If you didn’t know already, the Mate desktop version of Ubuntu is now an official flavour. This is great news for those who are fans of both Ubuntu and the Mate desktop. The Mate desktop is a continuation of Gnome 2 and has become popular with several types of Linux user. There are those who just don’t like the new layout of Gnome 3 and would prefer to keep using a more classic interface, but with modern improvements and tweaks. Then there are those users who are perhaps running older hardware, particularly laptops on which Mate runs extremely well. In short, Mate uses less resources than Ubuntu’s default Unity desktop in its default configuration.
Having official flavour status brings advantages not only to users, but also to Canonical and the Mate team as well. It is reported that they are now able to make use of Canonical’s infrastructure for building, testing and hosting the ISO images. Having another desktop variant allows for a more eclectic user base and allows Ubuntu to broaden its reach.
Checking my CPU and RAM usage after booting both Unity and Mate shows a noticeable different between the two desktops. On my Lenovo T400, Unity runs fast and smooth, but those with low RAM or single core CPUs might find Mate’s performance gives them an edge.
Unity: 12% RAM used and 2-5% CPU usage
Mate: 8% RAM used and 1-2% CPU usage
So it’s hurrah again to the amazing choice we GNU / Linux users enjoy. Give Ubuntu Mate a spin and raise your glass – cheers!