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Cinnamon 2.0 in Linux Mint 16, no GNOME back-end

by Rob Zwetsloot

Cinnamon 2.0 will be a completely independent desktop environment, Clement Lefebvre reveals to Linux User & Developer in an exclusive interview.

In an interview for an upcoming issue of Linux User & Developer, Linux Mint developer Clement Lefebvre, aka Clem, revealed some of the plans for the future of Linux Mint and Cinnamon – most importantly, how recent developments have caused the team to finally move to making the code base independent of GNOME:

Clement Lefebvre: Basically, in [Cinnamon] 2.0 you won’t be running GNOME at all

Linux User & Developer: So will [Cinnamon] 2.0 be in [Linux] Mint 16?

Lefebvre: This is both something we want and something we have to do. Yes.

Ubuntu Cinnamon MATE
Cinnamon will become independent in the next version

He went on to talk about how Ubuntu deciding to stay on GNOME 3.6 caused the issues that meant Cinnarch becoming Antergos, and Manjaro dropping the Cinnamon spin, even when a GNOME 3.8 compatible Cinnamon entered the Arch repos.

You can read the full interview, covering the future of Linux Mint and Cinnamon, in an upcoming issue of Linux User & Developer Magazine.

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    • OOOooooohhhhwww, No GNome at all.

      I’ve poked tentacles into Mint since 12 & 13. And not been able to settle with it. But with a dedicated Cinnamon and what that may promise. Lighter and hopefully more stable. That might just be the turning point.

      Looking forward to this release.

    • Geoff

      If the Gnome interface is only behind the scenes in Mint, then I don’t thing anyone will miss it. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know it was there at all. The ease of use, speed and stability of Mint 15 Cinnamon means that it has become my interface of choice.

    • kaddy


      You are a CHAMP!

      Now…. how about moving away from the Ubuntu base… either forking it or making Lmde the default ;) wink wink


    • Peter

      Cinnamon is available for Fedora as well. It works great.

    • JIM

      I left Mint because Mint wouldn’t leave Ubuntu and their Debian rolling release barely rolls, with updates every six months. Now, I am on Manjaro with Cinnamon loaded. 1.8 Cinnamon, which is newer that Clem’s own LMDE version. And it actually rolls with 3.9 kernel and everything else always staying spanking brand new while still being stable. Arch is Sweet!

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    • ?

      When Cinnamon became compatible with Arch,Manjaro reversed it’s decision, I believe.

      But still, music to my ears.

    • bretzeltux

      I run pure archlinux on my hardware – iCore 5 2500k @3.3GHZ, 16GB of RAM and SATA2 hdd 1.4TB dual boot Windows 8 – ( to be up to date and for my fellows and games GRID2, whole C&C collections !!)

      Because I have the – hardware – I am a KDE user.
      Any GTK+,- Desktops are totaly excluded :-)

      I HATE gnome* but Clement Lefebvre’s Mint has done very cool and beautiful Desktop with Cinnamon even if I do not use it :-)

      And btw, Ubuntu has done so much things for linux and Debian, how come some mad people can bicth Ubuntu While They Are Using Ubuntu’s underthehood works ?? It is Immoral.

    • Randy

      UBUNTU has failed me. I switched to MINT 15 X64 Mate and it works on laptop which windows crashed and UBUNTU could not fix. I have it on one desktop and will put it on the other with Windows 7. What is the difference between Cinnamon and MATE?

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    • Ti-Paul

      “He went on to talk about how Ubuntu deciding to stay on GNOME 3.6 caused the issues that meant Cinnarch becoming Antergos, and Manjaro dropping the Cinnamon spin, even when a GNOME 3.8 compatible Cinnamon entered the Arch repos.”

      Not so true:
      Antergos has no relation to Ubuntu as it is based on Arch Linux like Manjaro.
      They both (Antergos & Manjaro) continue to offer Cinnamon…

      I’m mostly wondering what troubles this “fork” will cause to application that will follow Gnome 3 development ? Will they always run correctly on Cinnamon as the code base change ??

      Nevermind as I’m on Antergos default Gnome desktop and using Manjaro official XFCE as a backup… :D

    • Rob Zwetsloot

      @Ti-Paul: As Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu, their priority is developing Cinnamon to work on that, hence why it’s caused the issues of not being on GNOME3.8 initially.

    • Ti-Paul

      @Rob: Ok, did not interpret the statement correctly… :P

      @Randy : Mate is a fork of Gnome2 which has less requirements for video card (read 3D not required). Most interface that is base on Gnome 3 won’t run properly on old / cheap video (i have one old Dell computer at my job and i can’t show off to my collegues any distro that has Gnome3 as backend, that means Ubuntu Unity, Distro with Cinnamon or Gnome3, etc)… The drawback is that the most recents applications will be developped for Gnome3 and will finally stop Gnome2/Mate support in the long run…

    • david


      I’m no expert, but I think the difference is that Mate is based on Gnome 2 code and Cinnamon is based on Gnome 3. So Mate is like the old Gnome, before they went mad and mangled their desktop and Cinnamon is what Gnome 3 ‘fell back’ to if confronted with a system unable to provide the necessary graphics acceleration.
      Mate is sort of OK (imho) and Cinnamon is horrible, but these days I’m a KDE user so might be biased.

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    • Hunkah

      If Clem would just use Fedora as its base, I would use it. I just don’t want my anything named Yourbumtoo as my OS.

      Seriously though, don’t like Shuttleworth. He seems shifty. THAT’S why I don’t like Yourbumtoo.

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    • yaz


      cinnamon is not horrible. I had cinnamon running on a semi new but not not powerful asus laptop and it ran great. I was using linux mint 14 nadia. I shopped around different style desktops for a while and i settled on cinnamon over the others. Its been nice to watch the project mature over the last year or so. cinnamon 1.8.* has brought about many great changes to it you should check it out again before calling it horrible. As for kde desktops other than netrunner none really stood out to me.

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    • @david – To be specific, MATE, a separate product outside of Mint, is a direct fork of Gnome 2 and is continuously developed. Cinnamon and it’s engine “muffin” are direct forks of “gnome-shell” and it’s engine, “mutter”. Currently, Cinnamon and “muffin” are built against Gnome 3 (currently 3.6 for the latest Mint and 3.8 for certain other distros as previously mentioned by others). And, as the article states, Cinnamon will eventually move away from Gnome DE completely by developing their own back end DE technologies. This removes Mint/Cinnamon away from the problems of changes made upstream as far as Gnome is concerned.

      And “horrible” is a matter of perception, yes? I much prefer it over KDE but that does not make KDE horrible.

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    • Bidinou

      Ohhh… That sounds again like a huge heap of duplicate work.

      I wonder how this will turn out, as GNOME is so much more than the desktop/filemanager/windowmanager ; there is a lot of work done in underlying technologies. Clem will need to gather a much bigger team, I guess, which seems problematic.

      We’ll see. I HATE to see this duplication of work (DEs, distros etc) but I feel GNOME is moving in a really bad direction, as well as Ubuntu (even if, again, the underlying work benefits everyone).

      As a KDE user, pretty happy because it’s SO advanced and features-complete, but still a bit annoyed by the fact it lacks manpower to polish it properly, I don’t know what to think. Will we have yet another half-baked environment ? (promising, with many qualities, but lacking the amount of support really needed to make it perfect)…

      It’s silly when you consider that, if you could combine the qualities of all those environments you would get something amazing.

      Well, I’m lost but somehow, I think the Linux Mint team has very sane and pragmatic reasoning :-)

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    • actually manjaro has Cinnamon but on community release now!

    • Fabio

      Hola!! soy nuevo en esto de manejar linux, solo llevo un año y estoy con Linux Mint 13 kde (genial) espero la 15 pero con KDE!

    • @David – Just to clarify, you’re basically correct about MATE as it’s a fork of Gnome 2.34. It’s also being developed independently of Mint.

      Cinnamon however, is not based on old Gnome 3 “fallback” mode, not in the least. Cinnamon and it’s engine, “muffin” are direct forks of Gnome 3’s “gnome-shell” and it’s engine, “mutter”. And Like “gnome-shell”, Cinnamon requires 3D acceleration capable graphics in order to run properly.

      All this confusion about what Cinnamon actually is stems from the fact that most users still don’t understand that Gnome 3 does not provide any desktop user interface, it’s just the underlying technology. Gnome 3 basically has no desktop interface. “Gnome-shell” provides the desktop interface for Gnome 3 and if 3D hardware capability does not exist, “gnome-shell” as well as Cinnamon, uses the “gallium .04” software driver and “llvm” in order for either to run in a 2D environment although both “gnome-shell” and Cinnamon will run slowly and a bit glitchy in this case. Mostly, the 2D mode is only for troubleshooting purposes as almost all hardware for the last few years is 3D capable.

    • DCP the Lesser

      At least Ubuntu and Mint did not corrupt all your NTFS partitions like they did mine. Or, did they?

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    • Gael Garcia

      No, that is absolutely wrong.

      Applications aren’t developed for a
      desktop environment, like gnome 3. Aplications are developed using
      toolkits that are independent of the desktop environment.

      You ARE and WILL be able to run gtk3 applications on top of MATE.

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