I booted up my Raspberry Pi for the first time using the full NOOBS installer... I am using the Raspberry Pi 2 (it has four USBs, one Ethernet, one HDMI, and one micro SD Card port)... I use it over SSH and VNC on my local network...

I was thinking of installing a new Desktop Environment because I found the old one rather boring, and I was used to XFCE with Ubuntu, not Raspberry Pi default Desktop Environment (LXDE) with Raspbian Wheezy =), so I went and was looking at the Raspbian MATE Desktop Environment (a fork off of Gnome) and thought it would be nice, so I proceeded to add deb http://archive.raspbian.org/mate wheezy main to my /etc/apt/sources.list. I then ran sudo apt-get update, and then the two components of MATE with this: sudo apt-get install mate-core mate-desktop-environment.

The instructions told me to add exec mate-session to my ~/.xinitrc followed by running the command startx. It went completely fine up until I had to edit my ~/.xinitrc, which happened to be non-existent...

this is the result of running ls -a:

  • why you don't use Ubuntu MATE instead? - that would be the easiest way... Jun 11, 2015 at 17:27
  • @DJCrashdummy: is that a distro or a desktop environment?
    – user104976
    Jun 11, 2015 at 19:46
  • Ubuntu MATE is (meanwhile) an official derivative of Ubuntu using MATE as its desktop environment. -- and they provide an image for the Raspberry Pi 2. Jun 12, 2015 at 8:03

1 Answer 1


there are several ways to achieve your not completely clear goal(s):

  1. you can stay with Raspbian:
    since Raspbian is based on Debian, you can take a look at the Debian Wiki for further informations about .xinitrc.
    and if you do so, why you install MATE when you are familiar with and searching for Xfce?
  2. if you want to work with the MATE Desktop Environment and you are used to Ubuntu (also based on Debian) i highly recommend Ubuntu MATE for the Raspberry Pi 2:
    you can easily install every standalone image without NOOBS according to the real good Raspberry Pi Documentation.
    here is an older tutorial for install and "tweak" MATE on top of Raspbian running on a Raspberry Pi 1.
  3. or if you are looking for a Raspberry Pi image with Xfce as default DE you can take a look at Pidora:
    BUT since it is based on Fedora, there are some differences to all the other Debian based distributions you will notice at least if you are exiting your DE and enter the command line.
  • I have used Ubuntu and other Debian-derivatives for a while now, but I decided to try out pidora, and it worked... I am currently researching yum... It has been a long time since I've used Fedora, so I am also researching the symlinks...
    – user104976
    Jun 12, 2015 at 10:03

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