Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cinnamon a GNOME 2.x style desktop

This afternoon while searching for more information about this ACTA mess i came to a site featuring Linux Mint's new desktop interface codename 'Cinnamon', a Gnome 2 looking desktop built on top of Gnome 3.
Is this a step backwards? Cinnamon interface looks and works a lot like the popular Gnome 2.x interface, but it’s built on top of the Gnome 3.x interface. 
How is that going to work? Time to ask mighty Google for enlightenment, the first images weren't that impressing but being a geek i couldn't say no to try a new window manager so i installed it on my Ubuntu 11.10 using this instructions.
After a couple of commands on the terminal and a few minutes i was ready to go, the first thing you notice is the clean desktop featuring only the bar on the bottom as you see in the picture.

Standard Cinnamon desktop.

Not impressed? well, neither was i to be honest, but as i started to poke around i quickly realized that it's actually pretty nice, fast, and well organised, the menu window is big and is neatly arranged, on the far left you have your favorite applications, in the middle the different software categories and by hovering the mouse over any of those categories you have on the far right the applications corresponding to that category.

Menu window

AND here's this particular thing that i love on G3: when you move the cursor to the top left corner you have an overview of all the open windows :-)

Overview of all open windows
This combination of old school G2 interface on top of the actual G3 is well made, practical, productive and very nice to work with. Clement Lefebvre, lead developer of Linux Mint and his team created Cinnamon because many people, including Linux’s father Linus Torvalds don't like the new Gnome 3.x interface.
Among the new features that the now official stable Cinnamon 1.2 includes are desktop effects, desktop layouts, a new configuration tool, and applets as well as a variety of bug fixes and other improvements.
Overall, many of the changes aim to reintroduce a level of customisability that numerous desktops have lost in recent years, Lefebvre said.
Cinnamon is available as a download for the mayor Linux distributions on their website.

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