Learn to install Ubuntu MATE 15.04 and enjoy the most classic Ubuntu

Ubuntu Mate Logo

The move from GNOME 2 to Unity, and the arrival of GNOME 3, sparked a big buzz in the community of users at the time of its appearance. Many disagreed with this change, and strongly requested that Ubuntu leave Unity and go back to using GNOME 2.

The second version of GNOME was the quintessential Ubuntu desktop, and there were so many users who claimed their return that a group of devs took the GNOME 2 code, did a fork and the result was MATE, a desktop that has been winning integers over the years. In this article we are going to show you how to install the version of Ubuntu with the most classic flavor, we are going to give you post-installation tips and something else. Let's go there!

Ubuntu MATE version 15.04 is the first to feature the Canonical official recognition, and for this occasion they bring us what is, for my taste, one of the most interesting flavors of this new batch, perhaps because of that aftertaste Retro that distills.

Installing Ubuntu MATE 15.04

Install Ubuntu MATE 1

As we mentioned in the Kubuntu 15.04 article, this will be the first thing we see as the liveCD or  live USB start. As we discussed yesterday, you can test the system without installing it and then have it natively on your computer.

Install Ubuntu MATE 2

As we mentioned yesterday, if we are installing on a computer that connects to the WiFi network, we will have to specify your SSID -the name of our WiFi, go- and your password. If, as in this case, we are installing on a computer that has a cable connection, this step will be skipped and we can start preparing the installation.

It is important check those two options if we depend on many third-party plugins, such as the codec MP3 or Adobe Flash.

Install Ubuntu MATE 3

Here we can choose if we want use the entire hard drive to install Ubuntu MATE or if we want to have it together with other systems. Since this installation has been done in a virtual machine, the option to resize the disk to install it together with another system has not appeared, but when you install it you should be able to see it. If it does not appear you will have to use manual partitioning, which as we discussed yesterday will require you to have knowledge on how to carry it out.

Install Ubuntu MATE 4

From here the simplest of the installation begins. Ubuntu MATE it will detect your geographical location and it will assign you a time zone. If it is correct click on Continue and continues.

Install Ubuntu MATE 5

Same with keyboard layout. Ubuntu MATE will assign one to you based on your geographic location. If it corresponds to your keyboard you can test it to work in the text field below the layouts, and if you think it needs some extra configuration you can always detect keyboard layout manually. If everything is correct click on Continue And keep going.

Install Ubuntu MATE 6

All you have to do at this point is specify a username and password, which will be asked every time you have to perform administrative tasks in the system. When you have it done, press Continue and ready.

Install Ubuntu MATE 7

From here you can neglect installation and wait for it to finish. When it is done, it will ask you to restart the computer, and you will be able to start using Ubuntu MATE on your computer.


These steps for me, and as I already mentioned yesterday, are something totally free. Most of the programs that are going to be used are always the criteria of the user who is going to use the computer, but there are a number of common points that I think we all agree on.

First of all it is convenient to have the fully updated system. To do this, we open a terminal and execute the following command:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

The next is install multimedia codecs, that although they should have been installed since we chose to include third-party plugins in the process, something may not work as it should. Caution never hurts, so again in a terminal we execute these commands:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-restricted-extras

Will also be need to install Java, since today many web services still use it. We continue using the terminal:

sudo apt-get install icedtea-7-plugin openjdk-7-jre

From here, I consider that what each user installs is their sole and exclusive criteria. Still, there are certain programs that I cannot give up, for example the VLC player:

sudo apt-get install vlc

I also can't live without Spotify:

sudo apt-add-repository -y "deb http://repository.spotify.com stable non-free" &&
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 94558F59 &&
sudo apt-get update -qq &&
sudo apt-get install spotify-client

And of course, my favorite browser, in my case Chrome:

wget -q -O - https://dl-ssl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub | sudo apt-key add -
sudo sh -c 'echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google.list'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install google-chrome-stable

The next thing would be to install Compiz, but Ubuntu MATE 15.04 already has it integrated in the system, so the most eye-catching stationery is already included out of the box, and part of the customization thing is already included in the system.

Customizing Ubuntu MATE 15.04

There is no doubt that one of the most attractive aspects of Linux is the possibility to customize it to infinity. Although the customization capabilities offered by Ubuntu MATE are quite extensive, we are going to focus on two: We will change the default icon pack and the windows theme.

To apply the visual changes, we will have to go to System> Control Center> Appearance, where we can modify the graphic parameters at our convenience.

First we will install a stylish icon pack flat, which we will add through a PPA. To do this we open a terminal and write the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ultra-flat-icons
sudo apt-get install ultra-flat-icons-orange
sudo apt-get install ultra-flat-icons-green

Installing the three packages of Ultra Flat Icons we can choose between three different folder types: Blue, orange and green, so that we can maintain the harmony of the colors of the system using the green icons, or change it by choosing the icons of any other color.

The next is install a nice theme for windows and borders. In this case I have chosen Numix, but searching the Internet you can find a multitude of themes that can be adjusted to your tastes. To install Numix we open a terminal and write the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:numix/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install numix-gtk-theme

If after we go into the appearance preferences and play a bit with what we have downloaded, we should get something like this:

Customize Ubuntu MATE

The most efficient way to change the visual themes of Ubuntu MATE and any of the flavors based on GTK libraries -which excludes Kubuntu-, is add a PPA with the themes for the windows or the icon packages that we want to install, and then it is much easier to choose the visual aspect we want to have.

For those who want to have a However, or lower shortcut bar, Ubuntu MATE comes with Plank installed by default, so you only have to look for it in the programs menu to activate it.

And up to here our guide to install and configure Ubuntu MATE 15.04. We hope you find it useful and that it allows you to get the most out of this flavor of Ubuntu.

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  1.   Paul Aparicio said

    This one is great. How I missed a good ubuntu since they put the shit out of Unity. I have it installed in an Acer Aspire One D250 (with an SSD disk and with 2 of RAM) and it goes great. It has little to envy the performance of Lubuntu on the same computer and it is infinitely more customizable. GREAT

  2.   Juan Carlos said

    I am great ubuntu-mate and that it is in a virtual one, inside I cheer up and to the hard disk in front 😀

  3.   jopp1984 said

    How long does it usually take to install?
    I am new to Linux and this distro (as you say) caught my attention, since they say that it is good for laptops I currently have an HP Compaq7400 laptop with 512 RAM and that it is running on Windows XP Professional SP2, (I know, It is a dinosaur) and it has been installed a little over 2 hours and it still does not finish ... what will happen?
    I am installing it from a 4GB USB drive I downloaded the .ISO and when I transferred it to the USB it became .ZIP, then I unzipped it and an executable file appeared and I started to install it from there but it already has a long time and I do not know why, it does for a while he said that there were 4 minutes left and then that 5 hours and so much ... is it usual for that to happen ???

  4.   Joaquín García said

    Hello Jopp1984, what you say is not normal. The truth is that the installation process is quite difficult as you are doing it. An installation USB is more than just copying and pasting the image to the USB. You have to use a tool that transforms the USB into an installation disk, after this you restart the system and start the system from the USB, so the installation of ubuntu MATE will begin. What you do is use the Wubi installer that seems to have problems with Windows and that is why I think it takes so long to install. Anyway, the equipment you are talking about may not work very well with Ubuntu MATE, look at the minimum requirements.
    Ah if you have any questions, comment that we are for that 😉

  5.   Pedro55 said

    Good to see original dvd that you have to do .thank you

    1.    AM-LB said

      Most DVD & DVD double layer movies are protected. To read this type of format, enter when finished and being root, do each of these:

      sudo apt install libdvdcss2
      sudo apt install libdvdread4
      sudo /usr/share/doc/libdvdread4/install-css.sh

      I hope you find it useful.

      1.    Ricardo Ortega said

        Thanks, I'll try.

  6.   AM-LB said

    At last!!! An ubuntu type 8.04 !!!!
    Out of 10 on my DELL Inspiron M5030 AthlonII P3602.3GHz 2GB Ram and disk named 320GB !!!! A plane!!!
    Also, honoring his name ... I'm with my "Mates" while I work with him, heh; has everything I need !!!
    Thanks for your information, see you soon.

  7.   Fer said

    A question for a linux newbie
    Having installed ubuntu 14.04 LTS with the gnome desktop, could I reinstall on top of ubuntu mate? easily ?
    My current ubuntu gives me many bugs.

    thanks in advance

  8.   Pedro said

    Hello, it looks very interesting. A query Is it as light as Lubuntu? Another query. I have Ubuntu 15.04 installed to which I installed the Lubuntu desktop. Can the same be done with MATE? I would not like to have to reinstall the whole system again. Thanks.

    1.    Demian Kaos said

      I can't tell you if it's lighter. But you can try it before in a virtual machine or also from a Live CD or from a usb. Greetings!

  9.   Demian Kaos said

    It is a wonder. I installed Linux Mint Mate first, but Ubuntu Mate seemed a bit more "optimized" to me. Each computer is a world !!! But if you have Linux, it's a freer world 🙂

  10.   sarat said

    It is impossible for me to install it. I have tried it several times and it hangs. It does not finish installing.

  11.   Maximiliano revelli said

    Hello everyone, I have a lenovo x230 with win10 installed, it generated space in win, started by usb, generated the 3 recommended partitions, I did the installation of ubuntu mate 15.04 without problem until rebooting, since I restart the computer and I do not see any OS selection menu, directly enter win10. From the BIOS I have to select boot only by legacy so that Ubuntu starts, if I set only uefi or both (in this case with legacy priority) it always starts win10. Does anyone know what may be happening or what I can do? From already thank you very much.

  12.   javier valladares said

    good day to all
    I have been encouraged to approve it, I do not have a great machine but I feel attracted to carry out the assembly, quite tempting and the installation is very clear, well I will do anything around here, I wish you blessings a good start of the week before I used Ubuntu and other flavors, more but this one looks different

  13.   Leonel Loria Segura said

    I am new to Linux and I am very excited about Ubuntu, it has been difficult for me to learn to use the terminal, if someone can help me with the steps that are needed for its correct use, I will appreciate it too much.

  14.   Luis said

    Good Morning.

    I am also new to linux and have installed UBUNTU MATE 15.04 but I don't see the cursor. How can I solve that?

  15.   leonardo forts said

    excellent, quite nostalgic and quite productive, this distro seems great to me ...

  16.   John Z said

    Thanks. The information served me. 100% change my laptop to Ubuntu Mate. Also install elementary os. Greetings. They are beginners at this Linux thing.

  17.   Ana said

    Thanks a lot!!!!!!!

  18.   Peter Noriega Noriiega said

    Hi, I am new to Linux but I am quite ready to learn, it happens that I am right now in the installation process, I already did everything correctly, but it takes about 1 hour in the window »downloading language packages (30:36 missing)» , but it turns out that these numbers change from top to bottom, that is, they increase then decrease and thus it has more than 1 hour, is it normal for those values ​​to change like this? Is it normal that it takes so long on that screen? Thanks in advance.