MATE Desktop Environment

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Mate Desktop

The Official MATE Desktop Environment logo.

The MATE 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. This could be a good alternative for user who prefer old-fashioned look and feel.

MATE in Funtoo

MATE 1.24.x is currently packaged in Funtoo Linux. We try to package the latest stable MATE ebuilds. So please have patience until the latest MATE desktop comes here, if you wish to request a package bump please file a bug in the official Funtoo JIRA.

MATE Applications

The MATE Desktop Environment includes handful of applications like a file manager, a text editor or an image viewer. All these applications are forks of the old GNOME 2 applications, for example Caja is a fork from the former GNOME 2 file manager Nautilus (Which is still alive in GNOME 3).



Caja is the official file manager for the MATE Desktop. It allows browsing directories, as well as previewing files and launching applications associated with them. It is also responsible for handling the icons on the MATE Desktop. It works on local and remote filesystems. Caja is a fork of Nautilus.



Pluma is a text editor which supports most standard text editor features. It also extends this basic functionality with other features not usually found in simple text editors.

Pluma is a graphical application which supports editing multiple text files in one window (known as tabs). Pluma fully supports international text through its use of the Unicode UTF-8 encoding in edited files, it also supports emoji and font ligarutes (e.g. noto-emoji or fira-code fonts) Its core feature set includes syntax highlighting of source code, auto indentation, and printing support (with print preview). Pluma is a fork of Gedit.

Eye Of MATE (eom)


eom or the Eye of MATE is a simple graphics viewer for the MATE desktop which uses the gdk-pixbuf library. It can deal with large images, and can zoom and scroll with constant memory usage. Its goals are simplicity and standards compliance. Eye of MATE is a fork of Eye of GNOME.



Atril is a simple multi-page document viewer. It can display and print PostScript (PS), Encapsulated PostScript (EPS), DJVU, DVI, XPS and Portable Document Format (PDF) files. When supported by the document, it also allows searching for text, copying text to the clipboard, hypertext navigation, and table-of-contents bookmarks. Atril is a fork of Evince.



Engrampa is an archive manager for the MATE environment. It allows you to create and modify archives, view the contents of an archive, view a file contained in an archive, and extract files from archive. Engrampa is a fork of File Roller.

MATE Terminal


MATE Terminal is a terminal emulation application that you can use to access a UNIX shell in the MATE environment. With it, you can run any application that is designed to run on VT102, VT220, and xterm terminals. MATE Terminal also has the ability to use multiple terminals in a single window (tabs) and supports management of different configurations (profiles). MATE Terminal is a fork of GNOME Terminal.

MATE System Monitor


Mate System Monitor is a graphical tool for viewing resource utilization it comes with a handful of tabs for complete system analysis like a resume of your system, current running processes list, resources being used drawn in pie charts and constant graphics and a disk partition usage indicator.

MATE Calculator


This is mate-calc is a fork of gnome-calc, the calculator application that was previously in the OpenWindows Deskset of the Solaris 8 operating system. It incorporates a multiple precision arithmetic packages based on the work of Professor Richard Brent, who has also kindly given me permission to make it available.



Mozo is a menu editor for MATE using the menu specification.

Mozo is a fork of Alacarte.

Other Applications

MATE comes with a lot more applications than the above list, making it a fully usable desktop environment, such applications are listed here:

  • mate-about (fork of gnome-about)
  • mate-disk-usage-analyzer (fork of baobab)
  • mate-calc (fork of gnome-calc)
  • mate-control-center (fork of gnome-control-center)
  • marco (fork of metacity)
  • mate-screenshoot (fork of gnome-screenshot)
  • mateweather (fork of gweather)
  • mate-netspeed-applet (fork of gnome-netspeed-applet)
  • mate-inhibit-applet (fork of gnome-inhibit-applet)
  • mate-trash-applet (fork of gnome-trash-applet)
  • mate-panel-notification-area (fork of gnome-panel-notification-area)
  • mate-panel-window-list (fork of gnome-panel-window-list)
  • mate-sticky-notes-applet (fork of gnome-sticky-notes-applet)


Funtoo portage tree offers a meta-package for the MATE Desktop. For a clean installation we need to enable mate mix-in.


If you are installing MATE from a basic stage3, please, enable a desktop profile before mate mix-in

root #  epro flavor desktop
root #  epro mix-ins +mate

After setting up mix-in it is necessary to rebuild packages, to ensure all USE flags are respected. This is required for a correct installation of build and runtime dependencies prior to MATE desktop installation.

root #  emerge -auvDN @world

And after completion, installation is easy as following command:

root #  emerge mate-base/mate


There are several different ways to start MATE:

  • Editing the .xinitrc file in your user's home directory
  • Using a display manager (e.g. SLiM, GDM, KDM or LightDM).

It is recommended to use LightDM and the x11-misc/lightdm-gtk-greeter package when installing MATE Desktop.


LightDM requires dbus to be added to the default runlevel, you can do this running the command # rc-update add dbus default.

The Mate team recommends installing LightDM The reference greeter is lightdm-gtk-greeter. LightDM attempts to use this greeter when started unless configured to do otherwise. If manual start prefered, edit .xinitrc file

exec mate-session

Use startx command to launch MATE Desktop.


Most configuration and customization of the MATE desktop is done via its various GUI utilities. Common utilities include networking, themes, sounds and much more. It is also possible to configure (read/write) settings using the command line with gconftool.

Funtoo MATE Roadmap

The current MATE Desktop Environment in Funtoo has an active development and maintainers, you can consult it's roadmap in this Funtoo JIRA ticket.

If you are particulary interested in extending the MATE experience in Funtoo you could help us package and maintain the following missing software:


Screenshots are coming :) please have patience