Big changes this time around for the Cinnamon desktop which is now pushed to version 1.6 for the release of Linux Mint 14. Cinnamon 1.6 offers a more efficient interface, users will notice improved stability as well.
For this review I downloaded the Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon desktop 64-bit edition ISO. The download size is 881MB which will require a DVD.
The MDM display manager takes another stride forward with the release of Linux Mint 14. Now MDM is even more flexible than before.
MDM can now use GDM 2 themes which gives users a seemingly endless variety to choose from. Almost 30 themes come already installed, now more than any other display manager available. A huge selection of themes are available online, and more are easy to find directly from the settings window.
Workspaces are very easy to manage for people using Cinnamon 1.6. Steps have been taken to make workspace management faster and even more efficient.
To create a new workspace you can simply use the + button on the right hand side of the workspaces window. Workspaces that you have created will stay inside the workspace switcher until you delete them, even after you reboot.
You can now rename your workspaces directly from the workspace switcher window. Just start typing in the box below existing workspaces to rename them. When switching between active workspaces the workspace name appears as well.
The Cinnamon desktop has made a vast number of changes to applets in the latest releases. Several new applets are available in Linux Mint 14. Many of the existing applets are now optimized as well.
The main panel now contains a Window Quick List applet to display a list of all open windows from all of your workspaces. This window quick list menu will display workspace names, open window titles, and window icons.
A Notifications Applet has been added to the panel as well. This applet will open a menu that contains any notifications that you did not respond to.
Nemo is a recreation of Nautilus 3.4 for the Cinnamon desktop project. This file manager is well integrated into the Cinnamon desktop. Desktop icons can be displayed or hidden at any time.
This file manager will provide several configuration options for toolbars, and all necessary navigation options. Users can even customize new actions for the menu using .desktop files. GTK theme support is also expected to improve very soon. I'll skip the little stuff for the sake of attention spans. With that said, users should certainly enjoy Nemo.
The Cinnamon Settings manager now includes two new settings categories, one for workspaces, and one for menus. This settings manager organizes all of the Cinnamon desktop preferences into one location. Users can access the settings window from the main menu.
I also wanted to note the extremely convenient Cinnamon Settings Applet located inside the panel. This applet will give you access to individual settings modules, or the settings manager itself.
Users are now able to configure the Alt-Tab Window Switcher. The switcher is able to display window icons, thumbnails, or previews.
The Cinnamon desktop is still being developed at an extremely rapid pace. The quantity of available applets is truly impressive as well. The workspace enhancements made for this release are very convenient. I certainly expect more great work in the future, I also hope to see more users migrating to Linux Mint.
After installing Mint 14 this time around I did not arrive at the MDM login screen. Unfortunately I saw a lonesome black screen asking for a login name and password. After a quick startx I arrived at the Cinnamon desktop while giggling slightly at my misfortune. This issue only occurred once after several test installations. The desktop is very responsive which is really a primary factor, but some bugs appear to be lingering.