RT Cunningham

Blogging For As Long As I'm Able

Enabling Hibernation on Linux Mint Cinnamon

Tagged with cinnamon, hibernation, linux, sessions, workspaces on March 31, 2024

Cinnamon desktop environment I only like to make changes to Linux Mint Cinnamon when those changes will make things easier for me. When I have to reinstall, for any reason, fewer changes are better. Would multiple workspaces (virtual desktops) make my daily routine easier to maintain? Would a session restore feature make things quicker when booting up? What about hibernation?


Attempting to understand workspaces, I set up three of them, opened applications on those workspaces, and switched between them. I even used the “CobiWindowList” applet to pin favorite applications to the panel of each workspace.

What I quickly discovered is that I don’t use enough applications at the same time to justify using more than one workspace. I’ve read what others use workspaces for, and one is an alt-tab replacement. Since the icons for all the applications I have open are displayed on the panel, it’s quicker for me to simply mouse-click on the application I want to switch to.

I understand the importance of workspaces to some people. Anything that helps streamline a workflow is a good thing. I don’t need them now, but I appreciate the fact that I can use them should my situation change.

Session Restore

When a desktop environment supports session restore, it will open applications that were open in the last session and place them on the same workspaces from the last session. I only know of two desktop environments that support session restore: KDE Plasma and Xfce.

With the X Window System, the only tools that can be used to open and place applications are “xdotool” and “wmctrl”. “Devilspie2” can only place applications after they’ve already been opened. I have tested all three, and I can’t get any of them to do exactly what I want them to do. I know there are some tools for the Wayland compositor, but Wayland isn’t even close to being supported as much as X Windows.


Most of the Linux distributions I’ve tested do not support hibernation. That’s because it doesn’t work correctly on all computer systems. With the proper instructions, that power option can be added to most of them, but there’s no guarantee it’s going to work as intended. Suspend is an option almost like hibernation, but it requires enough power to keep the RAM contents intact.

With true hibernation, your computer shuts down completely. It doesn’t matter how long you wait to boot it up again. The last session will return exactly as you left it.

Linux Mint Changes

Without session restore, and without hibernation, you have to set up your environment every time you boot up. That includes moving applications to the appropriate workspaces and placing the windows the way you like them. Linux Mint Cinnamon doesn’t support session restore and it doesn’t support hibernation.

I use most of the same applications every time I boot up, but not every time. Even though I don’t use as many applications as people who have to do it for a living, it’s still annoying to go through the process, especially when I have to do it more than once a day. After a lot of thought, I decided that hibernation was the solution I wanted to pursue. With a backup of my entire system drive available should I need it, I began the necessary procedures.

Since hibernation uses either a swap partition or a swap file, I had to uninstall Zram, which I had been using as my swap mechanism. After switching to the “zram-swap” directory, I had to run “sudo ./install --uninstall” (two dashes).

I had to create a swap file large enough to hold the RAM contents. This guide helped me do that and set up hibernation without screwing anything up. I then enabled zswap using the instructions on this page. There’s only one oddity, a convoluted rendering of my screen during the saving process and while resuming. It’s temporary and doesn’t seem to affect anything.

Feature Fatigue

Many Linux users choose specific distributions based on the features they provide. The same goes for the desktop environments. Many of those desktop environments look better than Cinnamon. KDE Plasma looks awesome, but it has way too many configuration options. Xfce, which doesn’t look better, requires more steps to accomplish similar results.

I’d rather have the ability to add the features I need, like what I’ve done with hibernation, than to trip over features I don’t need. Simpler is better.

Image by Cinnamon developer, LGPL, via Wikimedia Commons

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