Cinnamon Vs GNOME: Which Linux Desktop Environment Is Best? (2023)

The desktop environment (DE) might not seem like a big deal to most Linux users. Most of the time, if you have an extensive hardware setup, the desktop won't be much of an issue for you. But since we're talking about the DE, we need to know what a DE really is and why it's important to choose the right DE for your Linux system. A desktop environment is the basic setup of a Linux distribution that manages bootloaders, display rendering, and the display environment. Cinnamon and GNOME are the two most common and popular desktop environments for Linux distributions. Ubuntu, Fedora, Pop! Operating systems and other major Linux distributions use the GNOME desktop environment. On the other hand, Cinnamon DE can also be installed and used on Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSUSE, Arch Linux and Fedora distributions. Based on user experience and behavior, the battle between Cinnamon and GNOME is always a hot topic in the Linux community.

Desktop for Linux

You cannot imagine an operating system without a desktop environment. Most Linux distributions come with a pre-installed desktop environment. If you're new to Linux, there are a few ways to find out which desktop environment (DE) you're using. You can go to your operating system's "About" section to find your DE details.

You can also install the Screenfetch tool on your Linux system to display detailed information about your OS and DE. However, amonghuge list of Linux desktop environments, we'll talk about the two most popular desktop environments: GNOME vs. Cinnamon.

sudo apt install screenfetch

Cinnamon Vs GNOME: Which Linux Desktop Environment Is Best? (1)


The Cinnamon desktop environment is primarily intended for those who want to switch from Windows operating system to Linux. Cinnamon DE has an Applications menu, just like the Windows Start menu. You can browse apps and settings in the menu. The shutdown and user account sections are also located in the application menu.

You can find the computer icon on the desktop screen to view the file system andDefinitionsIcon to open the control panel. Also, you can perform many superuser tasks in Cinnamon DE without accessing the terminal shell.

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The Cinnamon desktop environment is written in C, JavaScript and Python. As a result, Cinnamon DE can be better integrated into the main computer. It offers very smooth and fast user experience. Cinnamon's desktop environment is highly customizable with extensions and themes. You will find a lot hereThemes and Extensions for Cinnamon DE.

(Video) Choosing a Desktop Environment (Linux for Noobs 3)

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The GNOME desktop environment was first released in 1999. GNOME DE is written in Python, Vala, CSS and HTML. You can see that all the most stable programming languages ​​are used to develop the GNOME desktop environment.

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GNOME DE has a unique user interface that has made Linux more user-friendly and user-friendly. You can find the app's menu on the right bar and system notifications are on the top bar. As GNOME is a free and open source desktop environment for Linux, you'll find a wealth of extensions atGNOME Extended Storage. By installing the GNOME utility on your Linux system, you can install, remove and manage itGNOME Shell Extensionsof the browser extension.

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However, you can customize GNOME DE using the tweak tool. You can customize the Applications folder and create a folder for the most used applications in GNOME DE.

GNOME DE's look and feel is straightforward and easy to use. You can enable dark mode, auto-hide the dock, and set the position of the dock. You can mute notification sounds in sound settings and adjust left and right speaker volume.

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(Video) What Makes the Cinnamon Desktop Environment so Great?

GNOME DE offers the possibility to adjust the brightness, turn the network on and off, log out and shut down the system. The GNOME desktop environment has become so popular that the developer has already created an entirely new operating system based on GNOME DE, known as GNOME OS. Definitely, GnomeOS is built on top of the Linux kernel.

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Cinnamon vs GNOME

So far we've seen a brief description of the GNOME and Cinnamon desktop environments. Now it's time to see the point-by-point comparison between Cinnamon and GNOME. Before I start writing the direct comparison between Cinnamon and GNOME, I should mention that both desktop environments are unique and have different levels of user base.

If you are a GNOME or Cinnamon user, there is nothing offensive; It's just a comparison item based on some parameters. At the end of the post, I'll mention my suggestions on which DE you should get on your Linux computer. In this phase we will point out the main functionalities of GNOME and Cinnamon DE in Linux.

1. Cinnamon Vs GNOME: Stability

Cinnamon is a very fast and lightweight desktop environment; On the other hand, GNOME is very stable. Although it was built for Debian and Ubuntu systems, it was later discontinued for Fedora, SuSE and other Linux distributions as well.

GNOME regularly updates its build version to make it more stable and user-friendly. On the other hand, Cinnamon DE is regularly updated with Linux Mint. So in the race for stability, GNOME is one step ahead.

2. Cinnamon vs. GNOME: User Interface

The user interface (UI) of GNOME is very elegant and different. GNOME adds some more features in every update to make it better. On Ubuntu, GNOME runs very silently and smoothly. Search app top menu and sidebar menu has given a very new look. Also, you can add the dock panel at the bottom of the screen for easy access to apps.

The Cinnamon desktop environment has a simple and straightforward interface. Cinnamon's user interface is useful for those new to the Linux world. You can find all applications, control panels and other settings in the Start menu.

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If you're a new Linux user, I recommend getting the Cinnamon desktop environment for its straightforward interface. If you are already familiar with Linux, I strongly recommend using the GNOME desktop environment.

3. Cinnamon vs. GNOME: Application Management

The GNOME desktop environment has an organized system built in to manage the applications installed on the Linux system. You can find the recently used apps in the top left corner of activities corner. Also, you can open standard utility apps from the Software Store.

In the Cinnamon desktop environment, the application manager is simply placed under the Start menu in the lower left corner of the desktop. You can pin frequently used apps to the taskbar. Standard utilities and other application lists are placed in two columns.

Also, the GNOME DE Control Panel is a little different from the traditional operating system Control Panel. In contrast, Cinnamon's desktop environment has a traditional, standard control panel for application management. At this stage, we can clearly see that Cinnamon DE is a clear winner in the Cinnamon vs. GNOME.

4. Cinnamon vs. GNOME: Adaptability

Adaptability is referred to as the ability to install and deploy one thing in a different environment. The GNOME desktop environment was first developed for Debian and Ubuntu Linux systems. However, because of its considerable customizability, it has become the default desktop environment for Fedora, SuSE and all other leading Linux distributions.

On the other hand, Cinnamon DE was built first for Linux Mint. With regular updates and revisions, the Cinnamon desktop environment has successfully proven its ability to be installed on Fedora, OpenSUSE and some Debian distributions. Directly compare adaptability; We can see that the GNOME desktop environment is becoming universal for all Linux distributions.

5. Cinnamon Vs GNOME: Who is faster?

In the Cinnamon vs. GNOME, it's hard to determine which desktop environment works the fastest. However, it has been shown that the opening and closing speed of applications in Cinnamon DE is slightly faster than in the GNOME desktop environment. Also, GNOME consumes slightly more resources than any other desktop environment.

Still, we can't just jump to a conclusion and say that the Cinnamon desktop environment is faster than the GNOME desktop environment. The speed of each DE depends on how many apps are running in the background and your desktop configuration.

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6. Cinnamon vs. GNOME: File Manager

GNOME DE's default file manager is called Nautilus, which is nice and easy to use. However, there may be some problems accessing the root directory with the Nautilus file manager. However, you can override the permission issues with the help of somechmod terminal commands.

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On the other hand, the Cinnamon desktop environment uses theNemo file manager to access files onLinux file system. You can grant root permission directly from the file manager itself. Also, you can copy and paste the file system location to quickly share the directory on the local network.

Therefore, we can say that in the Cinnamon vs. GNOME, the Cinnamon DE file manager is a perfect winner.

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Extra Tip: Change GNOME to Cinnamon

If you are a GNOME desktop environment user and want to try Cinnamon DE, you can do so by installing Cinnamon DE on your Linux system. You can run the following command lines given below in the terminal shell to install Cinnamon DE. During the installation process, all necessary files are downloaded from the Linux repository. This process can take up to an additional 1500MB of Linux file system storage space.

sudo apt updatesudo add-apt-repository universesudo apt install canela-desktop-environment

You can also install and configure Linux Mint theme packages for better user experience.

sudo apt-get install mint-themes

final thoughts

If you are looking for a very lightweight desktop environment for your Linux system, neither GNOME nor Cinnamon is recommended for you. Thinner desktop environments are available for Linux systems. You can try XFCE Desktop, LXDE/LXQt or Enlightenment DE for a simple desktop environment.

(Video) A quick look at Desktop Environments in 2022. Gnome, KDE Plasma, LXQT, cinnamon, xfce, Mate and more

Throughout the post, I've described and highlighted the differences between the main features of Cinnamon vs. GNOME. If you're looking for a quick and simple answer to which desktop environment is best for you; Here is the answer, if you are newbie in Linux world, you should choose Cinnamon DE. If you are a professional Linux user with an exemplary PC setup, you should choose GNOME DE to feel the premium feel of Linux distribution.

If you enjoyed this post and found it informative, please share it with your friends and the Linux community. We encourage you to write your opinion on this comments section. You can also let us know which desktop environment you found suitable for your Linux system.


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