MATE Desktop 1.26 adds new functions and some more Wayland support to various parts of the stack while maintaining the look and feel.
The MATE desktop environment, as you probably know, 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 account of the project published the news of the launch of MATE 1.26 desktop environment. 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
Each new version of MATE is usually quite 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’s 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. There is a new mini map which gives you instant overview over the content. In addition, the new grid background pattern turns Pluma into a writing pad.
The Control Center features an improved Windows preferences dialog with more options. In the Display dialog you can find an added option for 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.
- 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- Scrolling through large PDF documents in Atril is a lot faster now since a slow linear search has been replaced by a binary tree search.
- Engrampa got support for Electronic Publication (EPUB) and ARC archives.
Of course the MATE devs also fixed bugs, 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 .