Brief: Ubuntu Cinnamon is a new distribution that utilizes Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop environment on top of Ubuntu code base. It’s first stable release is based on Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine.
Cinnamon is Linux Mint’s flagship desktop environment. Like MATE desktop, Cinnamon is also a product of dissatisfaction with GNOME 3. With the GNOME Classic like user interface and relatively lower hardware requirements, Cinnamon soon gathered a dedicated userbase.
Like any other desktop environment out there, you can install Cinnamon on Ubuntu and other distributions.
Installing multiple desktop environments (DE) is not a difficult task but it often leads to conflicts (with other DE’s elements) and may not always provide the best experience. This is why major Linux distributions separate spins/flavors with various popular desktop environments.
Ubuntu also has various official flavors featuring KDE (Kubuntu), LXQt (Lubuntu), Xfce (Xubuntu), Budgie (Ubuntu Budgie) etc. Cinnamon was not in this list but Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix project is trying to change that.
Ubuntu Cinnamon distribution
Ubuntu Cinnamon (website under construction) is a new Linux distribution that brings Cinnamon desktop to Ubuntu distribution. Joshua Peisach is the lead developer for the project and he is being helped by other volunteer contributors. The ex-developer of the now discontinued Ubuntu GNOME project and some members from Ubuntu team are also advising the team to help with the development.
Do note that Ubuntu Cinnamon is not an official flavor of Ubuntu. They are trying to get the flavorship but I think that will take a few more releases.
The first stable release of Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is based on Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine. It uses Calamares installer from Lubuntu and features Cinnamon desktop version 4.0.10. Naturally, it uses Nemo file manager and LightDM.
It supports EFI and UEFI and only comes with 64-bit support.
You’ll get your regular goodies like LibreOffice, Firefox and some GNOME software and games. You can of course install more applications as per your need.
How is Ubuntu Cinnamon different than Linux Mint?
This is a legitimate question asked by many readers. After all Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and its uniqueness is the Cinnamon desktop.
But if you have read the Ubuntu vs Linux Mint article, you know that Linux Mint and Ubuntu are different from each other in several aspects.
Linux Mint has forked many applications to create their own X apps. They have their own software manager and their software update process is different than Ubuntu.
With Ubuntu Cinnamon, you get most of the GNOME applications, GNOME Software Center and the same software update mechanism used by Ubuntu.
In addition to that, Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu long term support releases. Whereas Ubuntu Cinnamon will follow the regular Ubuntu releases. This means you get newer code base, newer kernels.
In other words, if you like Cinnamon desktop environment but don’t like the ‘Mint stuff’, Ubuntu Cinnamon could be the best Linux distribution for you.
Download and install Ubuntu Cinnamon
I downloaded it and tried it in a live session. Here’s what this distribution looks like:
Do note that this is the first ever release of Ubuntu Cinnamon and the developers are not that experienced at this moment.
If you don’t like troubleshooting, don’t use it on your main system. I expect this release to have a few bugs and issues which will be fixed eventually as more users test it out.
You can download Ubuntu Cinnamon ISO from Sourceforge website:
What next from here?
As several readers asked for the default wallpaper of Ubuntu Cinnamon, I am adding it on the website here. You can download it from the link below and use it on your current desktop.
The dev team has a few improvements planned for the Ubuntu 20.04 release. The changes are mostly on the cosmetics though. There will be new GRUB and Plymouth theme, layout application and welcome screen.
Meanwhile, if you manage to try it on your own, why not share your experience in the comments? If you use Linux Mint, will you switch to Ubuntu Cinnamon in near future? What are your overall opinion about this new project? Do share it in the comment section.