Clement Lefebvre, lead developer of Linux Mint, has announced the first “fully stable” version of its new GNOME 2.x-like “Cinnamon 1.2? fork of the GNOME 3.x desktop environment is now available for not only Mint, but for Ubuntu 11.10, Fedora 16, OpenSUSE 12.1, Arch Linux, and Gentoo.
The Cinnamon interface looks and works a lot like the popular GNOME 2.x interface, but it’s built on top of the GNOME 3.x infrastructure. It was created because many people, including Linux’s creator, Linus Torvalds dislike the new GNOME 3.x interface. Lefebvre tried to work with the GNOME developers to make a more user-friendly GNOME, but they weren’t interested.
As Lefebvre explained when he launched the Cinnamon project, “I’m not going to argue whether Gnome Shell is a good or a bad desktop. It’s just not what we’re looking for. The user experience the Gnome team is trying to create isn’t the one we’re interested in providing to our users. There are core features and components we absolutely need, and because they’re not there in Gnome Shell, we had to add them using extensions with MGSE [Linux Mint Shell Extensions for Gnome 3] and since “We’re not interested in shipping Gnome Shell ‘as is,’ or in continuing with multiple hacks and extensions,” so Lefebvre and his team started working on Cinnamon.
Now Lefebvre states the Cinnamon “APIs [application programming interfaces] and the desktop itself are now fully stable!”. While documentation is still missing, Cinnamon brings back the GNOME 2.x style interface and adds new desktop effects and layouts, a configuration tool, and five new “applets.”