Advantage and disadvantages of Cinnamon desktop environment

Cinnamon DE

Cinnamon is a desktop environment which combines a traditional desktop layout with modern graphical effects. It's distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License. The underlying technology was forked from the GNOME desktop. As of version 2.0, Cinnamon is a complete desktop environment and not merely a frontend for GNOME like GNOME Shell and Unity.

Cinnamon is the 3D accelerated version, which should normally be used. It provides users with an "easy to use and comfortable desktop experience" while also staying current with the latest technology and capabilities.

This DE was developed by Clement Lefebvre, who also created and continues to develop the Linux Mint distribution of Linux. Linux Mint has also partnered on the development of a somewhat similarly focused GNOME-based desktop environment known as MATE.

It's the principal desktop environment of Linux Mint distribution and is available as an optional desktop for other Linux distributions and other Unix-like operating systems as well. It's one of the main reasons why Linux Mint is very popular among Linux users.



Cinnamon can be modified by themes, applets, and extensions. Themes can customize the look of aspects of Cinnamon, including but not limited to the menu, panel, calendar, and run dialog. Applets are icons or texts that appear on the panel. Five applets are shipped by default, and developers are free to create their own. A tutorial for creating simple applets is available. Extensions can modify the functionalities of Cinnamon. Developers can upload their themes, applets, and extension to Cinnamon's web page and let users download and rate.


The Cinnamon desktop has a very nice pop-up menu that you can access with a right-click. This menu has selections for some frequently used tasks such as accessing the Desktop Settings and adding Desklets, as well as other desktop-related tasks.


The choice of a desktop has not been contingent upon the availability of applications written for it in a long time. All of the applications, regardless of the desktop for which they were written, will run just fine on any other desktop, and Cinnamon is no exception. All of the libraries required to run applications written for KDE, GNOME - or any other desktop - are available and make using any application with the Cinnamon desktop a seamless experience.


Cinnamon is fast and snappy. Programs load and display fast. The desktop itself loads quickly during login, though this is just my subjective experience and is not based on any timed testing.


Cinnamon has a crisp, clean look that uses easy to read fonts and color combinations. The desktop is not hampered by unnecessary clutter, and you can configure which icons are shown on the desktop using the System Settings => Desktop menu. This menu also allows you to specify whether the desktop icons are shown only on the primary monitor, only on secondary monitors, or on all monitors.


Cinnamon is available in the Linux Mint 12 repositories and is included in all Linux Mint versions 13 and higher as one of the four possible choices of a desktop environment, one other being MATE. It's also an optional user interface in Linux Mint Debian Edition Update Pack 4 respin.

Settings editor

Settings editor for easy customization. It can customize the panel, the calendar, themes, desktop effects, applets, and extensions.

Overview mode

New overview modes have been added to Cinnamon. These two modes are "Expo" and "Scale", which can be configured in Cinnamon Settings.

Sound enhancements

Sound settings have been completely rewritten in python to provide additions features like notifying the users when no input device is present in a custom page, visual changes to the sound settings panel, ability to mute all volume controls at once, added fixes to the volume slider/mute buttons, test sound dialog boxes and also added relevant icons.

Touchpad settings

With the improvements made in the touchpad settings, Cinnamon users can gain full control access to their touchpad available in their laptop which was not previously available. The middle click action is also fixed in the photo frame.


  • New users have no idea of how to Install the software. Or install the files they need to include for the programs they want and desire to use.

  • Some configuration changes have to be done as the Root User and access to the Root account is done indirectly through the use of Sudo command.

  • Not knowing which Distribution to use, even though the underlying operating system is not that

  • different from each other.

  • People never use the help files it has, nor do they use the user documents it contains which could answer questions they have.

  • Commercial Software Vendors do not generally write their software for Linux use.

  • Sometimes it could be buggy.


Cinnamon has all the features that DEs like Gnome and Unity don’t have. Cinnamon is highly customizable DE and does not require any external plugin, widget and tweak tool to customize the desktop. With all the amazing and required features, Cinnamon can be very handy for any new user to Linux.

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