Ubuntu MATE is a stable, easy-to-use operating system with a configurable desktop environment. Ideal for those who want the most out of their computers and prefer a traditional desktop metaphor. With modest hardware requirements, it is suitable for modern desktops and laptops, micro computers and older hardware alike.
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Pro Perfect for people who like Gnome 2
The goal of MATE is to maintain the look and feel of Gnome 2, while maintaining compatibility with Gnome 3. To that end, it has also forked and renamed many of Gnome's core applications. It benefits from the years of work and polish that have gone into the Gnome project.
Pro Simplicity of Gnome with the power of Ubuntu
Debian was good to use but has limited documentation and is difficult to pick up. Ubuntu MATE brings the ease of design and logic of the Gnome 2 style desktop so it's easy to get around coupled with the vast documentation, forums and ease of learning/using the Ubuntu system.
Pro Works great on old laptops
It does not have a lot of system requirements so it works pretty well even on older laptops.
Pro Highly configurable
Comes with an option to configure as Windows-like, Mac-like, Gnome-like, etc. in a single click. Wonderful to get you started without having to learn it all from scratch.
Pro Behaves like Ubuntu with Unity - after Ubuntu-Gnome transformation
No better place to continue Unity experience with Ubuntu (Left-side panel, HUD) and not as awkward as Gnome.
Pro Based on Ubuntu
Con No very good Software Center by default
The Software Boutique is not good. You can install Gnome Software from it.
Con Too much bloat included by default
There is absolutely no reason to install it, since it uses the same package repositories as Ubuntu and you can transform any Ubuntu install into a Ubuntu MATE install.
Con Not bleeding edge
Users who want the latest and greatest software would be happier using Arch Linux, Antergos or another rolling release distro. However, because Ubuntu MATE is based on Ubuntu, users still have access to a large repository of recent software.