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Linux Mint’s Cinnamon: A GNOME 3.x shell fork


GNOME is continuing to lose users and supporters. Its developers can say what they will about this Linux desktop’s advantages, most people, including Linus Torvalds himself, dislike the new GNOME 3.x interface. Many Linux users, like myself, simply find GNOME 3.x to be far more trouble than it’s worth. Now, Clement “Clem” Lefebvre, leader of the popular Linux Mint distribution has also had enough of GNOME 3.x and is creating a more user friendly GNOME shell: Cinnamon.

As Lefebvre explained, “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].”

MGSE is not enough though. Lefebvre continued, “The extension system in Gnome Shell is handy but core parts of a desktop need to be able to communicate with each others and be integrated properly. The Gnome development team is not interested in the features we implemented, it’s opposed to adding them to Gnome Shell, and it doesn’t share our vision of a desktop. In other words, our work on Gnome 3 does not influence the development of Gnome Shell, Gnome Shell isn’t going in a direction that is suitable for us, and we’re not interested in shipping Gnome Shell ‘as is,’ or in continuing with multiple hacks and extensions.”

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