MATE for Raspbian


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by ejsolutions » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:02 pm
Don't want this important "side project" to fall down too far in the forum! (Bump)

In between all this other great work, have you per chance managed to progress with this option? I'd still love to figure out how Cinnamon compares with MATE in terms of resources used. I'll try to find time to switch to my other laptop environment (Mint 13) and install MATE on it, for comparison purposes.

(I've given up on trying to get the Pi working with hubs, for now, to concentrate on images etc.)
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by mpthompson » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:16 pm
ejsolutions wrote:In between all this other great work, have you per chance managed to progress with this option? I'd still love to figure out how Cinnamon compares with MATE in terms of resources used. I'll try to find time to switch to my other laptop environment (Mint 13) and install MATE on it, for comparison purposes.


Sorry, I've been busy working on things related to supporting the Foundation switching to Raspbian as the basis for future official Raspberry Pi images. Hopefully some of my time will free up over the next week to look at MATE related items. I don't actually hold out too much hope for Cinnamon as it almost certainly uses more resources than MATE. However, we won't really know until we try.
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by ejsolutions » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:22 pm
mpthompson wrote:Sorry..

Sorry? Sorry! You gotta be kidding! :shock:
Absolutely no apologies required, I was just wondering that's all. Congratulations on the move forward to an official Foundation image.
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by mpthompson » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:57 pm
ejsolutions wrote:Absolutely no apologies required, I was just wondering that's all. Congratulations on the move forward to an official Foundation image.


If we could just get them to take a look at MATE I think they may like it as I think it might be easier for kids to work with. However, I've played with the alpha version of the Foundation's Raspbian image and it is VERY fast and light. Starting up the LXDE desktop just consumes about 32MB versus about 80MB for MATE, although perhaps MATE could be made a lot lighter by stripping unneeded services and such.
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by john.mills » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:46 am
Hi all,

Congratulations once again to Mike and plugwash on the brilliant news the foundation will be choosing Raspbian as their base distribution. This will go a long way now that there is a standard base to work from.

I believe the best way to get the MATE imagined noticed by the foundation is to get an up to date version released. We then need to approach the foundation to make it a download from the front page. The more people that test the better.

If we feel the image is in a good state then we can advertise this in the wider Linux press such as distrowatch, LXER, Linux today. It would be a good idea to get some interest outside of the Raspbian forums.

Also I would suggest that a thread specifically for MATE be made sticky so it is 'front and center' when people come to the raspbian forum. If there are people interested in supporting the MATE effort they can share their talents here and planning can be made to support the image and development process.

Planning can be made for ART assets, content application selection also. I think it would be good once something is in place to 'reach out' to other distributions that use MATE and have similar goals to see what support we can get from them. The wider Linux community are very giving and I am sure some valuable advice can be gained.

I really believe that if you want someone to take notice of an idea then that idea has to be presented in the best possible light. We have an excellent opportunity now that this decision has been made by the foundation.

John
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by ejsolutions » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:03 am
mpthompson wrote:.. I don't actually hold out too much hope for Cinnamon as it almost certainly uses more resources than MATE. However, we won't really know until we try.

I installed MATE alongside Cinnamon, on my Mint 13 partition. Switching between them (and allowing time for processes to settle), there appears to be a very slight advantage in favour of Cinnamon, in terms of CPU load and memory allocation. Admittedly, this is on a x86 platform with 2Gb RAM and so may be entirely due to the environment that they are running on. Also mate-terminal, as opposed to gnome-terminal could easily account for the variation that I saw. It does illustrate that they are at least in the same ballpark(?)

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by Evilbadger » Fri Jul 13, 2012 1:42 pm
Cinnamon is a fork from the GNOME 3 project, and as such requires hardware acceleration to run. Without an accelerated X driver then I doubt you'll have much luck getting it to run on the RPi.
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by ejsolutions » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:15 pm
Evilbadger wrote:Cinnamon is a fork from the GNOME 3 project, and as such requires hardware acceleration to run. Without an accelerated X driver then I doubt you'll have much luck getting it to run on the RPi.

Ahh, I hadn't realised that bit. :( Then again accelerated X would be awfully nice too! :)
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by ejsolutions » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:17 pm
Presumably Pisces images are effectively obsolete now that the official Raspbian image is available - might be an idea to reflect this on the Raspbian site.
@Mike: It's likely that you're involved in many other things but is MATE finding any time in your busy life? Perhaps an update, if only to reflect the change to a swap file?

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by mpthompson » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:10 pm
ejsolutions wrote:Presumably Pisces images are effectively obsolete now that the official Raspbian image is available - might be an idea to reflect this on the Raspbian site.
@Mike: It's likely that you're involved in many other things but is MATE finding any time in your busy life? Perhaps an update, if only to reflect the change to a swap file?
EJ


The Pisces images are indeed getting obsolete. I'll reflect this in the Wiki as suggested. I think it's best to direct everyone to the Foundation Raspbian images.

I'm beginning a non-Pi project that will start consuming my extra time. I think the MATE packages are in pretty good shape and they should work find if installed on the Foundation Raspbian image. Are there other things should should be done? I'm talking about the packages rather than the Pisces+MATE image.
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by ejsolutions » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:20 pm
mpthompson wrote:I'm beginning a non-Pi project that will start consuming my extra time. I think the MATE packages are in pretty good shape and they should work find if installed on the Foundation Raspbian image. Are there other things should should be done? I'm talking about the packages rather than the Pisces+MATE image.

Thanks for the quick response. I know that feeling regards non-Pi stuff, though in my case it'll be getting back to them, after a break from tedious PHP (I'm not too great at it).
Do you have the pre-compiled Pi MATE package(s) available for download? I was starting to look at how to build MATE into the Foundation image and obviously that'd be time consuming and very much re-inventing the wheel. Or am I just being thick and only need to add mate to the source.list?
Re: packages are you are referring to the list on http://wiki.mate-desktop.org/building ?
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by asb » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:30 pm
mpthompson wrote:
ejsolutions wrote:Presumably Pisces images are effectively obsolete now that the official Raspbian image is available - might be an idea to reflect this on the Raspbian site.
@Mike: It's likely that you're involved in many other things but is MATE finding any time in your busy life? Perhaps an update, if only to reflect the change to a swap file?
EJ


The Pisces images are indeed getting obsolete. I'll reflect this in the Wiki as suggested. I think it's best to direct everyone to the Foundation Raspbian images.

I'm beginning a non-Pi project that will start consuming my extra time. I think the MATE packages are in pretty good shape and they should work find if installed on the Foundation Raspbian image.


My image build scripts, spindle are designed to make it easy to generate multiple outputs with different customisation but the same base config. I'd be happy to take a look at spitting out a MATE image this weekend, which you could evaluate as a more maintainable way of producing these images.
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by ejsolutions » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:37 pm
asb wrote:My image build scripts, spindle are designed to make it easy to generate multiple outputs with different customisation but the same base config. I'd be happy to take a look at spitting out a MATE image this weekend, which you could evaluate as a more maintainable way of producing these images.

Sounds very encouraging... :)
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by ejsolutions » Wed Jul 25, 2012 10:40 pm
Meantime, I've added deb http://archive.raspbian.org/mate wheezy main , ready to break one of my running systems. :shock:
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by ejsolutions » Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:36 am
Well, I have it up and running but get an initial dialogue box showing an error with dbus authentication - agent already running. It's late here, so that'll wait for another day. At least I now know how to install, if not configure. ;)
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by mpthompson » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:29 am
ejsolutions wrote:Do you have the pre-compiled Pi MATE package(s) available for download? I was starting to look at how to build MATE into the Foundation image and obviously that'd be time consuming and very much re-inventing the wheel. Or am I just being thick and only need to add mate to the source.list?


I absolutely have pre-built binaries and they seem to work pretty well -- just a simple addition to the sources.list file. It's all explained here: http://www.raspbian.org/RaspbianMate
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by mpthompson » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:33 am
ejsolutions wrote:Well, I have it up and running but get an initial dialogue box showing an error with dbus authentication - agent already running. It's late here, so that'll wait for another day. At least I now know how to install, if not configure. ;)


If you install MATE on a system with an existing desktop, there is some collisions between existing Gnome utilities/daemons that even some of the lightweight desktops use such as LXDE and the re-written utilities/daemons that are part of MATE. I found it best to install MATE on it's own on a system that doesn't yet have any other X desktop installed. Otherwise, you do have to go through and clean up the conflicts that exist using the X session startup utility that is part of MATE.
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by mpthompson » Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:38 am
asb wrote:My image build scripts, spindle are designed to make it easy to generate multiple outputs with different customisation but the same base config. I'd be happy to take a look at spitting out a MATE image this weekend, which you could evaluate as a more maintainable way of producing these images.


This would be great. I really want to stay out of the image making business myself. As mentioned above, it would be best if the process that creates the MATE image doesn't attempt to add another X desktop such as LXDE to the mix. Just pure MATE is best.

Just to put a plug in for MATE, I think that an image intended for kids, a modified MATE (to reduce memory use and simply the UI a little bit) would be best. You're never going to get it run as slim as you have LXDE, but I bet that the extra memory use to run MATE may be seen as an acceptable tradeoff.
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by john.mills » Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:25 am
I have to agree with Mike here, MATE does use more memory than LXDE does but you are getting so much more by using MATE. There is 12+ years of testing, bug tracking system integration that went in to GNOME 2. There are lots of useful scripts that can be added to Nautilus etc. The Gnome 2 themes will generally all work. If you look at distributions that used GNOME 2 in general such as SuSE, Linux Mint and pre Unity Ubuntu they were all considered to be very well integrated and polished releases.

I have been using MATE for the best part of a month and have been very impressed with the desktop experience. I am sure with enough tweaking that you could improve the performance and memory usage also.

@ Alex: I think that producing an alternative foundation image using MATE would be an excellent idea. It would certainly go towards producing a very good desktop experience with the Pi.

Regards,

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by Franfurilo » Mon Jul 30, 2012 6:41 pm
Hello everybody,

I just installed the official raspbian image and LXDE seems too "light" to me. I'm very interested in this MATE project because I think it could be a really usable desktop. So I ask for your help:

Just to make my mind clear... I understand that the best way to try MATE would be using it on its own. "Pure MATE", isn't it?. So, how do I "get rid" of the LXDE desktop? I install MATE with apt-get and then...? Or, do I have to do something before installing MATE?

I've been on linux for some years but always using the pre-installed desktop. This is my first time researching :oops: so thank you in advance for your help ;)
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by john.mills » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:39 am
@Franfurilo: I used the the MATE image that Mike produced last month,

http://archive.raspbian.org/images/rpi_pisces_mate_r1.zip

You could install MATE on the LXDE foundation image that ASB posted too. You can also quite easily uninstall LXDE if you want to. You might want to try installing Plymouth too. This will show a picture while the system boots instead of the Linux text scrolling. It does look very nice to see your system just boot to the GUI. I have been very impressed with MATE in general and would like to see the foundation put out an alternative or possibly supplemental release based on MATE that is more desktop focused (e-mail client, basic office productivity suite and communication program) in similar way that Mint and Ubuntu are. A lot of people would be interested in using the Pi, even though it is limited, in this manner. I think the Raspberry Pi and MATE is capable of this as long as you choose the correct applications and use well thought out configuration defaults. Certainly the Pi is orders of magnitude more powerful than the original Amiga 4000 I used. With the correct emphasis you can achieve a lot with MATE.

Regards,

John
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by Montala » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:56 am
asb wrote:My image build scripts, spindle are designed to make it easy to generate multiple outputs with different customisation but the same base config. I'd be happy to take a look at spitting out a MATE image this weekend, which you could evaluate as a more maintainable way of producing these images.

That last sentence did sound very encouraging, and I wondered if you did in fact manage to "spit out" a MATE image last weekend... or have I missed it?

Thanks! :)
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by Franfurilo » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:00 pm
@john.mills Thanks for your answer ;)

I guess I could do a sudo apt-get purge... what? Every lx* package I find? Which other packages do I need to remove to get rid of the whole LXDE?

And then I'd type sudo apt-get install mate-core and mate-desktop-environment. Is this right?

Excuse me for simplifying things and not using the "code" button here :roll:
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by asb » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:15 pm
Montala wrote:
asb wrote:My image build scripts, spindle are designed to make it easy to generate multiple outputs with different customisation but the same base config. I'd be happy to take a look at spitting out a MATE image this weekend, which you could evaluate as a more maintainable way of producing these images.

That last sentence did sound very encouraging, and I wondered if you did in fact manage to "spit out" a MATE image last weekend... or have I missed it?

Thanks! :)


I shouldn't have made promises I can't keep. Had an irritating illness over the weekend which cut in to my plans. Recovered now, and it's high on my todo list.
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by ejsolutions » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:01 am
@asb.
I did wonder but didn't want to nag. ;) Hope that you're feeling better and up to the challenge. :)
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