Cinnamon Goes 2D, Diminishes Mate’s Relevance


Announced via the Linux Mint Blog, Cinnamon 1.6 becomes official.  It comes with a full compliment of new features and improvements to existing ones, including;

  • Workspace Names
  • Cinnamon 2D
  • Configurable Alt-Tab
  • Keyboard Navigation
  • Expo Grid View
  • Configurable Panel Heights
  • Scale, Expo, Brightness Applets
  • Windows Quick-list
  • Notifications Applet

Also, Mint has officially unveiled Nemo, Linux Mint’s fork of Nautilus 3.4.

I certainly have not had many kind words to say about the Linux Mint distribution in the past, and not much of that has changed.  But what is on offer here is certainly compelling and also indicative of a nearly mature desktop environment that is lacking less and less in critical features.

The most peculiar — and most sane — new feature is the inclusion of Cinnamon 2D.  I say this because the aim of Cinnamon is to retain sane interfaces with a Gnome 2 like look and feel.  Adding support for systems that cannot — or for people who will not — run Compiz, this is a real boon, but what about Mate?

The inclusion of a 2D capable desktop that offers the same level of operation as its Compiz counterpart makes Mate almost completely unnecessary.

Users of Mate are already dealt a fairly serious dependency burden, having to have all of Mate, and GTK3 dependencies so that they can use modern software as well.  Cinnamon 2D eliminates this need and keeps the system’s package burden to a minimum.  This means that there is much less chance for broken packages.

Users that are completely bent on using a Gnome 2 like desktop that is lighter than Cinnamon might be better off using a DE that is both actively maintained and developed as opposed to simply maintained with the only notable addition being the shoe-horned Mint menu.  Some obvious choices are LXDE and XFCE.

Source | Linux Mint Blog


About Dean Howell

Aside from being a huge Sega fan, Dean is an LPIC certified Linux professional with over a decade experience. In addition to spending his free time burning through the classics from Sega and evangelizing open source, he's also the editor-in-cheif of The Powerbase.
  • Michael Freeman

    Maybe, except that Cinnamon 2D still doesn’t play nice with my ATI graphics card when using the proprietary drivers (which are absolutely mandatory for some of the software I run). Both 2D and 3D variants flicker like crazy (glad I’m not epileptic), run maddeningly slow, and heat up my laptop to dangerous levels. So Mate is the only way to get the nice “Gnome 2” desktop experience for my particular system at this point (don’t mention XFCE – to limited for me). Plus, Compiz still beats the booger out of Cinnamon’s compositing manager, extra features, and desktop animations at the moment.