Linux Mint 14 MATE

I recently took a look at Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon. Now it’s time to review its counterpart Linux Mint 14 MATE. The MATE desktop environment is a fork of GNOME 2. It offers a more traditional desktop experience than Cinnamon. Please see the MATE about page for some background information.

Which one is better? Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so you’ll have to make up your own mind. I can use either of them without a problem though I’d have to lean a little bit more toward MATE than Cinnamon.

What’s New in Linux Mint 14 MATE
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:

Ubuntu 12.10
Linux 3.5
Bug fixes for GNOME 2
Bluetooth and Mate-keyring work
Caja supports Dropbox
Character map
Fast alt-tabbing with Marco compositing
Selection of notification styles
New button to compare files in file conflict dialog

MATE 1.4 Notification Style in Linux Mint 14
MATE 1.4 Notification Style in Linux Mint 14
Caja in Linux Mint 14 MATE
Caja has a toggle button, and a new button to compare files.

Compared to the cool stuff in Cinnamon, the What’s New list for this release of Linux Mint 14 MATE is rather underwhelming. However, it’s important to keep it context. Cinnamon and MATE are at two different phases of their development.

MATE is improving fast as a desktop environment, and it is geared toward those who prefer the older and less flashy GNOME  2 environment. So we shouldn’t expect a lot of amazing, whiz-bang type features in every release.

I’m very glad to see the GNOME 2 bug fixes, and I think it makes sense for the MATE developers to focus on practical improvements that lay a solid foundation for future MATE changes.

Linux Mint 14 MATE Welcome

The Linux Mint 14 MATE Desktop
The Linux Mint 14 MATE Desktop

System Requirements for Linux Mint 14 MATE
Here’s what you’ll need to run this distro:

  • a 32-bit PAE-enabled x86 processor or a 64-bit x86 processor (Linux Mint 64-bit requires a 64-bit processor. Linux Mint 32-bit works on both PAE 32-bit processors and 64-bit processors).
  • 512 MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
  • 5 GB of disk space
  • Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution
  • CD/DVD drive or USB port

Linux Mint 14 MATE Download
You can download Linux Mint 14 MATE from this page. The file I downloaded weighed in at 1.01GB. You can also buy Linux Mint 14 on DVD from

If you’re a distrohopper then you might want to try it in a virtual machine via VirtualBoxVMWare, or Parallels before running it on real hardware. And if you’re totally  new to Linux, then you might want to check out some of the books about linux available on amazon.

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10 thoughts on “Linux Mint 14 MATE

  1. I haven’t tested it – i prefer LTS. However there are some features makes MATE little bit more reliable. Cinnamon 13 LTS had several bugs and that’s why i have never installed it to computers of my friends and relatives, instead i have installed tens of times Mint MATE to their computers. MATE is much more scalable.

  2. Can any Body tell me how to get virtual keyboard in linux mint 14 Nadia (Mate)

    it looks like they forgot about this issue when they put this Nadia mint together

  3. I agree with Brian, scollable pages are very nice. About Mate – were I running Mint I woud use Mate for one reason; I can resize the bottom bar to make those two -small icons more readable and I can use that bar more flexibly. If Cinnamon allowed that the case for Mate would be weaker, at least for me.

    Nothing at all wrong with Mint, I just can never make a compelling case for it.I am probably living too happily with happily with Debian at the moment.

    1. Hi Bill,

      I’m very glad to hear you like the new site layout. So far most people seem to be enjoying it. :)

      You really can’t go wrong with Debian, I can totally understand why you’re using it. Excellent distro and the foundation for others.

    2. The latest version of Cinnamon does allow the user to change the panel height. It can be found in the menu under Cinnamon Settings > Panel.

  4. I’m using Mate version, and i’m very satisfied. It works smoothly, and without troubles at all.
    Excellent distro!

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