Back to (an improved) Cinnamon Desktop

I had moved away from Cinnamon DE around Feb 2013. Cinnamon represents a very elegant alternative to other DEs – striking the right balance between simplicity and configurability. That said, there were still some irritants; most prominent being that Pidgin would disappear predictably from the system tray. This would leave me with no notification when a conversation was updated. After having been bitten once too many times, I gave up and installed KDE. I was never quite at peace though. Updates on the Linux Mint blog about Cinnamon 1.8 provided me the kick to move back to Cinnamon and see if things had improved.

They certainly have! After the default install, I did some tweaking to reduce my earlier complaints.

1. The first change was to enable boot animation. I simply changed the Plymouth theme to use the Linux Mint default. The FRAMEBUFFER bit is a fix for delayed boot animation. Use it if the animation appears late in the start-up sequence and disappears almost immediately.

sudo -s
update-alternatives --config default.plymouth
echo FRAMEBUFFER=y >> /etc/initramfs-tools/conf.d/splash
update-initramfs -u

2. Enable hibernation after checking that hibernation works with sudo pm-hibernate.

sudo nano /etc/polkit-1/localauthority/50-local.d/com.ubuntu.enable-hibernate.pkla

# add the following lines in the file
[Re-enable hibernate by default]

# save and update grub
sudo update-grub

3. Reduce grub time-out from 10 to 5 seconds

# in /etc/default/grub

# save and update grub
sudo update-grub

4. Fix the Pidgin system tray icon issue. There was a workaround suggested on Cinnamon’s issue tracker. First you have to locate the icon being used in the system tray. Then you swap out the 16px icon for the 22px version. The result looks something like below.

rohit@raijin ~ $ ls -l /usr/share/pixmaps/pidgin/tray/Mint-X/status
total 16
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root    2 Sep  6 15:06 16 -> 22
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 31 14:53 16old
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 31 14:53 22
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 31 14:53 32
drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 4096 Aug 31 14:53 48

What else?

  • The notifications applet used to hold notifications that aren’t dismissed is a good idea.
  • There is still an overlap in the menu entries in Administration and Preferences – quite perplexing why that hasn’t been fixed.
  • There are two System Settings – one for Cinnamon and another for GNOME. At least that is how I interpreted it.
    Two System Settings in Cinnamon 1.8 on Linux Mint 13

    Two System Settings in Cinnamon 1.8 on Linux Mint 13

    The one on the left is the GNOME one, I suspect. Notice the missing icons for the section headers. This is since Cinnamon 1.6.

The Cinnamon development team has promised bigger and better things for version 2. I have no doubt they will deliver. It remains to be seen whether it will back-ported to Linux Mint 13 or users are asked to wait for the next LTS version – Linux Mint 17.


One thought on “Back to (an improved) Cinnamon Desktop

  1. Pingback: Which DE is this? which Distro?

Comments are closed.