How To: Install MATE Desktop On Ubuntu 11.10

Here is a guide that will show you how to install the MATE desktop enviornment on Ubuntu 11.10. MATE Desktop is a GNOME 2 fork and developed because there are still a lot of people who don’t like the looks of Unity and/or GNOME 3. You can install MATE by adding the Mint repository to your sources.list and by adding the mint repository you can also install Mint applications on Ubuntu 11.10. Please note that MATE is still being developed.

To add the Mint repository you need to add it to your sources.list. Open a terminal window (press the SuperKey and type: terminal) and copy+paste the following line:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Now add the following line at the bottom of the file:

deb lisa main upstream import

When done save and close the sources.list and refresh the repository. To refresh it copy+paste the following line:

sudo apt-get update

Now you need to install the linuxmint-keyring, copy+paste the following line in your terminal window:

sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring

When done refresh the repository with the following line:

sudo apt-get update

To install Mint Mate copy+paste the followng line:

sudo apt-get install mint-meta-mate mint-x-theme

When installed close the terminal window and log out and change your session from Ubuntu to MATE and log in again.

Source: unixmen and there is also some info on installing other Mint applications and installing “MGSE” (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions).

3 Responses to How To: Install MATE Desktop On Ubuntu 11.10

  • tinuz says:


    I had some problems with the Ubuntu Software Center and my settings from the update manager, both didn’t open so i removed the MATE stuff but that didn’t fix the problem. I placed a question on askubuntu about how to remove all MINT files from my system and this is the answer:

    This upgrade process is similar to the use of the Gnome 3 PPA in Natty. The upgrade involves upgrades to 300Mb+ of software libraries – it is really a one way process. You could possible install over the top of your existing installation (and hence retain you existing /home folders) – but you’ll need to reinstall all other applications. Backup first though using something like clonezilla/partimage

    Read more here

  • linuxsapien says:

    I’ve been using Mint successfully for many many months now. I didn’t realise it was even called “MATE”.

    Still, its very useful to know this for the future. If anyone requires a little assistance on the mint side of things then please leave me a note somewhere, and ill get back to you within the season.

    Very wise advice by the looks of it, back up before upgrade. But its just one of those things many of us forget to do.

    • tinuz says:

      Mint itself isn’t called MATE but the gnome 2 fork is called MATE and it’s a desktop environment .. why don’t you listen to me when i explain stuff on gtalk 🙂

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