The much-awaited release of Ubuntu 17.10 and its shift from Unity to Gnome has got both positive and negative reviews. But it is important to note that when Ubuntu left Gnome, it was Gnome 2. Supported by a group of FOSS enthusiasts Gnome 2 lives as Mate today. Also, Mate is one of the officially supported flavors of Ubuntu. So here is LinuxAndUbuntu’s review of the Ubuntu Mate.
Ubuntu Mate has always been loved by its users for retaining the true spirit of Gnome. And it very much Holds true in this release too. You will see 2 panels by default. 1 on the top and 1 on the bottom. It’s a very clean design with no fuss out of the box.
You can add more panels, remove existing panels and even auto-hide these panel when an application window is in focus.
On the right side of the window you will see some icons display the network, sound and date information. They also have quick settings that open up when you click on these icons. The power button icon lets you log off, restart or power off the machine.
Hitting Ctrl + Alt + T, You will see the terminal. The Design is very much like anything else but the color has been corrected to go with the Mate Desktop.
The Control Center appears really well done, You do not have different settings thrown away in different places, but one unified Control Center for all the different settings for your system that brings everything under one roof.
I also love the filter section that lets you filter various configurations. They have been grouped into categories for easier and faster access.
Another thing I really liked was that the Firewall software was included by default in the installation. You can see the image below attached of the firewall software.
If you do not fancy the default theme in Ubuntu Mate, you have been taken care of. Mate features 17 more themes along with a good selection of wallpapers that go with your taste.
Some of the themes I personally really liked from the given selection were BlackMATE, BlueMenta, Menta, and TraditionalGreen.
You can also customize parts of your themes or install a new theme from the web.
Mate also has support for the Mac-OSX like Plank. In the image below I removed the bottom panel and added a plank. You cannot only change the size and theme of the plank but also position the plank to top, bottom, right or left. The Plank autohides by default which is a good thing since it allows the main windows to go full-screen.
If this wasn’t enough, you also have some useful Doclets for the plank like the Clock, Cpu Monitor, Clippy and The Trash bin.
Ubuntu Mate comes with the Firefox browser by default and even though i have loved the Desktop Interface up until now i am not very fascinated with the fact that the top bar of the application does not blend with the top panel. This is still a problem with Gnome 3 and here Mate as well. Some people may not care as much about this but for laptop users, screen space is important.
Another thing I feel a little disappointed with is that i am not allowed to snap my screen into 4. I know it will be possible with some settings or packages here and there but this is something I want running out of the box. Here is a visual of my screen being split into 2.
The Left Part being used by Mate and the right one by the Control Center.
Another thing that I feel deserves to notice is that Ubuntu mate has the Redshift installed which helps you sleep better. It has been integrated into almost every famous Desktop Environment and Mate is no behind.
Some other notable software that come with the installation are Brasero, The Entire Libre-Office suite, and Mate Dictionary.
Ubuntu Mate is a pretty stable and rock solid distribution that has got most things right. There is nothing unlikable about the distro. However, I feel it could have been a lot better if they had allowed 4 windows to be snapped on each corner and done something about the opaque top panel. The software included are very much standard and even though some of their names have been changed we all know what’s under the hood. Overall Experience has been good. Having already tested Ubuntu with Gnome 3, I can say that Ubuntu Mate feels a lot faster and quicker in terms of GUI response.
What did you like or dislike about the Ubuntu Mate 17.10? Do let us know in the comment section below.