Why use Ubuntu-Mate 16.04 instead of Linux Mint 18?

I’m not expert on the desktops but my evaluations since Ubuntu 10.04 I think Ubuntu-Mate 16.04 is the best thing since Ubuntu 10.04.

I don’t really care about pulse audio, systemd, wayland, etc. these “under the hood” things shouldn’t matter if they just work out of the box, unfortunately systmed & pulse audio certainly have been less than smooth roll outs and caused lots of issues (I minimize by staying with LTS releases) and I suspect wayland to be even more disruptive.

But I see lots of backsliding in the core apps, things like nautilus, gedit and totem are IMHO far inferior to what was in 10.04, and except for Totem the Mate forks have mostly saved the day.

My take on Mint18 Mate vs Mate 16.04 is with Mint you lose Gnome Main Menu which is to me the heart and soul of the 10.04 “look” as far as I can tell. I never warmed up to Mint Gnome3 Main Menu which is a double-wide box in the lower left corner like Windows7, Apparently Gnome Main Menu goes away in Ubuntu-Mate 16.10 so it’ll soon be moot :frowning:

I was going to try Mint 18 mate in a vm today to see what it get a look and feel on it. One thing mint has going for it is the lts 5 year support instead of the 3.

For me the choice of Ubuntu Mate was completely aesthetic. From early on I have never liked the looks of Mint, even with what modifications I was capable of doing. I do love the Mate desktop though.


I’ll throw my hat in here; Ubuntu MATE doesn’t force you to make a choice of file manager at the expense of the rest of the desktop. I’ve written a guide about using Nemo in UM if you’re interested in following that to the letter. The only caveat is that nemo-preview isn’t something you can install into it, but a bunch of other, more capable tools exist for this purpose.

Linux Mint, on the other hand has a better OOTB experience, and as mentioned before, has some pretty impressive system tools. synaptic is pre-installed, as well apt-xapian-index so that’s a big bonus for first-time users who want to get their hands a bit dirtier, but this is just an illusion as installing certain things can cause other, different things to break. You have to be careful about 32-bit libs especially as some common ones that work fine in Ubuntu may want to rip half your system out. I’m not kidding! Here’s the response when trying to install some 32-bit libs I needed for a game;

sudo apt-get -s install libsdl2-2.0-0:i386 libglew1.10:i386 libalure1:i386 libdumb1:i386 libmodplug1:i386
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following extra packages will be installed:
  libegl1-mesa:i386 libgbm1 libgbm1:i386 libwayland-client0:i386
  libwayland-cursor0:i386 libwayland-egl1-mesa:i386 libwayland-server0:i386
  libxcb-xfixes0:i386 libxkbcommon0:i386
Suggested packages:
Recommended packages:
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad libmodplug1
  mint-meta-codecs vlc vlc-nox vlc-plugin-notify vlc-plugin-pulse
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libalure1:i386 libdumb1:i386 libegl1-mesa:i386 libgbm1:i386 libglew1.10:i386
  libmodplug1:i386 libsdl2-2.0-0:i386 libwayland-client0:i386
  libwayland-cursor0:i386 libwayland-egl1-mesa:i386 libwayland-server0:i386
  libxcb-xfixes0:i386 libxkbcommon0:i386
The following packages will be upgraded:
1 upgraded, 13 newly installed, 8 to remove and 27 not upgraded.
Remv mint-meta-codecs [2014.06.02]
Remv gstreamer0.10-plugins-bad [0.10.23-7.2ubuntu1.1]
Remv gstreamer1.0-plugins-bad [1.2.4-1~ubuntu1]
Remv vlc-plugin-pulse [2.1.6-0ubuntu14.04.1]
Remv vlc-plugin-notify [2.1.6-0ubuntu14.04.1]Ubuntu
Remv vlc-nox [2.1.6-0ubuntu14.04.1] [vlc:amd64 ]
Remv libmodplug1 [1:] [vlc:amd64 ]
Remv vlc [2.1.6-0ubuntu14.04.1]
Inst libalure1:i386 (1.2-6 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Inst libdumb1:i386 (1:0.9.3-6 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Inst libgbm1 [10.1.3-0ubuntu0.1] (10.1.3-0ubuntu0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [amd64])
Inst libwayland-client0:i386 (1.4.0-1ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Inst libwayland-server0:i386 (1.4.0-1ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Inst libgbm1:i386 (10.1.3-0ubuntu0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Inst libxcb-xfixes0:i386 (1.10-2ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Inst libegl1-mesa:i386 (10.1.3-0ubuntu0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Inst libglew1.10:i386 (1.10.0-3 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Inst libwayland-cursor0:i386 (1.4.0-1ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Inst libwayland-egl1-mesa:i386 (10.1.3-0ubuntu0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Inst libxkbcommon0:i386 (0.4.1-0ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Inst libsdl2-2.0-0:i386 (2.0.2+dfsg1-3ubuntu1.1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Inst libmodplug1:i386 (1: Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libalure1:i386 (1.2-6 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libdumb1:i386 (1:0.9.3-6 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libgbm1 (10.1.3-0ubuntu0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [amd64])
Conf libwayland-client0:i386 (1.4.0-1ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libwayland-server0:i386 (1.4.0-1ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libgbm1:i386 (10.1.3-0ubuntu0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Conf libxcb-xfixes0:i386 (1.10-2ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libegl1-mesa:i386 (10.1.3-0ubuntu0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Conf libglew1.10:i386 (1.10.0-3 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libwayland-cursor0:i386 (1.4.0-1ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libwayland-egl1-mesa:i386 (10.1.3-0ubuntu0.4 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Conf libxkbcommon0:i386 (0.4.1-0ubuntu1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])
Conf libsdl2-2.0-0:i386 (2.0.2+dfsg1-3ubuntu1.1 Ubuntu:14.04/trusty-updates [i386])
Conf libmodplug1:i386 (1: Ubuntu:14.04/trusty [i386])

Why did all of that removal stuff need to happen? That made no sense. And UM agrees.

Mint MATE is still better for first-time Linux users because of the OOTB experience, if you have said user stick with 64-bit software. For everyone else, there’s us. :slight_smile:


I switched from Mint after using it for years, and was excited about Ubuntu Mate about a year ago. A mix of Mint feeling like it was trying to force me to use its branded searches, etc for revenue was sort of annoying in the past, and it suddenly had some bugs that were not treating my machine kindly, so I tried out Ubuntu Mate. It worked better and I liked going back to something that was updated with the regular relaease of Ubuntu. Well Ubuntu Mate 16.04 was a little buggy on my machine, so I tried Mint 18 beta. It has been flawless even though it is in beta. My driver issue with my printer disappeared. I noticed that they now have some of those old screensavers available. I may be showing my age, but I consider those fun whether you need them or not. I like being able to hit the search box for the name of a program and have the option to install it come up (pretty sure that was not available in Ubuntu Mate). It feels more integrated to me and does the things I expect. I know the software boutique was supposed to be a plus on UM, but I just felt it was too limited. So I guess I am currently a fan of Mint…until I go back to UM for some reason perhaps.

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Different strokes for different folks. I prefer more control over certain utilities, and despite Mint MATE Menu not having the option of a separate software manager button, I’m still inclined to use Ubuntu MATE because I can install certain things without it malfunctioning, and there’s the guarantee of updates alongside Ubuntu, so things don’t act funky due to outdated software and libraries being used.

Linux Mint aims to provide a very stable experience, even at the expense of potential security updates which some people do not mind. Though, with custom software, custom libraries or custom revisions of libraries to make Mint’s own software usable, that may interfere with some other software as defined in package conflicts. Though with the recent development of Ubuntu Snap packages, as well Flatpak and AppImage, we may see a future where it doesn’t matter much for the end user how they begin, and the end user can choose freely how they end up.


Uh, what? Why is that interface option being removed? @wimpy what are your plans for 16.10’s default UI?

I’m a big fan of “If it’s not broken why fix it?” Why not try both with live installs?
Both have major advantages and disadvantages an you are the sole person to make the determination.
If there are aspects of Ubuntu MATE that don’t fit in your workflow post here for possibilities for customization to meet your needs.

At some point, it might not matter how he continues with Linux should stuff like Snaps become popular.

GNOME Main Menu is the menu used only in the openSUSE panel layout. The default interface in Ubuntu MATE 16.10 is the same as 16.04 :slight_smile:


Ubuntu Mate has app armor by default (I assume) and Linux Mint delays Firefox updates with their own version (even though the only difference seems to be lack of Google search). Firefox is one of the few apps maintained by Ububtu’s security team so it seems a shame that the Mint team would maintain their own version.

What is the default interface in the current Linux Mint Mate? Is it simply their own version? It has a certain clarity that I like a lot. Wouldn’t this be an option that could possibly replace the openSUSE panel layout?

@maro It is the same as if you change Ubuntu Mate using the tweak menu. In Mate tweak change layout to ‘Redmond’ and check ‘advanced menu’.


Well golly. I wish I knew I could do it that way earlier. Saves me fifteen minutes of ■■■■■■■ around in a live session.

Hi I have finally decided I installed Ubuntu-Mate, and I’m very happy, I miss a program to format usb pen, but can be done from the application disc.
I get the feeling that the system is a bit more fluid than with Linux Mint 17.3

Thank you.

Hi Juanjo,
I installed in Ubuntu Mate 16.04 Mintstick 1.2.8., Ubuntu is also, recently updated version.

Download the version 1.2.8. all.deb



Gracias lo probaré cuando tenga ocasión.

Thanks I’ll try it when you have time.

MintStick. I loathe that utility because it appears to format my USB drives in a way that GParted dislikes. Seems when I have a device with a Mintstick-written system image, I receive requests from GParted to fix the GPT on the drives, of which if I do not refuse breaks the partition’s ability to be bootable. Pain in the butt.

Tiox hi, I use Mint Stick for quick formats cards less than 32 gb. so far he has not given me problems, but when multiple partitions is done is best to use Gparted

I have that problem with one of my sticks Tiox. But not with any others. I am pretty sure it is something to do with the stick itself and not with Mintstick