Cinnamon (desktop environment)

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Screenshot of Cinnamon 4.2.3
Cinnamon 4.2.3
Basic data

Maintainer Linux Mint developer
developer Linux Mint developer
Publishing year 2011
Current  version 4.6.6
( June 24, 2020 )
operating system GNU / Linux
programming language C , JavaScript , Python
category Desktop environment
License GPL v2
German speaking Yes

Cinnamon ( English for "cinnamon") is a free desktop environment for Linux . The project started as a fork of the Gnome Shell , i.e. as a graphical shell , in order to create a user interface under Linux Mint that combines the modern concepts of Gnome 3 with the traditional operation of Gnome 2 . Cinnamon is now also available for other Linux distributions .


With the release of the Gnome 3 desktop environment, a new design and operating concept was introduced that did not match the ideas of the Linux Mint developers. Therefore the Gnome-2-Fork MATE was developed under the umbrella of Linux Mint. In order to give the users the possibility to use the distribution with modern Gnome 3 features, this interface was also available, but was externally adapted by the Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE) . The adaptability of the Gnome Shell through extensions is limited, so the developers finally decided to develop their own Gnome 3 fork according to their ideas, which they called Cinnamon, after the English word for cinnamon . The most noticeable change is the reintroduction of the taskbar , the lack of which in Gnome 3 has been criticized many times.

As of version 1.2, Cinnamon uses the window manager Muffin, a spin-off from Mutter . The file manager Nautilus known from Gnome has also been forked and is used from Cinnamon 1.6 under the name Nemo . Also new from this version is the Cinnamon 2D display mode, with which the desktop environment also works on systems without 3D acceleration .

From version 1.8 the Cinnamon Control Center is used, which combines the settings manager of the Gnome Control Center, which had been "duplicated" up to this point in time, with the Cinnamon settings that were previously separated into one tool. With this version, the management of the screensaver is also outsourced to a separate fork of the Gnome screensaver.

Version 2.0, released in November 2013, is generally considered to be the big step towards an independent desktop environment. Although it is still based on Gnome technology, it no longer requires the installation of the basic Gnome system. From this point on, Cinnamon is more than just a front end, such as the now discontinued Unity from Ubuntu.

Version 4.0 from December 2018 brought, among other things, the so-called “modern view” in addition to the “classic view”, which is more based on the familiar Windows 7 or 10 taskbar. One relies on symbols instead of texts and a grouping of several simultaneously open windows of the same program. The view is selected via the Linux Mint 19.1 welcome screen. Users of Cinnamon from other distributions such as Arch or Manjaro have to install the Desklet called Icing Task Manager themselves in order to get the "modern view". The complete migration to Python 3 also accelerated Cinnamon's own Nautilus fork Nemo considerably.

Previous versions


Cinnamon has many features:

  • Desktop effects, including animations and transition effects
  • Panels with main menu, program launcher, window list and task bar that can be attached to the left, right, top or bottom
  • Applets in the system tray
  • Overview with functions similar to the GNOME Shell, and a
  • Configuration editor for easy adjustment of panels, calendars, themes, desktop effects, applets and extensions


Cinnamon offers many settings to customize the look of the interface. It also inherits the ability to set up extensions and themes from Gnome 3 , but loses compatibility with existing GNOME Shell extensions .

In addition, Cinnamon introduces the concept of applets, which is similar to Gnome 2. Each component of the taskbar is an applet that can be added or removed by the user. In contrast to conventional extensions, they benefit from an API to easily extend the taskbar with further functionality and to remain compatible with future versions of Cinnamon. The latter is not guaranteed with normal extensions. The development team recommends using extensions only for more complex tasks that applets cannot perform. Some themes, applets and extensions can be downloaded from the project website.


Cinnamon is available for Linux Mint from version 13 , among others . In addition to the source code , installable packages for some Linux distributions such as Ubuntu or openSUSE are available on the project homepage . In addition, Cinnamon is now included in the official package sources for Ubuntu (from April 13th), Fedora , Gentoo Linux , Arch Linux , Manjaro and Debian . Antergos (formerly Cinnarch), an Arch Linux derivative, has been using Cinnamon since 2012 .

Web links

Commons : Cinnamon  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Release 4.6.6 . June 24, 2020 (accessed June 26, 2020).
  2. The 589,388 Open Source Project on Open Hub: Languages Page . In: Open Hub . (accessed on July 14, 2018).
  3. Clement Lefebvre: Introducing Cinnamon. In: The LinuxMint Blog. January 2, 2012, accessed March 14, 2015 .
  4. Clement Lefebvre: Cinnamon 1.2 Released. January 23, 2012, accessed March 14, 2015 .
  5. Clement Lefebvre: Introducing Nemo. (No longer available online.) September 4, 2012, archived from the original on September 5, 2012 ; accessed on March 14, 2015 (English).
  6. Clement Lefebvre: Cinnamon 1.6 Released. September 18, 2012, accessed March 14, 2015 .
  7. Wolfgang says: Linux Mint 19.1 Tessa (Beta) with Cinnamon 4.0 - the innovations. Accessed December 31, 2018 (German).
  8. Cinnamon 1.4 Released . The GNOME Project. March 3, 1999. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  9. cinnamon in Fedora repositories . In: .
  10. cinnamon in Debian repositories . In: .
  11. Clement Lefebvre: How to make a Cinnamon applet (Force Quit applet tutorial). January 31, 2012, accessed March 14, 2015 .
  12. Ubuntu - Debian Package Search Results - cinnamon. In: Ubuntu Package Search. Retrieved March 14, 2015 .
  13. Cinnamon 2.4.6-1. In: Archlinux PackageRepository. Retrieved March 14, 2015 .
  14. Download. Retrieved March 14, 2015 .
  15. ^ Debian - Package Search Results - cinnamon. In: Debian Package List. Retrieved March 14, 2015 .