Ubuntu MATE 18.04 LTS vs. Linux Mint 19 MATE


Any thoughts and feedback? Pros and Cons of each.


First, there are the usual differences between Ubuntu and Mint (independently of the DE used): while Mint uses the Ubuntu repos, it has a specific packages manager that sort packages on importance. It has been criticized in the past when the Mint maintainers took a bit of time to provide security patches. (EDIT: I’m not sure it’s still the case, though, as it seems to use GNOME Software + Synaptic on Mint MATE 19.)

With MATE specifically, Mint kind of uses the stock version of the DE, which means it doesn’t have the tools created specifically for Ubuntu MATE like Welcome, the Software Boutique and MATE Tweak. It has some desktop settings that replace the latter but not the various panel templates.

I’m not sure Mint has support for Ubuntu indicators and it doesn’t seem to use the Snap packages system.

There are also a few differences with the default apps provided (pictures viewer, video player…), as it’s the case with all distros flavors.

Apart from that, there shouldn’t be big differences.


I first encountered MATE with some girl’s name Mint. Mint is OK, but there were things about it that I dislike. I went back to Lubuntu and installed MATE from the PPA. So far, so good.

Then Ubuntu MATE came out, and it was the distro of my dreams. It has gotten SO much better since I first started using it. I will go out on a sturdy limb here and say that, after trying several non-Debian distros, Ubuntu MATE is, hands down, the best distro I have ever used. Period.


In Linux Mint Mate you have a single bottom panel that is the same as Ubuntu Mate
“Redmond” panel layout; no other layouts available.

The Mint Software Manager (mintinstall) supports Flatpaks (since LM 18.3).


With ANY Debian-Ubuntu spin one has the option to use two panels and install the Custom Menu Bar on the top panel, thus making it look exactly like Gnome 2 looked for over 20 yrs. I have used this setup ever since the MATE desktop appeared and I strongly believe it is the most efficient desktop for Linux. All other desktops require too much work and are much less efficient for getting day to day work done.