MATE (GNOME 2 Fork) For The Fedora Desktop?
Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 9 December 2011 at 08:34 AM EST. 38 Comments
There's a lively discussion taking place right now between Fedora developers and other contributors that concerns the MATE desktop environment, which is the fork of the GNOME2 desktop. Review requests have begun for MATE packages in Fedora and the question has been raised whether this desktop alternative could be a feature of Fedora 17 or Fedora 18, but not everyone is happy.

The discussion concerning MATE for Fedora begins with this Fedora development message. Eric Smith, an independent Fedora contributor, submitted review requests for mate-doc-utils and mate-corba packages, the first two MATE desktop packages. Eric suspects the review requests will take a while, but in this email he asks whether MATE should be considered as a feature for an upcoming Fedora release, like the Beefy Miracle or its meaty successor.

With that message volleyed, from there a very polarized discussion was sure to ensue. Questions were immdiately raised whether MATE is being actively maintained/developed (and whether it's anything more than a one-man project), whether MATE will still be around by the time of Fedora 18, and personal views expressed whether this project should even exist or if efforts should just be made to make the GNOME3 desktop (or Xfce/LXDE) better. Regardless, lots of people are unsatisfied with the GNOME 3.x desktop.

After MATE was brought up, another question was raised whether the Trinity Desktop Environment packages could be incorporated into Fedora. Trinity is a fork of the KDE 3.5 desktop, but at least that has been maintained longer and is a bit more successful.

Nothing concrete has been decided yet about MATE packages as part of Fedora but the discussion is still active.

The only major distribution that's shipped MATE as an official option so far is Linux Mint, but this GNOME2 fork is available for installation on Arch Linux and others.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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