Ubuntu with a taste of cinnamon

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New developments in the field of user interface design and, as it is fashionable to say today, usability is always of particular interest. However, not all experiments in this area are "equally useful". Since we are talking about Ubuntu, we can recall the Esfera project – an interesting and in theory even a useful new element of the interface. True, beyond the theoretical studies and prototypes it did not go. But nothing, in Ubuntu 12.04, we seem to be offered the next creation – the system HUD (Head-Up Display). This is a really vague thing that is born of someone's alternative consciousness.

Have you seen the video demonstration? Have you penetrated? Dissatisfied with the new chip can safely be accused of retrograde, but the HUD in its current form looks very, very strange. If this continues, then in a year or two, among the Ubuntu users only the ardent fans will remain. However, we have a little distracted and thickened the colors. It was about the shell of Unity, which is far from everyone liked. Therefore, many began to look for alternative shells, it is good to choose from what. But I would like something still not very heavy, pleasant and with a variety of "buns."

And such a shell is – it's a Cinnamon project, developed by the LinuxMint team, which initially contains this shell. In fact, this is the fork (branch) from the GNOME Shell project. The project is quite young. Its development began only last year, and at the time of writing, version 1.3 was released. The main task of Cinnamon is to create a desktop environment close to the traditional (main menu and so on), but at the same time it is quite modern in terms of technology. More convenient than the existing shells, and no less advanced in terms of a variety of interface trivia, which make the work on the computer enjoyable.

As an example, we will install Cinnamon 1.3 and get a little closer to it in Ubuntu 11.10 environment, although developers have already prepared assemblies for other popular distributions. By the way, do not forget that the project is still in the experimental stage, so sometimes it is not very stable, and sometimes it does not work at all. It also requires hardware support for 3D acceleration and appropriate drivers for your video card. If you are willing to take the risk, then follow the few simple steps described below. It starts with the start of the terminal (Terminal) and the addition of the PPA-repository of the project. Then you need to update the list of packages.

 sudo add-apt-repository ppa: merlwiz79 / cinnamon-ppa
Sudo apt-get update 

Cinnamon can now be installed.

 sudo apt-get install cinnamon cinnamon-session cinnamon-settings 

To use the new shell, you will have to log out, and on the welcome screen, click on the gear icon and select Cinnamon from the list.

Actually, everything – a new working environment is established and it can be safely used. First of all, it's worth to dig into its settings in the Cinnamon Settings utility. Here you can customize the appearance of the shell, change or disable visual effects, select the layout of panels and so on.

You can get to Cinnamon within a maximum of five minutes. By clicking on the stylized infinity icon in the top left corner, a convenient "switch" of the windows opens, and on the Alt + F2 window a quick launch of commands is displayed. That's all the "secrets."

In fact, something for more convenient work will have to be done. First, get rid of the "global" menu a la Mac OS X. Secondly, put the graphical utility to manage the packages Synaptic, if you, of course, do not use it yet. The last time we go to the console and execute a couple of commands.

 sudo apt-get remove appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-gtk appmenu-qt
Sudo apt-get install synaptic

Now you can somewhat diversify life with Cinnamon. Open Synaptic (the easiest way is to type the beginning of the program name in the menu itself – syn ) and in the filter enter cinnamon . Among uninstalled packages, there are extensions that add a little functionality to the production environment. After installation, they are included in the Cinnamon settings in the Extensions section. In order for them to work after power-up, it is necessary to restart the shell – to exit and re-enter the system.

Extensions are not very numerous yet. Of the interesting you can note the side dock for quick access to your favorite folders or applications, resource monitor and weather applet (the WOEID code of your locality can be found here). Separately, the settings have access to applets, which are placed on the main panel. They, too, at the moment are very few, but you need to make a discount on the infant age of Cinnamon. In the future, for sure, there will be much more additions to this shell.

New themes can be downloaded on the project website. To install a new theme in the file manager, go to the home folder and select "View" → "Show hidden files" in the menu or just press Ctrl + H. Then you need to create a new directory . themes (note the dot at the beginning of the name) and put the folder with the theme unpacked from the downloaded archive. After that, it will appear in the appearance settings.

Similarly, you should deal with applets and extensions. Only their folders should be placed in the subdirectories of the home directory . local / share / cinnamon / applets / and local / share / cinnamon / extensions / respectively.

Here, perhaps, and everything, that at present it is possible to tell about Cinnamon. Among other, long-known lightweight shells, you can advise to look closely at Xfce or, for example, LXDE. However, this is already a matter of taste. Someone prefers KDE, and the other soul does not like it in IceWM. In principle, for a sample, you can put packages of these environments in your system. Or, finally, "reshape" your OS into one of Ubuntu's daughter projects, installing the appropriate metapackages. For example, lubuntu-desktop, xubuntu-desktop or kubuntu-desktop. However, this is a topic for a separate review, so we will not go into it and wish good experiments with the "cinnamon seasoning" to Ubuntu!

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