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After 11 months of development, MATE 1.8 has been released, bringing various refinements and new features such as support for Metacity as window manager, side-by-side window tiling and more, as well as many bug fixes.

MATE desktop 1.8

Initially, MATE 1.8 was supposed to be based on GTK3, but this was pushed back to MATE 1.10 "because there is still a good deal of work to be done to get it really stable". GTK3 applications still integrate nicely with MATE, just like in the previous 1.6 version, however MATE 1.8 continues to be based on GTK2.

For those not familiar with MATE, this is a GNOME2 fork which lets you use the old GNOME 2 desktop interface and applications but it also allows you to use new applications so for instance, you can use Nautilus 3 with it and so on. Also, MATE can be installed in parallel with GNOME 3, something that wasn't possible with the vanilla GNOME 2.


What's new in MATE 1.8


Changes in MATE Desktop 1.8:
  • Control Center: added support for Metacity as window manager;
  • Marco (window manager): added side-by-side tiling (windows snapping);
  • Caja (file manager):
    • added option to use IEC units instead of SI units;
    • added “Open parent location” option in context menu in search view;
  • Panel: Added support to run dialog and main menu opening with Metacity keybindings;
  • Screensaver: show date and time in lock dialog;
  • Applets:
    • added undo functionality to sticky note applet;
    • new “command” applet to show the output of a command;
    • rewritten “timer” applet in C;
    • mouse middle click on volume applet toggles mute state;
  • added MATE User Guide;
  • added mpaste tool for paste.mate-desktop.org;
  • Eye Of MATE (image viewer): added shuffle mode in slideshow;
  • more.

Also, some core packages were replaced:
  • replaced mate-doc-utils with yelp-tools;
  • replaced libmatekeyring/mate-keyring with libsecret/gnome-keyring;
  • replaced libmatewnck with libwnck;
  • replaced mucharmap with gucharmap;
  • replaced mate-bluetooth with blueman.

Here are some MATE 1.8 screenshots (some of the screenshots are taken from mate-desktop.org):

MATE desktop 1.8

MATE desktop 1.8

MATE desktop 1.8

MATE desktop 1.8

MATE desktop 1.8

MATE desktop 1.8


MATE desktop 1.8

MATE desktop 1.8

MATE desktop 1.8


What to expect in MATE 1.10



Like I mentioned above, MATE 1.10 (the release date is not yet known) should switch to GTK3 but there are many other changes expected in MATE 1.10, such as: support for GStreamer 1.0, complete systemd-logind support, Wayland support, add support for AccountsService, as well as some minor but useful features:
  • atril: Support ePub format;
  • caja: Offer a preferences option to turn off generic icons in listview;
  • caja: Improve trash management of removable devices;
  • mate-panel: Allow rotation of mate-panel background;
  • mate-settings-daemon: Add the ability to disable volume/brightness osd.

Update: the MATE roadmap has changed, and the port to GTK3 has been moved to MATE 1.12.

For more information, see the MATE roadmap.


Installing MATE 1.8


Update: for Ubuntu, see: How To Install MATE 1.8 In Ubuntu

For other Linux distributions, see the official MATE wiki.

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