Cinnamon Desktop

Cinnamon is a fork of the GNOME Shell, created by developers of the Linux Mint project.
It recovers the visual aspects of the old GNOME 2 desktops, but is more up-to-day, includes it's own visual effects and contains some details of GNOME 3.

Install instructions

If you are using Linux Mint, you can install Cinnamon directly from their repositories, but if you want to use the latest build and/or you want to install it in another system, use the following PPA repository.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:merlwiz79/cinnamon-ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon

# Install the weather extension
sudo apt-get install cinnamon-extension-weather

# Install some additional themes
sudo apt-get install git-core
cd /tmp && git clone https://github.com/linuxmint/cinnamon-themes.git
cd cinnamon-themes
./test

Troubleshooting

Not every software is perfect, and sometimes it could happen that your desktop manager gets frozen, for example a window gets paint and stays in the same place even if it's already closed.
There're several options to recover full control again:
  1. Use the Troubleshoot menu from the applet Better Cinnamon Settings which offers an entry Restart Cinnamon.
  2. Use Alt-F2 key combination to open Cinnamons internal command terminal and type 'r' followed by return.
  3. If you can't access the above two options (rare cases) you might want to restart Cinnamon from a terminal.
    • At this point, you might not even be able to open a terminal from the desktop, so you'll have to enter a system one with Ctrl-Alt-F1.
    • Make sure you know the display used by Cinnamon (normally it's 0, but you can verify it with 'w' command and the data in the FROM column:
      me~ $ w
       17:43:09 up 20:41,  6 users,  load average: 0.24, 0.23, 0.18
      USER   TTY      FROM             LOGIN@   IDLE   JCPU  PCPU   WHAT
      me     pts/0    :0.0             15:37    2:04m  0.24s 23.88s gnome-terminal
    • Export this value into the DISPLAY variable.
      export DISPLAY=:0.0
    • Finally, restart Cinnamon:
      cinnamon --replace
    • When you switch back to the desktop with Ctrl-Alt-F7 you should see an operative desktop after a while.
  4. The last option, if everything else fails, might be that it's not Cinnamon, but the underlying X system which is wrong, and you can reset this with Ctrl-Alt-Backspace.
    But this way, you'll have to login again into your session, which means, all open programs got closed.