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Setting up MX Linux or antiX with MATE as DE

based on a post by skidoo on antiX Forum

The MATE (pronounced Ma-Tay) Desktop Environment is the continuation of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

Complete installation

MATE can be installed with its complete desktop with this package:


An extended package is also available:


Installing individual components

(NOTE: a pre-packaged base also exists in the repos: mate-desktop-environment-core)




These three packages provide a minimally useable instance of MATE.

  • marco is the name of mate’s window manager. Its package brings webkit & zenity as dependencies.
  • mate-panel package depends on libmateweather; installs +-20Mb of icons.

Immediately after installing those 3 packages, can logout and find MATE available as a choice on the login screen.

Arguably this could be considered as one of the “bare minimum” components because it handles global keybinds… but just about everything else it manages (gtk3 theming, mouse settings, screensaver, clipboard, sound) is redundant with existing controls. I’m curious to see whatall “accessibility” support it provides.

note: with, or without this package (@33Mb), theme selection for gtk2 apps is still settable via lxappearance

This package  provides ‘tools’ (screenshooter, diskusage, user/group mgmt, filesearch, logviewer) which are redundant with tools already present in antiX or MX.

For non-techy icewm/jwm/fluxbox/openbox users in antiX, this (@4Mb) is my recommended GUI “TaskManager” app.

Installation of the pluma app (mate’s version of gedit) adds about 12Mb and is interesting. It is more featureful than leafpad, is tabbed and themable… but lacks features compared to more advanced applications such as geany.

mate-control-center (@33mb)
mate-system-tools (@13Mb)
Only system-tools depends on the control center component. All the previously mentioned components can be accessed via desktop menu, or could be linked into the custom control center (a la antiX or MX). To some users, the redundancy of the mate cc would be unappealing.

5 thoughts on “MATE”

  1. sadly not working. Here is a copy of the terminal output.

    [email protected]:/home/claude# apt install mate-desktop-environment
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Unable to locate package mate-desktop-environment

    • Ok -I tried installing the MATE desktop however I can’t find a way to switch to it anywhere.

      the FAQ and manual don’t say how to change it – I looked everywhere and could not see where it might be changed in all the menus (19.1)…
      Some distros have a DE switcher like OpenSuse – Can you direct me to the clue I need to find it?


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