is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

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jglen490
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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by jglen490 »

It depends. On my laptop with it's fewer available resources, MATE most definitely runs well and Cinnamon is totally unhappy. Based on the experience of others, it's probably a point where hardware limitations become significant enough.
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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by jharris1993 »

jglen490 wrote:
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:37 pm
It depends. On my laptop with it's fewer available resources, MATE most definitely runs well and Cinnamon is totally unhappy. Based on the experience of others, it's probably a point where hardware limitations become significant enough.
My two centavos here:

I am translating the intent of this question to specifically reference older systems with more limited capabilities, slower graphics with less GPU RAM, (if any at all!), less RAM and/or a CPU more suited to a flip-phone than a production computer system.

This is something of a hobby of mine, not only because I'm a Certified Masochist who likes insane challenges*, but because I really HATE throwing away perfectly good hardware just because it won't run the current versions of Windows!

The first and primary constraint is memory.
A system with insufficient memory will run horribly because of the amount of time spent thrashing swap, no matter what system you put on it.

If the system has adequate RAM installed, the next important constraining factor is graphics capability. This includes factors like GPU capabilities and the amount of video RAM installed, if any.

I tried installing an older version of Mint on a Dell PowerEdge 2800 server awhile back. It had twin MONSTER Xeon processors, enough memory to run Los Angeles, a half-dozen 10k RPM fast/wide SCSI, (more like SCSI's older brother on steroids - I forget what it's called), hard drives arranged as RAID-0 (striping) on a BEAST hardware controller, and a motherboard faster than the Indy 500! Since it was specifically designed to run headless, the graphics capabilities stank with barely enough power for a command-line interface on a VGA monitor. Obviously, the only significant constraint here was with the graphics.

Attempting to run Cinnamon on it caused it to crash when the GUI capabilities started to load.

Running MATE, it was snappier than a brand-new rubber-band. (I used it to experiment with WordPress for a while.)

Installing on older systems, things like netbooks, or other systems that have been designed down to fit the minimum requirements of a specific O/S, you introduce the constraints of CPU and/or motherboard capabilities.

All things being equal, on smaller more constrained systems I usually start with Mint Cinnamon and see how that works. If that fails, I try:
  • Mint MATE
  • Mint Xfce
Failing that, I might try a smaller version of Ubuntu. If I'm really desperate, (or pig-headed stubborn!), I'll try things like Puppy, Tiny Core and the other mini-distros. If none of that works, I usually try Damn Small Linux. If that doesn't work, it goes into the "use for parts" box!

-----------------------------
* Insane challenges:
The most insane system I ever tried to resurrect was a 90's vintage Toshiba Libretto 50CT, with 8 megs (?) of RAM and a 6.something inch screen that was released back when Windows '95 was Bleeding Edge. I got it to run Damn-Small, but barely. It would get on the Internet, but not much else. I still have it.
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Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by lsemmens »

jharris1993 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:25 am
-----------------------------
* Insane challenges:
The most insane system I ever tried to resurrect was a 90's vintage Toshiba Libretto 50CT, with 8 megs (?) of RAM and a 6.something inch screen that was released back when Windows '95 was Bleeding Edge. I got it to run Damn-Small, but barely. It would get on the Internet, but not much else. I still have it.

I like your attitude, I'm not sure that I'd have even tried it. :D
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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by gm10 »

lsemmens wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:28 am
jharris1993 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:25 am
-----------------------------
* Insane challenges:
The most insane system I ever tried to resurrect was a 90's vintage Toshiba Libretto 50CT, with 8 megs (?) of RAM and a 6.something inch screen that was released back when Windows '95 was Bleeding Edge. I got it to run Damn-Small, but barely. It would get on the Internet, but not much else. I still have it.

I like your attitude, I'm not sure that I'd have even tried it. :D
I still have a functional 80486 with Win3.11 on it. Wouldn't dream of trying to install a current Linux kernel to it, there's no hope of that working, but you could go with one of the early kernel versions if you wanted to (which I don't, I like this bit of computing history as it is).

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by lsemmens »

gm10 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:35 am

I still have a functional 80486 with Win3.11 on it.
Just out of curiosity, do you ever use it? Or, is it on a shelf somewhere taking up space? I went from a 386sx to a Pentium 2 back in the day. Don't have either now.
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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by gm10 »

lsemmens wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:27 pm
gm10 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:35 am

I still have a functional 80486 with Win3.11 on it.
Just out of curiosity, do you ever use it? Or, is it on a shelf somewhere taking up space? I went from a 386sx to a Pentium 2 back in the day. Don't have either now.
Outside of nostalgia there's not much of a use case, no.

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by all41 »

gm10 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:35 am

I still have a functional 80486 with Win3.11 on it. Wouldn't dream of trying to install a current Linux kernel to it, there's no hope of that working, but you could go with one of the early kernel versions if you wanted to (which I don't, I like this bit of computing history as it is).
This might bring good money at online auction :shock:
I think I still have a 286 motherboard around here somewhere.
But back in the days when processor speeds were 4 mb (not gb)
and adding 4k of ram was exciting (not 4mb, not 4gb but kilobytes), when humongus hard drives were still a few mb------
people exploited that hardware to the max.

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by gm10 »

all41 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:32 pm
I think I still have a 286 motherboard around here somewhere.
But back in the days when processor speeds were 4 mb (not gb)
and adding 4k of ram was exciting (not 4mb, not 4gb but kilobytes), when humongus hard drives were still a few mb------
people exploited that hardware to the max.
My 80286 had 8 MHz base frequency on the CPU with the great innovation of a turbo mode to 12 MHz. Hard to imagine these days.

As to exploiting to the max, I remember Microsoft's keyboard driver had some crazy large size of 8.92 KB or so, had to replace that with a custom one of around 500 bytes. Pure assembler. Same for a custom graphics driver. I haven't touched assembler in a long long time but back then we had 640 KB of base memory and they had to be maximized. Fun times. These days just opening a terminal window costs a wasteful 35+ MB of RAM, a multiple of what a HDD back then could even hold. :D

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by all41 »

gm10 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:04 pm
all41 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:32 pm
I think I still have a 286 motherboard around here somewhere.
But back in the days when processor speeds were 4 mb (not gb)
and adding 4k of ram was exciting (not 4mb, not 4gb but kilobytes), when humongus hard drives were still a few mb------
people exploited that hardware to the max.
My 80286 had 8 MHz base frequency on the CPU with the great innovation of a turbo mode to 12 MHz. Hard to imagine these days.

As to exploiting to the max, I remember Microsoft's keyboard driver had some crazy large size of 8.92 KB or so, had to replace that with a custom one of around 500 bytes. Pure assembler. Same for a custom graphics driver. I haven't touched assembler in a long long time but back then we had 640 KB of base memory and they had to be maximized. Fun times. These days just opening a terminal window costs a wasteful 35+ MB of RAM, a multiple of what a HDD back then could even hold. :D
It's hard to imagine such hardware used in business and office--but a lot of stuff happened with minimal hw & dos
We've becomed spoiled and lazy in these days of mega-resources--what's a few wasted mb here and there?
As a matter of fact I had lots of fun with 8 bit---atari, and commodore 64s

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by Joe2Shoe »

I have 2 10+ year old laptops running LM Mate 19 64-bit and it's great. 4GB RAM.
Had LM Cinnamon 18.3 on them, but Mate is quicker and I don't miss anything in Cinnamon, which is running on 4 other newer laptops.
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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by all41 »

Joe2Shoe wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:22 pm
I have 2 10+ year old laptops running LM Mate 19 64-bit and it's great. 4GB RAM.
Had LM Cinnamon 18.3 on them, but Mate is quicker and I don't miss anything in Cinnamon, which is running on 4 other newer laptops.
+1
This is pretty much as expected, and discussed in the earlier posts of this topic.

'Lighter than--or Heavier than' is subjective.

Cinnamon is more resource intensive than MATE period. That will be a limiting factor on older hardware.
On newer hardware with up to date graphic capability the performance difference is mostly imperceptible

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by vishgaur »

You should tell your outcomes now.
Have you tried both?

I have kind of similar configuration as yours
i3, 4GB, 1TB

But my opinion is quite different from the others.
My Cinnamon (19.1) used to load in similar time as compared to windows 10 on my laptop. Also, it used to freeze and lag every now and then in between usage.

Whilst, MATE seems blazing fast and much more reliable. Never frozen, never lost any work.
HP RTL8723BE chipset issue still persists (has a troubleshoot) but other than that, it's awesome and much better than Cinnamon for my device (chipset issue is in both cinnamon and MATE).
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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by Jeronimus »

My two centavos here:

I am translating the intent of this question to specifically reference older systems with more limited capabilities, slower graphics with less GPU RAM, (if any at all!), less RAM and/or a CPU more suited to a flip-phone than a production computer system.

This is something of a hobby of mine, not only because I'm a Certified Masochist who likes insane challenges*, but because I really HATE throwing away perfectly good hardware just because it won't run the current versions of Windows!

The first and primary constraint is memory.
A system with insufficient memory will run horribly because of the amount of time spent thrashing swap, no matter what system you put on it.
Love this.
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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by jharris1993 »

Update here:

I ran 19.2 Cinnamon on a brand new, BLEEDING EDGE HP ProBook 450 G6, with 16 gigs of memory and a lightning fast Intel i5 processor.

I ran it as a "live" CD running from a USB-3 32 gb thumb-drive, installed using Pendrive Linux's "YUMI" multi-boot installer.

Running on this system, it comes up with a "running in software rendering mode" message, (or something similar), and it ran slow as molasses.

Running the same system, off of the same thumb-drive, with the same "software rendering", using 19.2 MATE, it was much snappier.

Obviously, the MATE desktop is a much lighter, less resource intensive, desktop. I've used it repeatedly in the past on systems where the video hardware was less than stellar and still had a wonderfully working desktop.

IMHO, the question should be: "Why is Cinnamon such a resource-hog?" If we have a very "cinnamon-like" desktop in MATE, why is Cinnamon so much heavier?
Jim "JR"

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by jharris1993 »

lsemmens wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:28 am
jharris1993 wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 2:25 am
-----------------------------
* Insane challenges:
The most insane system I ever tried to resurrect was a 90's vintage Toshiba Libretto 50CT, with 8 megs (?) of RAM and a 6.something inch screen that was released back when Windows '95 was Bleeding Edge. I got it to run Damn-Small, but barely. It would get on the Internet, but not much else. I still have it.

I like your attitude, I'm not sure that I'd have even tried it. :D
One of these days, (when I haven't taken my medication and feel in a particularly masochistic mood), I may try to rig it up as a SMB file server. It would be interesting to see if I could rig up a small IDE/ATA hard drive through the serial or floppy port.

P.S. (One of my favorite quotes)
“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb
In all seriousness, I have an NVIDIA Jetson Nano, with a zillion CUDA cores, that (supposedly) runs Tensor Flow natively, and it's not much bigger than a Raspberry Pi. It has a full-bore GPIO header and I bought it at Micro Center for less than $100. I want to put a camera on it and attach it to a GoPiGo robot I have. If I can get it to program in Blockly, I'll give it to my granddaughters to play with.

P.P.S
If you've never played with a GoPiGo, you're missing a treat! They're not expensive, the build quality is good, and they're incredibly fun to play with.
Jim "JR"

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by smurphos »

jharris1993 wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 6:55 pm
IMHO, the question should be: "Why is Cinnamon such a resource-hog?" If we have a very "cinnamon-like" desktop in MATE, why is Cinnamon so much heavier?
It's hardly a mystery - Cinnamon's desktop interface is rendered with openGL - i.e it needs 3D graphics acceleration capability. MATE is a purely GTK based interface, Your combination of a bleeding edge system with presumably the non-bleeding edge kernel shipped with Mint resulted in no proper driver support for whatever your GPU is hence Cinnamon running in software rendering mode (your CPU and not the GPU doing the rendering) hence slow.
For custom Nemo actions, useful scripts for the Cinnamon desktop, and Cinnamox themes visit my Github pages.

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by jharris1993 »

smurphos wrote:
Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:54 pm
Cinnamon's desktop interface is rendered with openGL - i.e it needs 3D graphics acceleration capability.
Silly question:
Why does the Cinnamon desktop "need" 3D graphics? Or is there another sequel to TRON that I haven't heard of yet? :wink:
Jim "JR"

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"
I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".

Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.
Old Chinese Proverb

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Re: is MATE lighter than Cinnamon?

Post by smurphos »

jharris1993 wrote:
Mon Nov 04, 2019 12:23 am
Silly question:
Why does the Cinnamon desktop "need" 3D graphics? Or is there another sequel to TRON that I haven't heard of yet? :wink:
Because the technology it is built on is a 3D accelerated graphic technology - it's this one - https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/Clutter

Back in 2011 the Gnome project deprecated Gnome2 and released Gnome3 - replacing the old Gnome2 panel with a 3D accelerated 'Shell'. As-well as immediately upping the minimum hardware requirements for Gnome it also had a UI design that a lot of people very much disliked.

In response one group (including some of the Mint team) formed the MATE project - a fork of Gnome 2.

As-well as having a hand in MATE the Mint team thinking that the technology looked good, but that Gnome3 UI choices were poor, decided to fork Gnome3 to develop a desktop using these technologies, but that had a more familiar desktop paradigm - from this effort came Cinnamon - like GNOME3, a 3D accelerated 'Shell' on top of a regular GTK3 desktop.

Hence we have two projects, that in many ways are quite similar in day to day use, but built on two different techs. But they have key differences. There are things that are easy to do in MATE that are more difficult in Cinnamon and vice-versa. I give no opinion of which is best. My personal preference is Cinnamon but I use all the Mint DE's a little. There is no end-user noticeable performance difference between the three on my hardware. If I go looking Cinnamon uses a little more RAM out of the box.
For custom Nemo actions, useful scripts for the Cinnamon desktop, and Cinnamox themes visit my Github pages.

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