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Cinnamon is a Linux desktop which provides advanced innovative features and a traditional user experience. The desktop layout is similar to GNOME 2; however, the underlying technology was forked from GNOME Shell. The emphasis is put on making users feel at home and providing them with an easy to use and comfortable desktop experience.


Cinnamon can be installed with the package cinnamon, available in the official repositories.

To get a complete desktop interface, install at least the following additional packages:

Starting Cinnamon

Graphical log-in

Simply choose Cinnamon or Cinnamon (Software Rendering) session from your favourite display manager. Cinnamon is the 3D accelerated version, which should be normally used. If you experience problems with your video driver (e.g. artifacts or crashing), try the Cinnamon (Software Rendering) session, which disables 3D acceleration.

Starting Cinnamon manually

If you prefer to start Cinnamon manually from the console, add the following line to your ~/.xinitrc file:

 exec cinnamon-session-cinnamon

If the Cinnamon (Software Rendering) session is required, use cinnamon-session-cinnamon2d instead of cinnamon-session-cinnamon.

After the exec command is placed, Cinnamon can be launched by typing startx. See xinitrc for details.

Note: Versions before Cinnamon 1.9 used the gnome session manager. Put gnome-session-cinnamon instead of cinnamon-session-cinnamon.


Cinnamon is quite easy to configure - a lot of the configuration that most people will want can be done graphically. Its usability can be customized with applets and extensions, and also it supports theming.

Cinnamon Settings

Simply run the following command:


Each settings panel can be accessed directly with the following commands:

cinnamon-settings panel
cinnamon-settings calendar
cinnamon-settings themes
cinnamon-settings applets
cinnamon-settings windows
cinnamon-settings fonts
cinnamon-settings hotcorner
so on.

Installing applets/extensions

Note: Previously, cinnamon-extensions-gitAUR and cinnamon-themes-gitAUR were used to install some themes and extensions, but they are now deprecated (see here). Instead, visit

The difference between an applet and an extension is that an applet is basically an addition to a panel, whereas an extension can completely change the Cinnamon experience and can do much more than an applet.

There are quite a few packages in the AUR (AUR package search for cinnamon). The process described here is a generic installation process.

Installing applets in Cinnamon is relatively easy. First visit Cinnamon Applets to see all of the current applets. Download the zip file for the desired applet, and extract to ~/.local/share/cinnamon/applets/ or /usr/share/cinnamon/applets. Then run

cinnamon-settings applets

to bring up the graphical applets manager. If the applet does not show up, press Alt+F2 and type r and press Enter. This will restart gnome-shell and likely, the new applet.

The process is analogous for extensions, with the only difference being that directories titled "applets" can be changed to "extensions".

Tips and tricks

Creating custom applets/themes

The official tutorial on creating an applet can be found here, and on creating a custom theme can be found here.

Default desktop background wallpaper path

When you add a wallpaper from a custom path in Cinnamon Settings, Cinnamon copies it to ~/.cinnamon/background. Thus, with every change of your wallpaper you would have to add your updated wallpaper again from the settings menu or copy / symlink it manually to ~/.cinnamon/background.


QGtkStyle unable to detect the current theme

Installing libgnome-data solves the problem partially, and QGtkStyle will detect the current GTK+ theme. However, to set the same icon and cursor theme, users must specify them explicitly.

The icon theme for Qt apps can be configured by the following command:

$ gconftool-2 --set --type string /desktop/gnome/interface/icon_theme Faenza-Dark

This sets the icon theme to Faenza-Dark located in /usr/share/icons/Faenza-Dark.

The cursor theme for Qt apps can be selected by creating a symbolic link:

$ mkdir ~/.icons
$ ln -s /usr/share/icons/Adwaita ~/.icons/default

This sets the cursor theme to Adwaita located in /usr/share/icons/Adwaita.

Pressing power buttons suspend the system

This is the default behaviour. To show the shutdown menu for example, change the setting for the respective button:

$ gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.power button-power 'interactive'

Icons do not show on the desktop

The desktop icons rendering feature is enabled in nemo, and disabled in nautilus by default. To enable this feature, change the setting for nemo:

$ gsettings set org.nemo.desktop show-desktop-icons true

Or for nautilus:

$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true

The feature can be disabled by calling the commands above, but replace 'true' with 'false'.

Volume level is not saved

The volume level is not be saved after reboot. The volume will be at 0 but not muted. Installing alsa-utils will solve the problem.

Applets not working

If audio or network applets don't work the user may be required to be added to the relevant groups (audio, network):

$ gpasswd -a [user] [group]