MATE Desktop 1.26 Released After 18 Months of Development

MATE Desktop 1.26 adds new functions and more Wayland support to various stack parts while maintaining the look and feel.

The MATE desktop environment is the continuation of the GNOME 2 desktop. When GNOME 3 came along, some folks weren’t happy with it and yearned for a continuation of their beloved GNOME 2 interface. The void created by the demise of GNOME 2 was filled by MATE, a fork that tries to keep the old alive and running.

A few days ago, the official project account published news of the MATE 1.26 desktop environment launch. MATE release their stable release with even minor numbers. So the 1.24 and the 1.26 are stable releases, while 1.25 was the development branch in between.

What’s New in MATE Desktop 1.26

MATE Desktop 1.26

Each new version of MATE is usually relatively modest in terms of news, and MATE desktop 1.26 is no exception.

The theme of this version has been the addition of new functions to the MATE desktop, maintaining the appearance that we all know and love. While all the added features are surely interesting, we also didn’t forget to fix a lot of bugs, modernize the code base, and optimize performance.

The highlight of MATE desktop 1.26 is the Wayland support extension, which reaches applications in the environment such as ATRIL, System Monitor, Pluma Text Editor, and Terminal Emulator. There are also updates to Calculator and Terminal, so they can now be built with the Meson build system.

The new version significantly expanded the capabilities of the text editor Pluma. A new mini-map gives you an instant overview of the content. In addition, the new grid background pattern turns Pluma into a writing pad.

MATE 1.26 Pluma Text Editor

The Control Center features an improved Windows preferences dialog with more options. For example, you can find an added option for display scaling in the Display dialog.

Display Scaling

Caja, the file manager, gained some nifty new features in MATE desktop 1.26:

  • Now you can select a new Bookmarks sidebar.
  • Support for formatting drives from the context menu.
  • The Caja Actions extension, which allows you to add arbitrary programs to be launched through the context menu, is now part of the Desktop.
MATE 1.26 Desktop Caja File Manager

Other Improvements

  • The Power Manager has a new option to enable keyboard dimming.
  • Notifications became even more useful as they gained support for hyperlinks. In addition, MATE desktop 1.26 finally added a “Do Not Disturb” applet.
  • Scrolling through large PDF documents in Atril is much faster since a binary tree search has replaced a slow linear search.
  • Engrampa got support for Electronic Publication (EPUB) and ARC archives.

Of course, the MATE devs also fixed bugs and solved some memory leaks, and the codebase of almost all of the Desktop components was modernized to help future development.

Further details can be found in the release notes for MATE desktop 1.26.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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