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What's new in Ubuntu MATE 19.10?

Date: 2019/10/30

As always, October is a date for a new Ubuntu release. Let's look at what is new in Ubuntu MATE 19.10! The devs say it is paper cut release, which means, small improvements, which are not Earthshattering, but can made the whole thing better.

Window manager changes

One of the biggest changes, that MATE left Compiz behind, and with that numerous bugs are out of the window! Marco is now the sole window manager, and according to the release notes: "Using Compton and Compiz with MATE Desktop introduces other bugs and integration issues."

It has better HiDPI rendering (which I can't confirm, I have fairly small screen for today's standard). Marco also supports invisible window borders, free from screen tearing, gaming performance improved too.

New keyboard shortcuts

Some of them are for tiling windows, which is awesome for me, who takes a break from i3wm and loves tiling. Other than that they updated the application launcher keys, and made some of the basic software reachable, like the File Manager, Terminal, Control Center, etc.

Panel improvements

When I checked out earlier versions of Ubuntu MATE, it had a weird and persistent bug, when you wanted to changed the panel configuarion in MATE Tweak. Well the devs are now fixed it, so we can change panel layouts without praying.

Brisk Menu got a new version, and also the Dock Applet, both are now have new maintainers too, so hopefully we'll see improvements and new ideas for them.

Indicators are no longer have giant, oversized icons for some reason.

Other changes

  • Evolution replaces Thunderbird as default mail program (integration is better and file size is smaller).
  • GNOME MPV replaces VLC, a change I like, however I use the upstream version of MPV, as I don't need any UI, and it is much cleaner this way.
  • Magnus is a new desktop magnifier.
  • Various fixes in the Ubuntu MATE themes (now part of gtk-common-themes). I am perfectly happy with the default themes, which is rare, but awesome to see.
  • MATE Tweak now preserves user preferences when switching between custom layouts.
  • If you select additional 3rd party hardware drivers during install, you will have the drivers when you first login. As an nVidia user, I am very happy with that. Manjaro did a similar thing for years, and it is definitely made things easy for the users. Also there is no need for PPAs for drivers, it will get updates through the official Ubuntu repository. 2 thumbs up for these changes!

And there are some other changes, due to ISO filesize, which the developer team wanted to keep around 2 GB in size.

Check out the release notes for these changes! After about a day of usage, the whole thing seems much more stable than previous versions, and it is definitely faster, probably dropping Compiz is a great factor in that.


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