Mate, like all other desktop environments on the Linux platform, has what are called “Preferred Applications.” These “Preferred Applications” are the apps that the creators of Mate set as default. For example, on Mate, the preferred web browser is Firefox, and the preferred image viewer is Eye of MATE Image Viewer.
For most Linux users, these defaults are sensible, and there’s no need to change them. However, if you’re very particular with your apps, you’ll probably want to change the defaults. Here’s how to do it.
Accessing the “Preferred Application” window
To change the default programs on the Mate desktop environment, you must open up the “Preferred Applications” window on the desktop. To open up the “Preferred Applications” window, follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Step 1: Open up the Mate Control Center. To do this, press Alt + F2 on the keyboard.
Step 2: By pressing Alt + F2, the Mate “Run Application” window will appear on the screen. From here, write out the command below into the text box.
Step 3: Locate the “Run” button and click on it to open up Mate Control Center.
Step 4: Inside of Mate Control Center, locate the text box below “Filter,” write “Preferred Applications” into the text box, and press the Enter key.
Step 5: Look through the search results for “Personal.” Directly under “Personal,” you will see “Preferred Applications.” Double-click on it to access Mate’s “Preferred Applications” window.
The default web browser on the Mate desktop environment is Mozilla Firefox (or Mozilla Firefox ESR on Debian-based distributions). If you would like to change the default to a different web browser, do the following.
First, find the “Internet” tab and click on it. Then, locate the “Web Browser” area. From there, click the drop-down menu and change it from Firefox to the browser you prefer.
On many Linux distributions that use Mate, Evolution Mail and Calendar is the default email app. To change Evolution as the default email client, find the “Internet” tab, and click on it. After that, locate “Mail Reader” and click on the drop-down menu.
Inside of the drop-down menu, change Evolution to your preferred email application.
The default image viewer for the Mate desktop is Eye of Mate Image Viewer. It does the job, but some may not like the app. If you’re not a fan of Eye of Mate Image Viewer and want to change it, do the following.
First, locate the “Multimedia” tab and click on it. Then, locate the “Image Viewer” section. Once you’ve found “Image Viewer,” click on the drop-down menu and change Eye of Mate to the image viewer you prefer.
Rhythmbox is set as the default multimedia player on Mate, as it is a good music player that can also handle podcasts and even some video files. If you’d like to change the default media player from Rythmbox to something else, do the following.
First, find the “Multimedia” tab in “Preferred Applications.” Then, locate “Multimedia Player” and click on the drop-down menu with the mouse and select another multimedia player in the list to replace Rhythmbox.
The Totem video player is the default on the Mate desktop. It’s a solid video player, but many Linux users may prefer to use something else (VLC, SMplayer, etc.) If you want to change the default video player in Mate, do the following.
First, find the “Multimedia” tab in the “Preferred Applications” area, and click on it with the mouse. From there, locate “Video Player,” and click on the drop-down menu, and use it to change the default video player.
Not a fan of Mate’s Pluma text editor? Change it by clicking on the “System” tab in “Preferred Applications.” One in the “System” tab area, click the “Text Editor” drop-down menu and change it from “Pluma” to your preferred text editor.
The Mate Terminal is pretty standard and doesn’t have any standout features compared to terminals of other desktop environments. That said, it does the job, and many Mate fans love to use it. However, not everyone likes it. If you dislike Mate Terminal and want to change it out for another terminal, do the following.
First, find the “System” area in “Preferred Applications” and click on it with the mouse. Then, locate the “Terminal Emulator” section, and select the drop-down menu under it. Use the drop-down menu to choose a new terminal app.
Caja is the default file manager on the Mate desktop. It’s pretty great and has a lot of features. That said, not everyone loves Caja, so thankfully, it’s possible to change out the default file manager in Mate.
To swap the default file manager in Mate, start by accessing the “System” area in “Preferred Applications.” After that, find “File Manager” and click on the drop-down menu next to it. Using the drop-down, change it from “Caja” to the file manager of your choice.
Atril is the default document viewer for Mate. It gets the job done. That said, if you would prefer to use a different document view, it is understandable. To change the default document viewer on the Mate desktop environment, do the following.
First, find the “Office” tab in “Preferred Applications.” Once you’ve made it to the “Office” tab, locate “Document Viewer” and click on the drop-down menu to change the default from Atril to the document app you prefer.
Libre Office Writer is the default word processor on the Mate desktop, and it’s an excellent one to boot. It has many great features, and even works well with Microsoft Word and Google Docs. However, if you’re not a fan of Libre Office Writer, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible to change the default to another word processor.
To change the default word processor in Mate, find “Office” in “Preferred Applications” and click on it with the mouse. Then, find the drop-down menu next to “Word Processor” and click it to change the default from Libre Office Writer to the one you prefer.
Libre Office Calc is the Mate desktop environment’s spreadsheet tool of choice. As it is part of the Libre Office Suite, it is an excellent program and supports many features, including integration with MS Office and even Google Docs. That said, you may not want to use Libre Office Calc as your spreadsheet tool of choice on Mate. Here’s how to change it.
First, find “Office” in “Preferred Applications.” Then, look for the drop-down menu next to it, and change it from Libre Office Calc to your spreadsheet tool of choice.