I have been following the development of the MATE SlackBuilds (MSB) project for quite some time. Finally, I decided to give MATE a try. I wanted to have a relatively clean system before I install, since some of the packages provided by MSB are also available at SlackBuilds.org. I say “relatively”, because I wanted to keep the
-multilib packages from AlienBob and sbopkg. So, I did
and removed anything that had the
_SBo extension. Then, I run
sbopkg and went to the Packages menu, just to make sure… I also removed the XFCE series, since I do not need two GTK based desktops:
slackpkg remove xfce
# List repositories you want to use (defined below) # remember to launch 'slackpkg update' if you modify that row. REPOPLUS=( slackpkgplus restricted alienbob multilib msb )
Add this, too on some empty line:
# MATE SlackBuilds MIRRORPLUS['msb']=http://slackware.org.uk/msb/14.1/1.8/x86_64/
Then just run:
slackpkg update gpg
slackpkg install msb
There are many reasons to like MATE. It is visually appealing, uncluttered and overall feels complete out-of-the-box. Here is an excerpt from the ChangeLog (Sun May 4 07:32:09 CEST 2014) of Microlinux:
The MATE desktop environment has proven to be as rock-solid as Xfce. The Caja file manager offers more functionality than Thunar while being visually more appealing. Basic desktop applications like a simple text editor, a document viewer or an archive manager are already shipping with the base desktop. Multimedia hotkey support is perfect, as well as a number of tiny details. With all this, MATE stays light on system resources and runs perfectly even on very old hardware.
One problem that I encountered was that playing with the icon sizes of the file manager is a bit buggy. I had to log off and back in for the changes to take effect. Otherwise, the desktop is very responsive. Many thanks to Willy Sudiarto Raharjo and Chess Griffin for their work!