5 Great MATE Themes for Linux

Best MATE Themes

MATE is an excellent Linux desktop environment, and with the recent release of Linux Mint 19, now is the perfect time to give it a try. If you’re already a long-time fan of MATE, it’s also a great time to explore and customize your desktop environment.

MATE is a no-nonsense option when it comes to Linux desktops, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to stay as plain as it comes. MATE is a GTK3 desktop that benefits from all the same theme improvements that desktop environments like GNOME and XFCE enjoy. Through the use of themes, you can make MATE look clean, modern, and really appealing.

These are just a few of the best theme options for the MATE desktop in mid 2018.

1. Adapta


Adapta is quickly becoming the go-to favorite GTK theme and for good reason. It’s clean, flat, and uses its cool color scheme to the fullest. Adapta styles just about everything, and your whole desktop feels seamless.

Adapta is a darker theme based on Google’s Material design, and it obviously shows. Adapta is dark without being too dark. It uses shades of blue for a more calming feel than the usual claustrophobic sense you get from really dark themes. In just about any situation, Adapta is a good pick.

2. Arrongin/Telinkrin


Arrongin is different, mostly because it uses orange as its primary accent color, but also because it changes the layout and configuration of your windows. If orange isn’t quite your color, Telinkrin is the same theme but with blue.

Both themes provide an interesting and unique look for your MATE desktop. They’re flat, but they don’t look and feel quite like Material. Instead, they have their own almost minimal design where each part of your windows is clearly defined. Either one of these two would be a great choice to spice up MATE.

3. Canta

MATE Canta Theme

Are you looking for something lighter? Canta might be just what you need. Canta is a light theme that uses teal green accents which stand out more than you’d expect. The theme looks and feels clean and vibrant.

Canta is relatively new and based on the Materia GTK theme. That doesn’t mean that Canta hits you over the head with Material styling, though. It feels too simple for that, and it does an excellent job of staying out of your way while still looking great.

4. Ultimate Maia

MATE Ultimate Maia Theme

For a more traditional Material experience, check out the Ultimate Maia theme. It provides as close to Google’s stock Material style as possible. It’s based primarily around blue tones, and it has its own accompanying icon theme available, too.

Ultimate Maia features clean sharp lines and window shadowing that brings a real degree of depth. This is a great option if you want something that looks really professional. If you do, check out Ultimate Maia.

5. Numix


Yes, Numix is on yet another one of these lists, but it deserves to be. Numix is easily one of the most complete and well-put-together themes available. It employs a unique color scheme that really serves to set it apart.

Numix also has its own icon theme, and it’s available in many distribution repositories, making it easy to install and maintain. Numix is always a great choice and has been for a while.

You can’t really lose by picking any of these themes. They all provide a modern and artistic look for a desktop environment that’s generally considered dull and uninteresting. MATE is a GTK desktop, so there are always more options available, and nearly any GTK theme will work. Always feel free to explore. These are all freely available for you to try out.

Nick Congleton
Nick Congleton

Nick is a freelance tech. journalist, Linux enthusiast, and a long time PC gamer.

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