A new version of the MATE desktop has been released and in this post —yes the one you’re reading right now— I recap some of the changes being offered in the MATE 1.24 release.

Not friendly with this particular desktop environment? The MATE desktop was conceived as a direct continuation of the “old” GNOME 2 codebase but, rather like the Cinnamon desktop, has long since matured into its own distinct thing.

The MATE desktop sits at the heart of many Linux distros, including Ubuntu MATE. And is particularly popular with those who prefer a traditional ‘2 panel’ desktop experience with simple app menus, feature-filled apps, and fewer flashy effects.

New MATE 1.24 Features

Among the MATE 1.24 features, changes and improvements the MATE desktop team highlight specifically is a new Date & Time app, a new MATE Disk Image Mounter utility, and a ‘Do Not Disturb’ setting in the notification system.

Though conceived as a continuation of the GNOME 2 codebase, the MATE desktop has long since matured into its own distinct thing

The versatile MATE Panel improves its support for Wayland and HiDPI screens (including the Wanda the fish applet), while the window list applet is now able to show window thumbnails on hover (should you want it to).

Elsewhere, the Engrampa archive manager now supports a couple of additional package formats, while the Eye of MATE image viewer adds support for Wayland, .webp files, and embedded color profiles.

Marco is the MATE desktop window manager and, in this update, gifts users a variety of older window decorations, adds invisible resize borders, and renders window control buttons pixel-perfect on HiDPI screens.

Elsewhere the Alt + Tab and Workspace switcher popups have been reworked into OSD-style. They also respond to keyboard arrow keys too — a small, but welcome adjustment.

Other miscellaneous changes include:

  • System Monitor panel applet supports NVMe drives
  • Various HiDPI improvements
  • Mouse app supports acceleration profiles
  • Menu editor now supports Undo and Redo

Pretty impressive stuff — but some of these changes might seem familiar. And that’s because a lot of the big shiny things listed above have been back-ported to MATE 1.22, which is available in Ubuntu MATE 19.10.

Upgrade to MATE Desktop 1.24

Wondering how can you upgrade to MATE 1.24 on your system? Well, if you’re particularly bored, you can download the source code and compile it by hand.

Otherwise the answer will depend on which Linux distribution you’re using.

If you’re on Ubuntu MATE (any stable version) then you won’t be able to upgrade to MATE 1.24 but, as mentioned above, you don’t need to: many of these changes have already been backported.

Otherwise, Ubuntu MATE 20.04 LTS arrives this April and will, barring any unforeseen circumstances like an alien invasion, feature MATE 1.24.

Arch, Manjaro, and other “rolling release” Linux distros will likely provide Mate 1.24 packages to their users as soon as humanely possible, so if you’re running one of those then do keep an eye out!

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