On behalf of the team and all the developers who contributed to this build, I am proud to announce the release of Cinnamon 2.2!
This new version will be featured in Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” planned for the end of May and will then be backported to LMDE Update Pack 9.
Here’s a quick overview of some of the new things in Cinnamon 2.2.
Have a lot of fun with this new release and don’t hesitate to give us some feedback! Enjoy
What’s new for users
Better Looking Settings
The graphical interface for System Settings was refined and settings now look more consistent. Settings are better categorized and separated into sub-sections.
This allowed us to remove the switch between normal and advanced modes and to show all settings all the time.
Screensaver and Power Management
The settings for the Screensaver and for Power Management were very confusing. Some settings were absent, others weren’t presented clearly and some were described in a way that led to believe they worked differently than they actually did.
Power management and screensaver settings were completely revamped in 2.2 with a clear separation between what relates to the Lock Screen and what belongs to Power Management.
Brightness settings were also improved, missing settings added and the overall presentation was reviewed.
Regional Settings and Keyboard Layouts
The Regional Settings module was removed entirely, with the exception of Keyboard Layouts, which was moved to the Keyboard settings module.
This is consistent with other desktop environments such as MATE and Xfce and it lets distributions design their own cross-DE locale management tools with tight integration with their display and package managers.
Date and Time Settings
The original date and time module was brought back, using policy kit and system-wide date setting.
Options such as “Use 24 hour clock” were also added and apply not only to Cinnamon’s calendar applet and clock desklet, but also to the screensaver.
Hot Corners and HUD
Cinnamon’s snapping functionality and workspace management are pretty unique. They might be too advanced for novice users but they’re great once you’re used to them. With that in mind, it’s important to raise the user’s awareness about these tools but without getting in his/her way, and it’s also important not to confuse the user by activating them by accident.
The HUD is now less intrusive and should only appear if you drag a window really close to the edge. As cool as snapping can be, you don’t need to be reminded about it every time you’re a bit slow moving a window around.
Hot Corners were given better settings. For each corner you can now define whether to react on hover, on icon click, or on both.
The hot corner module is also less confusing and more discoverable than before. This allowed us to disable the top-left hot corner by default, which was often triggered by accident by people who weren’t familiar with it.
Applet Roles and Systray Icons
Previous versions of Cinnamon came with a hardcoded list of systray icons to hide. Icons such as the one for Network Manager, or Banshee were typically hidden as their functionality was already covered by the network and sound applets.
In Cinnamon 2.2, this list is gone and each applet is able to register “roles”, i.e. to tell Cinnamon which functionality they take care off, and thus, which systray icons should be hidden when they are running.
These new roles enable Cinnamon to dynamically show relevant systray icons when applets are removed, or to dynamically hide them when applets are added.
Say you remove the network applet, well… you’ll see the Network Manager GTK systray icon appear. Say you put the network applet back in the panel, the Network Manager systray icon will then disappear.
The menu applet received two mintMenu features (more will come in 2.4):
- Right-click an application and select “Uninstall” to remove it.
- Newly installed applications are now highlighted in the menu.
MPRIS and Sound Applet
Cinnamon 2.2 was given MPRIS support, so you can interact with MPRIS compatible software not only from the sound applet but also from your multimedia keys.
The sound applet can now show the track name and the covert art of the song you’re playing, in the panel itself.
It’s also possible to tell the sound applet whether to hide or to show systray icons for multimedia players.
HiDPI/Retina Display support
Cinnamon 2.2 comes with HiDPI support.
A lot of work went into this but there isn’t much to say about it… it just works well in high-resolution :)
The “wacom” plugin is back. It’s fixed, dropped its branding and is now called “Graphics Tablet”.
A11y MouseWheel Zoom
Visually impaired users will enjoy the ability to zoom in and out using Alt+mousewheel.
The magnifier needs to be activated but it no longer needs to be disabled, i.e. you can keep it running even when zooming at 1:1 and it won’t eat any CPU cycles.
Note: This feature comes in Cinnamon 2.2.2.
Window manager improvements
You can now shade windows or change their opacity by using your mouse wheel on their titlebar. A quick roll of the mouse wheel makes your window semi-transparent so you can see what’s happening underneath without the need to tile things or to use Alt-tab. This option is available in the “Windows” module.
Cinnamon 2.2 adds full support for GTK Client Side Decorations (CSD). We do urge developers though not to overuse these, as they don’t work well in other desktop environments and they don’t integrate well with other applications.
Other WM improvements
Other improvements cover:
- Alt-tabbing away from modal windows
- Shadows improvements
- Focus improvements
- Improvements to resizing tiled windows
Other improvements include:
- CJS gsettings wrapper (no more segmentation faults when an old applet queries a Cinnamon gsettings key which no longer exists… CJS intercepts the call and deals with it)
- Better integration with GNOME on the same machine (you should no longer see GNOME Control Center in Cinnamon, or Cinnamon Settings in GNOME)
- Better support for GDM (in particular for user-switching)
- Better support for Xrandr cloning
- Support for MDM fallback shutdown sequence
- New shutdown hotkey
- Configurable delay in cinnamon-session-properties
- Logout sound
- Fixed blacklight/brightness support on some hardware
- Better systemd/logind support
- Better support for VLC screensaver inhibit
- Compatibility with new interfaces such as modemmanager1, upower1
- A lot of bug fixing
And that’s not all…
Cinnamon 2.2 is huge. This is just an overview…
For an exhaustive list of changes, please visit the following page: https://github.com/linuxmint/Cinnamon/commits/master
Notes to themes artists
Cinnamon 2.2 should look fine with all 2.0 themes.
To highlight newly installed applications in the menu, add the styles:
To define the look of the menu icon, provide a “menu.svg” file.
Notes to distributions
To implement the ability to remove applications from the menu, you need to provide an executable at /usr/bin/cinnamon-remove-application.
The menu will show the “Uninstall” option if this script is present. When clicked, Cinnamon will give it the path of the .desktop file as argument.
Feel free to come and chat with us on #linuxmint-dev (irc.spotchat.org) if you face any problem.