openSUSE 13.1 RC1 & MATE Desktop experiment

October 13, 2013
linux opensuse mate opensuse-advocate-mauritius

It’s a beautiful Sunday outside. I opened my room’s windows, let the curtains flow freely & clear light coming in. It’s soothing. Birds are chirping and whatever language that is, it’s beautiful. It’s neither too hot nor cold. Lord! Thank you for this moment.

I looked at my test laptop (HP Compaq 6515b) and thought what could we be doing together today?

How about continuing the openSUSE bug-hunting? Uhumm… Let’s do it differently. Even when the final release will be out in November my desktop of choice gonna be MATE. So, I proceeded with some MATE testing on openSUSE 13.1 RC1. I first made a clean install containing X Window only. This is possible when installing using the full-installation DVD. From the initial setup screens you get to choose among different desktop environments.

After installation I got a stripped/minimal version of openSUSE suitable for some DE testing. Oops! No network, I had to get it up manually. Running sudo /usr/sbin/ifconfig showed my ethernet is on ens1. I started the DHCP daemon as follows:

sudo /usr/sbin/dhcpcd ens1

I added the MATE repositories & launched installation:

sudo zypper ar MATE

sudo zypper ref MATE
sudo zypper in -t pattern mate-desktop-environment

It downloaded 120.7M of data comprising of 220 packages. That’s not a lot!

After installation was complete I added the following in ~/.xinitrc.

export WINDOWMANAGER=/usr/bin/mate-session

Next I needed a nice light-weight login manager, so I installed LightDM.

sudo zypper in lightdm

To set it as the default display manager I edited /etc/sysconfig/displaymanager. Search the following line and modify accordingly:


Since I already had the Google Chrome RPM file I installed it too.

sudo zypper in google-chrome-stable_current_x86_64.rpm

I customized the appearance using Mint-X desktop theme & Faenza icons theme. The final look was a desktop like this:

Had quite fun building it, now I’m gonna get some sun outside. Have a great Sunday!

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