Version 20.04.1 Release Date: August 6, 2020
If you are new to Ubuntu MATE, or only casually acquainted with Linux based distributions, it can be difficult to understand how a Linux operating system compares with other computer systems that you may already be familiar with. Hopefully this page with help demystify Ubuntu MATE for new-comers.
Ubuntu is one of, if not the, largest deployed Linux based desktop operating systems in the world. Linux is at the heart of Ubuntu and makes it possible to create secure, powerful and versatile operating systems, such as Ubuntu and Android. Android is now in the hands of billions of people around the world and it's also powered by Linux.
Ubuntu is available in a number of different flavours, each coming with its own desktop environment. Ubuntu MATE takes the Ubuntu base operating system and adds the MATE Desktop.
Wikipedia says that a Desktop Environment is:
an implementation of the desktop metaphor made of a bundle of programs running on top of a computer operating system, which share a common graphical user interface (GUI). Desktop GUIs help the user to easily access and edit files.
The MATE Desktop is one such implementation of a desktop environment and includes a file manager which can connect you to your local and networked files, a text editor, calculator, archive manager, image viewer, document viewer, system monitor and terminal. All of which are highly customisable and managed via a control centre.
The MATE Desktop has a rich history and is the continuation of the GNOME2 desktop, which was the default desktop environment on many Linux and Unix operating systems for over a decade. This means that MATE Desktop is tried, tested and very reliable.
In the last couple of years Linux has become a first class gaming platform thanks to Valve bringing the Steam platform to Linux. At the time of writing Steam has more than 1000 high quality indie and AAA titles available for Linux. Ubuntu MATE is fully compatible with Steam for Linux.
While Steam is a major step forward for gaming on Linux, there are also many high quality and enjoyable Open Source games titles available for Ubuntu MATE via the Ubuntu Software Centre. It doesn't matter if you like flight simulators, motor racing, first person shooters, jump and run or card games, you'll find something to keep you entertained.
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