mate desktop

The old GNOME 2-era desktop is the little black dress of Linux: it never goes out of fashion. No matter how many newer or shinier shells emerge, the elegance of the traditional two panel desktop remains as popular as ever. 

Now, a custom spin of Ubuntu that uses the MATE desktop environment by default is looking to gain official flavor status.

Give us a recap, Mate!

The Mate Desktop environment, forked from the now deprecated GNOME 2 codebase, continues to ship with older versions of many popular GTK+2 apps, including Nautilus (known as ‘Caja’), Gedit (renamed ‘Pluma‘) and Metacity (called’Marco‘).

ubuntu mate logo

But it was only earlier this year with the formation of ‘Ubuntu MATE Remix’, spearheaded by developer Martin Wimpress, that Ubuntu fans have been treated to a first-class implementation of it.

After releasing a pair of alpha releases based on Ubuntu 14.10, the flavor is now on course to gain official spin status from Canonical. This endorsement not only grants greater community visibility (fuelling popularity) but comes with additional infrastructure and integration benefits with mainline Ubuntu.

‘Seeking Status’

In an e-mail sent to the Ubuntu technical board mailing list requesting consideration the project lead writes:

“The Ubuntu MATE Remix project is supported by the core MATE developers, the Debian MATE packaging team. However, I am facing some challenges building the .iso images so they are consistent with the official Ubuntu flavors… 

He then notes it has been suggested that should Ubuntu MATE seek “official recognition” the issue would be moot, as changes could be merged and building could be done on main Ubuntu infrastructure.

In an update, Martin Wimpress says that the Ubuntu Technical Board is in ‘support of Ubuntu MATE’ and that a few ‘formalities’ are left outstanding before the request for official endorsement can proceed.

“The Ubuntu MATE team will complete the outstanding actions requested by the Ubuntu Technical Board in the coming days and I am confident Ubuntu MATE will achieve official status in due course.”

Have you tried it? Would you like to see this remix given the official nod? 


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