Ubuntu – How to install the Cinnamon Desktop

cinnamonsoftware installation

I have read that there is a new Gnome-2 like interface called Cinnamon produced by the Linux Mint developers.

Is this available for Ubuntu users – and if so how do I install it?

Best Answer

  • Cinnamon is a Gnome-Shell desktop fork. It is not strictly a Gnome-2 interface, although the developers aims are laudable - to produce a simpler more traditional desktop interface.

    Development seems to be rapid. It is usable and certainly fun to play with with a growing number of extensions to install to extend the base installation.

    How to install

    for 13.04 & 13.10, 14.10 & later

    Cinnamon is now available in the Universe repository

    cinnamon Install cinnamon

    Alternatively - from the command-line:

    sudo apt-get install cinnamon-desktop-environment

    Since it is in this repository, it is community maintained and thus it is up to the community to update the packages as and when new releases and bug-fixes are released.

    For Ubuntu 14.04, there is currently no cinnamon packages in the Universe repository.

    Via PPA for 11.10 and later

    EDIT: 22/05/2014 - the PPA ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable has been removed or hidden from public view. I contacted the maintainer and the following is their reply:

    The stable PPA is indeed no longer being maintained.

    The nightly PPA is being kept for development purposes and should not be used on any sort of production machine (it can and will break at any time).

    To be honest, I don't have an alternative to offer Ubuntu users at the moment, apart from switching to a distribution that does support Cinnamon. There are many such distributions out there, and I'm only hoping for someone to (finally) step up on Ubuntu's side to provide proper packages to its users.

    EDIT: 25/04/14 - Two alternative PPA's have now been created - both claiming to enable the stable version of Cinnamon for Ubuntu users. I cannot vouch for the veracity of these PPAs

    Option 1: 12.04 & 14.04 users only:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tsvetko.tsvetkov/cinnamon
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install cinnamon

    Option 2: 14.04 users only:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lestcape/cinnamon
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install cinnamon

    As an alternative you may wish to consider the unstable nightly automatic builds - please note Gwendal's warning above:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-nightly
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install cinnamon

    Option 3: In addition, you can also install cinnamon 2.2 in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and derivatives by adding Linux Mint 17 Qiana repository in your system.

    Open file /etc/apt/sources.list with nano command:

    sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

    Add the following line at the end of file /etc/apt/sources.list

    deb http://packages.linuxmint.com/ qiana main upstream import

    Update the repository then install the authentication key

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring

    Update the repository again and install Cinnamon 2.2:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install cinnamon

    After installation

    Logout and select the Cinnamon session:

    enter image description here

    Enter you password and you'll see the Cinnamon desktop

    enter image description here

    ... showing the traditional start type menu and applet design from Gnome-2

    enter image description here


    The Cinnamon desktop uses the same philosophy as Gnome-Shell - functionality can be added to by installing Extensions & Applets.

    Cinnamon uses its own Settings tool.

    Cinnamon Settings

    enter image description here

    Cinnamon Applets

    Similar to gnome-shell extensions - you can install applets from a dedicated Mint website.

    enter image description here