I’ve spent my fair share of time distro-hopping. After spending hours examining other Linux distributions and desktop environments, I always return to the Cinnamon Edition of Linux Mint. Although Linux Mint has two other editions with their own desktop environments, Xfce and MATE, Cinnamon is the one I prefer.
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 Mint users seem intent on mimicking either one version or another of Windows, or one version or another of macOS.
Applets, Desklets and Extensions
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 replaced 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” in the center zone 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.
When everything is minimized, you can right-click on the desktop and “Add Desklets” from the context menu that appears. You can also pin applications to the desktop. I never do because 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 and extensions 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.
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, of course, because I have no intention of keeping anything other than what I’m using on bare metal.