MATE Desktop Environment | MATE

Posted: December 18, 2014 in Generally Speaking.., Helpful Techie Things

As my Acer Aspire 5515 gets older and older, most of the major Linux distributions are starting to pass it by, as far as desktop environment performance is concerned.  I can’t tell you how many times I tried to test Gnome 3.10-3.14 on various distros, only to end up with a garbled mess on the screen.  I finally got to test Gnome 3.12 on Manjaro Linux; to my surprise it worked just fine.  I can see why people are slowly starting to make their way back to Gnome, although I personally felt it was too ‘dumbed down’? Perhaps more that it seems like something I would use on a touch screen; that could be it.  Regardless, I’ve been having issues with Desktop Environment Dissatisfaction Disorder.  I’ve been trying out, then installing, getting annoyed, trying something else out..rinse and repeat.  I was using Xfce, the friend of those who hate miminalistic DEs or Window Managers in place of DEs but it has (to me anyway) felt like the annoying little brother of Gnome 2x.  Englightenment is pretty snappy but can be maddeningly weird about some things.  KDE is just too ‘heavy’ and too ‘cartoonish’ for me.  LXDE and QT are in the process of getting married, so I’m waiting on that to see what comes of it.  Cinnamon is likewise too ‘heavy’ for my system and while I enjoyed having Ubuntu on  my system for a short while, Unity just slowed my poor ‘book to an absolute crawl.  So what’s left to do?  I realized the one thing I hadn’t tried yet was MATE.  That’s Mah-Tay.  <–I swear I’m going to start spelling it like that.  MATE Desktop Environment | MATE.  I popped in a Live CD of Linux Mint 17 to give it a whirl.  It was then that I remembered everything I had ever loved about Gnome 2x.  And let me tell you, I was a Gnome fangirl once upon.  MATE..nope, MahTay, was quite fast too, surprising me completely.  Caja…oh Caja..I almost teared up remembering all the wonderful things you could do with Nautilus, before it got completely ass-raped.  I had forgotten the joy of hovering over a music file and having it play.  Or changing the background, or dual panes, would you like an emblem with that today?  *Sigh*  I had heard that MahTay was coming along nicely from its shaky start but I just had no idea.  I was tossed out into the cold when Gnome 3 happened; then my head was turned by pretties such as Cinnamon or by super-speediness from the likes of Openbox.  I feel like I’ve come home. Yes, I’m installing right now 😀  If you sorely missed Gnome 2 as much as I did, or had forgotten just how much you missed it, give MATE a shot.  It’s really great on performance for my ever aging machine.

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