Cinnamon is a free desktop environment developed by Linux Mint team. It is derived from GNOME shell and adopts various under the hood components from GNOME. However, when it comes to design and user experience, Cinnamon follows the idea of the traditional desktop. It provides a classical taskbar and application menu as observed in traditional desktops.
The Linux Mint team started working on Cinnamon Desktop when GNOME 2.x project was discontinued in favor of GNOME shell. The idea was to develop a modern desktop environment that retains traditional desktop experience.
Cinnamon Desktop was initially created for Linux Mint releases and still, it continues as the main desktop environment in Linux Mint. It is also available in other popular GNU/Linux distributions.
Following the architecture of GNOME 3.x/GNOME shell, Cinnamon Desktop includes following components.
- MDM, the Mint Display Manager forked from GDM
- Nemo file manager forked from Nautilus
- Muffin window manager
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- Linux Mint 19.1 will feature Cinnamon 4.0 with a modern layout