Next up in my run through of the Ubuntu 20.10 betas we have Ubuntu MATE. MATE is a light desktop environment that focuses on being flexible, configurable and easy to use. The ISO weighed in at around 2.5GB and was installed in under 5 minutes. Some of the new features of this release include dropping in Cheese and using Webcamoid in it’s place and the Ayatana indicators.
Upon you’re first boot up you’re greeted with the MATE welcome screen. The Welcome screen includes steps to help you get started with your new system with features such as configuring backs using Deja-Dup. It also includes sections to change the colour scheme, theme and layout of your desktop with decent selection to choose from. My favourite layout out of all that are on offer is without a doubt the ‘Mutiny’ layout which will arrange your desktop in workflow similar to what you get from Unity 7.
The default selection of applications included out of the box is a strong mix of programs that should have you covered for the most part. Web browsing will be taken care of by Firefox though you can easily install new web browsers straight from the welcome screen. MATE includes my favourite desktop email client with is Evolution and it also includes the evolution-ews package for easy integration with Microsoft’s Exchange Web services. The full LibreOffice suite is installed out of the box and it’s the latest version of 126.96.36.199. Overall my first impressions of this release are it’s a fun desktop which is easy to use, it included most of the tools a user will need and their should be a layout/workflow to suit everyone.