Updated: August 18, 2012
Not that long ago, I gave Fedora Beefy Miracle another spin, this time, the KDE version, and it was a decent experience overall. Not as bland as the Xfce test, not as good as the last autumn KDE edition, somewhere in between. Decent, but still very much Fedora, blood and sweat and hi-tech all combined.
Then, a reader pinged me and suggested a marvelous idea - what about testing Cinnamon? It's a most beautiful product. And more importantly, it worked great on Linux Mint, where it's the default desktop. It even worked splendidly in Ubuntu Pangolin. So why not see what happens when you mate Cinnamon to Fedora? Can this lovely desktop environment turn the tide against all the geekiness and boredom that happen to infuse Fedora?
So, before we dig into the review proper, let me dazzle you with a couple of screenshots from Ubuntu and Mint, just to give you an impression of what this is all about. Cinnamon uses the notorious Gnome 3 as its core engine, but so much changed and tweaked, it's a normal and usable system. It's polished, beautiful, responsive, and it comes with all the goodies needed to be productive, effective, stylish, and calm.
To install Cinnamon, you will have to add an unofficial repository source to your Fedora setup. If you're read my Scientific Linux repo guide, then the procedure is pretty much the same. Now, let me be a code monkey for a moment and regurgitate the same command you have seen everywhere else, which is the one that allows you to setup Cinnamon in just one shell command from a terminal window.
cinnamon/fedora-cinnamon.repo -o /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-
After this is complete, just install Cinnamon using either the command line (yum) or the GUI. The relevant package name is, yes, you guess it right, cinnamon!
yum install cinnamon
Wait until all the packages are downloaded and configured, log out, change the session type, and then log back into your environment, this time graced with something nice!
Let's see what happens when you do this.
Well, I did try that. However, Cinnamon was not meant to be. I tried both Cinnamon and Cinnamon 2D options available in the menu, both failed spectacularly. Which meant this review, in its current form, would have to end here and now, and then, onto some rather harsh conclusions. But you must admit it's a darn awesome digital picture of the laptop screen. No bendy lines, nothing.
Now, one thing that springs to mind is - I did try this on Fedora KDE. So this might be the reason why everything failed. But. Let's go through my steps carefully. Am I allowed to add extra sources to my installation? Yes. Is it my personal responsibility to make sure the dependencies are satisfied properly? No. When they invent a package manager called Dedoimedo, perhaps. Till then, it's up to YUM to make everything works.
I really do not know what packages, libraries or files were not configured properly for Cinnamon to work well on Fedora. And frankly, I do not care. If I can setup Gnome or KDE applications in counterpart desktop environments, say GIMP in Fedora KDE or Amarok in Ubuntu, then the same rules should apply to Cinnamon. Only they didn't.
I really was hoping to give you an honest, passionate review of Cinnamon on Fedora, and that may yet happen one shiny bright day when I'm in the mood to torture myself with a full Gnome 3 download. Till then, you will have to lay blame at someone else's feet.
Anyhow, don't take it too hard. Stay tuned.