MATE is described as 'Many users of GNOME 2 dislike GNOME 3. MATE is a fork of the good old GNOME 2. It provides an intuitive and attractive desktop environment using traditional metaphors for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems' and is a very popular desktop environment in the os & utilities category. There are more than 10 alternatives to MATE for a variety of platforms, including Linux, BSD, Windows, Linux Mobile and Ubuntu Kylin. The best alternative is KDE Plasma, which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like MATE are Xfce, GNOME, Cinnamon and LXDE.
MATE is mainly a Desktop Environment but alternatives to it may also be Window Managers. Filter by these if you want a narrower list of alternatives or looking for a specific functionality of MATE.
Xfce (pronounced as four individual letters) is a free software desktop environment for Unix and other Unix-like platforms, such as Linux, Solaris and BSD. It aims to be fast and lightweight, while still being visually appealing and easy to use.
Xfce vs MATE opinions
pros, cons and recent comments
JohnFastman XFCE and MATE follow a very similar design philosophy and both are similar in the way they feel to customize. Both use the GTK+ toolkit and both are relatively light on resources, making both good choices for lower-spec/older computers.
Cinnamon is a Linux desktop which provides advanced innovative features and a traditional user experience. The desktop layout is similar to GNOME 2. The underlying technology is forked from GNOME Shell.
JohnFastman Budgie is a newcomer to the desktop game. It lies on top of Gnome to give an updated and more intuitive look-and-feel. It's not a good replacement for MATE yet (might be in the future), mainly because it runs considerably slower and has quite a few unresolved bugs as of the time of writing. Promising, though.
Enlightenment is not just a window manager for Linux/X11 and others, but also a whole suite of libraries to help you create beautiful user interfaces with much less work than doing it the old fashioned way and fighting with traditional toolkits, not to mention a traditional...
Window Maker has a reputation for being fast, efficient and highly stable. Window Maker has been characterized as reproducing "the elegant look and feel of the NeXTstep GUI" and is noted as "easy to configure and easy to use.