Ubuntu MATE 18.04 - Progress so far

Hello all,

So one month since the Ubuntu MATE 17.10 release, what progress has been made on Ubuntu MATE 18.04? Quite a bit as it happens.

17.10 Fixes

Well, the first requirement was to sit back, listen to the feedback, monitor the bug reports and take a few days break. We’ve rolled out a handful of bug fixes for 17.04 and 17.10 since.

18.04 Progress

Upstream MATE Desktop

Upstream MATE Desktop have released 23 point releases since Ubuntu MATE 17.10 was released. Many of the fixes were already cherry-picked in Ubuntu MATE 17.10. All 23 packages have been uploaded to Debian and synced to Ubuntu MATE 18.04.

The Solus Project released Brisk Menu 0.50 and that should land in Debian and Ubuntu MATE 18.04 tomorrow and Brisk Menu 0.50 is also available for 17.10 in my PPA.

Marco gets hardware acceleration

I’ve back-ported a new feature from Marco 1.19 that adds Present extension support.

TL;DR If your hardware/drivers support DRI3 then Marco compositing is now hardware accelerated. This dramatically improves 3D rendering performance, particularly in games, and eradicates screen tearing. Sadly the nvidia proprietary drivers only support DRI2, so the usual nvidia dance is required to resolve screen tearing there. But Intel and AMD users rejoice :sight_smile:

If your hardware doesn’t support DRI3 then Marco will fallback to the existing software compositor.


The HUD now has a 250ms (default) timeout, holding Alt any longer and the HUD won’t get triggered. Assorted bugs have also been fixed.

Branding and Artwork

An additional 6 packages have been updated that come from the Ubuntu MATE camp. This includes branding, artwork, settings and MATE Tweak. You can look forward to a complete refresh of wallpapers in Ubuntu MATE 18.04, a new selection of high-quality photos have been added to compliment our revised abstract art.

MATE Tweak

Switching panel layouts using MATE Tweak was starting to become a little hit and miss. This has actually required a great deal of debugging, but I’m pleased to say that a new release of MATE Tweak was made today (which will feature in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 and Debian Buster) that sports bullet-proof layout switching :slight_smile:

A number of reported issues have also been addressed and an interface to enable Ubuntu MATE Welcome to switch layouts has also been added.

MATE Window Applets

The Mutiny layout now integrates the mate-window-applets created by @IvCHo :slight_smile: You can see these in action alongside an updated Mutiny layout here:

Noto Sans

We’ve switched to Noto Sans for users of Japanese, Chinese and Korean fonts and glyphs.

Next steps

Super charging Caja

Next we’ll be working on landing caja-eiciel and caja-seahorse in Debian and Ubuntu MATE.

  • caja-eiciel - An extension for Caja to edit access control lists (ACLs) and extended attributes (xattr)
  • caja-seahorse - An extension for Caja which allows encryption and decryption of OpenPGP files using GnuPG

These two extensions build on the work we started in Ubuntu MATE 17.10 to expand the usefulness of the file manager.

Ubuntu MATE Welcome and Software Boutique

I’ll finally be able to join @lah7 and work on the next generation of Ubuntu MATE Welcome the Software Boutique.


A blog post explaining how to setup/configure HiDPI in Ubuntu MATE 17.10 will be published soon. We’ve also started planning a more complete HiDPI implementation for MATE which we hope to debut in Ubuntu MATE 18.04 :smile:


Great job you guys!!!

17.10 is great. Is it safe to upgrade to 18.04 yet?

No, 18.04 is pre-alpha and very much in flux right now.

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Thank you Martin. Don’t know what it is that keeps me using Mate! Ah yes, because I love it, thank you again.

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Wonderful job! I have tried 17.10 and for some reason my much beloved Freeplane never launches. Will there be some back door for such incompatibilities in the final version? Thanks for your efforts!!!

@nicolaigideon sudo apt install freeplane works for me on 17.10. No problems.

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Eradicating screen tearing, Super charging Caja, and HiDPI implementation? That all sounds very good to me.

Sincere and heartfelt gratitude to everyone involved for this beautiful OS. Can’t wait to play with the daily builds.

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A little tip from me . When the window buttons applet is locked and not visible (on desktop) you can pull the appmenubar to the direction of the buttons untill it can’t be moved anymore and lock it . With this method there is no space left empty when the buttons are gone . When the buttons show they will push the appmenu away , and when they hide the appmenu will return to its original position. I am also planning to make a option just to make them unselectable (Grey them out) where there is no controlled window .


Great work guys! Looking forward to the next release! And also excited for the blog post to setup HiDPI :slight_smile:


To all involved a very large thank you. What you are doing is not only very useful for so many people, it is also very important. :slight_smile: :penguin:

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17.10 is already a great release - I am asking, how this could be better ? :yum:
I don’t use UM every day (yet) but just “big” thanks to the UM Team !

Thanks Wimpy for these improvements that you are making in this Ubuntu distribution, I love Ubuntu Mate and I really think that Mutiny is better than Unity, because of the way it works and visually the desktop,
I like the long support LTS versions, I’m waiting to update to 18:04 and use its improvements,

thanks to Wimpy and the entire team.


Awesome work, and thank you! I’m happy to see features added to the filebrowser. Perhaps in a future release there will be a way to search xattr information in MATE Search Tool. It would be interesting to use xattr as a way to tag files. Hopefully by that time there will be nfs support for xattr too…


Fantastic work! I’m looking forward to the post on HiDPI, as well as the terminal-in-filebrowser feature you teased in the other post.


These are some great news! Congratulations. :slight_smile:

In 18.04, can we support the microphone mute button out of the box?


Has there been any progress with the panel wallpaper issue?

An export-import tool for desktop customizations would be nice to have.

I had to rebuild everything because the upgrade from 16.04 to 17.04 (or, was it 17.04 to 17.1? not recalling 100% which one it was) made the laptop unbootable—“kernel panic” was in the error message—so I had to do a clean install. (My SSD is not large so I don’t have a separate home partition.) I have used Backups before, but it does not restore everything—I’m guessing some files cannot be restored while the user is logged in.