Updated: September 1, 2012
The last time I tried to install and run the Cinnamon desktop on top of Fedora, I hit a snag and the review ended with a rather uninspiring screenshot of a failed loading of the desktop. This happened after using an external repository source for the Cinnamon installation.
Since, I've been mailed by lots of people, including the Fedora Community Chief Simian, as his very signature proclaims, and they all told me that Cinnamon is now available in the official repositories and that I should retest with this new source. Which is exactly what I did. I will not keep you in eternal suspense, so I'm going to tell you upfront. It worked this time. But what about my overall satisfaction? Ah, well, you will have to scroll down a bit for that. Fedora + Cinnamon, take two. Action.
Fedora adorned with Cinnamon - get the word play there, Fedora, adorn, never mind - looks somewhat bland. You get the fat Adwaita decorations, which do not fit well with the overall theme. The desktop wallpaper remains from the KDE installation. Not the most exciting presentation layer, but it's a start. Because you know what comes now. A lesson straight from Dedoimedo Special Forces school. We will now turn the default looks into a monster of pleasing beauty.
You read my Xfce review of the said distro, and you also skimmed through the KDE one. Fedora is all about technology, and it forgets to have fun. You need third-party tools to bring some love and color into the distribution. With the aid of software like easyLife or Autoten, Fedora gains usability. So we're already sorted on that front. We have codecs, we have the cool and desirable software, what we need is to work through the Cinnamon settings and improve the looks. All this on top of a decent machine with SSD, so in the end, we should be having rather immensely pleased. But let's not run ahead of ourselves.
Basically, the same rules that apply to making Ubuntu and family presentable also fully apply here. Grab the themes and icons you want, including the official Cinnamon themes, and place them into your home directory. Beauty ensues.
Here's Fedora with the Minty theme and Sphere icons:
Yup. We've only just started. You might also be wondering if there is any conflict between KDE and Gnome frameworks. Strangely, and not so strangely, no. Everything worked fine, and the KDE programs loaded well and true. Moreover, with the new aesthetics everywhere, exploring Fedora becomes a digital cuisine.
However, I did encounter some tiny glitches. Some windows have transparent border shadows, others do not. Not sure why this is. Then, you cannot change the desktop wallpaper by clicking on it, you must go into the system menu.
But other than that, it was all splendid.
And the final looks:
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I do not believe I'm saying this, but I finally like Fedora. Honestly. This combination allows me to see through the bleeding edge nonsense and the graveyard boredom of the default configuration and enjoy myself. True, lots of bling-bling up there, and completely unnecessary for a productive session.
But, this is no ordinary Fedora 17 Beefy Miracle, so to speak. Cinnamon is fast, making the distribution respond more smoothly to your inputs. There are no crashes. Furthermore, the extra few hundreds MB worth of updates in the last few weeks must have helped. You get all the programs you want or need, like Skype, Marble, anything you fancy. And beauty to make your neighbors develop a serious masculine envy. Not at all what I expected.
True, in eighteen seconds, this Fedora will be obsoleted by a new alpha mutation. And you will have to redo this all over again. But the hope itself is worth it. You know that if you must, you can. Fedora + Cinnamon is the most refreshing formula for the RedHat experimentation zergling. Truly recommended. If only this were a default. Will see.
One more thing must be said. Cinnamon is a revolution. It takes dead distros and makes them into superheroes. Cinnamon creates the same kind of feeling your mom and dad had when you were born. Well, not a good analogy. The same one they had when you finally left the home. Or when you buy yourself a Golf GTI. That's it.