Cinnamon 1.6 Scale View

Alternate titles: Review of Cinnamon 1.6; Cinnamon 1.6 screen shot tour; Cinnamon screen shots; Cinnamon 1.6; Cinnamon 1.6 review; Cinnamon desktop.

Presently, Cinnamon is the most buzz-generating and headline-grabbing desktop environment in the Free Software community. Inspired by popular discontent with what the default GNOME 3 Shell brought to the table, it offers an alternative to those who do not like GNOME 3, the default GNOME 3 Shell, that is, but are not necessarily fans of the K Desktop Environment, the Ubuntu‘s Unity desktop or other existing desktop environments.

But generating buzz and grabbing headlines does not a production-ready graphical interface make. But at this stage in its development, Cinnamon is very, very usable, but the devil, as they say, is in the details. You wont know the shortcoming of this new desktop environments until you start using it for serious stuff. But even those shortcomings are not show-stoppers, at least the ones I came across while using the latest edition, Cinnamon 1.6, which was released September 18.

Though the title of this article has review in it, it is not a review in the same sense as the distro review normally published on this website. But it provides, I hope, enough information to let you see, if you have not used it, what tit it brings to the table.

Keep in mind that Cinnamon is a very young project, being less than a year since it was started by the developers of Linux Mint. As such, it cannot be compared to KDE, but a lot of work has been done and some good and cool features have been implemented.

After installing Cinnamon, you will have two new options in the Session menu of your desktop’s login screen. As shown in the screen shot below, these are Cinnamon and Cinnamon 2D. The former is supposed to give you the look and feel and functionality and eye candyness that the desktop has to offer, while the latter is for a fallback mode, intended for a more traditional desktop. The problem with Cinnamon 1.6 is that if you select Cinnamon 2D, you get the functionalities you would expect if you selected Cinnamon. The reverse is also true. So, this is a bug, but a very minor one. This screen shot was taken from a test installation of Cinnamon on Fedora 17. Cinnamon 1.6 is already available in Fedora’s repository. You may install it from the graphical package manager or from the command-line by typing the following as root: yum install cinnamon.
Cinnamon Login

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The desktop itself offers a familiar desktop environment, unlike the default interface of GNOME 3. There is a panel at the bottom edge and the usual set of icons on it.
Cinnamon Date Applet

And then there is the menu. It is right there on the panel. No need for a keystroke combination to start it or at least two mouse-clicks just to see the applications menu as in GNOME 3. The menu is probably the single feature of Cinnamon that is almost completely production-ready. And it is even much better in Cinnamon 1.6 than in Cinnamon 1.4 (that is as it should be, right?).
Cinnamon Menu

When it comes to a menu of this sort, the Cinnamon menu is about as good as it gets. I have no complaints about it.
Cinnamon Menu

All the tools needed to manage and tweak the desktop are accessible from the panel. Simply right-click and select the tool you need to use.
Cinnamon Menu

If you do not like the panel at its default location, you can always flip it to the top. Unlike in GNOME 3 where an extension provides a similar capability on a modified GNOME 3 Shell, changing panel location in Cinnamon requires a restart of Cinnamon. Note, just the desktop, not the computer.
Cinnamon Panel Top

The Looking Glass tool lets you take a peek at some of the internal workings and resource usage of the desktop.
Cinnamon Looking Glass

Cinnamon Settings is the hub for all graphical applications you need to tweak different aspects of the desktop. And they are all very intuitive to use.
Cinnamon Settings

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There are more than a dozen applets you can add to the System Tray, and there are many more available for download. I found that the functionality of some of those available for download online have been implemented in Cinnamon 1.6. In effect, you do not need them anymore, unless the developers add features that are not available in Cinnamon 1.6. The Calender applet is a good example.
Cinnamon Settings Applets

An available Applet that you can download and install makes it easy to use multiple monitors
Cinnamon Nemo

By default, Cinnamon 1.6 ships with two virtual desktops or workspaces enabled, but you would not know it unless you switched to Expo View. Here is what Expo View looks like. The benefits are obvious. From this view, you can add more virtual desktops or workspaces just by clicking on that button with a “+” on it.
Cinnamon Expo

You can even give the workspaces activity-related names.
Cinnamon Workspace Names

And there is also the Scale view. In the Scale View, you can see all open windows in the active workspace or virtual desktop.
Cinnamon 1.6 Scale View

And then, there is Nemo, the file manager for the Cinnamon. It is a replacement for Nautilus, the file manager for GNOME. This is a screen shot of Nemo. Like the desktop itself, it looks and feels much better than what it replaced, but there is still a lot of work to be done. When you attempt to drag and drop a file from one window to another, it simply moves the file, rather than copy it or give you a menu of options to choose from.
Cinnamon Nemo

That is the skinny on Cinnamon 1.6. If it is not in your distribution’s repository, you can download it from here. Ubuntu users may use Install Cinnamon 1.6 in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS to install it from a PPA.

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33 Responses

  1. Hi! I followed all the tutorial step-by-step, but what I got is two partitions “F:” and “G:” into Windows.
    And when I try to add Ubuntu 12.10 with EasyBCD, it shows “Bootloader Path: \NST\AutoNeoGrub1.mbr” instead of what you got in the picture.
    Finally, I’m getting the same Ubuntu boot screen, and no Windows Boot Manager (BIOS primary).
    What I did wrong and how can I fix that? Thanks in advance.

  2. You have missed out on what to select for “device for boot loader installation” during Ubuntu Installation??
    Should I select /dev/sda or /dev/sda1 or /dev/sda2 …. or so??

    Please explain on that and what it does.

      1. Thanks.

        I have another query for you. I have two disks. one HDD and another SSD. I have installed win 8.1 on HDD and Ubuntu 13.10 on ssd. due to booting issues I’ve formatted ssd. Now using EasyBCD I have made Windows boot manager and I can happily boot into win 8.1.

        In my dell laptop UEFI boot settings(by pressing F12 during startup) I still see Ubuntu boot option along with Win boot manager. I want that to be removed from there, how can I do it?

        Here is my EasyBCD settings –
        http://s8.postimg.org/51dqrjofp/bcd1.png
        http://s14.postimg.org/g0ql3rwap/bcd2.png

        I hope u can assist me in that.

        1. If the Dell laptop is the same one with the HDD and SSD, you don’t need to use EasyBCD. Just install both on their separate drives as you have done, then make the Ubuntu drive the default from the BIOS or UEFI Setup utility.

          1. Yes, It is the same laptop having both drives. But the problem is I didn’t create a /boot partition during ubuntu installation. So, from that grub menu I can’t goto Win 8.1, it says the path to efi is wrong or something.

            If I create a /boot partition, will everything be OK?

  3. I have done exactly as the tutorial guide. The result was the bootloader changed back to win8 metro style and shown 2 OS: win8(default) and Ubuntu, like the screenshot at the first page. But when I boot into Ubuntu, it displayed error message, that it cant be load or something is missing.

    \NST\AutoNeoGrub.mbr

  4. I’ve installed Win 8.1 Pro x64 on my UEFI computer’s SSD. Just wondering if Ubuntu would be better installed for dual-boot on a second GPT HDD? Thoughts?

  5. Hey finid,

    I read your previous tutorial on how to dual boot windows 7 and ubuntu 12.04

    I did that on my UEFI ASUS motherboard without any trouble.

    But here at the end of STEP 2b , instead of selecting /boot partition to install GRUB there you just went along and installed it on the first sector of HDD where usually Windows files reside . RIGHT ???

    Why would you do that ?? Is there a reason ?? Please tell me ..

    Because I followed everything you said except that part where I chose to select /boot to install GRUB..

    I booted straight to windows , where I made an entry for UBUNTU and restarted ..

    After rebooting, I saw a blue screen (the one you have one page 1) ..

    MY ONLY PROBLEM is that whenever I select UBUNTU , my computer used to restart and then boot UBUNTU..

    Is there a solution to that finid??

    Please tell what should I do ??

    Thank You 🙂

  6. I so hope that this works. I have spent 3 days so far trying to get Ubuntu to dual boot on my new Toshiba laptop which shipped with Windows 8. I have set up dual boot lots of times before with XP, Vista and Windows 7 without any problem but Windows 8 with this new BIOS is pure hell. I don’t care if the terminology is correct or not, I will try anything at this stage that sounds like it may also work for me. I wish I could just have Ubuntu on my laptop but I also need Windows to run Adobe Illustrator on the same machine. 🙁

  7. Ok, everything is fine and smoothly possible! But there is a big problem! Most win8 sold laptops are coming with too many partitions which reach the limit partition possible to install any OS. Even if you manage to make a way around the UEFI or any other issue, you can’t work around this! Unless, you try to remove some of these partitions and I can’t imagine how it will affect the win8 functionality!
    Instead you have two choices:
    1- if your HDD easy removable, get another one for Linux
    2- Make your mind and keep only one OS! Linux or Windows.

    There is a third choice but I personally don’t like:
    3- Use virtual machine to run Linux under windows. I don’t see the point!

    My solution was easier, I have 2 laptops. One is Ubuntu 12.10 and the second is Win8.

    1. Not required, but recommended.

      If you want to use GRUB as the “master” or only boot loader, then you have to make sure that the device for boot loader installation is set to /dev/sda during the installation of Ubuntu.

      1. I’d like to use GRUB as boot loader. So if I make /dev/sda as the device for boot loader installation, is it necessary to create a /boot partition for ubuntu during ubuntu installation??

        I mean is it essential to create PBR ?

        As I’m getting confused with terminology, could you tell me difference between “First Boot partition” , “PBR” and “MBR”.

        Sorry if I’m asking too many questions.

        Thanks tough for ur tutorial.

        1. If sda is the SSD that Ubuntu is installed, and it is the sole OS on it, then it is not necessary to have a separate partition for boot. It’s good to have, but not absolutely necessary. For the record, a default installation of Ubuntu does not make use of a separate boot partition.

          Use PBR when referring to first sectors of a partition, MBR for the entire HDD.

    2. You can put Ubuntu on a logical partition and it will be perfectly happy there. You can have up to 64 logical partitions so I think you would run out of HDD space before you run out of logical partition slots.

      Windows NT versions also will install in a logical.

      I have 4 OS’s on one machine with a UEFI BIOS and Windows 8 and Ubuntu is on a logical since there were no Primary slots left available.

  8. If you buy a PC with Windows 8 preinstalled, you have no choice but to configure it to dual boot in UEFI mode. The trick is to disable Quick Boot (or Fast Boot, depending on how your BIOS labels this feature) and Secure Boot. This is because you cannot perform a clean install of Windows 8 using the recovery media that either came with your PC or that you created after buying it. Re-installing Windows 8 on such a PC will always re-install it in UEFI mode. Also, on such a PC, Secure Boot will be enabled. This prevents both Windows 8’s Boot Manager as well as GRUB from chain loading boot managers/loaders for other OS’s, because the boot manager/loader cannot validate other OS’s security certificate. Only the BIOS can do that. It would be nice if the BIOS on a system with Secure Boot functionality provided an interface to allow a boot loader to validate another OS’s security certificate, thus allowing the ability to dual-boot from either Windows 8’s boot manager or GRUB with Secure Boot enabled. Until that type of functionality is available, your choices are to either rely on the BIOS’s boot manager to dual boot Windows 8 and other OS’s in Secure Boot mode, or disable Secure Boot so you can use GRUB or the Windows 8 boot manager to dual boot between Windows 8 and Linux.

      1. Yeh, that is the more sensible option. Build your own or have someone build one that is not in a factory owned by a billion dollar OEM conglomerate being paid off by MS to load and aloww only Windows 8

  9. I stopped using MBR partitioning scheme on my personal computers including a notebook, months ago, but I still use terms like those finid is using, even though I know they no longer apply to my systems.

    And I can’t seem to get the terms out of my head. don’t blame me. blame years of using MBR and company. Like finid said, we are in a transitional phase. I’m slowing teaching myself (reminding myself) that I now live in a GPT-world.

    Yes, MBR is dead (for me), but the terms still live on in my head. Again, don’t blame me.

  10. Apart from a partition table with one dummy “Protective” partition the first sector of a GPT drive is empty.

    You said:
    “Install Windows 8 Pro. After this first task, the Windows 8 boot loader will be installed in the first sector of the HDD.”

    Windows has never installed its bootloader to the MBR. You mean the Initial Program Loader, which no longer exists on a GPT drive. Windows8 instead adds an entry to the EFI bootmanager to start the Windows bootmanager on the EFI system partittion, which will then start the Win8 bootloader, which is winload.exe on the Windows8 partition.

    1. Again, a misuse of terms. Rather than “MBR” and the “first sector of the HDD,” perhaps the proper terms should have been used. We are all still adjusting to GPT and (U)EFI terminologies, and the misuse here does not invalidate the steps given in this article, unless you can point out where following this guide will fail to yield a successful dual-boot system.

      Complete elimination of terms like MBR from an article on this subject is not impossible, but it’ll take a conscious effort, especially when a tool like EasyBCD, which has been updated to accommodate all the good and bad that Windows 8 brings to the table, still has a button that reads “Write MBR.” Maybe it should it read “Write GPT,” Write to LBA 1,” or “Write to EFI System Partition.” Whatever the button reads, it does the job, it just does not use the proper terms – yet.

      I take your criticism in stride because I make a point of doing the same to distro developers who fail to do things the right way. It’s how you move forward.

      1. I went through UEFI setup hell a few months ago with a new OEM Windows 7 box and Linux Mint 14-KDE. I also tried to use EasyBCD, but guess what, according to the guy who wrote EasyBCD, it does not support EFI booting at all. In any case, it’s just a shell around some command line stuff, and maybe in Windows 8, it can do what you describe – just saying, it didn’t work for me. I ultimately ended up using rEFInd, which is an EFI boot menu system – it can even locate an boot 64-bit EFI-capable Linux kernels directly. I did also have to use the Ubuntu boot-repair tool, and lots of other hellish stuff I don’t even remember.

        1. I considered using rEFInd, but EasyBCD has always worked for me, and it did not fail for this article. And true, dual-booting between Linux and Windows 8 is one heck of a mess, especially with UEFI involved.

          1. No doubt something Microsoft intended. If I buy a new laptop, I’ll just pick up a new 2.5in hard drive as well. I don’t use Windows enough (maybe 2-3x a year?) to stress it.

        2. The interesting thing with EasyBCD is not only did it work in Windows 8, but it automatically created an entry for Ubuntu during its instllation. that has never happened with Windows 7 or 8 in Legacy mode.

        3. This is what I’m going through now. I already had windows 7 installed and decided to install linux mint 17.3 to dual boot. Almost nothing went according to tutorials I saw. Linux didn’t detect windows 7 to install alongside it so I had to do the “something else” option. I installed it just fine and it all works, however, I noticed that I have an issue where whenever I hibernate the computer in windows, when I bring it back up, it cannot resume into windows. It has to just reboot. In trying to fix that problem, I wondered if using easybcd(which I just hadn’t gotten around to yet) to create that grub menu thing may help. But I got that same message about limited features due to efi mode. Can’t do anything under any of the tabs except windows.

          smh

          Gonna look up this refind thing you mentioned to see if it helps.

          Thanks

    2. I built a new system with Windows 8 in ti and I don’t have an EFI partition. Why would anyone need one unless they are in for pain and suffering??

  11. You really have no idea what you are doing and you should not be publishing this stuff to encourage others to stumble blindly into the same mistakes and mis-conceptions. Where do I start? How about the fact that there is no MBR on a GPT styled drive.

    1. It’s not a question of having “no idea what you are doing,” but more of intentional “misuse” of terminologies. Even the author of EasyBCD and similar tools still choose to use MBR, as in “Write MBR,” when that clearly no longer applies.

      Even replacing “MBR” with the “first sector of the HDD” muddles things up a bit, but that seems to take the term that you are having a problem with out of the picture. Not that it really mattes, because as much as you want to convince yourself that “there is no MBR on a GPT styled drive,” the first sector of such a drive is called the “protective MBR.” We are still in a transitional phase between old and new, so don’t be too hard on terminologies.

      So it’s not that I don’t know what I’m doing, just that some terms are so ingrained that they refuse to “die.”

      Now, aside from MBR, what other “mistakes and mis-conceptions” do you want to point out?

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