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Cinnamon 2.0 has been released today featuring many bug fixes as well as some new features.

According to the release announcement, with version 2.0, Cinnamon is no longer a frontend ontop of the GNOME desktop like Unity or GNOME Shell, but "an entire desktop environment". Cinnamon is still built on GNOME technologies and uses GTK, but "it no longer requires GNOME itself to be installed" because it now communicates with its own backend services, libraries and daemons.

cinnamon 2.0

Changes in Cinnamon 2.0:
  • improved edge-tiling:
    • tiled windows can be resized;
    • in addition to top, bottom, left and right, windows can now be tiled into the 4 corners of the screen;
    • a new feature called "HUD" was added: when dragging a window near a tiling zone, Cinnamon displays a hint so you know where the window will tile - see second screenshot below;
  • a new edge-snapping feature has been added - it's similar to edge-tiling, but there's a difference: maximized windows do not cover snapped windows. To snap a window, drag a window with your mouse towards an edge while pressing the Control key;
  • configurable individual sound effects: you can configure sounds for events such as Cinnamon startup, switching workspace, closing, minimizing or maximizing windows and so on.
  • replaced GNOME "User Accounts" with new Cinnamon "Users and Groups". Users can access and modify their own info via the Account Details module;
  • added an User Applet which can be used to shutdown, restart or suspend the system, turn off the notifications, access the account details or System Settings. Furthermore, the applet supports MDM and LightDM user switching and LightDM guest user session;
  • cinnamon-bluetooth has replaced blueman;
  • important performance improvements for full-screen apps.

Here are a few screenshots with some of these changes:

Cinnamon 2.0 screenshot
New User Applet

Cinnamon 2.0 screenshot
The new "HUD" tiling feature (see the hint at the top) / window snapping OSD

Cinnamon 2.0 screenshot
Cinnamon 2.0 Users and Groups

Cinnamon 2.0 screenshot
Cinnamon 2.0 Sound Effects

Some minor new features include:
  • sound applet: added support for SMPlayer and Tomahawk;
  • added snap OSD;
  • expo: middle click on window thumbnail now closes the window;
  • window-list improvements;
  • more!

Cinnamon 2.0 Nemo screenshot

Nemo, the default Cinnamon file manager (forked from Nautilus) has also received some interesting improvements:
  • two new extensions were added - nemo-preview (for previewing files, fork of GNOME Sushi), and nemo-media-columns (adds various info to the Nautilus list view);
  • in list view, columns are now re-orderable by simple drag and drop method, without having to open a separate dialog;
  • in the List View, you can now right-click a column heading to add or remove visible columns quickly;
  • also in the List View, Nemo will try to avoid having a horizontal scroll bar by truncating the name column when necessary;
  • there is a new option in Preferences to always start in split-pane mode;
  • there is a new option in Preferences to ignore folder-specific metadata regarding zoom level, view type, and column layouts;
  • improved the Move/Copy To context menus - they now include a "Browse…" entry to pick your target folder, as well as options to include bookmarks and places in the menus;
  • you can now turn file tooltips on or off in the different views;
  • there is an additional menu item in the list-view column context menu, to temporarily disable auto-sorting of new or changed items. By enabling this, new files are simply added to the bottom of the file list, and renamed items stay put, regardless of alphabetical or other sort criteria;
  • improved the Open With dialog - you can now add custom mime-type handlers on the fly;
  • improved handling of the file operation progress dialog. You can now close the dialog entirely and it will turn into a dynamic icon in the system tray, showing overall progress with a circular icon. From that icon you can get additional information via the tooltip, and you can click the icon to restore the full progress dialog;
  • middle-clicking a tab will now close it.

Getting Cinnamon 2.0

Cinnamon 2.0 will be included by default in the upcoming Linux Mint 16 "Petra" (which should be released at the end of November) and then it will be backported to LMDE and Linux Mint 13 LTS.

Ubuntu 13.10, 13.04 or 12.10 users can install the latest stable Cinnamon by using the stable PPA.

Important: in my test under Ubuntu 13.10, installing Cinnamon broke the Unity session (I was unable to log in to Unity until I removed Cinnamon; this didn't occur in Ubuntu 13.04) so use it at your own risk! This issue no longer occurs in Ubuntu 13.10.

Add the PPA and install Cinnamon in Ubuntu using the following commands
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon
Then, log out and select Cinnamon from the login screen session menu.

For other Linux distributions, see the Cinnamon downloads page.