Ubuntu MATE Remix Alpha1

Yes, it’s here and it’s very alpha. So, be nice. Please!

Ubuntu MATE Remix Alpha1 Download

Join the fun and experience a retrospective future.

Download

What works?

Most things.

The .iso image should boot (from DVD or USB), the Live session should work, the installer should work and the installed system should also work. Notice the heavy use of “should“, YMMV.

Known Issues

The is an alpha project, running on an alpha distribution that was put together by a novice Debian and Ubuntu contributor. That’s alpha squared!

Some things are broken, we know that, and you will doubtless find plenty more broken things we haven’t discovered yet. The following is known to be broken:

  • Network Manager applet doesn’t auto start. The can be worked around by removing the AutostartCondition line in /etc/xdg/autostart/nm-applet.desktop.
  • ISO does not boot on a UEFI computer. LP #1337604
  • Some applets don’t use the mono icons. LP #1337577
  • Some theming in the Live session is not correct.
  • Probably a whole heap more.

If you spot any other issues please report them on the project’s bug tracker.

We are particularly interested in real computer hardware and printer compatibility.

Is there anything you can help with or want to be involved in? Maybe you just want to discuss your experiences or ask the maintainers some questions. Please come and talk to us.

Ubuntu MATE Remix sprint

Earlier this week popey and I met up for a one day development sprint to try and make some headway with Ubuntu MATE Remix. We did manage to make a good deal of progress. So, what did we achieve?

Achievements unlocked

  • Development is now hosted on Launchpad - http://launchpad.net/ubuntu-mate/
  • The Ubuntu MATE Remix .iso images are now built using seeds and germinate. While this is currently only possible using a meta package in our PPA, this technique is consistent with the official Ubuntu flavour builds.
  • Fixed the Ambiance and Radiance themes to work with MATE 1.8.1.
  • The Ubuntu MATE Remix package selection is pretty much complete and offers a “pure” MATE desktop environment on top of Ubuntu. The testing .iso images do not include anything of Unity, indicators or Compiz by default. Wide hardware support, including VirtualBox, has been integrated.
  • The application selections are mostly consistent with the default applications that shipped in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.
  • Created this super-amazing website. Yes, it needs work and will be improved in due course.

Locked levels

These are the main issues we need to work on:

  • Get LightDM to auto login to the LiveCD session.
  • Fork the livecd-rootfs, merge the Ubuntu MATE Remix modifications, build a revised package in our PPA and modify the .iso image builder accordingly.
  • Release .iso images for testing.
  • Ubuntu MATE Remix Plymouth boot themes and Ubiquity slides.
  • Coordinate merging the Ubuntu MATE Remix seeds, tasks and livecd-rootfs changes upstream.
  • Testing, lots of testing. In particular hardware and printer compatibility.

Is there anything you can help with or want to be involved in? If so please get in touch.

Ubuntu MATE Remix artwork

Ubuntu MATE

Sam Hewitt is an all-round good guy and design genius. I asked Sam if he had the time to create a logo for the project and he created a complete set of artwork for the Ubuntu MATE Remix project. What a nice bloke. You might be aware that the Ubuntu logo as known as the “circle of friends”. Sam has dubbed the Ubuntu MATE logo “circle of MATEs”. Brilliant!

Circle of MATEs

If you require access to the artwork the assets are available from Launchpad and licensed under under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Ubuntu MATE Remix inception

I was interviewed on the Ubuntu UK Podcast (UUPC) a few weeks back to talk about the MATE Desktop, a project I’ve been involved with for about a year now.

If you don’t know what MATE is, here is the headline explanation:

The MATE Desktop Environment is the continuation of GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems.

If you’d like to listen to the full interview then head over to:

Inception

Following the interview on UUPC Alan Pope, one of the UUPC co-hosts, did some tinkering and made an Ubuntu 14.04 LiveCD that replaced Unity with MATE. He got my attention and the next day the Ubuntu MATE Remix project was established. We teased some screenshots on social media which were then reported via some of the online FLOSS media and podcasts.

Great, you’re “Internet famous”. Now what?

So, what the heck have we been doing since then?

  • Created prototype ISOs (i386 and amd64) based on 14.04.
  • Tweaked the package selection to reflect a pure MATE experience.
  • Overcame bugs in Ubiqity 14.10.
  • Initial project planning and scoping.
  • Migrated builds to 14.10.
  • Created prototype ISOs (i386 and amd64) based on 14.10.
  • Contacted other MATE on Ubuntu projects (past and present) and invited them to join our team.
  • Put the infrastructure in place to develop and collaborate on the project.
  • Joined the Debian packaging team for MATE and pushed some minor fixes to Debian that will flow to Ubuntu in due course.
  • Migrated from LiveCD customisation to seeds and germinate so that Ubuntu MATE Remix can potentially become an official Ubuntu flavour.

Some good progress has been made but there is a good deal more to do. We will post updates to this blog and associated social media accounts. If you’ve got some input then please join the discussion.