros being the perfect example. They are 64-bit computers (Intel Xeon), but the EFI is 32-bit. Ubuntu (and Ubuntu MATE) 14.04.2 has an amd64+mac image that works perfectly for loading the OS on these comnputers. Now, I won’t be able to upgrade it easily. The regular amd64 ISO doesn’t boot these computers.

It’s weird that there’s a PPC image but not one for these early Intel Macs. I hope this changes for the next LTS release.

It won’t, this is a Canonical decision.

I’m really new to this kind of thing so sorry if I’m asking simple questions but I live by the rule assumption is the mother of all F. . . you get the idea. Better to ask and feel stupid that not ask and look stupid.
I direct down loaded the img file fro the EU server.
Used Win35 Disk Imager to burn to SD card, created the MD5 hash and it doesnt match the Ubuntu site hash.
Did I do something wrong? Or do I not understand correctly?
I was of the understanding that the two should match.
Website MD5: ea74db696bb50907a12ffbc2f2eeb4b5
My MD5: 6afaf253b0f77db7894cef065940a459

Anyone. . .?

Hi ■■■■,

I did the exact same thing as you initially and banged my head against the wall. Try checking the hash before you uncompress the bz2 file. The hash on the website is for the compressed file. The hash you listed …459 is for the uncompressed file.

Your uncompressed hash matches mine for the Raspberry Pi flavor.


Should the title not be updated as neither 14.10 or 15.04 are supported now?. :smiley: