How to Install MATE Desktop 1.26 on Fedora 35

For those not familiar with MATE Desktop Environment, it is the continuation of GNOME 2. It is famous for being lightweight, fast, and stable that runs on Linux and most BSD operating systems. MATE is also an excellent choice for a lower-end system or those looking to remain efficient on system resources. The newest version of MATE Desktop includes Wayland support for a swathe of desktop components and applications.

Fedora 35 has by default GNOME 41 installed. While this is an excellent option, alternatives can be installed in combination with the default desktop environments, and you can swap freely between them.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the latest stable MATE Desktop 1.26 on Fedora 35.

Prerequisites

  • Recommended OS: Fedora Linux 35
  • User account: A user account with sudo or root access.

Update Operating System

Update your Fedora operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh -y

The tutorial will be using the sudo command and assuming you have sudo status.

To verify sudo status on your account:

sudo whoami

Example output showing sudo status:

[joshua@fedora ~]$ sudo whoami
root

To set up an existing or new sudo account, visit our tutorial on How to Add a User to Sudoers on Fedora.

To use the root account, use the following command with the root password to log in.

su

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Install MATE Desktop

By default, The MATE Desktop environment is available on Fedora default repositories is often updated to the latest release given Fedora’s six-month turnaround OS releases. Currently, at the time of this tutorial, MATE 1.26 is the version available for Fedora 35.

To install MATE, open your terminal and install the desktop environment.

sudo dnf install @mate-desktop

Example output:

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

Note that the installation is 1.3G, so it may take a while to download depending on your Internet connection.

Alternatively, you can also install MATE desktop applications for a “FULL” installation.

sudo dnf install @mate-applications

Example output:

Type “Y”, then press the “ENTER KEY” to proceed with the installation.

Once the installation has finished, you will need to reboot your system. Since you are already in the terminal, type the following command.

reboot

First Look & Verifying MATE Desktop

Once you have restarted your system, you will first arrive back at the default login screen.

DO NOT LOG IN STRAIGHT AWAY. Click the circle cog in the right-hand bottom corner, and this will reveal a new menu of optional desktop environments or display managers. By default, MATE should be selected automatically, but sometimes you may need to change it from GNOME to MATE.

Example:

As above, the MATE desktop environment is selected. This will be automatically set on the next login to swap back to GNOME 41. Just do the same process but in reversal as the final selection should be automatically saved and remembered when swapping. This way, you can have the best of both worlds (desktops).

Note, you will see MATE applications installed on GNOME, but this is fine, and they will be updated with the standard dnf update and upgrade commands.

To confirm the installation, a handy package to install is Screenfetch. To install this package, use the following command in your terminal.

sudo apt install screenfetch -y

Once installed, run the following command in your terminal.

screenfetch

Example output:

As the above output has shown, you have successfully installed MATE 1.26 on your Fedora 35 system.


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How to Update MATE Desktop

For future updates for MATE desktop and Fedora 35 system packages, run the standard dnf command.

sudo dnf update

When updates are available, it is the same process to upgrade.

sudo dnf upgrade

How to Remove (Uninstall) MATE Desktop

Removing Desktop environments can be tricky, luckily with MATE and Fedora, it is cleaner than some other desktop and distribution combinations.

To remove MATE DESKTOP.

sudo dnf autoremove @mate-desktop -y

Once done, remove all the MATE applications.

sudo dnf autoremove @mate-applications -y

In the next step, you must restart your system. While in the terminal, type the following command.

reboot

When returning to the login screen, if GNOME has not been selected, re-select it manually, and you will return to the default GNOME 41 and applications.

Note, as stated, removing desktop environments can sometimes cause instability in some cases. Everything worked well during the tutorial removal, but I did note that problems can and do arise, and sometimes it is better not to remove the environment. Making sure to have backups ready of any critical data is the key.

Once you are happy everything is working, you can clean and purge leftover unused packages with the following command.

sudo dnf clean all

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Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have successfully learned how to install the MATE Desktop Environment on Fedora 35. Overall, MATE is a great community project for those wanting a more stable and Ideal for those who want the most out of their desktops, laptops, and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor.

For more information on using the MATE desktop environment, visit the official documentation guide.

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