How to Install MATE Desktop on Fedora 36 Linux

If you’re not familiar with MATE Desktop Environment, it’s the continuation of GNOME 2. This lightweight and fast desktop environment run on Linux or most BSD operating systems; an excellent choice for low-end systems looking to remain efficient system resources! The newest version includes Wayland support which means that components can take advantage of its robust graphics processing capabilities without relying upon X11 servers (which some may find unfavorable).

Fedora 36 has, by default, GNOME 42 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. However, if you genuinely love using the MATE desktop environment, I would advise installing the MATE Fedora spin alternative version without having multiple desktop environments.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install the MATE Desktop Environment on your Fedora 36 Linux workstation desktop, along with some handy tips and information about maintaining and removing MATE using the command line terminal.

Update Fedora

First, update your system to ensure all existing packages are up to date. This will ensure no conflicts arise as best as possible during the installation.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh -y

Recommended – Install TimeShift

Before proceeding, install TimeShift and create an automatic backup of your desktop before installing any alternative desktop environment on Fedora.

sudo dnf install timeshift -y

Next, open the program and create a backup; the prompts are straightforward. The application can be found in the following path.

(Top left-hand corner) Activities > Show Applications > TimeShift

Install MATE Desktop

The installation of MATE is relatively easy, and the first step is to open your terminal and use the following command:

sudo dnf install @mate-desktop

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

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

sudo dnf install @mate-applications

Once completed, restart your desktop either from the GUI as you usually do, or if you have nothing open that you need to save, use the following terminal command to reboot instantly.


Verify MATE Desktop Environment

Once you have restarted your Fedora System, you will come to the login screen, which looks similar to before. However, by default, the installation has not changed to the desktop environment to MATE.

To bring up the desktop environment options, click the “cog symbol button” in the bottom right-hand corner, then change from the default GNOME to either MATE.


How to Install MATE Desktop on Fedora 36 Linux

First Look at MATE Desktop on Fedora 36 Linux

Once logged in, you will notice quite a few UI changes; however, I recommend going into the Appearance preferences application tab to choose your theme. My favorite is BlackMate, but you can choose whatever you like.

Example (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install MATE Desktop on Fedora 36 Linux

To open the Appearance Preferences tab, use the following path or open up System Settings.

(Top left-hand corner) System > Preferences > Look & Feel

Next, another favorite of mine is to set the background color, my personal favorite is the blue and mate wallpaper blended, but you can download add your own later on.

Example (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install MATE Desktop on Fedora 36 Linux

While there are many configuration options, the last one I would recommend checking is the Interface Tab tab. Here, you can modify your interface look.

Example (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install MATE Desktop on Fedora 36 Linux

Overall, MATE is more simple or, in other words, less eye candy than a desktop environment such as KDE or similar DEs but it’s got more to it than LXDE. You may find the overall structure easier than GNOME, especially for Windows users migrating and choosing Fedora as their first desktop environment.

Below are some examples of MATE.

Example (Click to Enlarge Image):

Example of Lockout Screen (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install MATE Desktop on Fedora 36 Linux

Example of MATE Resource Monitor Application (Click to Enlarge Image):

How to Install MATE Desktop on Fedora 36 Linux

How to Update/Upgrade MATE Desktop

For future updates for the MATE desktop and Fedora 36 packages, run the standard dnf command.

sudo dnf update

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

sudo dnf upgrade

A better one is to use an all-in-one command, which is a new standard.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

How to Remove (Uninstall) MATE Desktop

Removing desktop environments can be messy. The best advice is always to keep the alternative desktop environments and switch between them or do a complete re-install if the following remove method does not work out; however, this should work well for Fedora distributions.

To remove MATE DE, use the following command.

sudo dnf autoremove @mate-desktop

Alternatively, run the following if you have installed the MATE applications.

sudo dnf autoremove @mate-applications

Once done, restart your desktop environment by using the following terminal command.


GNOME default will be selected just before the MATE installation when you return to your login screen.

Another good command is to run the distro-sync command even if everything looks ok. The command is good for restoring Fedora default packages and getting your Fedora system back on track.

sudo dnf distro-sync -y

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have successfully learned how to install the MATE Desktop Environment on Fedora 36 Linux.

Overall, MATE is a great community project for those wanting a more stable and Ideal for those who want the most out of there. If you’re looking for a stable, customizable, and intuitive desktop environment, MATE is well worth checking out. It’s perfect for users who want the most out of their desktops, laptops, and netbooks and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With its growing popularity, MATE will continue to improve and become an even more formidable opponent to other popular DEs like Unity and GNOME Shell.

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


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