Suggestion: Use MATE applications in the eventual Unity 7 flavor of Ubuntu 18.04

The Ubuntu MATE Welcome Screen. We could use this as well and change the messages accordingly.
Just let us know when the new ISO is ready.

The jury is still out on this. As @popey said, some of these changes would represent too drastic a change as to what unity users are used to. Also there is mention to leave nautilus in and make some inserts with caja - so I may wait a bit until next .ISO (hopefully this week) and install caja and a few things and put it up as soon as I can.

As per previous discussion on this topic.

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I have two questions, first what video player does Ubuntu MATE use (I seem to can not remember) and can Unity use the same? Second question can these core applications be snaps? This way newer versions can be updated on a LTS.

@popey As a non-technical user, I think that CSD apps and the eventual removal of headerbar patches (not sure if it’s already happening in 18.04) on those that usually ship by default in Ubuntu (as they are no longer necessary in GNOME) are a more drastic change for Unity users than MATE apps, hence my suggestion to use them, including Caja.

I do get that this still represents a big change, but long term, as GNOME continues to evolve, I think it’s best for Unity7 to stick to usage paradigms of its pre-CDS era, and MATE represents that.

I’m using all Ubuntu MATE default apps in Ubuntu 16.04 with Unity at the moment, with the exception of Caja (I’m using a patched Nemo instead) and everything feels more in line with the post-13.04 design of Unity7, and so everything looks more consistent, like it was in 14.04.

@dale-f-beaudoin is this going to be available for testing? I’d suggest simply include Ubuntu MATE’s selection of default apps (includes VLC as the default video player instead of Totem, for example).

@khurshid-alam had mentioned that he would like to try nemo for 18.10 so I am relying heavily on many of his driections atm.

Yes … it will be available through

But I have not yet built it.

That decision makes perfect sense to me, including the fact that it’s for 18.10, and not 18.04. I guess the question is how consistent Nautilus will be on Unity7 on 18.04. I haven’t tried it yet though.

I personally really like to use my current 16.04 setup: Ubuntu MATE defaut apps on Unity7 and Nemo, and I look forward to use this in 18.04.

I do wonder if Nemo’s patches needed for Unity integration will still allow it to work on Cinnamon (which is, as far as I know, in the Ubuntu repos, if someone wants to use it).

I’ll keep an eye on it, thanks!

Thanks for your patience. :blush:

No, thank you for your hard work and for taking my suggestion in consideration! :slightly_smiling_face:

I see you built an image with caja instead of nautilus. I quickly tested it in live mode, and here’s what I’ve found:

  • Trash button on Unity’s dash doesn’t seem to work;
  • Unity’s dash color doesn’t adapt to caja’s desktop background;
  • Unity’s display properties does’t show the correct desktop background.
  • Caja isn’t pinned to Unity’s dash by default on the image you built (even though it seems to behave correct if I do pin it, even though it doesn’t have the expected shortcuts when you right click on it in the dash);
  • Killing caja on the terminal and execute caja --force-desktop means caja won’t integrate with global menu anymore. However, I didn’t test if caja --force-desktop --no-default-window would work as intended though.
  • Right-clicking on the desktop and select to change background doesn’t seem to work, which means mate-appearance-properties isn’t installed, as @Wimpress explained before.

I think all this stuff is kinda expected at this point, but I felt I should point it out, since it stands out almost immediately.

Yes… I am working on this. I just put that up there. I know it is broke. I just want simple feedback of how caja “looks”.

Does it fit?
Is it too old looking?
Is it a move forward or backward?

Also the .ISO installs quicker and exits without any errors.

Makes sense :wink:

I’ll talk about it in the new thread you posted.

If anyone is interested in trying on how MATE apps look in Unity 7 (except for caja), using while testing the new 18.04 ISOs, here’s how you can do it:

sudo apt install mate-calc pluma engrampa eom mate-system-monitor mate-terminal atril vlc

If you don’t want to just compare and want to use these apps as defaults, then you can follow the following steps, based on this guide:

  • Remove substituted packages:

    sudo apt remove gnome-calculator gedit file-roller eog gnome-system-monitor gnome-terminal evince totem

NOTE: removing gnome-calculator also removes unity-scope-calculator, which I have no idea if it can be patched to work with mate-calc

  • Change and fix default application for some MIME (file) types:

    # Images:
    xdg-mime default eom.desktop image/bmp
    xdg-mime default eom.desktop image/gif
    xdg-mime default eom.desktop image/jpeg
    xdg-mime default eom.desktop image/x-pcx
    xdg-mime default eom.desktop image/png
    xdg-mime default eom.desktop image/tiff
    # Plain text:
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop text/plain
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop text/x-log
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop application/x-perl
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop application/javascript
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop application/rdf+xml
    # If you want for Wine plain text files:
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop application/x-wine-extension-ini
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop application/x-wine-extension-vbs
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop text/x-csrc
    xdg-mime default pluma.desktop application/x-wine-extension-inf
    # PDF:
    xdg-mime default atril.desktop application/pdf
  • Set new default terminal emulator:

    sudo update-alternatives --install "$(which x-terminal-emulator)" x-terminal-emulator "$(which mate-terminal)" 30
    sudo update-alternatives --set x-terminal-emulator "$(which mate-terminal)"


If you have time perhaps you can put up a list of terminal commands in a chronological order as @wimpress itemed out in this thread so as I could attempt another caja install into the ISO during this process. I certainly missed a few steps in the previous attempt.

Thanks ,


Not sure if this is what you wanted, but seems to be working fine for me, if I run it after installing your test ISO:

sudo rm /usr/share/applications/defaults.list
sudo cp -a /etc/gnome/defaults.list /usr/share/applications/defaults.list 

sudo apt install -y caja caja-sendto caja-share caja-open-terminal caja-wallpaper deja-dup-caja
sudo apt purge -y nautilus nautilus-sendto nautilus-share

sudo tee -a /etc/xdg/autostart/caja-autostart.desktop <<EOF
[Desktop Entry]
Exec=caja --force-desktop --no-default-window

sudo tee -a /usr/share/applications/caja-unity.desktop <<EOF
[Desktop Entry]
Name=File Manager
GenericName=File Manager

[Desktop Action new-window]
Name=New Window

gsettings set org.mate.background picture-filename /usr/share/backgrounds/warty-final-ubuntu.png
gsettings set org.mate.caja.desktop computer-icon-visible false
gsettings set org.mate.caja.desktop trash-icon-visible false
gsettings set org.mate.caja.desktop home-icon-visible false
gsettings set org.mate.caja.desktop volumes-visible false

sudo sed -i "s/nautilus-folder-handler.desktop/caja-folder-handler.desktop/g" /usr/share/applications/defaults.list
sudo tee -a /usr/share/applications/defaults.list <<EOF

sudo apt install -y mate-calc pluma engrampa eom mate-system-monitor mate-terminal atril vlc

sudo apt purge -y gnome-calculator gedit file-roller eog gnome-system-monitor gnome-terminal evince totem

sudo tee -a /usr/share/applications/mate-system-monitor-unity.desktop <<EOF
[Desktop Entry]
Name=System Monitor
GenericName=System Monitor

sudo update-desktop-database

sudo sed -i "s/gedit.desktop/pluma.desktop/g" /usr/share/applications/defaults.list
sudo sed -i "s/org.gnome.FileRoller.desktop/engrampa.desktop/g" /usr/share/applications/defaults.list
sudo sed -i "s/eog.desktop/eom.desktop/g" /usr/share/applications/defaults.list
sudo sed -i "s/evince.desktop/atril.desktop/g" /usr/share/applications/defaults.list
sudo sed -i "s/org.gnome.Totem.desktop/vlc.desktop/g" /usr/share/applications/defaults.list

sudo update-alternatives --install "$(which x-terminal-emulator)" x-terminal-emulator "$(which mate-terminal)" 30
sudo update-alternatives --set x-terminal-emulator "$(which mate-terminal)"
gsettings set org.mate.terminal.profile:/org/mate/terminal/profiles/default/ use-theme-colors false
gsettings set org.mate.terminal.profile:/org/mate/terminal/profiles/default/ background-color "#000000000000"
gsettings set org.mate.terminal.profile:/org/mate/terminal/profiles/default/ foreground-color "#FFFFFFFFFFFF"
gsettings set org.mate.terminal.profile:/org/mate/terminal/profiles/default/ bold-color "#000000000000"

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites "['application://ubiquity.desktop', 'application://caja-unity.desktop', 'application://firefox.desktop', 'application://libreoffice-writer.desktop', 'application://libreoffice-calc.desktop', 'application://libreoffice-impress.desktop', 'application://org.gnome.Software.desktop', 'application://unity-control-center.desktop', 'unity://running-apps', 'unity://expo-icon', 'unity://devices']"

The first two lines intend to fix this, since mime types are going to be altered system-wide:

Then I add or replace mime types in /usr/share/applications/defaults.list accordingly, but I don’t know if this is the proper way to do it.

I’ve added a unity-specific shortcut for mate-system-monitor and hid the computer, home, volumes and trash icons in the desktop, since they make no sense to be there for unity.

Also, do note that removing gnome-calculator also removes unity-scope-calculator, which I have no idea if it can be patched to work with mate-calc.

Theming for the MATE terminal isn’t working as intended, so I altered it manually to be easier on the eyes while testing. I’ve since tested with other themes in the repo, and it seems that Ambiance is the only one that doesn’t work properly on MATE terminal. It seems the issue has to do with the fact that Ambiance and Radiance have never been properly patched to support MATE. I talk about it in more detail here.

@Wimpress am I missing something? I didn’t try to replicate your experiment with mate-user-share because I don’t know how to do it.

On a side note, I just noticed nautilus isn’t patched to display a “full global menu” anymore, which is what I imagine will end up happening to all other GNOME apps.

I think that’s a great idea. MATE applications are aligned with Unity principles.

Kinda related to the topic, but i opened a bug report on ubuntu-themes to add MATE support in Ambiance and Radiance:

I don’t see any difference in going with Mate apps then using Ubuntu Mate with the Munity layout. If they’re any differences let me know.

There isn’t that much difference no :stuck_out_tongue: Both have HUD, global menu, etc… One difference is that with Unity a window, when maximized, has its title bar merged with the top bar, I’m not aware that this is the case in MATE? Also, the Dash is rather different.

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Try mate-window-applets (mate-window-title-applet,mate-window-buttons-applet ).

Looking good. But I wish that MATE provided LIM functionality for unmaximized windows.

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