MATE on the Desktop

Friday, 7, March 2014 Jim Perrin desktop 149 Comments

A number of people seem to not like the idea of gnome3 on the desktop for EL7, instead looking for the familiar gnome2 feel. I've taken a run at building MATE on the el7 beta and it looks pretty good overall. Over the next few days I'd like to sit down with some of the interested parties to discuss the best way to move forward with this as perhaps the beginning of the "Desktop SIG".


149 thoughts on "MATE on the Desktop"

  1. iTellion says:

    Oh,Gnome3's “Gnome classic” model is beautiful.

    1. Coder Steve says:

      I'm tired of hearing about "Beautiful" and "Elegent". I don't mind change. I don't care if it has the "Look and Feel" of Gnome 2 if it does not have all the power, functionality and features of Gnome 2.
      I'm not saying it has to be Gnome 2; I liked KDE, too; but one way or another, it must provide for all the different workflows and environments that are out there in the real world of us working folk. Gnome 3 certainly falls far short of that, and the Gnome 3 followers continue to preach "Less is More", and continue gutting the feature set.

      1. Coder Steve says:

        I need to clarify my comment above. Gnome 3 Classic adds a few extensions to give the immediate appearance of Gnome 2, but it still lacks all the functionality, flexibility and power of Gnome 2; Gnome 3's Nautilus is still half the program it used to be in Gnome 2, and so on.

        1. Ant says:

          Yes thats right. Classic mode has no way for a task bar to extend across 2 displayd. In business 2 screens is common. This is a big problem.

          'Hot Corners' is a giant pain the butt. It shouldnt take a 3rd party tool to disable it.

          Additionally I was given a work machine with a Radeon video card. This was not my choice. The open source Radeon drivers work well in 2D mode and poorly in 3D mode. Machine performance picked up hugely when I dropped gnome 3 and installed Mate.

          Now F20 is close to EOL, EL7 with Mate is looking like the best long term option for my work machine. Gnome 3 is OK, with several shortcomings. Mate is small, fast and capable of being setup exactly how I want out of the box.

      2. Waypoint says:

        gnome3 appears to be a basic users desktop. For those of us that have to do work..., I really need to get gnome2 working on centos7 or roll back to centos6. Issues I had:
        window borders are waaay too thick!! (the target audience is not 80yr olds with cataract and acute astigmatism...) anyway, they take up too much room
        new->file missing in right click context menu
        cant find anything, it used to be under the Application and System menu's (poof, its all gone)
        cant alt-right-click alt-middle-mouse for window resize & move
        it also crashes constantly with minimal changes from a fresh install.
        software manager has changed (add/remove software from centos6)
        cant seem to put it to sleep now, just shutdown, lock, log-off
        some other stuff i cant remember, but isnt that enough.

        on a different but related note:
        I do like the cinnamon desktop provided by linux mint. Enlightenment is 'interesting' but not very useful because it is so bleeding edge it constantly crashes.

    2. Ugene says:

      I agree with your comment. I've tried MATE on Fedora 20 and did not like it. The personalization is just not there. I have tried the GNOME 3 install on Ubuntu's 12.04 LTS. I found it to be a great next option for CentOS' future in rpm if it is to have change. My preferrence of course is Gnome Classic and CentOS is my chosen Linux distro.

      1. Bill says:

        Actually, after looking at a LOT of distributions, I settled on Fedora 20 MATE. A few other distros do a good job with MATE (Mint, Sparky), but Fedora was a really good fit on my new Dell laptop - a pleasant surprise, as I hadn't really considered Fedora in previous years. I'm picky, and I really like this distro

        1. Michael says:

          Have you tried pclinuxos mate? nice

    3. NO !
      Please, use GNOME2 like
      Oracle Linux !!

      Thank You very much.

      1. ANDRE says:

        I didn't found anything about gnome 2 (or gnome 3) in the link you posted above.
        The only part that tells about the default user interface says gnome but does not specify gnome 2 or gnome.
        Have I missed something?

    4. Steve Bergman says:

      Gnome3 classic mode doesn't work over NX/X2GO. MATE does. Gnome is not even on our candidate list any more. Sucks that the Linux community has been so overrun by "Windows-think".

    5. BlueOX says:

      With the advent of Gnom3 (G3) it has become user hostile to it's large (at that time) user base. With the removal of features and hostility to user requests and a penchant to think they are designing for a phone it does not take a rocket scientist to come to the conclusion that gnome 3 will (has been) go(ing) the way of Microsoft BOB.

      Comments on here fall in to two categories. 1) looks. 2) function.

      Almost to a person those who like G3 go "it looks ". People who dislike G3 gripe about the removal of a feature that was a boost to them or was an avoidance of something annoying. The difference between the "pretty" people and the "get sh!t done" people.

      I, for example, like Focus follow pointer with auto-raise. A feature that was default in X11R3 on AIX 3.2.3e circa 1992. I dislike "click to focus". (GOOGLE when are you going to make the eye tracking mouse so I don't need to remove my hands from the keyboard.) G3 developers saw fit to remove it and were hostile to adding it back. That is more than enough for me to move to another GUI.

      IMHO the direction should be to move G3 to the status of red headed step child. Have a debate about the features and long term support for the next GUI and then have a "bake off" (e.g. Mate, LXDE and XFCE) for the primary GUI.

      I don't include cinnamon because it has an unclear heritage. I have heard it is a "fork" of G2, it is "extensions" or they are "add on" packages. If the developers of G3 can still remove support at any time with out notice like G3 was introduced then it should not be included.

      It is not about being adverse to "change" it is about giving the bulk of your users a FU and for that the GNOME folks must be spanked. The fact that G3 developers added in a G2 "look and feel" means they were listening to their bank account but not to the underlying functionality.

      If you are in to beautiful but non functional please find any internet gallery and look at that and let the rest of us get shit done.

  2. prithvi says:

    Will we get to see MATE 1.8 in EL7?

  3. cedrick evans says:

    guys/girls - what are you doing? don't change the desktop. rhel has made it so that gnome3 can be customized to look as a gnome2 style.

    the people who want to move forward w/ rhel7 - let us have the gnome3

    the people who want a gnome2 style use the above route - or simply stay on distro=<rhel6

    ...but do not remove gnome3 as the default

    1. Coder Steve says:

      Gnome 3 is going backward, not forward. In time, Gnome 3 will either change course, or be left behind. After half a dozen years, they still don't get it. It was a big, horrible mistake. It's time to admit the error, so we can stop fighting each other and we can all move forward together again.

      1. Len says:

        I could not agree more. Gnome 3 virtually stopped Linux penetration on the desktop. It set us back 5 years; the users spoke but Fedora would not listen. It's the obamacare of linux as far as I'm concerned. After falling on our faces with Gnome 3, we went back to Windows, Linux lost momentum, out came Windows 7 which works well, and if it weren't for Windows 8 and Mate, I wouldn't even be here. While Mate may not be (yet) as good as Gnome 2, we have satisfactory installations now using FC20 and Mate. There's no going back I'm told, so Mate appears to be the default answer. Users who want to accomplish some work need Mate/Gnome3. People who live in the flashy world can have Windows 8 or Gnome 3 and click away in confusion.

      2. Sam says:

        Personally, I prefer Gnome 3 to any other desktop environment I have used. In fact, I am using it right now. I really like it's ease of use with simple, intuitive key commands as well as simple mouse navigation that also works on touch screens. It's like everything Windows 8's interface is trying to be.

        That being said, however, what are it's shortcomings in your opinion?

        1. whocares says:

          more people have gone RUNNING away from Gnome3 than anything ever seen in the community before.

          Take the damn hit Gnome poeple. Most people don't like it.

          I mean that is CRASHES all the ___ing time isn't something they care about. lord knows the bugs are stacked high and deep. You can repoduce most of them on RHEL7-RC.

          Its markedly slower and feels sluggish.

          you have to spend a lot of time getting it act proper. "customizing" my desktop is a waste of time.

          Gnome3 is a Fail.

          1. Anony says:

            With Fedora 20, MATE is the only thing that won't take 198% CPU on many systems.

    2. Steve Bergman says:

      "rhel has made it so that gnome3 can be customized to look as a gnome2 style."

      Not if you care about network transparency. My organizations absolutely depend upon the level of functionality and network transparency that only MATE provides today. Used to be we had choices. Now there is but one suitable Linux DE.

  4. Richard Lloyd says:

    I do think supporting MATE desktop in CentOS 7 would be a good idea (preferably as an installable option in Anaconda or at the very least via a "yum groupinstall"). It gives CentOS 6 users a decent transition into CentOS 7 by providing a GNOME 2-lookalike desktop environment (whilst being built on top of GNOME 3).

  5. Rainer says:

    Are there technical reasons not to build MATE 1.8? Like some libraries not recent enough?

  6. jgodino says:

    I have used MATE as a desktop with Fedora 20. I found that it doesn't work well with GNOME application such as Evolution unless you install a GTK 3 theme. I have only three complaints about the GNOME Classic Session. First, the applications menu is to bulky, i.e. if you have a lot of applications under one category you need to scroll through. A good alternative is the Frippery applications menu, installable thorugh GNOME Shell Extensions, but it doesn't work in Classic Mode. Second, the top left hot corner is annoying as well as the notifications area on the bottom of the screen. Finally, the standard GNOME desktop has to much black in the menu bars. I haven't found a simple way to change this. If I could I would prefer using this mode since it is highly configurable through GNOME Shell Extensions.

    1. anonymous says:

      Problems with MATE and GTK 3 interactions will likely be solved with MATE 1.10

      My biggest complaint with GNOME are the developers, they continue to remove features with every new release, they were already doing it during the 2.x series and apparently thought with release 3 they should speed up the process.

  7. centoser says:

    “Gnome classic” model is beautiful.

  8. Ed says:

    I think people who don't like the idea of having gnome 3 in EL7 haven't try the beta. The Gnome 3 is looking really great, better than mate. If you want something similar to gnome 2, prefer Cinnamon because it's a modern gtk3 DE.

    1. Coder Steve says:

      Really? Gnome 3.x is supposed to be so much different than Gnmoe 3.y? I've been using 3.8 in Fedora 20 Beta for a while now. Other than it's "looking really great", the Gnome 3 team have shown no remorse for the destruction of Gnome 2. From what I have heard, Cinnamon is just a variation of Gnome 3. Gnome 3.8 may "look better than Mate", but it doesn't help me WORK better.

  9. Anders says:

    Gnome Flashback also works fine for a gnome2 experience.

    1. jgodino says:

      I didn't know that GNOME fashback was available in GNOME 3.8. In GNOME 3.8 it is called GNOME Classic, at least that has been my experience with Fedora 19 & 20. Flashback is very similar to GNOME 2 but Classic is different, it retains the GNOME 3 experience. However, overall it is very good but needs some tweaks - se my previous post for my complaints.

    2. Coder Steve says:

      I tried it. It retains most of the problems introduced in Gnome3, and restores very little of the functionality we lost. It's a Band-Aid created by the people who seem to think that those of us who dislike Gnome3 so much will be all happy again if it has the "look and feel" of Gnome 2.

      They still don't understand that it is not "Change" that we dislike in Gnome 3. It is not the look and feel that we dislike. It's the lack of functionality and the awkward workflow, and failed replacements. For example, after all the complaints for three years, why don't they restore the ability to hide the "top bar"?

      1. Eric Smith says:

        The problem is that it only has part of the look of Gnome 2, and almost none of the feel. For instance, you can't put launchers on the panel.

      2. vais says:

        Have you even tried to find a way to restore the "functionality" you lost? There are tons of extensions for Gnome 3 shell.

        For example the ability to hide the top bar can be found in only a few minutes:

        Yes, some things might not be available, but it seems the extension system is working quite good and almost anything can be added, I really don't understand all the hate.

        1. Coder Steve says:

          You don't understand all the hate because it isn't hate. That has become such a misused and abused word these days, especially by kids and young adults. It's about being frustrated with the insulting chants of "Oh, you just don't like change" over and over.

          It's not about hate or change. It's about efficency and effectiveness.

          Yes, I've tried the extensions.

          First of all, that extension you mentioned probably didn't exist when I spent hours on end searching the web for the instructions on how hide the top bar. And why should I have to do that? Why isn't it just a simple right-click? Why did that feature get ripped out in the first place? The extension is a Band-Aid, trying to make Gnome work like it did before all it's features started bleeding out.

          Extensions are not part of the release, and therefore they sometimes leap-frog in and out of compatibility. They are not always consistently maintained. They require additional work to install and configure. It's extra work to install for all users and all machines consistently. That's a waste of time, especially at the enterprise level.

  10. Richard Arnold says:

    RHEl 7 "Gnome classic" may be fine in a server environment, but it's not very appealing to use as a desktop, imo. I prefer MATE as a desktop environment, as it's simple yet attractive.

  11. James Lee says:

    MATE looks like a great idea .. GNOME has had a long run and its time for something truly new / better to drop on top of a major release like 7 .. truly its time for the next level in desktop to be a default install ..

    1. Stephen Gentle says:

      Um... Actually, MATE is just a fork of Gnome 2 for people who can't stand change - Gnome 3 is the truly new and better option.

      1. deandownsouth says:

        Better is really just an opinion.
        It's not about not liking change. This whole gnome 3/unity stuff is change for the sake of change. Plus, I didn't ask for the change. For me, my productivity needs are simple. I like the simplicity of a gnome 2 'environment' and Mate replicates that nicely. I don't like the idea of having the heavy weight of all of the gnome 3 libraries and then some sort of 'skin' put on to emulate gnome 2. Plus, for servers that actually need X installed (Oracle for some reason) if I can't use Mate I'll force the DBAs to put up with XFCE if Mate is not available. It's all about choice-even if that choice is not to choose the so-called latest and greatest.

      2. Coder Steve says:

        @Stephen Gentle: Good grief, I am so sick of people who think they know it all saying that anyone who doesn't like Gnome 3 is just afraid of change.
        If I was afraid of change, I wouldn't still be in the computer industry, which is fueled by change; it IS change. Change is Good--usually.

        The problem with Gnome 3 is that it isn't a bunch of changes, it's a bunch of deletions. Gnome 3 is an effort to strip out everything that doesn't work on a tablet and label them "distracting". Take what's left, add a little eye candy and call it "elegant".

        Sorry, using Gnome 3 to get real work done other than facebook and Web surfing is like putting an IDE on my phone and going to the park do my work.

        Get real! I've been using Gnome 3 has been out for years now, and it still has 1/100th of the functionality of Gnome 2. So many workflow options have been simply removed, without any alternatives. And it's still extremely buggy compared to Gnome 2. It's not the future. It's a piece of fancy art: nice to look at, but expensive and unproductive.

      3. anonymous says:

        The same has been claimed for Windows 8, but as its a non-free OS its much more clear that it has been a abysmal failure. Its already been made clear that Windows 9 will be fixing the Windows 8 mess by making it function more like Windows 7.

        When will the GNOME developers learn the lesson... probably never.

      4. David Taylor says:

        I'm not sure how it is better, every time I try to do anything I come up against road blocks. Simple things like adding icons to the bar, impossible. Right click on an item to add it to favourites, doesn't work. In terms of both function and intuitive usage it seems like a big step back. In the end this seems like the 80s back again, systems driving workflow rather than the other way around

  12. Luke says:

    What is the chance of Cinnamon? I am not sure what the level of community activity is around MATE, but Cinnamon is a slick environment that is a pleasure to use.

    1. Hunkah says:

      Agreed. Fully.

    2. leigh123linux says:

      I have already ported cinnamon for epel repo.

    3. picarune says:

      Yes, please Cinnamon indeed

    4. Coder Steve says:

      Cinnamon IS Gnome 3, with extensions and such for a look and feel similar to Gnome 2.

      1. George99 says:

        Yes, but compared to Gnome 3 Cinnamon is at least a giant step forward.
        I hope both Mate and Cinnamon will be made available for CentOS in extra repo or EPEL.

  13. My concern with Gnome 3 isn't the UI but the poor support for multiple desktops. If they resolved that, then I'd be completely ok with it.

    1. Luciano De Rosa says:

      I've the same concerns. At moment only Gnome 2.x is capable of well driving more than two monitors, moreover there are a lot of useful applets which works only in Gnome 2.x or (with minor issues) on XFCE.

      XFCE is nice, anyway I'm bored for some weird behavior on my tri-monitor setup (crazy sized windows, odd windows resize, icons one monitor away from the mouse pointer while moving and so on ...)


      one for gnome 2.x, the other for gnome 3.x, let users choose what they want.

      Is there anybody brave enought to continue using a stable desktop manager?

      BTW: I'm using and WANT to use a computer, NOT a 27" cell phone 😉

  14. Aaron Babitzke says:

    Did Gnome ever fix the memory leak that they had in gnome-shell? I moved away from using it about 6 months ago. Had something to do with the implementation of javascript not freeing up memory properly when creating and destroying windows that applications created. It would slowly use up all of your memory until a user logged off or restarted gnome-shell.

    1. After fresh boot: around 500Mb memory use, gnome-shell about 150Gb. After a couple of days (laptop, suspend, about 8 hours continuous, *plenty* of windows open/closed) about 650Mb, with Gnome-shell about 250Mb. Does that sound like the bug? I'll run this thing using suspend for another week or so to see how it goes.

  15. valerio says:

    why not xfce? For me is appropriate for every use and require small resource

    1. nouvo 09 says:

      I agree !

    2. nouvo 09 says:

      I do use Xfce since years and I agree. It is very usefull and easy to customize.

    3. François Blais says:

      Another vote for XFCE!
      Count me in!

      1. Odysseus says:

        +1 for XFCE

    4. Petaris says:

      Another vote for XFCE availability!

      I do think that CentOS should stay as close to RHEL as possible though. So give it to us as a CentOS Plus installable or something and have CentOS 7.x keep following RHEL 7.x because in a corporate enviornment it is nice to know that the experience will be the same across the two distros.

      1. Andre Gompel says:

        Yes, agree, full compatibility with RHEL 7 is important.

        I will only use a shell, where all the kernels CLI scripts work "out of the box"... So far, MATE has been good.


    5. Luke says:

      Check out Cinnamon. XFCE is less maintained, and with a less active community. Cinnamon appears to maintain the "legacy desktop" feel ala GNOME 2 and XFCE.

      1. Joe says:

        "XFCE is less maintained, and with a less active community."

        That is nonsense. XFCE has been around long since before Cinnamon, and before Gnome even existed. It is a well-maintained project that has a slower, more purposeful pace of development than the other DEs. The desktop environment has survived the transition from two toolkits upon which it was based (XForms and GTK+), and will again survive the transition to Qt or GTK3 or whatever comes next.

        1. anonymous says:

          Joe, the following page isn't particularly confidence inspiring.

    6. mjh49783 says:

      Xfce is also acceptable.

    7. For many of us the Xfce is the only really good and acceptable desktop. CentOS 7 must have its own option/repository to use it beside default Gnome and Kde. And this should be CentOS community supported repository not the Xfce from Epel which we are forced to use now and has some issues with not working screensaver locking, erratic not working update notifications (at least in mine fully hardened version), missing weather and places panel applet, very limited selection of not so good templates.. I'm willing to help with testing and filling bugs.

      1. nouvo 09 says:

        I agree !

    8. Roby Gamboa says:

      Agree, as well. I have no interest in being insulated against my desktop activities, and that was my overall impression of Gnome3. I would much prefer XFCE to Gnome3, Cinnamon, or MATE.

  16. Bram says:

    Mate would be a great idea for enterprise/company usage.
    I don't think there is one customer who would like gnome3.
    Also, gnome3 seems to be very slow and buggy.
    xfce is a bit limited.
    Please provide it as an option with installation so it gets installed as default and not gnome3.

  17. Simon says:

    I tried an install of RHEL7 beta in a VM.

    I could not do anything useful with Gnome 3. There seemed to be no way to add widgets to the panel (nor any obvious way to add a panel). Perhaps these things are possible with extensions, but that is not a pratical way forward.

    Extensions are not the way to support core functionality because the support model for them is fundamentally broken.

    Whatever the solution is for the desktop in CentOS 7, it isn't Gnome3.

  18. Dong Yan says:

    So glad to se this! Mate is exactly what I want.

  19. Allysson says:

    MATE has many bugs!

    1. Michael Torrie says:

      That's a pretty broad statement. Gnome 3 has "many" bugs too. Mate seems just as stable to me as Gnome 2 was. Which is pretty darn stable. I've had the occasional problem with mate-settings-daemon and the dconf gsettings backend.

      In any case, I'd think that the proper place for Mate rpms would be in the EPEL repository. Surely RedHat's customers want access to Mate as well. Since the RPMS are already in Fedora 19 and 20 (and the 19 rpms work very well in EL7), maintaining them in EPEL wouldn't be too hard.

  20. John says:

    People who prefer Gnome3 can certainly use Gnome3, but I don't understand why they feel it's necessary that people who prefer MATE not be allowed to use MATE.

    I've been using UNIX since 1983, and X11 since 1986, and I've been repeatedly frustrated with each new release of Gnome3 ripping out one important feature after another that I and many other non-newbies depend on. For a long time I gave it benefit of the doubt and assumed these were just teething problems that would eventually be addressed.

    I finally gave up on it when I discovered Gnome3 developers demanding that developers of components common to both Gnome3 and XFCE must rip out features that were critical to XFCE but that Gnome3 doesn't use. That's when I realized the problems must actually be part of the Gnome3 game plan, and that they were probably breaking these things deliberately.

    Regardless of what new features have been added to the UI recently, the breach of trust means that even if I could customize Gnome3 today to work the way I want, I cannot rely on my customizations to continue working tomorrow.

    Prior to giving up on Gnome3, I installed all three UIs on my Fedora desktops -- Gnome3, MATE, and Cinnamon -- to try out the options. I found no problems in having all three installed on the same system, so I'd argue that the best policy would be to make all three available in CentOS 7.

    I eventually settled on MATE as my preferred UI.

    1. mjh49783 says:

      Exactly. You took the words right out of my mouth regarding Gnome 3. Between the developers breaking stuff, and their GUI being just awful in my view, I won't even bother with it.

      It can be an option for those that want to install it, but no way should it be the default option.

    2. Len says:

      John, you are on to something here. When we left Linux at Fedora 14 (I think) it was over the behavior of Gnome 3 and tasks. It broke the object oriented approach by insisting on going back to another similar task when the user really wanted another instance of the program - to work on something else typically. At that point we figured Micro..t must have agents working on Gnome 3 or at Fedora and it was no use complaining anymore. We went to W7 because it worked, didn't break the work model and it maintained our productivity. A lot of desktops stayed with FC13 as long as they could. These days the most productive people use FC20/Mate and run Virtual Box with multiple instances of W7. That gives the user Linux task management, allows the use of Linux apps, and adds Windows functionality which is the best of both worlds. With the millions of man hours Gnome 3 has wasted, I'm not sure Linux will ever get back on track. People only live so long.

  21. Stephen Gentle says:

    I think it's a good idea to have it in the repositories for people who want it. But Gnome 3 should definitely be the default.

  22. tangming says:

    I think gnome2 is simpler and easier to use. Centos is as a server system and it's desktop system is also to simpler the use....Want to provide it(Mate).

  23. keithpeter says:

    I think that CentOS 7 should ship with the same defaults as RHEL7, but I say 'more the merrier' to choices of desktop environments in a centosplus style repo; MATE, Cinnamon, XFCE4, whatever people want to give time to support and test.

    Personally, I quite like Gnome Shell and Ubuntu Unity, the 'new' interfaces, but I know well how conservative enterprise desktop users are!

  24. adri says:

    gnome 3 is easy to use, but it is not for servers

    1. extrarius says:

      Well for one thing you shouldn't be using X on a server to begin with... Its a fantastic way to opening up unnecessary security holes and resource consumption.

    2. Coder Steve says:

      Gnome 3 is easy to use, bit it's not for desktops, either. It might be OK on a tablet.

      It fails with two montiors of differing sizes (e.g., my laptop with a large 2nd mon). The feature set continues to be reduced, not enhanced.

      1. vais says:

        I'm sorry, but when was the last time you tried using it? And what GPU did you have, what drivers etc.

        On my laptop, with Intel HD video, open source drivers, F20 had _absolutely_ no problem driving the laptop display + an external one.

        1. Jeffm says:

          I'm sorry, but the problem is that Gnome 3 has already lost all credibility. I tried hard to like/learn it but never again. I wasted way too much time. I use computers for work, not games or toys. The fact is they released the software in such a way that alienated too many users. The current release could be the best thing in the world but I am unlikely to try it. I have moved on and found Mate and it does exactly what I need. If Mate fails me in the future I will see what options are available at that time.

          I have seen supporters try to rationalize reasons to like it but they are few and far between. Gnome 3 is a huge step backwards for desktop computing. I say that knowing that forward/backward in this context is an opinion. Something completely unknown to Gnome 3 supporters.

          1. walterbyrd says:

            I could not agree more about Gnome 3 being a huge step backwards. I am feeling somewhat the same way about Systemd as well.

        2. Coder Steve says:

          Vais, I tried Gnome 3.8 in Fedora 20. I don't care about which GPUs and which drivers I had, because it just works in all my other Linux distros. I'm using popular hardware in an HP laptop. The drivers were installed by Fedora. If you're interested, it's an HP Pavilion DM3. I put the big monitor centered above the laptop, one above the other.

  25. Jeffm says:

    I would welcome MATE. I have used Cinnamon and MATE and find MATE to be much more stable. My main desktop is Mint 16 with MATE. I am a long time Red Hat/Fedora/Centos user (since 1995) and use Centos for most servers. I tried Gnome3 and found it useless and switched to Mint/MATE for the desktop and have been very happy.

    I have seen the argument that people do not like gnome3 because they are just resistant to change. This is complete BS, people adapt very quickly to change, if not we would all be living like the Amish. When the next "big thing" comes along people will move to it in droves. Gnome3 (or Windows 8) is not it. They missed the mark as do most attempts to invent the next big thing.

  26. Trilliji says:

    My vote is for Cinnamon. I've been using it exclusively for my Mint 16 desktop, with CentOS for my servers. Note that whichever choice you make the most important one is to install with Desktop Effects turned off. Otherwise servers with low-end graphics will have poor desktop performance. It is a simple thing to turn effects on, but not so simple to turn them off when you have poor performance.

  27. Graham says:

    Gnome-2 is my preferred desktop.
    When that is no longer available I prefer to use Mate.
    keep up the good work, guys and gals.

  28. alex sandro carvalho says:

    Hi comunity, PLEASE, moving foward. Why stay looking back with gnome 2 / Mate ??? Moving foward with Gnome 3!!!

    1. D. Charles Pyle says:

      I moved forward to Gnome 3--until proper dual monitor support for mixed 16:9/4:3 monitors got broken, transparent terminal was thrown out, and button and menu icons got tossed out after that. Sometimes my tired eyes require having the button and menu icons. I used transparent terminal a lot, particularly when the screens are full of windows and I don't want to have to switch all over the place. After all that change, I was done with moving forward and went back. I haven't regretted the decision and my tired eyes are very grateful.

    2. Coder Steve says:

      I moved forward with Gnome 3. All my work and productivity went backward. Gnome 3 is one step forward, three steps backward.

      I say put a gun to it's head and put it out of OUR misery.

      It's for tablets, not for desktops.

    3. JustOnePerson-s_opinion says:

      I 'moved forward' with G3 in REHL 7 rc ,
      and my RighMouseButton hurt.

  29. adri says:

    And it would be better to fix the problem with the rear microphone

  30. GamesBond says:

    As long Gnome3 remains the standard (to retain compatibility with upstream RHEL7) i would welcome the option to run MATE or even something more modern like Cinnamon. Now all we need is a codec pack and i might even run CentOS7 on my laptops instead of Linux Mint :))

    1. Coder Steve says:

      Cinnamon is based on Gnome3.

  31. Mike Watson says:

    What about us KDE fans? I much prefer KDE of Gnome of either version.

  32. Hypersphere says:

    One reason I liked using CentOS 6 was the Gnome 2 desktop. The closest DEs I have found to Gnome 2 are MATE and Xfce. I tried Cinnamon and did not like it at all. Currently I am using Mint 13 with Xfce 4.10. With the Mint settings, it is a great desktop. Without the Mint settings, e.g., in CentOS 7, MATE might be a better choice.

    1. Jeffm says:

      I do agree Centos should have the same defaults as RHEL7. Which also means I will not use it for a desktop.

      I tried the Fedora 20 MATE spin and it was nowhere near as good as the Mint 16/MATE that I am using as my desktop. Maybe it is Mint's treatment of the DE rather than just MATE on it's own.

      I went back and tried Cinnamon and had the same bad experience as the last time I tried. The DE keeps crashing and goes into fallback mode which is horrible. Also screens are very jumpy and not smooth. Maybe you need some perfect hardware combo to run Cinnamon but MATE works perfectly on every PC I have tried.

  33. Phil C says:

    I will explicitly avoid commentary or criticism of Gnome 3, because enough of that is already available. I mention it just to say, that, yes, I know what it is, no it's not an option for me in any form, permutation, mode or overlay.

    I use and prefer Gnome 2 for the next CentOS version. That's my vote, period. Long term support of Gnome 2 is specifically why I adopted CentOS. Barring Gnome 2, I will settle for Mate. Since I have 6 years left of support for CentOS 6 and Gnome 2, one assumes that Mate will be mature in CentOS 7 by 2020.

    (I should also mention that I would even be willing to pay for extended support of CentOS 6 with Gnome 2 beyond 2020. Avoiding either Gnome 3 or something cobbled together would be worth something to me.)

    I do not require Mate as the default GUI, as I can stagger through Gnome 3 long enough to find Yum and install Mate. It would be nice to avoid Gnome 3 entirely and install Mate with any upgrade or install process. One hopes that if Mate cannot be installed from the start, it is at least possible to uninstall Gnome 3 entirely in order to reduce clutter.

    Mate is, of course, slightly less clean than Gnome 2 as far as GUI configuration, but it will do. Still, it must be noted that "it will do" is not the best advertisement for CentOS 7. Gnome 3 or KDE 4 alone, without Gnome 2 or at least Mate is a deal killer for CentOS for me.

    1. Coder Steve says:


      I left Ubuntu and Fedora becuase they became unusable, and CentOS just works. No spins, extensions and other hoops and loops to jump through. Maintainable, something I can sell and teach and maintain.

  34. Michael Hickey says:

    Either MATE or Gnome 2 is fine with me for a default desktop. Preferrably MATE with Gnome 2 no longer being developed. Personally, I won't touch Gnome 3 with a 10 foot pole. However, if people want to run that on their systems, then that is their choice, and based on that, it should certainly be a choice for those that want to install it, including the option for installing a new CentOS system with Gnome 3. But as for a default desktop choice? No way!

    To be frank, if I really wanted a brain damaged GUI interface to play with, then I can just as easily run Windows 8, or Ubuntu. I don't even run Debian anymore because of Gnome 3 being the default desktop interface, and idiots screaming that it's time to 'get with the times' just doesn't impress. Why scrap something that works and works well, for something that is really just a step backwards?

  35. sam says:

    Gnome 3 enthusiasts should have the OPTION to install it if they want to, but the default should be a solid, stable, FAMILIAR desktop that most users will immediately find useful on a wide variety of installations: remote desktops, multi-monitor, virtual machines, desktops, servers and so on. The default should definitely be MATE!

  36. CentOS 7 should absolutely follow Red Hat by using Gnome3 as the default desktop. We need to maintain consistency between the two distributions.

  37. Lee Reynolds says:

    I don't have a dog in the fight over whether Gnome 3 is part of Centos7. I don't have to care since I don't use Gnome. I use KDE, which is part of RHEL7 and therefore, I assume, will be part of Centos7

  38. picarune says:

    By all means, designate whatever makes upstream happy as a default, as long as I have the option to install Cinnamon (preferably) or Mate. It's not like Gnome 3 is going to be around for longer than it takes to pull up an Xterm...

  39. steved says:

    Agree with many here, but CentOS 7 should follow RHEL and use Gnome 3 but perhaps include 'classic mode'. Currently using this on F20 builds without issue and rather enjoying its clean up-to-date feel. All for moving forward. Gnome 2 should be a way point, not a final destination.

  40. whocares says:

    while it should ship with the same defaults as RHEL 7, gnome3 has had everyone running for something else for a long time now.

    but the gnome people have their heads burried in the sand and don't seem to care that they are making their work less important to a every shinking number of people.

    I am sorry gnome3 crashes a lot. the bugs never get fixed. And frankly they seem to think everyone wants to use a computer like they use a tablet.

    what do I care, I am just in a term all day. I mean when did that become so hard to keep stable.

    1. Keithpeter says:


      I'm running RHEL7 beta-1 with stock Gnome 3 (no extensions) on a recycled Thinkpad X200s, my test machine. I have been using RHEL7 on this machine for a couple of weeks, including 5 days with no reboot, just suspending. No issues.

      How do I crash Gnome 3?

      Have you filed bugs?

      1. Coder Steve says:

        It's easy. Try doing real work on it. Mine crashes often. Not as in Blue Screen crash, but apps crashing and then a notification pops up that it died. Although, with all the functionality they ripped out of Gnome 2 to get to Gnome 3, it should be easy to keep stable.

        1. Keithpeter says:

          I always suspected I wasn't doing real work 🙂

          No sign of any particular crashes yet within RHEL7 beta.

          I did experience one single hard freeze in RHEL7 beta shortly after installation - no mouse movement, could not switch to a tty - but I can't reproduce that at all,

          I've tried loading large numbers of windows with huge documents/images and large collections in shotwell/rhythmbox, lots of terminal windows, enourmous numbers of Firefox tabs, recompiling a kernel, spreadsheets of the kind only 'that guy in the corner with three monitors' can produce. Nowt.

          1. Coder Steve says:

            Hmm. You got me there. After my post last week, Fedora 20 crashed hard a few times. Firefox had to be completely removed and re-installed. Granted, Gnome 3.8 is still in Beta (I think), but I gave up with everything being so difficult to do in Gnome 3.

            Finally, after nearly 4 years TRYING to adapt to the backwardness of Gnome 3, I've given up. I dumped all my variations of Fedora, Ubuntu and Unity. I have now installed Centos 6.5 on all my machines.

  41. Cosmia says:

    I know I shouldn't but I really want to ask "When will RHEL/CentOS 7 be ready?" ......

    1. Akemi Yagi says:

      It's OK to ask. Just that you may not get an answer you are hoping to get. 😉

      "When will Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 GA estimated to be released?"

  42. Thank You !
    Now, it's perfect !!

  43. Michael Torrie says:

    Mate rpms have recently hit EPEL for EL7. So, if they get the full desktop in there, I don't think CentOS needs to even package Mate.

  44. Rob says:

    Is it possible to download centos 7?

  45. Mike says:

    I use RH in production
    I use CEntos to be close to that distro for dev and personal use
    most of the servers are running headless so would not matter but all dev is worksataion and GUI is very important. simple and reliability as a desktop is key, if RH and/or CentOS goes the way of many other distros I may have to decide to go to yet a different enterprise vendor as I only use RH for prod support since they are mostly know for stability but will not use the hooeible Gnome3 or other buggy desktop versions

  46. John says:

    Please, add RHEL/CentOS 6 main gnome theme (Slider) to CentOS 7 Mate by default.

  47. fanYang says:

    Gnome3′s “Gnome classic” model is beautiful.

    1. John says:

      No. Gnome classic not working with my gma3600 and with old hardware.

  48. Andy says:

    One problem with Gnome 3 that I've had is running it on a VM which doesn't have 3D video support. And in the case of servers or workstations should it need it.

    An interface without the requirements for 3D is a necessity to some be it Mate or some other option.

  49. +X^N says:

    Have been using S.L. 6 for a year (6.4 then 6.5) on a GNOME 2 GUI desktop dual boot with Wind_XP , and installed a similar dual boot on my girlfriend's laptop. Looked at both IceWM & KDE therby.
    GNOME 2 has the functionality I desire - I am using it for CAD / 3D Printing.
    KDE looked slick , but a bit unstable ; one time the 'automatic' menu generation broke. Also , the eye - candy seems to use precious resources 😉
    I D-L & installed RHEL 7 RC 'Workstation' on my desktop in an unused portion of my HDD.
    Picking the 'Graphics' during the 'Anaconda' install program , I also chose some 'extra' software , such as LibeOffice ,etc.
    - It installed GNOME 3 shell & classic , as well as KDE.
    The first things that I do when installing a new OS is (after 'looking') at the menu ing and the RightMouseButton context menu ing , etc , is to go into the file manager and set it to 'power user' mode.
    For me , 'power user' mode is detailed listing (rather that icons) , and SHOW hidden files ; then last , but most important , setting 'use view settings for ALL directories'.
    I could not do this last - most important step in GNOME 3 classic ; heck , the view settings did not even 'stick' for the very same directory where I set them in the first place.
    KDE 4 looks simlar to KDE 3 , and would probably use resources accordingly.
    GNOME 3 shell is h*ll.
    I have used , and done minor programming , on computers since 'main frame' days. I know computers as a 'power user' beeing 3-steps above the average , and 3-steps below a guru 😉
    After my self engrandizementaling , I will say what has been said for a couple of years :

    GNOME 3 shell is not made for big - screen / mouse / RightMouseButton _ context menu use ; I can only guess that it was made for small - screen / tablet / 'smart' phone / no RMB _ context menu use.
    It is not useable for me with a desktop & big -screen / mouse with 3 mouse buttons.
    I LOVE new things , I am addicted to new modes of music , learning science , reading books , and installing new OS es & software.
    Change is wonderful!
    Function removal is awful 😉
    I propose various modes - native _ not overlay =
    hardware :
    tablet _ touch (small screen)
    desktop / notebook _ mouse (large screen)
    crossed with user :
    library - user cannot change anything
    normal - user can change preferences
    super_duper user can change settings
    While I realize that it is 'late in the game' for RHEL 7 ,
    there is always the point release cycle opportunity
    for both RHEL.
    GNOME 4 would be wise to heed the user's input ;
    it was dropped from (dare I say it) Ubuntu.

  50. In my opinion, MATE is the way to go.

    I have been a happy Gnome2 user for many a year. I also liked KDE3, but finally I settled in Gnome2.

    KDE4 is good-looking but far too bloated.

    In my humble opinion, Unity, Gnome3 and Windows8 in a professional workstation are just plain nonsense. I see how the companies behind those projects can profit from having a familiar look-and-feel in both touchscreen and non-touchscreen devices, but I do not see how I will profit from that. I prefer having an environment which has been optimised for the touchscreen in the smartphone and an environment which has been optimised for the workstation in the workstation. It is as simple as that.

    Gnome2 was just perfect. When the Gnome project fell into the dark side I started using Xfce, which is great, but a bit of a Frankenstein. At that time, MATE was not mature enough.

    Now it is. I have been using it for a few months now and I think is a keep. Essentially it is the old good Gnome2 refurbished. Yes, it lacks some functionality but most of it is already there. Regarding Gnome3 integration, I honestly do not care.

    My point is: MATE is still a very small project but it is already usable, stable and loyal to the Gnome2 concept. Right now is using even less resources than Gnome2 or Xfce!

    If we support it, it will grow bigger and better.

  51. Pascal Bash says:

    I have dislike Gnome3 from the very first time I laid my eyes on it.

    I believe that there should be a line between Desktop and Tablet, and I feel that Gnome 3 failed miserably in trying to merge those tow platforms.

    As of lately I have been using the Mate Spin on Fedora 20 witch comes with Compiz Fusion with it. Personally I find it awesome. I have a pretty useful desktop.

    So, in short I totally support the adoption of Mate as the desktop, should there be any voting contest count my vote for Mate.

  52. M.Z. says:

    As a Linux user who has tried many different DEs, I've got to say Cinnamon provides an excellent modern Gtk desktop. I know Coder Steve thinks it's just Gnome 3, but it is actually a full fork. The Cinnamon team have been adding in features and functionality to their DE while Gnome 3 tries to dumb down the desktop to the point of unusability. For instance there are new and improved features in the Nemo file manger such as expanded preferences and icon zooming, while the Gnome 3 file manger has been removing features.

    If you want something like Gnome 2 on top of Gtk 3, then Cinnamon is you best bet. They are moving in that direction & improving constantly.

    1. anonymous says:

      M.Z., but unfortunately cinnamon won't add something as simple as task grouping to the window list despite numerous bugs being filed about it, leaving it for addons which are notoriously unmaintained. I'm seriously considering switching to MATE for that single reason.

  53. Tommy says:

    I don't understand half of what you folk discuss, but just a users perspective.
    I assembled a new machine including a 27" monitor and installed Fedora 19 to get ready for Centos 7. Tried all the available UI options about 4 times each. Like the children in a large family i tried hard to like each one. It is so disappointing. My UI preferences for plain windows and the ability to customize the panels like one has been able to do with gnome for a decade or more seems so fundamental I can't understand why it is disallowed. I am unable to get past the gnome3 27" screen with its ridiculous gigantic icons it just seems perverse. If Centos 7 UI choices are similar to Fedora 19, MATE appears to be the least irritating option.

  54. Evan says:

    gnome 3 maybe beautiful and gorgeous, but I don't really care about that. I want 4 terminals with 4 clicks not 7-12 clicks. Base usabilty that is in almost every other DE is just not there in Gnome 3.x (or Unity really)

  55. John Morris says:

    Oh YES! We have CentOS 6 on all of our library workstations, patron and staff. Good luck retraining the generaal public to use GNOME3 and just staff would be a nightmare. I had been truly dreading migrating to something else.... since there really aren't any good options without some major migration pain.

    Now I have hope that when CentOS 6 is no longer able to run 'must have' applications, like a current Firefox and Chrome, there will be a working option.

    XFCE can be made to work, I'm using it now on Fedora, but out of the box it is just strange enough to confuse the general public. Mate should solve the desktop problem nicely.

  56. Richard Arnold says:

    What really convinced me that MATE was my deskop of choice was Point Linux(2.3). A super nice, powerful, easy to use desktop, using a very small amount of system resources.

  57. Coder Steve says:

    I'd like to see Mate as the Default Desktop. It is clear the overwhelming majority of users don't like Gnome 3.

    Would that be too different than Red Hat? Maybe. If MATE (or another alternative to Gnome 3) is not the default desktop, it definitely should be included in the distribution DVD.

    Installing the best Desktop for a work environment with a number of machines is best done when CentOS is being installed/upgraded. That way, it can be installed automatically with Kickstart from a DVD or a CentOS.iso, whether on one or a hundred machines.

    Installing decent desktop should be not an additional effort to be performed on each machine after installation.

    Quite often, training and test systems do not have Internet access. Trying to reach repos over the Internet during installation in order to install the desktop would be problematic or impossible.

    1. vais says:

      I love when someone uses completely made up numbers/statistics like "overwhelming majority" - did someone do a poll that included every Linux user out there? The majority HERE dislikes gnome3 for the simple fact the post is about mate. Anyone that doesn't like Mate, just doesn't bother reading.

      You can just as easily include a post install script in kickstart to install mate and remove gnome, even if it is in EPEL. Of course you will need either a proxy or internet access on the machines, but since you will be having some server to pull kickstart file from, shouldn't be a problem.

      So, what is the big deal?

  58. Tim Salmon says:

    Using Gnome 3 has enabled me to greatly reduce mouse activity. My hands rarely leave the keyboard. I am faster, more comfortable and more efficient with Gnome 3.
    I suggest that people learn the small number of Gnome 3 specific keyboard strokes. They are more then more likely to see the virtues of Gnome 3. I can guarantee that going back to Gnome 2 is harder than going forward to Gnome 3.

    1. Rich says:

      I don't find that statement to be credible. I find gnome3 to be a productivity sink.

      I _might_ believe that statement if there was a public, supported process to port the various one-click panel web-reference applets I use constantly (jenkins,bugzilla,github). And I mean ONE click with no additional pop-up navigation. Without this I'll be returning to CentOS 6.

  59. Aeon says:

    Microsoft has realized their mistake with widows 8 and have listened to their customer base. They will reinstitute the windows 7 style desktop and start menu in an Windows update! Listen and learn Centos, Fedora and Ubuntu. PC's are NOT dead!

  60. Andy says:

    I was also wondering if Gnome 3 would be any good on CentOS.
    But I'm quite impressed with the Gnome 3 implementation from Centos 7 pre-release.
    It's way better and will be more familiar for GNOME 2 users than, say, Fedora 20's implementaion.

    You should try it out!

  61. Josh says:

    Has anyone been able to get the system monitor applet to work under Mate?

    1. pnti says:

      It seems that mate-extras package is missing in the repository.

  62. SynFlag says:

    I would really like that MATE gets added to CentOS 7 / RHEL7 since is keeping the essence of Gnome 2.28 with the current libraries and packages that will be available at CentOS 7 (glibc, rpm, yum, kernel, etc).

    If you need any assistance on QA, packaking, bug zappers or anything to make this happen don't hesitate on contacting me.

    Best Regards.


  63. Sarfaraz says:

    Can we have respins not officially but different iso much like opensuse. where one iso has gnome one has xfce one has mate ? that would nail it !

  64. Paschalis Sposito says:

    MATE brings back the very good feeling and usability of GNOME 2.

    Note that many distributions include MATE as desktop (Mint, Mageia, opensuse e.t.c.)

    So, MATE must be included on Centos 7, in order to attract more users.

    1. joncr says:

      Mate 1.8 is in Epel 7.

  65. Using the latest RC live Gnome ISO (dated 4th July) plus the EPEL CentOS 7 repo - all installed into a VirtualBox VM - I did a "yum groupinstall 'MATE Desktop'", but it looks like caja doesn't fire up when I log in. This means no desktop icons, file manager or right-click-on-background.

    Is this a known bug and if not, should I post the bug somewhere "official" (e.g. on a mailing list or Bugzilla)?

      1. Miroslav says:

        Sorry for missing anchor tag :/

  66. Les says:

    In my opinion Gnome 3 proves the expression: NOT EVERY CHANGE IS AN IMPROVEMENT

  67. Heinrich Wilhelm Klöpping Sr, CISSP says:

    A fresh install of Centos7 + Gnome3 on my system almost brought it to a standstill with Gnome3 consuming massive amounts of CPU cycles. Simply moving a window would make my CPU do overtime, the system felt sluggish and even a simple task like typing in a command was cumbersome.

    After reading the postings in here I decided to give MATE a try. Installation was simple and straightforward and after a reboot I was given the option to choose MATE as my DE. Boy, what a relief. The familiar workspace switcher is back, I can drag icons to the top bar again and all in all it's fast, simple and adequate.

    Thanks folks for saving my day 🙂

    1. As soon as I at first left a comment I clicked on the Notify me whenever new comments are added checkbox and now each and every time a remark is added I get 4 emails with the exact same comment.

  68. Dave says:

    I think Mate on Centos would be great. Gnome 3 does not give me enough freedom to adjust my fonts. (I thought Linux was all about freedom.) When Gnome 2 was around, they always seemed to beat KDE, but now KDE is a very decent choice, and is much better than it was. Kubuntu is far better now than Ubuntu with Unity or Gnome. These are my own findings. I hope I have not offended anyone.

  69. Mike says:

    Microsoft is putting money in the gnome developers pocket and influencing their decisions so everyone will hate it and flock back to using windows.

  70. KidSock says:

    I think it's funny that people are complaining about Gnome3 on a CentOS forum. CentOS is for *servers* that don't even have a desktop. It's only because of The Gnome3 Disaster that people fled to CentOS 6 because it is solid supported system that still has Gnome2.

    So don't expect CentOS people to care much about what you're saying here. CentOS is just a de-branded RHEL system. They're not going to change anything other than remove the RH logos and stuff like that. If they did, that would be a much bigger fiasco than The Gnome3 Disaster because it would affect people doing real work and not just nerds looking at p0rn.

    So I recommend that you all take your hate over to the Fedora list. Fedora is the desktop distro. CentOS is the server distro.

    Or better still, do what people would have done 15 years ago which is learn how to code and write a new "get s**t done" desktop. If you have to charge money for it, that's fine with me as long as the cost is reasonable (charge $10 for 2 weeks of updates?). The old "all software must be free" religion is not reasonable. Clearly the Software Economy is going to be important so the arrangement between developers / software companies and users needs to be equitable.

  71. M says:

    Gnome3 is for windows loving pussies that need to go back to using windows and be dictated by MS how you will use a computer and let the rest of us Linux users keep why we like using Linux in the first place! Gnome 2 may have been dated but needed maybe an icon face lift and updates but the bastard gnome3 became, mate is a fork of gnome2 yes, but better, is what gnome developers should have done with gnome2 in the first damn place

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