Ubuntu MATE 22.04 LTS brings new Yaru theme, MATE Desktop 1.26.1 and other improvements

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is already an exciting release.

While other Ubuntu-based distros should be gearing up to release their latest Ubuntu 22.04 LTS-based builds, LTS releases of official Ubuntu flavors have also landed.

Here we focus on Ubuntu MATE 22.04 LTSwith the latest MATE Desktop 1.26.1.

Usually, Ubuntu MATE 22.04 LTS puts a lot of effort on upstream improvements.

It received significant updates this time, especially for its appearance.

Ubuntu Mate 22.04: what’s new?

Ubuntu Mate 22.04 brings a number of appearance changes aside from necessary package updates and bug fixes.

Undoubtedly, this is a long term release. So you can expect updates for Ubuntu MATE 22.04 until 2025 i.e. three-year supportwhich is usual for official Ubuntu releases.

Let’s take a look at the main highlights.

1. Improved Yaru theme support

Ubuntu’s popular and community-supported default theme takes center stage in this release. MATE’s compatibility with the theme has been significantly improved since it was first included in Ubuntu MATE 21.04.

Now, all Yaru color accents have shipped, along with a new MATE-focused “Chelsea Cucumber” theme. Stock and old Ambient/Radiant themes have been removed.

Source: Ubuntu MATE

When upgrading to the new version, an automatic settings migration takes care of selecting a relevant Yaru MATE theme if your old theme is no longer supported.

MATE’s default Windows manager – Metacity or Marco – has also been updated to provide a uniform look and feel. This also applies to third-party composers.

2. Improved panels

Expanding Yaru compatibility, the Appearance Control Center now accurately changes the color scheme for apps. The panel is now available in light and dark mode, with a host of panel icons for Yaru.

The theming also lends support to Plank and Pluma.

3. Updated Ayatana Indicators

Ubuntu MATE 20.10 users should be familiar with Ayatana indicators. For those who don’t know, this is basically a fork of Ubuntu flags and created for use in many distros and desktop environments.

Source: Ubuntu MATE

Ayatana Indicators 22.2.0 has been included in this new version. This means less RAM and CPU usage, which improves battery performance and backwards compatibility with Ubuntu indicators.

4. AI Generated Wallpapers

Ubuntu MATE 22.04 LTS offers awesome wallpapers generated using a neural network.

You can download the full set from the link here.

5. MATE Tweak

One of the most popular features of Ubuntu MATE is the presence of MATE Tweak which allows users to select their preferred desktop layout ranging from Cupertino (macOS) to Redmond (Windows 10).

Users should now expect improved layout switching and restoration for custom layouts.

Source: Ubuntu MATE

Additionally, those using third-party composers should expect better support. Note that Compton support has been removed (since it is no longer maintained) and picom support has been added instead.

Finally, the companion-netbook layout was removed due to conflict issues with client-side decorated windows.

6. MATE HUD

MATE HUD is a custom HUD that uses rofi to execute menu commands.

It has been updated to support the latest version of rofi as a new theme engine has been introduced. Additionally, the window now sports rounded corners, according to the current GTK theme.

Users can also add their own rofi themes by pasting them into:

~/.local/share/rofi/themes.

7. New apps and packages

Users will be glad to know that support for PPA, Snap, AppImage and Flatpak has been enabled by default.

Snap-desktop integration has also been included to enhance user session and automatically install snap themes.

GNOME users will be especially excited to see three new GNOME apps: Maps, Clocks, and Weather.

Source: Ubuntu MATE

Not to mention, you should also expect the latest Firefox 99.0, Celluloid 0.20, Evolution 3.44, LibreOffice 7.3.2.1, and Blueman 2.2.4, among other package updates.

8. Linux Kernel 5.15 LTS and Mate Desktop 1.26.1

You can expect the latest Linux kernel 5.15 LTS with Ubuntu MATE 22.04.

And, the desktop environment is now the latest MATE 1.26.1, which mainly includes performance and bug fixes in addition to improvements made in Mate Desktop 1.26.0.

9. Lighter ISO size

Ubuntu MATE’s ISO size has been reduced to 2.7GB. So what’s the takeaway?

Whereas all legacy themes and icons have been removed. So, it’s safe to say that Ubuntu MATE’s theme system completely switched to Yaru upstream. Additionally, three snap-based apps were also dropped.

Additionally, proprietary NVIDIA graphics drivers can no longer be found in the default installation.

Don’t worry, as a checkbox can be checked during the installation process to install third-party drivers to include NVIDIA drivers, just like some other Ubuntu-based distributions. There’s even a minimal install checkbox.

Other Changes

There have been several bugfixes and other additions.

  • Bugs related to Plank, Brisk Menu and a screen reader for visually impaired users have been fixed.
  • Added 3 beautiful AI generated wallpapers.
  • An updated welcome screen with newer software.
  • Indicator support for battery-powered gaming devices.
  • A new image for the Raspberry Pi.

You can check the official release notes for detailed technical information.

Download Ubuntu MATE 22.04

Ubuntu MATE 22.04 LTS is now available for download. You can grab the ISO using the button below.

Final Thoughts

Ubuntu MATE 22.04 is a feature-rich release that is primarily focused on visuals. Looks like the community-driven Ubuntu MATE is now a more compelling alternative to Canonical’s Ubuntu, especially after noticing the inclusion of Yaru-only themes.

What do you think of Ubuntu MATE 22.04? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

About Jon Moses

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