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How to save Mate desktop panel configs

The best way to backup your Mate desktop panel configuration for safekeeping is with the Mate Tweak utility. It’s a tool forked from Linux Mint’s MintDesktop tool, and it offers up an impressive UI that can fully backup how your panel is configured. Mate Tweak also offers up pre-set panel configurations you can switch to as well.

On Ubuntu’s Mate edition (Ubuntu Mate), the Mate Tweak program is pre-installed and ready to use out of the box. However, on Debian, Arch Linux, and other operating system’s Mate Tweak is not included with the Mate desktops. As a result, we must demonstrate how to install the app before continuing with this guide.

To start the installation process for Mate Tweak on your Linux PC, press the Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, follow the installation instructions outlined below.


As stated earlier, Ubuntu’s Mate desktop comes with this program pre-installed. That said, if for some reason, you do not have Mate Tweak, you can quickly install it with the following Apt command.

sudo apt install mate-tweak


Debian has the Mate Tweak program available in its software repository ready to set up. If you’re using the Mate desktop and need this app, install it with the Apt-get command.

sudo apt-get install mate-tweak

Arch Linux

Arch Linux does indeed allow it’s users to install Mate Tweak; however, it is not included with the Mate Desktop packages when you install it with Pacman. Instead, you must download it from the AUR and build it by hand.

To start the installation of Mate Tweak from the AUR, use the Pacman command, and install both the “Base-devel” and “Git” packages.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Following installing the two packages, use the git clone command to grab the Trizen AUR helper and install it. It will make compiling and installing Mate Tweak on Arch Linux much more straightforward.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

cd trizen

Install Trizen with the makepkg command.

makepkg -sri

Finally, install Mate Tweak with the Trizen tool.

trizen -S mate-tweak


Sadly, Fedora Linux is the only mainstream Linux operating system unwilling to support Mate Tweak. If you’d like to follow this guide to back up your panel configurations on the Mate desktop, you must compile the source code by hand.


The Mate Tweak app is available for all OpenSUSE Linux releases. If you’d like to install it, use the Zypper command below.

sudo zypper install mate-tweak

Save Mate desktop panel configs

Now that the Mate Tweak app is installed, open it. Press Alt + F2, type in mate-tweak in the quick launcher, and press “Run.” Alternatively, look for it under “Look and Feel” in the Mate app menu.

With the Mate Tweak app open and ready to use, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to save your Mate desktop panel configs.

Step 1: Inside of the Mate Tweak app, locate the side-bar on the left. Then, click the “Panel” icon with the mouse. Selecting this button takes you to the panel settings area.

Step 2: In the panel area, locate the “Save As” button, and select it with the mouse to save the Mate Panel layout as it currently exists on the screen.

Step 3: Upon clicking on the “Save As” button, a pop-up text box will appear. This text box will prompt you to name the panel configuration you’re about to save.

Step 4: After writing out the name in the text box, find the “OK” button, and click on it with the mouse to instantly save your panel layout.

After saving your current panel layout, it will appear in Mate Tweak’s panel selection menu.

Delete saved panel config

If you’ve previously saved a panel layout and have decided you want to delete the panel layout, here’s what to do.

Step 1: Launch Mate Tweak on the Linux desktop, and click on “Panels.”

Step 2: Click on the drop-down menu under “Select a panel layout to change the user interface,” and select your saved layout.

Step 3: Find the “Delete” button and click it with the mouse.

Step 4: Upon clicking “Delete,” a window that says “Delete this custom layout” will appear. Select “OK” to confirm the deletion.

Switching to other panel configs

Mate Tweak has a lot of different preset panel configurations to switch to. If you’d like to change your current layout to one of the presets, do the following.

Step 1: Launch Mate Tweak and click on “Panel.”

Step 2: Click on the drop-down menu under “Select a panel layout to change the user interface.”

Step 3: Select a new panel configuration in the menu. Your Mate desktop will instantly switch to the new configuration.

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