MATE desktop Live CD

The MATE team have made a Live CD that boots into a full MATE desktop.

Update The LiveCD was updated to MATE 1.8 on March 10th 2014.

This Live CD was created so that potential new users can evaluate the MATE desktop in a non-destructive fashion. The image can be burned to a DVD, mounted as an ISO file, or be directly written to a USB stick using a utility like dd. Linux Luddites beware, unetbootin is not supported. You can download it below:

BitTorrent download (recommended)

If you can spare the bytes, please leave the client open after your download is finished, so you can seed it back to others. A web-seed capable client is recommended for fastest download speeds.

  • [matelivecd-14.069.1449.iso.torrent]

HTTP direct download

In addition to the BitTorrent link above, the Live CD .iso can also be downloaded via HTTP. Please ensure the downloaded file matches the SHA1 checksum.

  • [matelivecd-14.069.1449.iso] [ ~964MB ]
    • SHA1: 12b529d17d1ecef39d9b0e1122fb5271e0534c0a


The Live CD is built using Arch Linux and MATE 1.8. The Live CD is 32-bit so should work on any i686 or x86_64 computer with at least 512MB RAM. Xorg drivers are included for Intel (i915), AMD/ATI (radeon) and nvidia (nouveau) with a fall back to VESA. Drivers for Virtual Box and VMware are also included so that evaluation using these virtualization solutions is simple.

All common file systems, including ZFS, are supported and some data recovery and backup tools are included. If you plug in your mobile device it will most likely be recognised and you’ll be able to access the data on it. NetworkManager is included along with all the VPN clients it supports.

Usernames and passwords

The MATE Desktop Live CD has the following accounts configured.

  • root - password is livecd.
  • mate - password is livecd.

The root account is obviously root. The mate account it a regular user that has with full password-less sudo rights. The Live CD will auto-login using the mate account.


The Live CD is primarily designed to showcase the MATE desktop, however we’ve included some additional applications that are not part of the MATE desktop in order to make the LiveCD a little more useful and enjoyable.

  • Firefox - Standalone web browser from
  • GParted - A Partition Magic clone, frontend to GNU Parted
  • HardInfo - A system information and benchmark tool
  • HexChat - IRC client configured to auto-connect to #mate@libera
  • Onboard - Screen reader for individuals who are blind or visually impaired
  • Orca - On-screen keyboard useful for mobility impaired individuals
  • Pidgin - Multi-protocol instant messaging client
  • Xnoise - Media player with a slick GUI, great speed and lots of features

Creative Commons content

We have bundled the following Creative Commons licensed content.

Changing language

Be default the Live CD is configured to use the en_US locale but if you want to activate another language here is how to do it. In the example below, we will enable Italian.

Edit /etc/locale.gen an uncomment your locale, in this case it_IT.UTF-8 UTF-8 and rebuild the locales.

sudo locale-gen

Edit /etc/locale.conf and change the LANG= to reflect your locale, in this case LANG=it_IT.UTF-8. Finally restart the display manager and you will be logged back into a MATE session using your prefered language.

sudo systemctl restart lightdm

Linux Action Show Feature

The MATE Desktop LiveCD and MATE itself we featured on the Linux Action Show in the CuBox Linux Review episode. Two clips are embedded below, the first a quick look at the MATE Desktop LiveCD the second is a review of the CuBox i4 which is running MATE.

MATE Desktop LiveCD

CuBox i4 Pro Review


We hope you give the Live CD a test drive and enjoy the speed and simplicity the MATE Desktop provides. Once you’ve taken the MATE Desktop Live CD for a spin let us know what you think in the comments or use the Live CD to join us in the #mate IRC channel.

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