Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 22:11

The Heads-Up Display (or, HUD) is now a star feature on Ubuntu MATE 17.10 Beta. It got improved a lot on Beta and it's amusing! On Alpha version, the HUD appears after some taps on Super+Alt buttons, and this would be difficult for many Unity users. But now on Beta version, the HUD appears by single tap on Alt button, making it easier for us and closer to Unity's HUD. The big change is the HUD is now placed locally on every window! See the GIF animation and pictures below.

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Read also our previous review The Wonderful Artful MATE Alpha 2.

What's HUD?

HUD is a feature to execute menu in a window by typing its keyword, rather than clicking-and-looking menu manually. The HUD was first introduced by Unity Desktop, the user interface of Ubuntu 11.04 up to 17.04. Pressing Alt will show HUD box on top-left corner of screen, and you can run any menu/sub-menu of running application by typing its keyword. No need to memorize the whole sub-menus anymore.


The HUD is available on Mutiny (Unity style), Contemporary (GNOME2 style), and Cupertino (MacOS style) desktop layout, switchable using MATE Tweak Tool. Now, pressing Alt once will open the HUD. See this GIF animation of Caja.

File Manager

The HUD is now located locally on every window, not globally at top-panel anymore. The file manager of Ubuntu MATE, Caja, is showing its HUD on picture below.


The HUD is more stable now on wider scope of programs, including LibreOffice. See below, looking for 'table' menu is near by typing 'tab' keyword using HUD.


Even MATE Terminal has its own HUD. See below, running 'profile menu' is easy by typing a keyword using HUD.

About Artful MATE

The Ubuntu MATE 17.10 codenamed Artful Aardvark is still in beta version today (September) and planned to be released on the next 19 October 2017. Ubuntu MATE is an actively developed Ubuntu flavor, a GNU/Linux operating system with MATE Desktop user interface, by friendly developers team and community. The Artful release next month will be a big release with plenty number of improvements. You can get Ubuntu MATE at and donate to support the development at Donation Page.