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Install the latest and greatest Cinnamon desktop on Ubuntu 12.04

Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, code-named Precise Pangolin, is the latest release of the popular Linux distribution. It was made available for the public just a few hours ago. While the distribution itself is very popular, the Unity desktop, the graphical interface that we all see, is not necessarily as popular.

And that is because it is not very user-friendly. It has a tendency to get in your way more than it is supposed to. Actually a good desktop environment, like any piece of well-coded software, is supposed to stay out of your way completely. Because we are dealing with free software where things are not bolted to the deck, there are other options for those not satisfied with the Unity desktop.

One of the better alternatives to Unity that has been made available is the Cinnamon desktop, a project of Linux Mint, a desktop distribution based on Ubuntu Desktop itself. This article show the simple steps needed to install and use Cinnamon on Ubuntu 12.04. Installation is via a PPA (Personal Package Archive) by Gwendal Le Bihan. To begin the process of installing Cinnamon, simply add the PPA to your system’s software sources by typing the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
The step is shown in the image below. The system will complain about this being a package for Ubuntu 11.10, but it was updated about two weeks ago and has so far worked without a hitch on my 32-bit system.
Install Cinnamon PPA Ubuntu 12.04

After adding the PPA, update the package database by typing sudo apt-get update , then install Cinnamon by typing sudo apt-get install cinnamon . After installation has completed, logout. Your login screen’s session menu should now show the entries shown in the image below. Select Cinnamon and log in.
Ubuntu 12.04 Session Menu

Your desktop should now look just like this.
Ubuntu 12.04 Cinnamon Desktop

And this. Personally, I find Cinnamon to be a lot better than Unity and MATE.
Ubuntu 12.04 Cinnamon Office Apps

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50 Comments

  1. pst007x says:

    If I didn’t like Unity so much, Cinnamon would be my choice of desktop. Works really well and looks great…. thanks

  2. Romi says:

    Its Amazing !! great work !!

  3. jc says:

    thanks a ton sir… Great job!

  4. Prescilla says:

    I liked cinnamon but I don’t like it network manager applet, i just don’t like it. I had to click network settings just to check the connection information of the current connection. Also there isn’t a disconnect button.

  5. markn says:

    Cinnamon is great but the problem lies when i connect my LCD TV via hdmi with my nvidia driver installed. I get a rolling tear line on video’s and i find that rather annoying. No such problem with MATE so for me MATE is KING

  6. Patrick says:

    Is it possible to install Mint Cinnamon, but have the taskbar on the top? That way, I can run Windows 7 seamless on Ubuntu, with the Windows taskbar on the bottom.

  7. Sandy says:

    Thanks for this tut. It helped me to install it :)

  8. Herb says:

    Have limited experience with the terminal, but never had problems. Followed the three steps to install cinnamon desktop on U12.04. Then I exited terminal & restarted my computer-no cinnamon. Went back to the terminal & tried to bring up cinnamon dt. Got a message that I had no root authority. What went wrong? I’m the only person on the computer.

  9. Eugene says:

    I installed cinnamon but when i login it doesn’t look like the screen shot – just looks like a carbon copy of gnome 2. what am I doing wrong?

  10. LS says:

    I like Unity but a friend liked simple- so I gave him Cinnamon on 12.04. Great performance, Precise is so snappy-made his PC a porsche.

  11. Another Opinion says:

    Use what you want, it’s Linux. For me it is LXDE for speed and stability. No 3D desktop to mess with my limited hardware.

    What would really be nice is if a distro did not shove the DE down our throats. I would like a choice during installation of:

    Unity, Cinnamon, KDE, Gnome, LXDE, XFCE, or Enlightenment.

    This won’t happen, however, as long as the distro maintainers push their agendas.

  12. Bill Thornhill says:

    Why would anyone want to do this, surely the sensible solution is to download Mint?

    • oshirowanen says:

      Because of Ubuntu 12.04’s 5 year support. Install Ubuntu 12.04 + Cinnamon. Job done for 5 years!!! Love it.

    • Gerard says:

      I like mint as it’s polished and attractive but it takes a wile to come out and Ubuntu 12.04 is here now

  13. Gerhard Sopolinski says:

    For me Cinnamon is exactly, what i prefer. Not too fancy stuff and menus, where i can look for a program without remembering the exact name.

  14. I personally feel no need of Cinnamon. I loved Unity a lot. It improved my productivity a lot. Launching programs and opening files that are somewhere deep inside the folders is quite easy with UNITY. Also HUD is more than just awesome!

    For me, the *new* UNITY is the king of all desktop environments.

    Pure GNOME3 or Cinnamon or MATE, KDE, Windows etc look like an obsolete technology compared to UNITY in terms of usability (not beauty). However, having more choices is always good.

  15. Carling says:

    Please, Please, Ho Please tell me what’s so great about Cinnamon, Mate desktop environments or Ubuntu 12.4 for that matter,
    Have you never used a more exciting Linux distribution, like Commodore OS Vision, Ultimate 3.2, Zorin and ten other distributions that give users 3D animated desktops out of the box,
    I downloaded buntu 12.4, what a total wast of time and a cd, Who stated it was fast? it takes 3 to 4 minutes to boot up the live cd, with very little software for new user to play with, yes there is Libre Office and that’s about the strength of it period, There is one thing about it now I’ve tried it. I will never recommend it, that’s for sure.

    • finid says:

      I think you are new to our universe.

      “Latest and greatest” is just fancy phraseology for the latest available version of an application or software. “Greatest” does not mean that it is better than anything else in its category.

      On those “3D animated desktops,” not everybody take form over function.

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