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> Install SL7 + gdm + MATE (minimal/basic)
 Posted: Aug 12 2014, 09:42 AM
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Please read the disclaimer at the end before you begin!!

These instructions will help you install a minimal and basic SL7 system without any additional software.
MATE and its components are pulled from the EPEL repo. As for the display manager we use gdm. Afterwards, you can add what you like.

1. Do a "Minimal" installation of SL7 (294 packages). It will allow you do SSH to it . But make sure you have the network card automatically activated (default it is set to off).

2. Install epel-release and update that package:
yum update epel-release

3. Install "gdm" and "mate-desktop":
yum install gdm mate-desktop

4. Apparently lightdm is still install, but we do not want it:
yum remove lightdm*

5. We need the Xorg server to display it all:
yum install xorg-x11-server-Xorg xorg-x11-drivers

6. All you need now are certain basic applications. I tried to keep it lean:
yum install mate-backgrounds mate-calc mate-dialogs mate-disk-usage-analyzer mate-icon-theme mate-icon-theme-faenza mate-media mate-screensaver mate-screenshot mate-search-tool mate-utils mate-themes mate-system-log mate-system-monitor mate-terminal caja caja-open-terminal caja-sendto firefox gedit firewall-config network-manager-applet system-config-language system-config-users dconf-editor mate-settings-daemon

7. Of course we need a basic set of fonts, again listed here are the basics:
yum install dejavu-sans-fonts dejavu-sans-mono-fonts dejavu-serif-fonts gnu-free-mono-fonts gnu-free-sans-fonts gnu-free-serif-fonts liberation-mono-fonts liberation-serif-fonts ucs-miscfixed-fonts dejavu-fonts-common gnu-free-fonts-common

8. Additonal themes can be installed to give the whole a personal look:
yum install gnome-icon-theme gnome-icon-theme-extras gnome-icon-theme-symbolic gnome-icon-theme-legacy oxygen-icon-theme mono-icon-theme nuvola-icon-theme

9. Start the graphical environment as root:
systemctl isolate

10. Make sure the system automatically starts the graphical environment after boot:
systemctl set-default

11. By default, Caja (the MATE version of Nautilus) is not configured properly, this results in missing desktop icons and no dialog when you right-click on the desktop. This is easily fixed:
Make sure caja is the default file manager: System => Control Center => Preferred Applications => System
Add caja to the applications that need to start automatically: System => Control Center=> Startup Applications.
Enter "caja --no-default-window" (caja will handle the Desktop without opening its file manager window).

12. Reboot and after you login it will give you something like this:
user posted image

Happy hacking laugh.gif

Please be aware that by installing packages from "3rd party repos" (like MATE) you are creating a system that is not fully maintained and supported by SL and their devs. You might run into things for which you need support from other people.

Having said that, YOLO and enjoy MATE

I have tested this with SL7 Beta and it worked. When SL7 will be released, I will check this again.
Of course this is a minimal installation, feel free to add suggestions or improvements wink.gif

"Sometimes the best helping hand you can give is a good, firm push."
 Posted: Aug 12 2014, 05:12 PM
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Great write-up! Thanks for being the SL7 MATE-drinking gunea pig
 Posted: Jan 14 2015, 01:28 PM
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It works great and eases the burden on my virtual machine to a state where it can actually be useful.
Just wondering how I find out what other packages I can install to add some of the more common stuff. More specifically I am wondering how to install the system-load indicator in the upper panel. It doesn't seem to be among the applets that are on offer by default.
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 Posted: Feb 20 2016, 11:29 PM
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I just wanted to add that I was able to successfully switch from a SL 7.2 install of GNOME 3 Classic to MATE painlessly by following the instructions found here:

In a nutsshell:

1. Install EPEL
rpm -Uvh

2. Install MATE
yum groups install "MATE Desktop"

3. Replace GDM with LightDM
systemctl disable gdm.service
systemctl enable lightdm.service

4. Reboot and select MATE in the LightDM settings (icon is in the upper right corner of login screen).

I don't *HATE* GNOME3 Classic, but it was a bit sluggish and difficult to customize. GNOME3 also had some stability issues. I can attest to the GNOME 2-based MATE is quicker and very close to what I'm used to under SL 6.
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