Now a days developers are focusing on improving the user interfaces of almost all devices, therefore, so many experiments are going on desktop interfaces designing too. Developers of Linux Mint are following the same trend and they are designing a new user interface for Linux Mint 13.
The older versions of Linux Mint were using Gnome environment but the upcoming versions will include Cinnamon whose version 1.2 was released 5 days ago.
We’re hoping Cinnamon will seduce most Linux Mint users, whether they’re coming from Gnome 2, Gnome Shell or other desktops. -Clement Lefebvre (Linux Mint creator)
Cinnamon seems to be a good conservative design which can compete with Gnome and KDE but still we will have to wait for the public response to see which one they like the most? Recently KDE 4.8 was also released. So at the moment there are 2 new desktop environments.
Lefebvre made Linux Mint after reviewing all the the other Linux distributions which were available in the open-source market and from that review he got some new ideas about what features should a ideal distribution should have? Then he made Linux Mint specifically for those folks who want a desktop operating system which is easy to use and require no or very little maintenance.
We expect much more from our desktop than other distributions. We look at common use cases and if they fail to work out of the box or if they’re too complicated for the user, we identify it as a problem that needs fixing.
Last year Ubuntu desktop were changed from Gnome to Unity interface by Canonical because they didn’t like unnecessary features of Gnome. Unity is an overlay for Gnome 3. Canonical is planning to advance its user interface even more by using “Head-Up Display” technology in the next release of Ubuntu.
While Canonical is constantly improving its interfaces, Linux Mint remains steadfastly committed to the traditional desktop. Desktop market is still ruled by Microsoft and Apple. Linux has much work to do to reach to that place.
Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS dominate the desktop market with inferior products. There’s a huge potential for growth for Linux on the desktop market. Our core expertise is on the desktop, we’re not interested in smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.
Since Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu (which itself is based on Debian), so it is possible that Linux Mint would use Unity. This is not the case, however.
So far Unity is only used by one other distribution. It doesn’t look particularly interesting to us and there’s no demand for it. -Lefebvre
It is clear that Linux Mint team don’t want to continue to use Gnome 3. Gnome 3 asks folks to change the way they use their computers. It requires users to think about using the computer in terms of the applications they want to use rather than the tasks they want to complete. Nor does it multitask well. Linus Torvalds has already called Gnome 3 “an unholy mess“.
Cinnamon follows traditional notions of how the desktop interfaces should look like. The interface has a slim panel which contains icons for applications, operational status report and basic commands. Users are allowed to place this icon panel along the top, or on the bottom, or you can have two panels for both the top and bottom.
In the upcoming versions the users will be allowed to place this panel anywhere they want (on the desktop obviously). This approach is a notable contrast from Unity, the icon panel for which is affixed to the left-hand side of the screen.
Users can customize the look and feel of the desktop from “Cinnamon Settings”. They can choose different themes, desktop effects, can add new applets and extensions etc. Which is quite same as Gnome.
Other than Cinnamon, Linux Mint 13 will feature Mate (another desktop), which puts a shell over Gnome 3 that presents an interface that replicates the experience of using Gnome 2.0. It is for those people who are used to the old interface or don’t have the enough system resources to run Cinnamon.
Below are some screenshots of Cinnamon, to see full size image just click on it: