Like in most linux projects, you can build, compile and install with ./ && make && make install. By the way, you may need to setup some things. Follow each package guide to get a clean install.

Remember, compiling can be stressful.


Do not compile as root!

Building requirements

Ubuntu 11.10, Debian Wheezy, Linux Mint

sudo apt-get install libxml2-dev libxslt1-dev libglib2.0-dev libidl-dev \
    libdbus-1-dev libdbus-glib-1-dev libpolkit-backend-1-dev flex libpopt-dev \
    bison libbz2-dev libgcrypt11-dev libcanberra-dev libgail-dev libgtk2.0-dev \
    libart-2.0-dev libglade2-dev libtasn1-3-bin libxklavier-dev libsoup2.4-dev \
    icon-naming-utils libunique-dev libcanberra-gtk-dev libwnck-dev \
    librsvg2-dev libpolkit-agent-1-dev gobject-introspection \
    libgirepository1.0-dev libupower-glib-dev intltool xsltproc \
    libtasn1-3-dev libtool gtk-doc-tools libgamin-dev \
    librarian-dev libdconf-dev libsecret-1-dev libgnome-keyring-dev \
    yelp-tools libnotify-dev


sudo yum install libxml2-devel libxslt-devel glib2-devel libIDL-devel \
    dbus-devel dbus-glib-devel polkit-devel flex popt-devel \
    bison bzip2-devel libgcrypt-devel libcanberra-devel gtk2-devel \
    libart_lgpl-devel libglade2-devel libtasn1-tools libxklavier-devel libsoup-devel \
    icon-naming-utils unique-devel libcanberra-gtk2 libcanberra-devel libwnck-devel \
    librsvg2-devel libSM-devel libXdamage-devel \
    gobject-introspection-devel upower-devel intltool  \
    libtasn1-devel libtool gamin-devel rarian-devel dconf-devel \
    libsecret-devel libgnome-keyring-devel

To build the extras you will also need:

For Ubuntu 14.04.x

libpoppler-glib-dev libgtop2-dev libvte-dev libenchant-dev libgtkmm-2.4-dev libisocodes-dev libgtksourceview2.0-dev gtk2-engines libjpeg-dev 

For some systems

poppler-glib-devel libgtop2-devel gtkmm24-devel vte-devel enchant-devel iso-codes-devel gtksourceview2-devel gtk2-engines-devel

Building order

Building order is quite tedious. Check requirements!

TODO: complete list, for now see MATE 1.6 build order

Build Mate 1.8 on Debian

Updated Build instructions for 1.12




I have made this shell script to build and install in one command. IT'S NOT RECOMMENDED.

build_func() {
    ./configure \
        --prefix=/usr \
        --sysconfdir=/etc \
        --localstatedir=/var \
        --disable-static || return 1
    make || return 1
    su -c"make install" 

Edit ./configure if you want. You can prevent GNOME conflicts by adding ”./configure –prefix=/usr/local” Save as ”/usr/bin/build” Don't forget the “chmod +x /usr/bin/build” as root.

Now, you can run “build” to install quickly.

Get Mate sources here.

Moar HAX!

If you had problems while compiling, try to run these commands on source path:




Regenerate ./configure

autoreconf -i --force

add mate-doc-utils

mate-doc-prepare --force --copy

Add some missing files

intltoolize --automake --copy --force
automake --add-missing


Problems with m4 files, e.g:

***Error***: some autoconf macros required to build libmatecomponent

try fixing the ACLOCAL_FLAGS. Adjust to the prefix you are installing to.

export ACLOCAL_FLAGS="-I /usr/local/share/aclocal/"

Problems finding the libraries of bits you have already build and installed:

configure: error: Package requirements
(glib-2.0 > 2.14.0 gio-2.0 >= 2.25.9 gthread-2.0
gmodule-2.0 >= 2.7.0 gobject-2.0 >= 2.7.0 MateCORBA-2.0)
were not met:
No package 'MateCORBA-2.0' found

try setting PKG_CONFIG_PATH. Adjust to the prefix you are installing to.

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig/:/usr/local/share/pkgconfig/

Problems with missing python libraries:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/xml2po", line 191, in <module>
  File "/usr/local/bin/xml2po", line 88, in main
    from xml2po import Main
ImportError: No module named xml2po

try setting PYTHONPATH. Adjust to the prefix you are installing to.

export PYTHONPATH=${PYTHONPATH}:/usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/


If you have not erased the sources from where you installed the files, you can uninstall with “make uninstall” as root user where you did the “make install”.

sudo make uninstall

Build Script

You may find this Build Script useful.

building.txt · Last modified: 2015/11/10 16:32 by oz
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