Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Alpha 1

Beaut, beauty! We’re stoked to announce Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Alpha 1, the first distro to ship a fair dinkum MATE Desktop implementation built entirely against GTK3+. Some thought we’d let the kangaroos loose in the top paddock by being the first distro to switch to GTK3+ and it would all come a gutser. But we put in big mobs of effort to ensure it’s not complete ball dust. Give it a burl!

The above statement is for the benefit of our friends at #systemau who lament the predictable and often dreary wording used in Linux distro release announcements. We hope we’ve helped restore balance to the force ;-)

Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Alpha 1

We are preparing Ubuntu MATE 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) for distribution on October 13th, 2016 With this Alpha pre-release, you can see what we are trying out in preparation for our next (stable) version.

Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Alpha 1
As is now customary, our release artwork was made by Ghost Sixtyseven.

What works?

People tell us that Ubuntu MATE is stable. You may, or may not, agree.

Ubuntu MATE Alpha Releases are NOT recommended for:

  • Regular users who are not aware of pre-release issues
  • Anyone who needs a stable system
  • Anyone uncomfortable running a possibly frequently broken system
  • Anyone in a production environment with data or workflows that need to be reliable

Ubuntu MATE Alpha Releases are recommended for:

  • Regular users who want to help us test by finding, reporting, and/or fixing bugs
  • Ubuntu MATE, MATE, and GTK+ developers

What changed since the Ubuntu MATE 16.04 release?

First of all, Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Alpha 1 owes a debt of gratitude to:

  • Luke Horwell for developing Ubuntu MATE Welcome and Software Boutique.
  • Robin Thompson for migrating MATE Dock Applet to GTK3+
  • Alexei Sorokin for migrating MATE Menu to GTK3+
  • Wolfgang Ulbrich for adding GTK 3.18 theme support to Ambiant MATE and Radiant MATE.
  • Mike Gabriel for reviewing and sponsoring uploads of MATE 1.14 to Debian.
  • Vlad Orlov for migrating MATE components to GTK3+ and fixing Indicator support in MATE Desktop 1.14.

What changed since Ubuntu MATE 16.04 was released?

Before we list what’s been added and updated, lets go over what has been dropped (for good) and what is temporarily missing.

  • GNOME Main Menu (as used in the openSUSE layout) has been dropped.    * No one in the MATE team believes this applet is good enough to port to GTK3+. As it is GTK2+ only and has nobody to port or maintain it, this applet will be dropped for good.
  • The openSUSE layout is currently missing, but will be re-instated in MATE Desktop 1.16.    * This will feature a different menu applet.
  • The Mutiny layout is currently missing but will be re-instated when the topmenu-gtk MATE applet has been rebuilt for GTK3+
  • Pidgin will no longer be installed by default
    • Pidgin is now available in the Software Boutique.
  • Cheese is not currently installed by default but will be re-instated as a default application when merge proposal 298171 is merged and released.
    • Cheese is available in the Software Boutique.
  • Indicator Session is not currently available in Ubiquity while installing Ubuntu MATE but will be re-instated when merge proposal 297183 is merged and released.

This is what have been updated or added.

  • All the Ubuntu MATE seeds and meta-packages have been completely overhauled**.
    • Basically we’ve started over, and completely rebuilt Ubuntu MATE 16.10 from the ground up.
    • It is now possible to safely uninstall all the default applications without the ubuntu-mate-desktop package also being removed.
    • Memory consumption of Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Alpha 1 is lower than that of Ubuntu MATE 16.04.
  • New community contributed wallpapers from:
  • Upgraded to MATE Desktop 1.14, which is now built entirely against GTK 3.18.
    • Indicator support for MATE Desktop, when built against GTK3+, has been significantly improved.
    • Ambiant-MATE and Radiant-MATE themes have been completely reworked to support GTK 3.18.
    • We have initial HiDPI support (almost) working. Don’t get too excited, this is an all or nothing implementation. When enabled all GTK3+ applications (not just MATE) will be rendered using high quality pixel doubling. If you have a 2160p display, it looks ace :-D
    • You can find out what changed in MATE Desktop 1.14 from the upstream release announcement.
  • Upgraded Ubuntu MATE Welcome to 16.10.4
    • Ported to WebKit2 4.0. The transitions and animations are now hardware accelerated (where supported) and it looks very smooth indeed.
    • Sports a new look and many visual and usability enhancements.
    • Getting Started section offers much more assistance for a post install setup and configuration. (Some elements back ported to 16.04)
    • Adds driver installer for Logitech’s Unifying Receiver peripherals.
    • New builds are automatically tested.
    • Testers can check out this daily PPA, including packages for Xenial users wanting to test new versions of Welcome.
    • Detailed system specifications can now be copied to the clipboard.
    • Assorted performance optimisations.
  • Upgraded Software Boutique.
    • Adds News to inform you of additions/removals to the Software Boutique. (Back ported to 16.04)
    • Adds Search facility so you can quickly find software by name, keyword and description. (Back ported to 16.04)
    • Adds Bulk queue installs so you can queue up multiple applications to install at once.
    • Adds a responsive design** so you can see more software listings when resizing or maximising the Software Boutique window.
    • Software Boutique now stocks ~160 applications. (Back ported to 16.04)
    • Introduces a new feature to display a complete list of all applications and the repositories they are sourced from.
    • Support added for installing software for arm64 and ppc64el architectures.
    • Software install and removal notifications now use the associated application icon.
  • Upgraded MATE Tweak
    • Splits up the UI and introduces a new Panel section.
    • Can now change icon sizes and menu item icon sizes in the panel, exposing a new MATE Desktop 1.14 capability. This has two benefits, bigger icons for high resolution displays and, if you are so inclined, large panels suitable for touch input but without changing the desktop metaphor.
    • Supports enabling new style GTK3+ indicators.
    • Supports xcompmgr compositor, the preferred compositor to use along side the Raspberry Pi hardware accelerated VC4 drivers.
    • Tilda is no longer enabled by default. Tilda is still installed by default, but can now be optionally enabled via MATE Tweak.
  • Upgraded MATE Dock Applet which now supports GTK3+
  • Upgraded MATE Menu which now support GTK3+

Download Ubuntu MATE 16.10

Join the fun and experience a retrospective future.

Download

Known Issues

Here are the known issues.

Ubuntu family issues

This is our known list of bugs that affect all flavours.

  • After complete an OEM install running “Prepare for shipping to end user” causes systemctl to segfault.
  • Creating a btrfs or xfs partition fails during install.

PowerPC

These issues are specific to PowerPC architectures.

  • R300 GPU accelerated graphics do not work on PowerPC
  • Ubiquity installer Slideshows and Ubuntu MATE Welcome display a blank window on PowerPC. This is due to a bug in WebKit 2.
  • Running Linux on PowerPC can require some tinkering and the following are useful references.

You’ll also want to check the Ubuntu MATE bug tracker to see what has already been reported. These issues will be addressed in due course.

Feedback

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.

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