Mate vs. Cinnamon

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Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby snagglepuss on Fri May 31, 2013 12:37 pm

What is the difference between Mate and Cinnamon?
I have them both running and I don't understand why one would be preferred over the other.
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby whitearabqc on Fri May 31, 2013 12:50 pm

The interface is what that mainly differs.

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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby xenopeek on Fri May 31, 2013 12:56 pm

The difference is these are two different desktop environments. They differ in how much and in what way you can configure and customize them. Both have their own set of themes and applets, and a different menu. You can install and use any application you want on either, it is just of which one do you prefer how it looks. If you have a bad graphics card driver, and running an old version of Linux Mint, it might be that you are not actually running Cinnamon but fallback mode. That is the case if the menu button doesn't have the word menu on it, but just the Linux Mint icon. The fallback mode of Cinnamon looks somewhat more similar to MATE and might make you question why these both exist.
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby homerscousin on Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:08 pm

I don't understand why either would be prefered. Install KDE and experience the most sophisticated and configurable desktop Linux has to offer. It's flippin pretty.
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby TBABill on Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:03 am

homerscousin wrote:I don't understand why either would be prefered. Install KDE and experience the most sophisticated and configurable desktop Linux has to offer. It's flippin pretty.

LOL...it's also highly subjective which DE is best :)

Mate and Cinnamon look different, have different menus and are adjusted, controlled and configured differently, as is normally the case with any 2 DE's. Cinnamon was an effort to build a Gnome 3 DE that closely looked and worked like the former Gnome 2 (which is now Mate). At the time it was created it was all about keeping some level of familiarity and similarity between what the user experienced with Gnome 2 and what the Mint devs could come up with to closely match that experience under Gnome 3.
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby palo on Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:56 pm

homerscousin wrote:I don't understand why either would be prefered. Install KDE and experience the most sophisticated and configurable desktop Linux has to offer. It's flippin pretty.
:lol: :lol: :lol: If fanboys can chime in I would say install E17
and experience the most sophisticated and configurable desktop Linux has to offer. It's flippin pretty.
But with less fat and half the calories of KDE.


Not sure about the Cinnamon/Mate question. Looking up Cinnamon in Synaptic the description says
Cinnamon has rich visual effects enabled by new graphical technologies


Looking up Mate-core in Synaptic the description says
The MATE Desktop Environment, a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users, using traditional computing desktop metaphor.

They're joking right?

snagglepuss (love the name) you are running both so eventually you will find you prefer one more than the other - that's the best way to find the answer to your question.

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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby rimbaum on Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:06 pm

palo wrote:Looking up Mate-core in Synaptic the description says
The MATE Desktop Environment, a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users, using traditional computing desktop metaphor.

They're joking right?

I think it's a jab at how companies like Microsoft with Windows 8, and Apple, and even Ubuntu with Unity, say that their DE is Intuitive and Attractive. Not to say that they don't have nice DEs! (I'm actually a bit of a fan of the Win8 start screen, believe it or not) It's just that they keep pushing themselves away from a traditional environment in favor of what increasingly appears to be a touch-oriented interface.

I don't like touchscreens, personally. They're nice, but OCD and finger smudges don't get along.
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby eanfrid on Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:59 pm

Which DE is best is absolutely subjective. It depends on who is between the keyboard and the chair. Choice is wealth :) As long as you can find a DE to love, everything is OK.
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby sammiev on Thu Jun 06, 2013 4:04 pm

eanfrid wrote:Which DE is best is absolutely subjective. It depends on who is between the keyboard and the chair. Choice is wealth :) As long as you can find a DE to love, everything is OK.


The only answered really needed. :D
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby Ginsu543 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:42 am

The main difference between MATE and Cinnamon is the technology used to build them. MATE is based on old Gnome 2, which is stable, tried and true. Because of it has been around for so much longer, tools have been developed for it which makes Gnome 2 highly compatible with most software and also highly configurable (for example, you can run Compiz on it). As far as I understand it, the reason the Mint team decided to make MATE was that the folks at Gnome had moved on from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3, and so Gnome 2 was no longer being maintained or developed further. So Mint forked Gnome 2 and made MATE, which allows the Mint devs to develop Gnome 2 as they see fit to keep the old Gnome 2 desktop experience going.

The reason Cinnamon came about was that Mint was trying to make a usable desktop using the newer Gnome 3 technology. But Gnome 3 was going the route of the Gnome Shell, which didn't offer the same desktop experience that the old Gnome 2 desktop did. The Mint devs were able to make Gnome Shell (based on Gnome 3) more like the old Mint desktop we all love by adding extensions to it. Hence was born MGSE (Mint Gnome Shell Extensions). After a while, I think the Mint devs felt it was better to just fork Gnome 3 altogether and rebuild it from the ground up in their own image, which became Cinnamon.

As far as the actual desktop experience, both MATE and Cinnamon (I feel) offer very similar and comparable environments. As they should, since they were both developed with the same philosophy in mind. Which you choose is, as people have already said, a matter of preference. However, it is my opinion that, as far as customizability goes, MATE is, at least for now, more configurable than Cinnamon. So if you like customizing your desktop just so, with all the bells and whistles like transparent windows and workspaces on a rotating cube, MATE is the way to go. But Cinnamon is continuing to improve in this area and it also offers the possibility of incorporating cutting edge features, since it's based on newer technology being developed vigorously by an active community.

Hope that makes sense, :)
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby xenopeek on Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:17 am

Ginsu543 wrote:As far as I understand it, the reason the Mint team decided to make MATE was that the folks at Gnome had moved on from Gnome 2 to Gnome 3, and so Gnome 2 was no longer being maintained or developed further. So Mint forked Gnome 2 and made MATE, which allows the Mint devs to develop Gnome 2 as they see fit to keep the old Gnome 2 desktop experience going.

You are giving undue credit here. MATE is a fork of GNOME 2 started by Perberos. As that started to attract other developers and users, the the fork grew into a full-fledged project: http://mate-desktop.org/. MATE is developed independently of Linux Mint, though Clem has a facilitating role on the MATE project team also. Linux Mint was the first distro to ship MATE and from the start Clem has seen the potential and importance of this project for Linux Mint users. The Linux Mint project and the MATE project regularly help each other.

Ginsu543 wrote:However, it is my opinion that, as far as customizability goes, MATE is, at least for now, more configurable than Cinnamon. So if you like customizing your desktop just so, with all the bells and whistles like transparent windows and workspaces on a rotating cube, MATE is the way to go.

What you mean to say is that you can add Compiz to MATE, which will allow you some desktop effects and such. Compiz however is not part of the MATE project and is currently only maintained for the Unity desktop environment--meaning as Unity moves from Gtk to Qt for its next release, Compiz is going to need a fork for MATE or go the way of the dodo I think.

The Cinnamon developers have taken some inspiration from Compiz, like Expo and Scale, and integrated those directly in Cinnamon without the need for an external compositing window manager like Compiz (and Compiz isn't compatible with Cinnamon). Out of the box, MATE is much less configurable than Cinnamon. Though you can add Compiz for desktop effects and such, I dare say for average users that have no history of twiddling with Compiz, Cinnamon is much easier to configure than MATE + Compiz. I'm not hung up on the rotating desktop cube and I don't think this is a compelling argument for average users.

Now if you would through KDE in the mix, that beats both :wink:
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby Ginsu543 on Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:54 am

I stand corrected. :)
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby Ebere on Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:50 pm

Hopefully I can keep this to just a simple question...

What is the best choice if your computer is not exactly the greatest when it comes to handling graphics?

My computer does ok, but anything that gets graphics environment heavy, gets slow, and/or glitchy. For example, KDE might have some nice eye candy, but it definitely slows down my computer a lot.

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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby xenopeek on Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:04 pm

Personally, I find Xfce to be a better choice when you need a lightweight environment. MATE is a bit more demanding than Xfce, though both will run fine on poor graphics cards. My experience is that Xfce is snappier.
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby Jones Young on Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:05 pm

My first experience was about a month ago, with cinnamon- which made me fall in love with the mint project immediately. I tinkered with every single thing I could find for about 3 weeks, then chucked it and started testing out the mate desktop for the past week or so. I told my friend that cinnamon felt like having the linux version of a porsche, but mate felt like the garage the porsche lived in.

Cinnamon had superior eye candy IMO, but felt "restrained," and I didn't feel like a "power user." The DE is newer, so there not a lot of theme and applet support yet, so I can see it booming; but right now, it feels less customize-able than most DE I play with. I repeatedly had sound issues with cinnamon that have not reproduced at all in mate. The workspace OSD is one of the sweetest things I have seen, and actually like it far more than any cube I ever spun on my desktop before; once again, ready to rock right out of the box.

When i re-installed with mint 15 mate DE, It felt like the first time I let linux stick it's hands down my pants; and I have been having a GREAT time with it. It just feels so much more tweakable and customization is easy right out of the box. it is less "eye candy-ish" a little older school maybe, but you can make Mate very pretty. Within seconds of booting a clean install, I was able to dive into my system like I truly chowned it and DID feel like a power user. Sometimes caja runs away with the CPU and loads at 100%, but only when using dual pane folder view on more than 2-3 independent windows.

Both have pros and cons... Cinnamon is what I would install to impress friends and family; for a computer a general user will use. Mate is what i would install to impress me, and myself; and it just seems to work with everything i have come to love a little better.

The MATE Desktop Environment, a non-intuitive and unattractive desktop for users, using traditional computing desktop metaphor.


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Last edited by xenopeek on Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Offensive remark removed
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby Ebere on Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:23 pm

xenopeek wrote:Personally, I find Xfce to be a better choice when you need a lightweight environment. MATE is a bit more demanding than Xfce, though both will run fine on poor graphics cards. My experience is that Xfce is snappier.

Thank you.

I downloaded mate.

Now I need to go back and look for xfce. :D

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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby xenopeek on Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:06 pm

If you are happy with MATE, no need to switch :)
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby jesica on Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:42 am

I find Mate the best also :mrgreen:
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby RonC on Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:27 am

I just tried both, and I prefer the MATE version of LinuxMint because of the way it handles my AMD graphics card (ASUS EAH5450).

A routine Live-DVD boot leads to a 'freeze' with both Cinnamon and MATE (with my card) and goes to completion with both if Compatibility Mode is selected. However, the Cinnamon boot gives a warning in the Desktop's upper-right corner that all is not well with the graphics driver. As well, I saw stuttering video playback and some black screens in VLC media player -- even though this should have nothing to do with the desktop environment, I think?

With MATE, there's no warning message and VLC plays the video smoothly.

I see there's a thread over on the Cinnamon forum where some are reporting graphics problems, and a poster thinks this can be fixed by installing a proprietary video driver -- although I get the impression no one actually did it and saw the problem disappear ... seems to me, the folks who put together the MATE version have this working 'out-of-the-box'.

Since I also see little difference between the two (from this thread, that could be because Cinnamon isn't fully functional with my graphics card?) my inclination is to stay with what I can see working, with my hardware ... and that would be MATE.
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Re: Mate vs. Cinnamon

Postby Condorman on Sun Jun 30, 2013 10:27 am

There is no versus. Only personal preference or technical requirements. They're all awesome.

There.
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