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May 3, 2017

My New Daily Driver Is Ubuntu MATE 17.04

Ubuntu MATE Logo
Ubuntu MATE Logo  
Yes, friends, it is true. I have volunteered to use Ubuntu MATE 17.04 as my daily driver.

And, for the record, I still love Linux Mint; it works well out of the box and I have tried it on the following desktop environments:

  • Xfce
  • MATE
  • Cinnamon
  • KDE

However, I have been eager to try something new.

Linux Mint was my main operating system for over a year and despite it being a fabulous distro of Linux, I grew bored of it.

So, I thought that I would spice things up a bit by using a different distro of Linux (Although I have used different distros of Linux in the past, I never contemplated using any of them as my main operating system; they were utilized for testing purposes only).

Why did I choose to go with Ubuntu MATE 17.04 as my daily driver?

Well, to be quite honest with you, Ubuntu MATE is my second favourite distro of Linux; I used it in the past and it worked well on my laptop computer.

It Was Not Smooth Sailing At First


I clearly remembered waiting on Thursday the 13th of April, 2017 (the day that it was officially released) to download Ubuntu MATE 17.04; I repeatedly checked Ubuntu MATE's official website with the intentions of getting this distro of Linux early.

When I finally acquired the ISO image for Ubuntu MATE 17.04, I made a bootable flash drive and installed it on my laptop computer.

It was quite noticeable to me, that Ubuntu MATE 17.04 was the most polished-looking version of Ubuntu MATE (I was impressed by its appearance).

Unfortunately, there were still a few bugs in the system; the Caja filing system did not work correctly and my cursor was unstable; it kept jumping to the left when I was typing; despite the fact, that the touchpad was set to be disabled while typing.

I was utterly displeased and I wondered to myself, "What the hell went wrong?"

My past experience with Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS was a good one and my past experience with Ubuntu MATE 16.10 was even better.

I endured the craziness with Ubuntu MATE 17.04 for three days before going back to Linux Mint 18.1.

The Second Install Of Ubuntu MATE 17.04 Turned Out To Be Okay


I was not going to give up on Ubuntu MATE 17.04.

My intentions were to wait until those annoying bugs were proverbially smashed by the developers of Ubuntu MATE.

Unfortunately, Canonical has a reputation for releasing Ubuntu and the other official flavours of Ubuntu with bugs.

I clearly remembered that Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was a hot mess when it first came out and the technical bugs were eradicated as time went along.

Where performance is concerned, Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS is way better than Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

My good friend, Nigel "Sicky" Kinsale, is a person who is not eager to install new operating systems or new versions of software on his computer; he waits until the developers have figuratively smoothened things out (I can learn a lot from this guy; he has the patience of a Buddhist Monk).

Anyway, two weeks after — Friday the 28th of April, 2017, I downloaded a fresh ISO image of Ubuntu MATE 17.04 from Ubuntu MATE's official website; which I placed on a flash drive; I did not waste any time whatsoever when it came to installing it on my laptop computer.

I was pleased to see that Ubuntu MATE 17.04 worked wonderfully (Now, that was the Ubuntu MATE that I was accustomed to).

I have learnt an important lesson; which is:

Do not install Ubuntu or any of their official flavours on the same day that they are released.

I did not have any problems with Ubuntu MATE 16.04 LTS or Ubuntu MATE 16.10, because I installed them approximately two months after their official release date.

Now, the biggest irony is, that new versions of Linux Mint always work fabulously on the day that they are released (Mainly because they only release them when they are ready).

Where quality control is concerned, Canonical (the parent company of Ubuntu) can learn a lot from the hard working developers over at Linux Mint.

I  would also like to point out, that in many instances where a distro of Linux does not work well, reinstalling it fixes the problem (If that does not work, wait until the developers get rid of the technical bugs and do a fresh install).

I Am Missing Linux Mint


Yes, every single day that I use Ubuntu MATE 17.04, I think of the joys of using Linux Mint.

Thankfully, Ubuntu MATE 17.04 is an interim one — one that is supported for only nine months; the support for it ends on January 2018 (By then, fans of Ubuntu MATE would have chosen to go in the direction of Ubuntu MATE 17.10).

I on the other hand would be returning to Linux Mint; which is based on the long-term support versions of Ubuntu (The long-term support versions are supported for the period of five years).

Besides, Linux Mint is my favourite distro of Linux.

Hey, no one can say that I was unwilling to use another distro of Linux as my daily driver for a few months.

Influential People Are Using Ubuntu MATE 17.04


Leonard Dozois — the creator of the YouTube channel, Don't Call Me Lenny!, started using Ubuntu MATE 17.04 as his daily driver when an update on Manjaro Linux rendered his operating system useless.

Chris Were — the creator of the YouTube channel, Quids Up, told his viewers that he would be using Ubuntu MATE 17.04 as his daily driver for the period of six months.

A YouTuber who goes by the sobriquet, English Bob chose to use Ubuntu MATE 17.04 as his daily driver (He announced to his viewers that he got rid of Windows 7 and would be devoting his time to creating tutorials on doing amazing things with Ubuntu MATE).

I wish the best of luck to those guys and may Ubuntu MATE 17.04 continue to work well for them.

Final Thoughts


Honestly, Ubuntu MATE 17.04 is a great operating system.

And, I have no regrets of ever using Ubuntu MATE 17.04.

However, I have intentions of returning quickly to Linux Mint as soon as I am finished experimenting with Ubuntu MATE 17.04.

At the moment, there is no operating system around that is capable of stealing me away from Linux Mint (Yes, my friend, Linux Mint is really that good).

Also, since I am not into dual-booting, it would be nice to have the latest version of Ubuntu MATE on one computer and the most current version of Linux Mint on another computer.

Ubuntu MATE 17.04 is user-friendly; which makes it an ideal distro for someone who is new to Linux.

Now, if Ubuntu MATE 17.04 looks and works quite well, I can only imagine how mind-blowing the quality of Ubuntu MATE 17.10 is going to be (I can only imagine, because I would be deeply engrossed in Linux Mint 18.2).

By the way, these are the things that I love about Ubuntu MATE 17.04:

  • It comes with Plank; which is great for those people who love using docks on their distro of Linux.
  • It is easy to customize.
  • You can activate the Advanced Menu; which is most ideal for people who love to use the meta key (the Windows key) to access the menu, settings, etcetera.
  • It is very stable (Ubuntu MATE 17.04 never crashed on me).
  • It comes with a collection of beautiful-looking wallpapers.
  • It works well on old and new computers.
  • A busy content-creator (like myself) can create content without being distracted or without experiencing major setbacks.
  • It is a lightweight distro of Linux.

Ubuntu MATE 17.04 is, one of those distros of Linux that I will always hold in high regards.

If you are one of those people who have always wanted to try Linux, you can give Ubuntu MATE 17.04 a try (Just keep in mind, that it is a short-term release and the support for it ends on January, 2018).

Have you ever tried Ubuntu MATE?

If your answer is, "Yes," please let me know via the comments section of my blog and if your answer is a big fat, "No," you can also let me know via the comments section of my blog.

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