RT Cunningham

Blogging For As Long As I'm Able

The Cinnamon Desktop Environment

Tagged with cinnamon, computers, linux on January 19, 2024

Cinnamon desktop environment The Cinnamon desktop environment is one of many desktop environments included with various Linux distributions. After spending hours examining Linux distributions and other desktop environments, I always return to the Cinnamon desktop environment. On my laptop computer, I use the Cinnamon Edition of Linux Mint (which is their flagship edition). On my Raspberry Pi 400, I use the Cinnamon desktop environment with Raspberry Pi OS.

Unlike some of the people I’ve seen posting screenshots on various forums, I don’t like having a lot of eye candy distracting me. Other Linux users seem intent on mimicking either one version or another of Windows, or one version or another of macOS.

Applets, Desklets, Extensions and Actions

Application docks are completely unnecessary. There are three zones on each panel, and every side can have a panel. Applets can be placed in any zone. The default locations for the standard applets are at the bottom left and at the bottom right.

I replace the standard menu with “Cinnamenu”. It has a “favorite apps” category. When I click on one of those favorite applications, it opens and the icon ends up in the “grouped window list” on the bottom panel, my only panel. I never pin applications to the grouped window list. If an icon is there, the application is open. If it isn’t, it’s closed. Simple.

You can add desklets to the desktop, and you can pin applications to it. I have no need for desklets (yet) and I never pin applications anywhere. All the applications I care about live in the Cinnamenu favorite applications category.

Although I’ve tested some of the extensions, I don’t use any. Most seem to be aimed at managing workspaces, and I don’t use workspaces. The applets, desklets, extensions, and actions items can be found in the menu preferences area as well as on the system settings application, also in the menu preferences. System settings can also be found when right-clicking on a panel.


The included themes live in the /usr/share/themes directory. When I want to modify a theme, I copy (for example) the subdirectory containing “Mint-Y-Dark-Aqua” to /home/user/.themes and edit it there.

When I want to make all of my panels transparent, I edit this line in /home/user/.themes/Mint-Y-Dark-Aqua/cinnamon/cinnamon.css, under “.panel-top, .panel-bottom, .panel-left, .panel-right”:

background-color: rgba(47, 47, 47, 0.99);

Although I only have to change the last parameter to 0, I usually just comment out that line and put a new line below it:

/*background-color: rgba(47, 47, 47, 0.99);*/
background-color: rbba(47, 47, 47, 0);

That’s how I usually edit anything in CSS, so I can always change it back without having to memorize anything.

Is Cinnamon the Perfect Desktop Environment?

No, and I don’t think any Linux desktop environment is perfect. Cinnamon is as close to perfect, for me, that any desktop environment can be.

I will continue to test other desktop environments until I find something I like better, if I ever find something I like better. I’ll be using VirtualBox for testing, of course, because I have no intention of keeping anything other than what I’m currently using outside of it.

Image by Cinnamon developer, LGPL, via Wikimedia Commons

← Previous ArticleNext Article →