Fans of the MATE desktop environment, which is a fork of Gnome 2, will be happy to know that MATE is scheduled to be included in the official Debian repositories. Early 2012, it was requested that MATE be included in said repositories, and almost 2 years later, it appears we’re almost there.
Upon reading this news, I headed over to the #mate-debian channel on Freenode, where I was assured that it’s definitely going to happen. Unfortunately, I could not be given a definite time frame as to when we can expect to see MATE pop up in the official repositories, but I was assured that “it will definitely be ready for Jessie,” Jessie being the codename for the next stable “release” of Debian.
There is still work to be done, however, because currently the upstream packages are not yet fully in accordance with the Debian policy. Those who would like to keep up to date with the current status of the packing work, can use this page.
Note: Ubuntu, being based on Debian, would also get MATE into its repositories because of this.
Installing MATE on Debian
Debian users who would like to give MATE a try, and do not want to wait until it appears in the official repositories, can head over to the installation guidelines.