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23 July 2012, 09:58

Mint's Cinnamon desktop integrated into Fedora

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Zoom Cinnamon running on Fedora 17

The Fedora project's package repositories now include the Cinnamon desktop interface initially started by Linux Mint founder Clement Lefebvre. The desktop, which is in many aspects similar to GNOME 2, has been available to install via a simple add-on repository maintained by Fedora developer Leigh Scott since the beginning of the year.

While maintaining this repository, Scott submitted the Cinnamon packages, and those for the Muffin compositing Window Manager that is required to run the desktop, to the Fedora project for review. The review process flagged a number of problems that have been solved in the past six months. Now that Muffin and the Cinnamon package have been approved, the desktop has been included in the Fedora 17 standard repositories; from there, it can be installed using a command such as yum install cinnamon and then selected when signing in via GDM or another login manager. Provided that the desktop continues to be maintained, it will likely also be part of Fedora 18, which is scheduled to be released this autumn. It remains to be seen whether the developers will collaborate to create a Fedora variant (or "spin") that uses Cinnamon as its standard desktop. In any case, there is every indication that the Fedora project will continue to rely on GNOME as its standard desktop.

The developers of the recently released add-on repository that allows Ubuntu's Unity desktop to be bolted onto Fedora are also planning to have their packages included in Fedora – this simplifies installation, and the distribution's quality control usually results in a higher level of integration and avoids the potential problems that are sometimes associated with add-on repositories. In an email, the developers who package Unity have explained some of the issues that will need fixing before the component can be integrated. For example, they say that patches are required for libXfixes, xorg-x11-proto and xorg-x11-server, and that they need to solve problems which occur when compiling with GCC 4.7. GTK+ is also listed as requiring modifications; as previously explained by Fedora and GTK developer Matthias Clasen, however, the GTK+ and Canonical developers have already integrated some of the features for Unity into the current version of GTK+ to "narrow the gap – or prevent it from becoming a permanent rift."

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