How to install MATE Desktop on your Webdock Ubuntu Server

Last updated: October 6th 2022


The guide provides step by step instructions of installing the MATE desktop environment on the webdock server. The MATE desktop environment is the fork of GNOME 2 which is now dead. It is under active development to support the latest technologies with traditional user experience.


Installing the MATE desktop environment

First, update the packages and repositories on your Webdock server.

# sudo apt update -y

Install MATE desktop environment with tasksel

# sudo apt install tasksel
# sudo tasksel

From the list, scroll to MATE, hit the spacebar to select it and then hit enter to install it.

Installing XRDP server

Tip: You may want to try NoMachine instead which is an XRDP alternative which offers superior performance and features.

Now install XRDP server to listen for an RDP connection on Webdock server.

$ sudo apt install xrdp -y

Start and enable xrdp service.

$ sudo systemctl enable xrdp.service
$ sudo systemctl start xrdp.service

Now, we need to add xrdp to ssl-cert user group.  XRDP uses an ssl certificate and we need to make it readable to our user.

$ sudo adduser xrdp ssl-cert

NOTE: XRDP server runs on port 3389 so in the case of Webdock perfect server stack, you need to allow traffic from port 3389 to connect to your Desktop Environment.

$ sudo ufw allow 3389

Make MATE the default desktop environment

The default desktop environment for Ubuntu server is GNOME. So after installing Mate, make it the default desktop environment for xrdp sessions.

$ echo mate-session > ~/.xsession
$ sudo cp ~/.xsession /etc/skel

Restart the xrdp service.

$ sudo systemctl restart xrdp.service

Connect to the server over RDP

In order to connect to the Webdock server, first create a shell user from the Webdock dashboard. Click on ‘more’ option from the top right corner.


Select the ‘Shell Users’.


Enter the username and password for the new shell user and click on Add User’.


Use this shell username and password to connect to the Webdock server over RDP.

To learn more about connecting to the Webdock server over RDP from Windows, Linux or Mac, visit this guide.

Test MATE desktop environment

Connect using an RDP client to your Webdock server, you should see a login prompt on screen. Once connected to the Webdock server over RDP,  you can open the Terminal on the Webdock server and check the current desktop session using the following command.

# env | grep CURRENT_DESKTOP




MATE desktop environment provides a simple and attractive graphical user interface using traditional metaphors. Visit the official site of MATE to read about its applications, supported distributions and releases.

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