Hello Linux Geeksters. As you already know, Martin Wimpress (Mate developer) and Alan Pope (Canonical developer) are working at creating an Ubuntu image that uses MATE as the default desktop environment (called Ubuntu MATE Remix), but the project is only in its early development stage.
There isn’t much information about this project yet, but according to Alan Pope, it already works under Virtualbox.
Asked on Google+ if Martin was proposing to build an official Mate flavor of Ubuntu, the developer did not either deny or confirm. Martin’s Mate version has some customizations done, so that the it mimics the GNOME 2 feeling and design. Let’s just hope that Ubuntu MATE Remix will debut with the release of Ubuntu 14.10.
For those who don’t know, Mate is a popular GNOME 2 fork, being used by default on Fedora, Linux Mint, Arch Linux and other popular Linux systems.
The latest version available is Mate 1.8, which uses Metacity as the default Window Manager, Caja as file manager, which recently got support for side-by-side tiling, and a new “Open parent location” option in the search view context menu, the logout dialog has received a progress bar, the screensaver now shows the date and time, the image viewer can shuffle images in slideshow mode, the sticky note applet has received an undo feature and a new command applet has been introduced.
Until new information on this topic becomes available, you can install Mate 1.8 on your Ubuntu 14.04 system by following the below instructions:
$ echo "deb http://repo.mate-desktop.org/archive/1.8/ubuntu trusty main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mate-desktop.list
$ wget -qO - http://mirror1.mate-desktop.org/debian/mate-archive-keyring.gpg | sudo apt-key add -
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install mate-core mate-desktop-environment mate-notification-daemon