[blfs-support] MATE: a GNOME 2 fork

Ken Moffat zarniwhoop at ntlworld.com
Sun Nov 25 14:30:49 PST 2012

On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 10:00:42PM +0100, Aleksandar Kuktin wrote:
> I just found this and thought you people might be interested.
> http://mate-desktop.org/
> MATE is a fork of GNOME 2 desktop, forked about a year ago. It is the
> default desktop in Linux Mint 14.
> I personaly don't use GNOME and have not tried MATE so I can not tell
> anything about it's usability or usefullness, but I am sure there are
> people here who can benefit from it.
 I tried a little of it last week, to see if I could use it to
replace some of gnome-3 on my desktop (note: I only ever built gnome
for a few applications, I can't comment on the whole environment).

 I started by taking a note of:
http://wiki.mate-desktop.org/building to see the preferred order,
but in practice I was only looking to replace gucharmap, evince,
gcalctool.  I've built the following (all ./autogen.sh
--prefix=/usr) :



libIDL-0.8.14 [ from gnome! ] - this is in BLFS : for me,
--disable-static gets rid of the unwanted static libs.

mate-corba-1.4.0 [ couldn't see a 1.5.0 version ]
meeds --disable-static.

mate-conf-1.4.0 [ couldn't see a 1.5.0 version ]
needs --sysconfdir=/etc --disable-static.

mate-character-map from git : there is a reason this is only in git
and not in the releases: on (at least) x86_64 it builds, but it
segfaults when run.  So, not useful at the moment.  Needs


mate-desktop-1.5.3 - needs --sysconfdir=/etc and --disable-static.

libmatekeyring-1.5.0 with --disable-static.
I've no idea why mate-document-viewer needs this, nor what else I
would need to store a key (I guess it is for password-protected

mate-document-viewer-1.5.0 : needs --disable-caja [ the nautilus
replacement ] for me, and also --disable-static.
a.k.a. atril - even the old gnome-2 changelogs have been altered to
reference atril instead of evince on every past version, which seems
odd but was perhaps required by the gnome devs.

like gcalctool in 2.32 : i.e. it had already lost the option to
store values in memory, but it looks nicer than the gnome-3.4
version IMHO.

 Both mate-document-viewer and mate-calc work ok, and I'll be
including them in my current (LFS-7.2) build, trying to minimise
gnome-3.  BUT, various options don't work, and in particular there is
no 'help', just a red bar.  Actually, looking at that, it's trying
(at least in atril) to find /local/share/doc/mate/atril/atril.html
when in my case I have /usr/share/doc/mate/atril/atril.html :
creating a symlink from /local/share/doc/mate to /usr/share/doc/mate
does fix the help on atril [ clearly it's not the right fix, but
probably a sed somewhere will solve it ] but mate-calc looks as if
it is still invoking yelp :
The URI ‘ghelp:mate-calc’ does not point to a valid page.

das eine Mal als Tragödie, das andere Mal als Farce

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