How to Install MATE Desktop on Fedora 39, 38 Linux

For Fedora Linux users seeking a balance between traditional design and modern functionality, the option to install MATE on Fedora Linux offers a compelling choice. This desktop environment is distinguished by its blend of classic aesthetics with contemporary features, providing a straightforward and adaptable user experience.

What Makes MATE an Attractive Option?

The appeal of MATE is multifaceted:

  • Traditional Interface: Refers to the classic GNOME 2 era, offering a familiar and efficient workspace.
  • Customization: Users can tailor their experience extensively, adjusting everything from panel layouts to system themes.
  • Light on Resources: MATE’s modest resource requirements make it an ideal choice for those seeking to maximize their system’s performance.
  • Intuitive Usability: The straightforward nature of MATE makes it accessible to users of all proficiency levels.

Why Would a Fedora User Choose MATE?

Choosing MATE on Fedora can be particularly advantageous due to:

  • Enhanced Performance: MATE is well-suited for older hardware, or when a lightweight environment is desired for performance reasons.
  • Dual Environment Capability: Fedora allows for MATE to be installed alongside GNOME, offering versatility in user experience.
  • Robust Community Support: The active MATE community provides a strong support network for troubleshooting.

With the stage set for a compelling user experience, let’s proceed into how to install the MATE Desktop Environment on Fedora Linux, ensuring that your system is equipped with a robust, resource-conscious, and customizable interface.

Install MATE on Fedora Linux via DNF

Step 1: Refresh Fedora Packages Before Installation

Begin by updating your Fedora system to ensure all packages are current. Run the command below to upgrade your system and refresh the repositories:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

This step is crucial as it incorporates the latest security updates and system improvements from Fedora’s repositories, setting a solid foundation for the MATE desktop environment installation.

Step 2: Choosing Your MATE Installation on Fedora

The MATE desktop environment provides two installation options:

  1. The standard ‘MATE Desktop’, and
  2. The comprehensive ‘MATE Desktop and MATE Applications’.

Option 1: Instal MATE Desktop via DNF Command

For those who prefer a streamlined version of MATE without extra applications, use the following command:

sudo dnf groupinstall 'MATE Desktop'

This command directs DNF, Fedora’s package manager, to install the packages that constitute the MATE Desktop environment.

Option 2: Install MATE Desktop and MATE Applications via DNF Command

To benefit from additional functionality, install the MATE Desktop along with its full suite of applications:

sudo dnf groupinstall 'MATE Desktop' 'MATE Applications'

Opting for this command enriches your environment with various tools designed for MATE, enhancing your overall user experience.

Step 3: Rebooting the System Post-Installation

Once the installation is complete, a system reboot is necessary to start using the newly installed MATE environment:

sudo reboot

Restarting ensures all components are correctly initialized and allows you to log in to your MATE Desktop environment.

Accessing the MATE Desktop Environment on Fedora Linux

After installing the MATE Desktop Environment on your Fedora system and performing a reboot, you will approach the next phase—setting MATE as your default interface for a personalized computing experience.

Selecting MATE as the Default Desktop Environment

Now to set MATE as your default desktop environment in just a few steps after rebooting your Fedora system:

  • Look for a cogwheel or gear icon on the Fedora login screen—this is your session selector.
  • Click the icon to open a list of installed desktop environments.
  • Choose ‘MATE’ from the list to make it your default.
  • Proceed to log in and start your session with MATE.
Screenshot depicting the option to switch to the MATE Desktop environment on Fedora's login menu.
Choose MATE Desktop at Fedora’s login for a classic, efficient workspace.

First-Time Tips for MATE on Fedora Linux

Now that you have successfully installed MATE Desktop on Fedora Linux, here are some tailored tips to help you maximize your new desktop environment:

Customizing Your MATE Experience on Fedora

  • Personalize Your Panel: Right-click on the panel to add applets, move elements around, or change the panel’s properties for a tailored layout.
mate-panel --properties
  • Theme Magic: Dive into the Appearance Preferences to swap out themes, fine-tune your desktop’s look and feel, or install new themes for a fresh aesthetic.
  • Window Behavior: Configure your window preferences under ‘Windows’ in the Control Center to streamline your interaction with application windows.
mate-control-center windows

Enhancing MATE Workflow with Fedora

  • Keyboard Shortcuts: Establish keyboard shortcuts for common actions to speed up your workflow in the Keyboard Shortcuts section of the Control Center.
  • Default Applications: Set your preferred applications for web browsing, email, and more in the Preferred Applications menu to ensure a consistent user experience.

MATE System Resources and Accessibility on Fedora

  • Monitor System Performance: Monitor your resources with the System Monitor to maintain optimal performance.
  • Accessibility Features: Explore the Accessibility options to adjust the desktop to your needs, from high-contrast themes to keyboard modifiers.

MATE File Management and Organization on Fedora

  • File Manager Customization: Utilize Caja, the default file manager, to organize your files. Customize its behavior and appearance via its Preferences.
caja --no-desktop --browser
  • Desktop Icons: Manage desktop icons by right-clicking the desktop and selecting ‘Desktop Settings’. Choose which icons to display for easy access.
mate-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/ --create-new

Optimizing MATE Performance on Fedora

  • Manage Startup Applications: Control which applications launch on startup to keep your system lean and mean under the ‘Startup Applications’ preference tool.

Each tip is designed to be user-friendly and approachable for newcomers, enhancing your daily interaction with Fedora Linux.

Initial view of MATE Desktop on Fedora Linux showcasing default apps and layout.
Discover the default setup of MATE Desktop in Fedora and begin personalizing your space.

Maintaining MATE Desktop on Fedora Linux

Update MATE Packages

Regular updates to the MATE Desktop are vital for receiving the latest enhancements, security patches, and performance boosts. Fedora’s DNF package manager streamlines this process.

To update MATE, access the terminal and input:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

The --refresh flag compels DNF to re-sync with repository data, ensuring that your system checks for the newest available updates, even if your local metadata is considered up-to-date.

Remove MATE Desktop Environment Safely

If the time arrives to transition away from MATE Desktop, a proper uninstallation process helps maintain a clean system environment.

For MATE Desktop removal, execute:

sudo dnf groupremove 'MATE Desktop'

This operation signals DNF to eliminate the packages labeled as ‘MATE Desktop’ packages.

Should you decide to remove both MATE Desktop and its suite of applications, use the following:

sudo dnf groupremove 'MATE Desktop' 'MATE Applications'

Completing the uninstall by removing MATE Applications achieves a more thorough clean-up.

Finalize the removal by rebooting your system:

sudo reboot


As we conclude our discussion on installing and managing the MATE Desktop Environment on the Fedora Linux distribution, we recognize this environment’s simplicity and flexibility. MATE offers a robust and customizable interface that aligns with traditional desktop paradigms and provides a gentle learning curve for newcomers and a comfortable space for longtime Linux users. The ability to seamlessly install, switch between, and remove desktop environments showcases the inherent versatility of Linux and enhances your personal computing experience.

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