How to Install Cinnamon 1.8 Desktop on Debian 7

By | August 17, 2020

Cinnamon Desktop

Cinnamon is a new desktop environment for linux that was initially developed for Mint linux and later made available to all linux distros in general.

It is derived from the Gnome 3 desktop, but provides the traditional kind of desktop environment.

Cinnamon uses Muffin, a fork of the GNOME 3 window manager Mutter, as its window manager from Cinnamon 1.2 onwards

What is new in version 1.8

As of version 1.8 the cinnamon desktop has received quite a few feature additions. Some of them are

1. File Manager

Nemo received a lot of attention. Its user interface was heavily modified and its behavior was adapted to integrate better with Cinnamon.

You can now easily hide the sidebar and switch back and forth between places and treeview. Under each place, if applicable, a small bar indicates how much space is used.

2. Screensaver

Cinnamon now features its own screensaver. You can also set your "away message" before locking the screen.

3. Control Center

All configuration modules are now present in Cinnamon Settings. You no longer need to use Gnome Control Center.

4. Desklets

Cinnamon now supports desktop widgets called desklets, similar to plasmoids on KDE desktop.

However this is still under development and there are not many desklets available yet.

As the development continues we hope to see more desklets coming up.

5. Spices Management

In Cinnamon 1.8 you can install spices (i.e. applets, desklets, themes, extensions) straight from your desktop.

cinnamon on debian 7 wheezy

Install Cinnamon 1.8 on Debian 7

Cinnamon is available in the debian testing contrib repository.

First open your /etc/apt/sources.list file and edit the main deb lines towards the starting that point to the wheezy main repository. In my sources file the lines were

deb wheezy main
deb-src wheezy main

Edit the lines and add 'contrib non-free' to the end. It should finally look like this

deb wheezy main contrib non-free
deb-src wheezy main contrib non-free

Now copy the lines again and paste at the end of the file and change wheezy to testing.

deb testing main contrib non-free
deb-src testing main contrib non-free

Next, create a file /etc/apt/preferences if it does not exist already and add the following to it

Package: *
Pin: release a=stable
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: release a=testing
Pin-Priority: 650

What the above piece of text does is called pinning. It basically tells apt to give the stable branch higher preference over the testing branch.

Which means that a package will be installed from testing only if it is not available in stable.

This is necessary, otherwise all packages will be upgraded to testing branch un-necessarily.

Install the Cinnamon packages

Now finally update the apt cache.

# apt-get update

Now search for the cinnamon package

root@debian:/home/silver# aptitude search cinnamon
p   cinnamon                                           - Innovative and comfortable desktop                                                   
p   cinnamon-common                                    - Innovative and comfortable desktop (Common data files)                               
p   cinnamon-dbg                                       - Innovative and comfortable desktop (Debugging symbols)                               

Now cinnamon is there in the repository. So install it right away with apt-get

# apt-get install cinnamon

It will install a lot of gnome libraries if they are not already available. This is because it is based on gnome 3.

So now the cinnamon desktop is setup. Simply logout and select Cinnamon desktop on the login screen and you should get into cinnamon finally.

Install from Linux Mint repository

The cinnamon desktop can also be installed using the linux mint repositories. Add the following repository to your /etc/apt/sources.list file.

deb debian main upstream import
# echo 'deb debian main upstream import' >> /etc/apt/sources.list

Update package cache

# apt-get update

Install the packages

# sudo apt-get install linuxmint-keyring cinnamon cinnamon-session cinnamon-settings

Thats it.


Following the instructions above, you should be able to get a working Cinnamon desktop environment on your Debian system.

If you have any questions or feedback, let us know in the comments below.

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].


How to Install Cinnamon 1.8 Desktop on Debian 7
  1. alirezaimi

    I try to install cinnamon on debian sid but this error happened:
    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    cinnamon : Depends: libgjs0b (>= 1.32.0) but it is not installable
    Recommends: cinnamon-screensaver but it is not going to be installed
    Recommends: gir1.2-gjsdbus-1.0 but it is not installable
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
    root@ali-deb:/home/alireza# apt-get install libgjs0b
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Package libgjs0b is not available, but is referred to by another package.
    This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
    is only available from another source
    However the following packages replace it:
    libgjs0c:i386 libgjs0c

    E: Package ‘libgjs0b’ has no installation candidate

    any ideas?

  2. Anonymous

    Mmm… i think you need to install linuxmint-keyring before you do an update (apt-get update), otherwise you get a NO_PUBKEY error

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *