As a PHP developers most of my time is spent working with Linux servers. When Microsoft introduced the Linux Sub-system for Windows I jumped at the chance to use the same server commands I was used to locally on my Windows PC.

Over time I realised that the majority of the software I was using (PhpStorm, MySQL Workbench, GIT, Keepass were all available on Linux.

I decided to make the switch from Windows 10 for Linux.

Ubuntu MATE

With many, many, many distributions to choose from, I picked Ubuntu MATE for two reasons. First it is a official derivative of Ubuntu itself which is an extremely popular Linux distribution. Well supported and maintained and it includes the Debian .deb package format, which is important if you don’t really know what you’re doing when it comes to installing software.

Secondly Ubuntu MATE comes with the MATE desktop environment. Standard Ubuntu switched to the Unity desktop environment and then GNOME Shell. While Unity and GNOME Shell both do the trick they were both too different from the Windows-style taskbar and Start button I’m accustomed too.

Ubuntu MATE offered both the stable environment and the traditional Window-like desktop environment I was looking for.

Download + Install

Download the appropriate version of Ubuntu MATE for your PC. 64-bit is the standard version and most likely the one you should down. Unless you’re running a very old machine which will require 32-bit, or you’ve got specialized hardware like a Raspberry Pi.