When comparing Tails vs Ubuntu MATE, the Slant community recommends Tails for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux distributions for desktops?” Tails is ranked 16th while Ubuntu MATE is ranked 18th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Privacy focused
Pro Has TOR built-in
Use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network.
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 Based on Ubuntu
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.
Con Not for daily use
Tails is a privacy focused Linux distro. The updates that you will receive are only for improving privacy and not for improving user experience.
Con Saved states are not present for security
For security reasons, saved states are not supported in Tails. Files can be stored in a separate, persistent volume which must be accessed with a root password. Personal settings (e.g. -- keyboard layout, window settings, etc.) are not saved persistently across reboots. This can be a hindrance for anyone not using English as their language, or not using a QWERTY keyboard layout.
Con You can't install it to a hard drive
Con Slow internet
Tails uses the TOR network and as a result the internet on your computer will be very slow.
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.
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 No very good Software Center by default
The Software Boutique is not good. You can install Gnome Software from it.