It has been a while since I dove into the depths of my beloved little penguin as but with the March / April refresh cycle of many of my favourite Linux Distros coming out I thought it was high time to take a look at the often overlooked Desktop environment that is an alternative to Gnome, KDE and Unity.
To give a little background on why there is now a 4th choice in Desktop Environments it is important to note that giving KDE 4+, Gnome 3+ or the Ubuntu Unity Desktops a fair shake is important, they are the default Environments for nearly all of the major players within the Linux Community and are by far the best supported. That being said, there is one Distro that has hung its hat on Cinnamon and has reaped the general malcontent over the direction that the standard Desktop Environments have moved in…LinuxMint!
I have loved LinuxMint for many years and when not using Ubuntu Linux it is the Distro that I turn to because the things that I need are already pre-installed. The Cinnamon Desktop has really brought LinuxMint to the forefront in the past years and according to Distrowatch.com has usurped Ubuntu as the #1 Linux Community Distro.
What is so good about Cinnamon though that you should consider replacing the default desktop experience? In my opinion, Cinnamon is the most “Windows-like” environment allowing a more seamless transition for those looking to ditch Microsoft.
All the functions are housed within the “Menu Button” and let you dive into the different Program Categories and find what you are looking for intuitively and quickly. The folks over at LinuxMint are hard at work extending the features with Applets, Themes and Extensions to let you tweak and modify the Desktop Environment to fit your personal needs. That is the beauty of the Linux Desktop…if you don’t like what you have…change it…it is allowed, even encouraged.
But the real question is, you are a fan of Ubuntu, SuSE, Fedora, Arch or what ever Linux Distribution and really don’t want to change…well there is a way for you to install it and live a different life without having to give up that core functionality that your Distro of Choice provides you. Head over to http://cinnamon.linuxmint.com/?page_id=61 there you will find the downloads and Repository links for most of the popular flavours of Linux…can’t find yours well they are kind enough to provide you with a Git Repository as well.
To help things along…here are the links retooled for your pleasure:
Cinnamon is available from the Linux Mint repository. Simply install the package “cinnamon“.
Use the following PPA: https://launchpad.net/~gwendal-lebihan-dev/+archive/cinnamon-stable
Follow the instructions from http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showthread.php?t=274611 or get the RPMs at http://repos.fedorapeople.org/repos/leigh123linux/cinnamon/
Find some explanations and a 1-click install package http://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:GNOME_Cinnamon
For the latest Git version of Cinnamon: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=55163
For the latest release of Cinnamon: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=55330
Cinnamon is included in the main portage tree: http://packages.gentoo.org/package/gnome-extra/cinnamon
You can find Cinnamon for Frugalware at: http://frugalware.org/packages/137162
Use the .zip archives available at https://github.com/linuxmint/Cinnamon/tags
Choice is a good thing, embrace it. For me…I like Unity but with Cinnam
1.4 hot off the presses and some really cool new features…it is worth a look.
Chris J Powell