July 20, 2024
Linux Distro Critiques: Cinnamon Desktop Surroundings
Linux Distro Critiques: Cinnamon Desktop Surroundings

Please observe: Cinnamon is a desktop atmosphere (DE), not a Linux distribution (distro). Nevertheless, for these simply Linux for the primary time, this sequence often takes a slight detour to evaluation a couple of of the preferred DEs along with among the precise distros that use them.

Cinnamon is a desktop atmosphere that’s developed and maintained by the Linux Mint staff and serves because the flagship DE of Linux Mint, in addition to its sibling LMDE.

Cinnamon Historical past

Cinnamon was forked from Gnome 3 and was initially launched in 2011. All through the next couple of years, Cinnamon’s separation from Gnome turned extra pronounced, with trendy Cinnamon a whole fork of Gnome.

The impetus behind Cinnamon’s creation was the controversial choices made by the Gnome builders within the 3.x launch. That launch sparked the creation of a number of alternate DEs, as many customers had been sad with Gnome’s re-imagining of the desktop paradigm. Cinnamon, like lots of the others, stays centered on a extra conventional desktop design.

In contrast to among the different DEs that got here throughout this time—akin to Mate—Cinnamon has continued to evolve and modernize whereas staying true to its purpose of offering a standard computing expertise.


Being forked from Gnome, it ought to come as no shock that Cinnamon makes use of the identical GTK toolkit because the extra standard DE. That is in some methods each a blessing and a curse. GTK is probably the most extensively used toolkit for Linux apps, so the overwhelming majority of apps look utterly native on Cinnamon.

Then again, GTK is essentially maintained by the Gnome builders. Over the previous few years, Gnome builders have acquired widespread criticism for making choices relating to GTK that present little to no regard for different GTK-based DEs.

Luckily, the Linux Mint/Cinnamon staff has proven themselves adept at mitigating the extra controversial choices made by the Gnome/GTK builders.

Cinnamon Strengths

Cinnamon’s best power is the steadiness it strikes between simplicity, customization, energy, and stability. On the earth of Linux DEs, customers usually have to decide on between simplicity and customization, energy and stability. For instance, Gnome is well-known for being easy by default, nevertheless it lacks built-in customization. Equally, by default, it’s comparatively secure however lacks energy options. All of this may be modified through the use of third-party extensions, however this usually comes on the expense of stability and ease.

On the opposite finish of the spectrum is KDE Plasma, a desktop famend for being probably the most highly effective and customizable on any platform. That energy and customization usually come on the expense of simplicity and stability, nevertheless.

Cinnamon, then again, virtually bridges all 4 classes, providing a near-perfect mix of simplicity, customization, energy, and stability. It has built-in help for theming and customization. It additionally helps extensions and applets that add further options or refine present ones. In contrast to Gnome extensions, nevertheless, Cinnamon extensions and applets don’t break with each new model and are usually extraordinarily secure and dependable.

The result’s a DE that may simply be personalized to fit your workflow. For instance, whereas Cinnamon’s default look is harking back to Home windows 7, just some clicks can convert it into one thing extra akin to macOS (my most well-liked format), Ubuntu’s modified Gnome, commonplace Gnome, or nearly the rest.

Cinnamon macOS Structure


Cinnamon has generally been criticized for poor efficiency in comparison with Gnome, KDE, and particularly Xfce. For probably the most half, these criticisms are outdated and don’t mirror Cinnamon’s present standing.

Older variations of Cinnamon suffered from reminiscence leaks, however these have been largely mounted in current variations. What’s extra, the builders have added an possibility for customers to set a threshold for a way a lot reminiscence the DE can use.

Equally, older variations of the DE didn’t disable compositing for full-screen home windows, which might negatively affect gaming efficiency. Once more, in current variations, Cinnamon now sports activities the mandatory function.

Cinnamon Compositing Settings

The result’s that Cinnamon now performs largely on par with some other DE, with any variations falling throughout the statistical margin for error.

Wayland Help

One other criticism levied towards Cinnamon is that it doesn’t help Wayland, the successor to the X11 window protocol. Gnome and KDE Plasma already help Wayland, with Xfce and others engaged on help.

For a while the Linux Mint builders had been non-committal relating to their plans for Wayland, however they introduced definitive plans in late 2023. Cinnamon 6.0, which ships with Linux Mint 21.3, will function experimental Wayland help. The builders will proceed to enhance Wayland help over the approaching yr or two and have mentioned they’ll solely make it the default when it’s secure and dependable sufficient for his or her person base.

The Goldilocks DE

Cinnamon is well one of the crucial well-rounded DEs obtainable on Linux, offering one thing of a Goldilocks expertise with a near-perfect mix of options, efficiency, stability, reliability, and energy. Whereas it will not be the flashiest DE, it’s one of the crucial strong choices for customers who need to spend extra time utilizing their pc, relatively than tweaking and troubleshooting.

Whereas Linux Mint offers the flagship Cinnamon expertise, the DE is out there on all kinds of distros, together with Debian, Arch, openSUSE, Fedora, and extra. Customers—each outdated and new—seeking to attempt one thing new ought to give the DE a spin.