Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ubuntu 12.04 - Let's Try Something A Little Different

Since the introduction of Unity as the default Ubuntu desktop, there have been both supporters and naysayers, who have debated the long-term viability of the technology.  I will admit that it took me a short period to become comfortable with Unity, but ultimately found that I liked it and was even more productive relative to my work in the Linux environment.  However, as of late, I have seen a number of technical news articles promoting Cinnamon.

Cinnamon is a desktop environment developed by the folks who have brought us Linux Mint.  For me, Cinnamon is a replacement for Unity and provides for a Gnome 2.x desktop experience.  Cinnamon is a fork of GNOME Shell, initially developed by Linux Mint. It attempts to provide a more traditional user environment based on the desktop metaphor, like GNOME 2. Cinnamon uses Muffin, a fork of the GNOME 3 window manager Mutter, as its window manager from Cinnamon 1.2 onwards.

Cinnamon is feature rich and provides many features, including the following:
  1. Desktop effects, including animations and transition effects
  2. A movable panel equipped with a main menu, launchers, a window list and the system tray
  3. Various extensions
  4. Applets that appear on the panel
  5. Overview with functions similar to that in GNOME Shell
  6. Settings editor for easy customization. It can customize: 
              The panel
              The calendar
              Desktop effects
    Cinnamon can be installed under Ubuntu 12.04 by using the associated PPA.  In a terminal issue the following commands:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install cinnamon  

    Overall, I am very happy with Cinnamon under Ubuntu 12.04.  I suspect that I will retain this desktop for a while.

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