Why do you use Linux? And why did you choose Ubuntu MATE?

Just wondering why everyone else uses Linux and Ubuntu MATE?

I have been using it off and on for 15 years, but never as dedicated to it as I have been now. I recently went back to school and I’m taking a Intro to Linux class. Where 99% of the time we are in the terminal. It has helped me get over my “fear” of messing stuff up and having more of an understanding of how Linux works. It is also my favorite class this semester. The instructor even helped me with some fstab issues I was having on my home machine :D.

So because of that class I am using my older machine to run Linux while my newer machine runs Windows 10 as a file / Plex server. Linux has changed so much over the years and the community is great to learn from.

The reason I am running Ubuntu MATE is because Debian crashes X11 all the time on this computer. Couldn’t figure it out so I tried Ubuntu. Ubuntu worked great, no crashes. I tried Lubuntu and then vanilla Ubuntu, but they weren’t right. Then I found MATE, perfect for features and lightweight enough for my machine.

Thank you devs for working on this great distro. Keep up the good work


I use Linux because I’m a control freak when it comes to my computers.
I use Ubuntu MATE specifically because:

  • It matches my workflow
  • Ubuntu has the biggest community so documentation can be obtained easily
  • Ubuntu MATE is an official Ubuntu derivative, which means I can use the Ubuntu support channels when I’ve got a problem, which I couldn’t do if I was running something like Mint.

It will be the same for me, and ouroumov resumed those points better as i could do.
I will add that for me this is kind of "political commitment" - And those points are well resumed by the Free Software Foundation - A computer is a weapon - By using Windows or Mac i gonna feed a system that i won't - I prefer to see the world sharing knowledges and growing as Free Software propose and defend it. I prefer being invited to contribute to a cause, helping as i can building a world than being considering as a ... sheep
You don't have to contribute to a community by using Linux. But Linux and the GNU are strongly inviting you to be part of it, not just customers ... Means you have a brain, you can help thinking the world and contribute to it.
That is why this is so political, in the meaning of what we do together, how do we live together, how to manage together ...
I am not running exclusively Ubuntu MATE, i used also Ubuntu Unity / Gnome / Xfce and openSUSE a distro who was criticized (at least in France) because of the "non- partnership" with Novel/Microsoft -back in 2006 i guess
So political, isn't it ...
I feel free and secure. At work (i am teacher in a little fine art school in France) - compare to my colleagues, i am like ... a bird in the sky ! We do have adobe licences installed on few computers and not all those software are installed on all our computers, maybe photoshop here but no Adobe premiere, etc .
I bring my own laptop, i have the software i need for my cours for Free including Video Editing (Kdenlive/Blender), Krita, mypaint and so much ... I am sad to see a public art school being like slaves of non Free Software because those Licences. The community (City, local government) will have a lot of benefit (including security) to contribute by using Free Software. Such a shame to me ...
Have a nice day all, and once again ... sorry for my English.


I have been using Ubuntu during my high school years, testing, playing trying to find an alternative to windows, but I also played a lot so having only Linux was not an option then.

Now, when I'm a teacher, a perfect opportunity occured. I bought a used gaming laptop in a very good condition for a silly amount of money. The laptop however didn't have an OS. Now, normally someone would say that having WIndows on gaming laptop would be more reasonable, maybe, but there are few factors that decided to use Ubuntu MATE:

  1. The cost of new windows 10 would be 50% of what I paid for the laptop itself.
  2. I don't do illegal.
  3. I don't need to play the newest games, and most of games that are few years old have some kind of support on Linux, this works for me.
  4. I researched a lot about light Ubuntu distros and other Linux flavours, thought about XUbuntu for a second but than I found some articles about Ubuntu MATE and I decided that this is for me, there are probably better distros when we think about Gaming, but it is only a part of my world, and I fell in love with the Start screen, software boutique and the look.
  5. As in the answers above I also like to "vote" with my wallet when I can and I'm not a big fan of big corps having monopoly on something, so instead of feeding one I decided to make a small donation on an awesome opensource project.

So true also about my school here (in Poland).


I use linux because i won’t deal with Microsoft and i don’t like to deal with Apple. Ubuntu-MATE will run on readily available flea-market hardware, i can get my files off the thing without bowing down to the gods of cloud storage, and I can do work without being connected to the network.

I’m currently using Ubuntu-MATE because i didn’t have forever to spend messing around with Debian-jessie trying to get this or that feature of my xps13 working, like being able to adjust the screen brightness. I do a lot of my work during hours of darkness and the full brightness setting on this thing in a dimly-lit room is about enough to melt your face off. (I’ve also found that screen-brightness has a significant effect on battery life.)

I could give Apple a list of a dozen or so things that would make iOS more productive, things as simple as allowing users to specify some constants used to discern a short-press from a long-press or a bunch of other things, but giving them those answers would be pointless, they already know that they know the answers, and the objective of the folks who presumably read suggestions is to keep their list of unsolved problems short; it’s a waste of time. In my opinion all for-profit/proprietary software is crippled from design onward by the for-profit decision-making of corporations. On the other hand, linux is more amenable to change and the Ubuntu-MATE development team seems from my reading to be one of the more “engaged” groups around these days. Fixes may actually make their way into the repo. There are actual humans involved in the actual process and they actually communicate with others. That’s a rare thing imo.


My journey started with Ubuntu 11.04, the last version before Unity became the default.

  • I choose Ubuntu because my old computer was slow, and I wanted to see what this Linux thing was all about.
  • I really liked the GNOME 2 desktop. I would log in to just admire this clean, empty desktop with two panels.
  • I stuck with Ubuntu for a couple of years. I didn’t mind Unity.
  • I switched to Ubuntu MATE when it became official as it maintains that GNOME 2 aesthetic, plus Unity felt “heavy” at the time.
But other then that...

Even more reasons!

  • I was already using open source / free software programs – like Audacity, GIMP, and VLC.
  • I have a better understanding how and why my computer works.
  • The system is more modular. Easy to debug errors and get useful error logs.
  • I trust Linux-based filesystems and Linux partitioning tools.
    • Files are not “locked” and can be replaced while in use.
    • Symbolic links are cool.
  • The way programs interact with each other has enabled me to be more productive. Simple things like:
    • Copying a file and having its path in the clipboard too.
  • Drag-and-dropping a file into a save/open window. No navigating folders a second time.
  • Compiz still delivers eye candy and useful features :heart_eyes:
  • I can customise pretty much anything I want… icons, theme, boot screen, default programs.
  • I can script my workflow, the Bash shell is almighty powerful.
  • Apt is a much superior way of handling software.
    • Install software in one command and its dependencies are installed too.
    • If a package isn’t needed anymore, it gets removed.
  • Generally reliable and stable. It never starts telling me I can’t turn off my own computer. :open_mouth:
  • No update harassment, or everything having its own updater.
  • It doesn’t start randomly doing things in the background that spikes CPU/disk.
  • If I can improve something, I can contribute and could benefit everyone else.

Best of all… freedom! Thanks to the thousands of people who do their part in making Linux rock as a desktop OS! :smiley: It’s not perfect, but it gets better.

Sure, I’ve experimented with other distros, but I’m sticking with MATE. :house:


I started using Linux about 2 years ago, when I was looking to buy new laptop and didn't like the directions Windows were going, so I was looking to try something else.

Previously I only heard about Linux as something hard to use and mostly terminal/command based OS. So imagine my surprise when I found so many different distributions to choose from.

After lots of searching, reading, checking online version of Ubuntu (Unity - it was OK, but I felt that something was missing) and watching many video reviews and recommendations for new user to Linux I finally found one that I like the most - Ubuntu MATE (of course :grinning:), because you could customize it the way you like it the most in a GUI way and it had lots of things that I could use right away and it looked quite easy to use.

Well first week wasn't that easy as I struggle with different things and how to use them in new way, where to find stuff and so on, but it got better and after a month or two I was really impressive with all the things you could do and change in Linux and Ubuntu MATE. Things like how you don't need to go to each site you want program from and download it from there, then click next multiple times and be careful not to install any third party app or toolbars, every program you use get updated with Update manager, no need to do it manually for each program and most of all there are so many programs to choose from that I didn't even know existed (even the Windows versions) that I don't even have to bother with piracy and how to get some "premium" programs to work. (That also come with a change of mind once you start seeing there is more out there then you knew before).

I trough I would first start with Ubuntu MATE and then check some other distos out, but I like it so much that I didn't even need to change. It has great community, developers and constant improvements and came so far from where I started using it and it's much easier now for new users to come and learn what a great OS they could have and all the freedom and choices it provides :thumbsup:

I now use Ubuntu MATE on both of my laptops, even on old one it works fine and even my mum learned how to use basic things she needs, even if she could used Windows as it's still on old laptop, but hasn't been run in over a year and half at least :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry for a long replay, I will finish with a story that I once helped a friend with her computer (Win 7) and I was trying to open a program on her pc in the upper left corner :ubuntu_mate: like I'm used to now, but it wasn't there :thinking: I guess that means that I unlearn all the old stuff and can learn even more great things of this one :sunglasses:


Been using Linux for almost 3 years. I started my journey with Ubuntu, then switched to Arch Linux with KDE 4. Arch was great, but frequent instability made me change my distro back to Ubuntu again. It was a year ago when I bought a RPi 2, and the only decent distro to install on my Pi was Ubuntu MATE. I fell in love immediately, of how efficient and elegant it was. I’ve been using it since then. :slight_smile:
Why do I use Linux? Cause I feel like a true geek. :sunglasses:


I was a longtime Mac user, but never an iPhone/iPad user, and as Apple made MacOS more and more like iOS I realized that I didn’t use any Mac-specific software at all. Everything I used was either system basics (e.g. file manager, terminal) or cross platform (Firefox, VLC).

My first Linux experience was whatever the first Ubuntu release with Unity as the default was (11.10?). I actually liked most of it — it was pretty Mac-like — but it was really slow, which led me to GNOME (3.x) and then Xfce. I tried other distros but I kept coming back to Ubuntu. I like its pragmatic approach to things like wifi drivers and MS core fonts.

I first tried MATE because I could use a vertical panel :stuck_out_tongue: I liked Xfce/Xubuntu, but it’s a little too bare-bones (e.g. no undo in the file-manager). Every GNOME-based desktop (GNOME, Unity, Cinnamon) only had options for panels on the top or bottom. I found a lot to like in Ubuntu MATE: a desktop that is simple, but complete, with good defaults like VLC, GNOME Disks and ExFAT support included. Plus the developers and community are excellent :grin:


I’m a keyboard navigator, plain and simple. I don’t need no steenking mouse. :grin:

While all the newer DE styles pretend they know how to do keyboard navigation it’s really being slowly abandoned. The Gnome2 flavor drew me to MATE bigtime.

What was really funny was how I said to myself it’s like Ubuntu 10.04. Gee… later I find that was the exact goal and the rest is history.


Using my main PC mostly for gaming and graphic editing, while older computers/laptops do office and ebook duty.

Following Linux for a couple of years now. Installed several distributions, but never found one to replace Windows completely. Over the last years Steam showed up with their SteamOS and pushed developers to freely offer linux ports. SteamOS might be great for living room with TV, but not fitting my needs.

Have allready used Ubuntu, as most users did as entrance I guess, but for my older computers/laptop I installed Xfce to get things running fast enough, while my main computer stayed with windows 7. Xfce got a little bit too barebone so I tested other distributions from Ubuntu. Mate fascinated me from the very first start.

In addition the community is very vivid and I allways did get fast and friendly replys on my questions and technical problems. The community part is a great if not the greatest motivation for my choice to stay with Mate, as I really found some nameless individuals in other forums before.

To stay with Ubuntu family in general was a choice to get best and easy updates and workarrounds, as most things which work for one distribution should also work for the others.

Still not really satisfied with my current AMD graphics drivers to switch all my games to linux, but I guess it is a longer process where I will use linux and windows (7) equally. Currently I’m at 30/70, using the same machine with built-in SSD changer. I certainly will not upgrade to Windows 10 and their cumulative patches with obscure content, so Win7 will be my last one.
With time passing by, the weighting will change more and more to Mate, leaving me the time to learn more how to fix issues and to get more used to sudo and terminal . :sunglasses:


I’ve been using Linux for the past 3 years. When i first started using Linux as my main OS I first used Linux mint, but moved to Ubuntu Mate in January 2016. As for the reason I use Ubuntu Mate one its because its the only distro that works on all my computers with out an issue. Also it just suits my workflow really well. I don’t think I could use anything else at this point.

I have truly fell in love with Ubuntu Mate :heart_eyes:


That was my take a few years back when my Windows Vista laptop died, not going there no more no how. :joy:


Why - sick of window support over 10 year now back with xp was big
Ubuntu mate, older computer installing linux laptop etc, something easy for install ppa, support for core like networking issues etc, and I heard about on linux action show (soon to be replaced)


I was a long-time user of SuSE Linux. Then, a few years back, OpenSuSE’s Samba/CIFS build was so badly broken I couldn’t get our Linux boxes talking reliably to our University’s Solaris servers. I needed to get a new server up and running quickly so tried Ubuntu - it may have been 8.04 at that time - and it worked perfectly. I’ve been using it where possible ever since on both workstations and servers.

Ubuntu MATE was just a welcome return to the Gnome UI I prefer.


Used Linux off and on for about 20 years. I started hanging around with a guy who is crazy about Apple Computers. Always at his house, using his computer-with the Dock at the bottom and panel at the top.

I searched for a DE that was just like a Mac. Ubuntu-MATE, “MATE tweaks,” “Cupertino” sets it up just like it.

I love Ubuntu MATE and want to use it bad, but unfortunately, I had to switch to Mint 18.

You see, I have two monitors. Ubuntu Mate works with both monitors, but doesn’t boot with both. I have to go in to “Displays” click “Apply” each time I boot. I Don’t have to set anything up, chose a default or anything. It’s all set up, just not the “Apply.”
Also. it only boots the the Ubuntu screen. Have to boot with the monitor unhooked, then hook it back up, then go into Display…

Ubuntu Xfce does boot up, may go back to that, but I wish I could use Ubuntu-Mate.

I even posted in the forums to pay someone to help find a fix, but got my post edited down because it’s a volunteer forum.

Mint has settings that Ubuntu-MATE doesn’t have. In Mint login settings, it has a place to chose the default monitor before you log in. (you need to BE logged in to get to it, but it sets it from then on) Ubuntu-MATE does not have it. That’s why Mint boots past the log in screen and Ubuntu-MATE doesn’t.

Love the Ubuntu Community, having to switch to Mint mens I had to switch whole communities and support.

Hoping some day Ubuntu gets the monitor thing fixed, then I can come back.



I had always been interested in Linux, but in 2003 purchased Windows XP and found myself having to ask Microsoft’s permission to use the software I had just paid good money for. How to royally ■■■■ off your customers in one easy lesson!

Needless to say that good money was the last penny Microsoft received from me. My very next purchase was “Ubuntu Linux for Dummies” which came with a disc. One of the managers at work was chucking out what she thought was a useless machine. I intercepted her at the skip and was soon in business.

I have tried all the desktops and MATE is the best.


I use Linux because I have this condition, you see, if I use another system I get angry with it for some reason because it does not allow me to change it to work the way I want.

I use Ubuntu MATE because, it’s complicated, I have a lot of medical conditions. My eyes suffered two interventions and now I can only focus on traditional GUIs. Then I suffered a major accident to my brain and I cannot operate the complicated, I mean simplified, modern tablet UIs without… you guessed it, getting angry again. I’m a ticking bomb on the edge of a volcano on a dying planet being engulfed by a nova star of a collapsing galaxy. So I need the peace and tranquillity of an operating system that wants to age with me like a fine wine that never changes and only gets sweeter.


Winsomely said, @marfig!

Ubuntu Mate for the win: customization, stability, aesthetics, and freedom to easily select software that you need/want (proprietary or not)!


Exactly one year ago I installed UM on my main rig and I am using it for most purposes ever since.
But I am still dual booting as I need W10 for the tax software and a few other things.

In general I am happy, but there were some disappointments lately. To discover that backuping was much much faster via W10 was such a disappointment.
I haven’t found a good lightweight photo admin software like the one that comes with windows, yet. Digikam won’t import pix from devices.

I like UM (or better Linux) because it feels like having more control over how data is collected. The community here is great true.
I tried a few distros but UM felt easiest to use.
Thanks to the team around Martin! Great job!