In my last review, I covered Linux Mint 13 MATE. However, there’s quite a bit going on with Cinnamon so I decided to do another review to cover it separately. The Cinnamon desktop is quite different than MATE, and it’s worth looking at in its own right.
Excuse me though if I cover some familiar ground if you’ve already read the MATE review. Some of this will be quite familiar to you.
Cinnamon is based on GNOME 3 and Clutter.
Before I get into this review of the Cinnamon version of Linux Mint, let me deal with the issue of MATE versus Cinnamon. Some folks are going to wonder which one they should choose. Here’s a quick run down of the pros and cons of each from the Linux Mint developers:
- MATE is stable and it works on all computers
- MATE is among the most productive and easy to use desktops available.
- MATE continues where Gnome 2 left off and introduces its own incremental improvements.
- MATE comes with support for mintMenu, mintDesktop, Compiz and everything that made Gnome 2 the most popular Linux desktop.
- MATE is built with GTK2, it features more themes and integrates with more applications than any other desktop.
- Some parts of Gnome 2 were not migrated to MATE yet and a few aspects such as Bluetooth support might not work as well as they did with Gnome 2.
- Cinnamon is among the sleekest and most modern looking environments
- Cinnamon features innovative features and emphasis on productivity with traditional desktop metaphors
- Cinnamon is built on rapid technologies and its development pace is really fast
- The Cinnamon community is very active, and produces a lot of new themes and applets
- Cinnamon requires 3D acceleration and might not work well for you, depending on your graphics card and/or drivers.
- Cinnamon is brand new and unfortunately not yet as stable as more mature and established desktops such as MATE, KDE or Xfce.
- Cinnamon relies on Gnome 3 and Clutter, which are also both brand new and going through rapid transformations.
What’s New In This Release
Here’s a sample of the new features in this release:
Yahoo as the default search engine
Latest Mint-X and Mint-Z themes
Additional art work for backgrounds from artist masterbutler
MDM Display Manager
Ubuntu 12.04 has been out for a while now, and there’s been a huge amount of coverage by the media. If you aren’t caught up with what it offers, you can check out my review here on DLR.
Kernel Newbies has the dirt on what Linux 3.2 has to offer. So, drop by if you aren’t up to speed on what’s in Linux 3.2.
The switch to Yahoo as the default search engine is related to search engine revenue sharing. The Linux mint developers have been very direct about this change here:
Linux Mint switches to Yahoo as the default search engine for the USA, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Yahoo is the 2nd biggest search engine in the World, and the first major search engine to share revenue with Linux Mint. The results page is full of features, it comes with a nice layout, images, videos and blogs search, points of interest, time filters and cached results. Underneath the interface, Yahoo comes with a strong network of advertisers and its addition represents a huge opportunity and an additional source of income for Linux Mint.
Personally, I prefer Duck Duck Go to Yahoo. Duck Duck Go also has a revenue relationship with Linux Mint. So I think you can use either search engine and still feel like you are supporting the Linux Mint project.
Cinnamon 1.4 has quite a lot to offer, and it’s why I decided to do a separate review for this version of Linux Mint. Please note that I was in a bit of a rush to get this one out the door for those who were interested in Cinnamon, so some of the screenshots below are courtesy of the Linux Mint site, drop by their donation page if you want to make a financial contribution to Linux Mint.
Here’s a list of what’s new in Cinnamon 1.4:
Expo & Scale Overview
New Settings Applet and Panel Edit Mode
New Configuration Options
Window List Improvements
Cinnamon Settings Improvements
If you’ve ever used a Mac, you’ll feel right at home with the Expo and Scale overviews since they are quite reminiscent of OS X’s Expose feature. Expo lets you see and manage your workspaces. Scale makes it easy and fast to select a window. You can also add additional workspaces in Expo, or close one that you already opened by clicking on the close button (the “x) in the upper right corner of the workspace.
There’s a handy new applet that you can access by clicking on the little arrow icon on the panel. It will launch the Settings Applet. You can troubleshoot, turn Panel Edit Mode on or off, and access Panel Settings. You can also add or remove applets, and access other settings. If you want to move applets, you’ll need to turn on Panel Edit Mode since applets cannot be moved any more.
Localization support means that Cinnamon 1.4 supports 39 languages, and includes support for right-to-left languages.
The menu now includes drag and drop support. You can add applications to panel launchers, add/remove applications to favorites, and reorder your favorites. You can also right-click the menu to use the menu editor to change how apps and categories are displayed in the menu.
The window list has also had some changes. You can change the order of windows in it via drag and drop. You can right-click a window and send it to another workspace. You can also drag a file onto a window and the window will come into focus.
As you can tell, Cinnamon 1.4 has had many improvements added to it. It’s a no-brainer upgrade if you are still using an earlier version.
Here’s what you’ll need to run this distro:
- x86 processor (Linux Mint 64-bit requires a 64-bit processor. Linux Mint 32-bit works on both 32-bit and 64-bit processors).
- 512 MB RAM (1GB recommended for a comfortable usage).
- 5 GB of disk space
- Graphics card capable of 800×600 resolution
- CD/DVD drive or USB port
Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon Download
You can download Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon from this page. The download file for Cinnamon was about 856.7 MB. You can also buy Linux Mint on disc from Amazon.com. There are also helpful books about Linux Mint available from Amazon (the discs and books are listed on that link).
You can download Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon in 32 or 64 bit, and you have the option of downloading it with or without codecs installed.
If you’re a distrohopper then you might want to try it in VirtualBox before running it on real hardware. VirtualBox is free and open source software that will let you run distros on your Linux, OS X or Windows desktop.