Introduction To The Linux Mint Cinnamon Desktop

Introduction To The Linux Mint Cinnamon Desktop

Version 1.0
Author: Christian Schmalfeld <c [dot] schmalfeld [at] projektfarm [dot] de>

This tutorial is supposed to guide the reader through the features of the Cinnamon desktop, Mint’s new desktop environment to be used in Linux Mint 13. Cinnamon concentrates on holding on to classic design and functionality in times where Gnome 3 and Unity come up with different innovations to the user interface.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Installation On Linux Mint 12

Cinnamon was already included in the Linux Mint 12 (Lisa) Main repository. If you have not already done so, update your package list. To do so, open a terminal and enter:

sudo apt-get update

Afterwards you can install Cinnamon by entering:

sudo apt-get install cinnamon

Cinnamon is then downloaded and installed. To apply it after installation, log out of your current session and click on the cog-wheel icon on the login screen to select Cinnamon:


2 Installation On Ubuntu 11.10

Likewise it is also possible to install Cinnamon on the current Ubuntu version. The only thing to do before is to add the Mint Lisa repository to your repository sources. To open the list, enter following into a terminal:if(typeof __ez_fad_position != ‘undefined’){__ez_fad_position(‘div-gpt-ad-howtoforge_com-medrectangle-4-0’)};

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Copy and paste the following line to the bottom of the file:

deb lisa main upstream import

Afterwards, save the file and go back into the terminal. To update your package list, enter…

sudo apt-get update

… and, as for Mint 12, install Cinnamon with:

sudo apt-get install cinnamon

Now log out and choose Cinnamon from the desktop menu on the login screen. If you happen to find your login screen without the usual background picture, there is a simple tool called Simple Lightdm Manager that can fix that for you really quick. To install, add the appropriate repository, update the package list and install:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:claudiocn/slm
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install simple-lightdm-manager

Then open Simple Lightdm Manager and browse for your favourite log-in screen. The default system wallpapers are usually stored in /usr/share/backgrounds:if(typeof __ez_fad_position != ‘undefined’){__ez_fad_position(‘div-gpt-ad-howtoforge_com-box-4-0’)};


3 Using Cinnamon

Cinnamon’s main navigation tool is the classic system panel, by default located on the bottom of the screen. It contains the main menu button, the icon to reveal the desktop, quick start icons, running programs and the usual widgets on the right side. The main menu is tidily organized into a favourites column on the far left, the category colum next to it and the programs submenu on the far right, as known from the Gnome 2 menu. Above the categories and programs there’s the usual search bar.

Left-clicking a program menu item will open it, whereas right-clicking will expand a small submenu, giving you the option to stick the application to the panel, the desktop or the favourites menu on the left. On version 1.2, there is a bug that lets you add an infinite amount of objects to the favourite menu, so that eventually the menu will grow out of screen range, so be sure to not add too many (this was fixed in 1.3. The items now become smaller the more of them you add).

Cinnamon brings along its configuration tool, Cinnamon Settings. It can be used to change calender format, apply different themes, effects and applets, change the panel orientation (for now limited to bottom, top and both at once, but is said to be expanded) or install additional extensions:

Much as in Gnome 3, the mouse can be hovered to the top left corner to get an organized view of all open windows. This option however fades out all other control items and therefore is no control panel replacement as it is in Gnome 3:

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