I do not like Gnome 3! As for Cinnamon, the configuration mechanism for the desktop panels eludes me, I cannot set the panels to be how I want them they have to be how the cinamon developer wants them. So I use MATE.
There are a number of things that I change because I like them a different way to the developers. I can change them to how I like so not too much of a problem. This post is so I have it written down somewhere and it’s easy to copy and paste to the new install.
After installing Ubuntu Desktop, MATE is installed with
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get --assume-yes install mate-archive-keyring sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get --assume-yes install mate-core mate-desktop-environment
Then logout no need to reboot.
Next to the login name you will see the Ubuntu logo it looks like a weird keyhole. Click it and you will see a choice of available desktops. Select MATE or the one you want. If that is not MATE why the hell are you reading this? :p
One continuing annoyance is that the setting where the desktop icons are stored and configured keeps changing. At the time of writing this we were at MATE 1.6 and they are now set and viewed with gsettings.
gsettings list-keys org.mate.caja.desktop
computer-icon-name computer-icon-visible font home-icon-name home-icon-visible network-icon-name network-icon-visible text-ellipsis-limit trash-icon-name trash-icon-visible volumes-visible
gsettings set org.mate.caja.desktop home-icon-visible false gsettings set org.mate.caja.desktop computer-icon-visible false gsettings set org.mate.caja.desktop trash-icon-visible false
There is also no way to change edit the menus from the initial installation. You need to install the app call mozo. Why its not already install is beyond me.
sudo apt-get install mozo
Once installed you will see a new icon in the System->Preferences menu called Main Menu.