After installing Linux Mint 13 on your machine for the first time, you will only have few to no icons on the desktop by default. This makes accessing important files fast a chore. However, you can change this just like in the present versions of MS Windows.
To do so, go to Menu > Preferences > Cinnamon Settings > Desktop.
Here, tick all the boxes whose items you want to have on the desktop and close the preferences window again. If you want to remove them again, just repeat the process and untick the boxes again.
Cinnamon 1.6 will apparently be the version used in Linux Mint 14 and is already available for testing. Be warned, since it's the first release of 1.6, it will be buggy.
Open Sofware Sources from the main menu and check the Unstable packages (romeo) checkbox to make the packages available to your Update Manager.
Afterwards open the Update Manager and upgrade these four packages:
Afterwards uncheck the romeo repository again! Restart cinnamon and check if the correct version is used using a terminal:
You usually notice this error due to the lack of a menu bar and all kinds of window decoration after you unsuccessfully played with your Cinnamon settings or just suffered some kind of other error. If you then try to reset Cinnamon or to use any other command involving the desktop environment, you will get the
Unable to open X display
error. While its hard to find out what actually causes it, you can easily bypass it by purging and reinstalling Cinnamon - which is a painless process and leaves your personal Cinnamon configuration untouched. To do so, log in with another desktop environment or open a command line environment by pressing Ctrl + Alt + F1. Afterwards enter
sudo apt-get purge cinnamon && sudo apt-get install cinnamon
Don't forget to log out and in again to make the changes effective. To log out without panel, press Ctrl + Alt + Backspace.
The Cinnamon desktop's menu text is changeable through dconf Editor which you can find by entering the name into the menu's search bar (don't confuse it with gconf Editor, that's something else, even though it looks nearly the same). Browse the directory tree on the left for org > cinnamon and search for the menu-text item on the right pane.
By clicking onto the field's value (Menu) it is selected and you can enter your own text into it. Remember that the main menu pops up at the center of the name label by default, so don't choose too long texts, otherwise it'll look awkward:
To install Linux Mint's Cinnamon desktop on Ubuntu 12.04 you have to add the appropriate ppa first. Open a terminal and enter following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gwendal-lebihan-dev/cinnamon-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cinnamon
To apply Cinnamon, log out of your current desktop session and set Cinnamon as desktop environment on the login screen. Remember that your machine needs graphical 3D support to run Cinnamon correctly.
Though Cinnamon comes with a settings tool you can not yet customize it to the fullest. This is because it still is under heavy development and it is even not yet recommended to create super-creative themes, since it is likely that functions will be altered or added in the near future.
Nevertheless I have searched the cinnamon.css file (the file that is responsible for most stylistic issues of cinnamon) of the current version 1.3.1 for the classes that have to be altered to change the basic interface elements, the panel and the menu. The file you need is /usr/share/cinnamon/theme/cinnamon.css. Color values are given in hexadecimal codes (e.g. #FF0000) or in RGB values plus transparency (e.g. (255,255,255,0.5). A color can easily be converted to the other format using graphical software such as Pinta - just use the software's color picker to choose a color and then copy and paste the code, or insert a code to get the other. If two colors are given in the form of a gradient, there is a color flow between the two given colors.
Note: Before you make any changes to your cinnamon.css, make sure you have made a backup copy and know how to use it without a proper user interface since one faulty character in the file could render cinnamon completely unable to start. The best way to save yourself then is to have another desktop such as GNOME 3 installed to be able to switch to it in worst case (use ctrl + alt + backspace to log out)
Note2: Changes only apply after restarting Cinnamon.
- To change the panel's color, search the file for the #panel class and change the background-color value.
- To change the unfocused panel buttons' colors, search the file fo the .window-list-item-box class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values. Start marks the button's top where end marks the button's bottom.
- To change the focused panel buttons' colors, search the file fo the .window-list-item-box:focus class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values. Start marks the button's top where end marks the button's bottom.
- To change the button border color of the two above possibilities, change the box-shadow value in the same classes.
- To change the menu's color, search for the .popup-menu-boxpointer class and edit the arrow-background-color value
- To change the menu border's color, search for the arrow-background-color class and edit the arrow-border-color value
- To change the category menu's selector box, search for the .menu-category-button-selected class and change the background-gradient-start and the background-gradient-end values
- To change the application menu's selector box, search for the .menu-application-button-selected class and change the background-gradient-start and the background-gradient-end values
- To change the application submenu's selection box color, search for the .popup-menu-item:active class and edit the background-color value
- To change the border color of the two above possibilities, change the box-shadow value in the same classes.
- To change the favorites menu's background color, search for the .menu-favorites-box class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values.
- To change the favorites menu's border color, change the border value in the same class as above
- To change the favorites menu's selection box color, search for the .menu-favorites-button:hover class and edit the background-gradient-start and background-gradient-end values.
- To change the scrollbar handle's color, search for the StScrollBar StButton#vhandle class and change the background-color value
- To change the scrollbar border's color, edit the border value in the same class as above
To change the menu's texts, there is usually a value called color inside the appropriate classes which handle the text color. Also, the other possibilities can easily be identified by the classes' and values' names.
To manually install new themes for cinnamon from the page provided by Cinnamon Settings, first backup the data of the original theme by opening a terminal and entering
sudo cp -R /usr/share/cinnamon/theme /usr/share/cinnamon/theme_backup
Then download and unpack another theme from http://cinnamon-spices.linuxmint.com/themes, save the files to some location - I will save them on my desktop.
Then you have to copy the data from the unpacked folder to the theme folder of cinnamon:
sudo cp -f /home/howtoforge/Desktop/unpackedfolder/cinnamon/* /usr/share/cinnamon/theme
The new data has then replaced the old. To restore the default theme, copy back the backed up data.