About a week ago while roaming around, i found this very interesting post on Mint Blog that showed a very new project that is aimed at improving the Linux Desktop experience. They are putting a lot into this project to make it more stable, eyecandy and user-friendly. It was mentioned on the blog that they started patching existing alternatives such as Gnome Shell, used MATE and MGSE to provide an easier transition away from Gnome 2, but without being able to truly offer an alternative that was better than Gnome 2. Both MATE and Gnome Shell are promising projects but MATE’s ultimate goal is to replicate Gnome 2 using GTK+ and Gnome Shell doesn’t provide what is needed in a desktop. So for these reasons they’re designing a new desktop called Cinnamon, which leverages new technology and implements their vision. See for yourself .

Cool indeed ! They are constantly improving this project and is right now available for testing in Mint 12 and Ubuntu both. But for the time, being its not advisable to do the transition for stability reasons. With easy to use interfaces, a familiar layout, advanced technologies and principles you’ve already got to to use in Linux Mint, you’ll quickly find yourself at home. Configuration is also something important in Cinnamon as one of its fundamental goals is to make you feel at home, thus giving you the ability to change the way the desktop works, looks and behave.

Under the hood Cinnamon is forked from Gnome Shell and based on Mutter and Gnome 3. It’s already available for Linux Mint 12, Ubuntu 11.10, Fedora 16, OpenSUSE 12.1 and Arch Linux and will soon make its way (along with MGSE and MATE) to LMDE when Gnome 3.2 enters Debian Testing.The latest release, Cinnamon 1.1.3, brings stability and improvements to what has already become our favorite desktop. The latest version of Cinnamon is 1.3 and is available for Ubuntu users here.

For Mint 12 users Cinnamon is available from the Linux Mint repository. Install the package “cinnamon-session“, log out and choose the “Cinnamon” session at the login screen.and you are good to go.

A few cool things already in Cinnamon:


  • One unique bottom panel which you can auto-hide (and which location will be configurable in the future)
  • Window list, “show desktop” button, systray icons and all the features introduced in MGSE
  • A menu featuring the same layout as mintMenu, with options to add applications to favorites, to the desktop or to the panel
  • Custom panel launchers
  • A sound applet which lets you launch and control your music, and switch your sound from your speakers to your headphones and vice-versa.
  • Cinnamon project looks promising for the linux users who want the Gnome 2 desktop experience and everything handy. Stay tuned for more…