When comparing Solus vs Ubuntu MATE, the Slant community recommends Solus for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux distributions for desktops?” Solus is ranked 10th while Ubuntu MATE is ranked 23rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Rolling release
Pro Modern desktop environment
The default desktop environment used by Solus is called Budgie and is quite nice and minimalistic.
Pro Easy installation
The installation procedure for this distribution is quite simple. It's GUI based and all you have to do is to follow the instructions given by the installation window itself.
Pro Great package management
The software center makes it really easy to install the latest software through Snappy and Flatpak. Including third party software.
Pro Exclusively for desktop systems
System boots quickly and stays responsive. Does what operating system should do, and does it really well.
The system itself is very stable. All packages in the repository seem to be carefully picked, well prepared and run stable.
Pro Seamless Packages
It may not have the most obscure packages, but the packages it does have is a good number of everything a Linux user needs. Gamers, developers, desktop users, etc. all have the necessary packages and then some. The packages themselves are integrated perfectly and are very well updated.
Pro Built from scratch
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 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 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 Works great on old laptops
It does not have a lot of system requirements so it works pretty well even on older laptops.
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 Slow development
Con Software a bit slower to launch than for other distributions
Con Forums are not very friendly
Con There is often a black screen after update
Con An upgrade breaks the system quite often
Con No USB Image writer
Con The default desktop environment is not very customizable
Maybe because it's a relatively new project still in its infancy and this may be fixed in the future, but Budgie is not very customizable. You can only change the theme and wallpaper.
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.