How to Install Cinnamon Desktop Environment on AlmaLinux 8

Cinnamon Desktop Environment is a free, open-source desktop environment based on X Window System created from GNOME 3 by the Linux Community that was frustrated and disappointed with GNOME 3. Cinnamon offers a bright, clean look that is less bloated than alternative desktop environments and focuses on speed and flexibility.

Cinnamon is the default desktop environment choice for Linux Mint, as many veteran Linux distro hoppers would know and are actively maintained by them.

In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install this alternative desktop environment on AlmaLinux 8 Workstation as an option choice to switch from GNOME.

Update AlmaLinux System

Update your AlmaLinux operating system to make sure all existing packages are up to date:

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh -y

Install EPEL Repository

The first task is to install the EPEL (Extra Package for Enterprise Linux) repository. This repository has packages maintained on Red Hat Enterprise (RHEL).

Open your terminal, and use the following command.

sudo dnf install epel-release -y

Enable Power Tools Repository

The second task before installing Cinnamon is to enable the power tools repository. This allows the use of your standard Linux package management tools, yum for Red Hat Enterprise Linux and zypper for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, to automatically install the packages you need in the order that is required by the system.

In your terminal, copy and use the following command.

sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled powertools

Now proceed to the next part of the tutorial and install Cinnamon.

Install Cinnamon Desktop Environment

Install LightDM

Before proceeding with the installation, it should be advised GDM can sometimes cause issues with logging in with Cinnamon Desktop installed on your system. However, LightDM works flawlessly and should be installed.

First, enable the Copr repository stenstorp/lightdm.

sudo dnf copr enable stenstorp/lightdm -y

Next, enable the Copr repository stenstorp/icon-themes.

sudo dnf copr enable stenstorp/icon-themes -y

Next, install LightDM support.

sudo dnf install lightdm-settings slick-greeter-cinnamon

Once installed, disable GDM.

sudo systemctl disable gdm

Lastly, enable LightDM.

sudo systemctl enable lightdm


Install Cinnamon DE

Now with LightDM installed, enable the Copr repository stenstorp/cinnamon. In your terminal, use the following command.

sudo dnf copr enable stenstorp/cinnamon -y

Now proceed to install Cinnamon packages.

sudo dnf install gnome-terminal gnome-system-monitor cinnamon -y

Once complete, reboot your system, which you can do immediately in your terminal using the following command.


Login & First Look Cinnamon Desktop Environment

Once you have restarted your desktop, you will arrive at your login screen. By default, Cinnamon Desktop Environment should now be set as default over GNOME.

If, for some reason, this has not occurred, click on the CLOG next to the sign-in button and change to “Cinnamon”.

Do not select “Cinnamon or Cinnamon (Software Rendering)” as it is recommended to choose Cinnamon. The Cinnamon (Software Rendering) is a backup if you have issues accessing your graphics card by the default desktop.

Example (Click Image Expand):

Install Cinnamon Desktop Environment on AlmaLinux 8

Once logged in, you will notice quite a few UI changes besides the apparent color and background changes. The taskbar is now similar to a more windows type of taskbar but is now running by default along the top; however, integrations exist along the bottom, and if you have used Linux Mint in the past, the look will feel very familiar.

The first thing I would advise is to change the default colors to go to your themes/wallpaper as the default colors are not that pretty. Most users familiar with Cinnamon know that they can customize this desktop environment quite a bit.

Example (Click Image Expand):

Install Cinnamon Desktop Environment on AlmaLinux 8

Some additional looks of Cinnamon in action on AlmaLinux 8.

Example (Click Image Expand):

Install Cinnamon Desktop Environment on AlmaLinux 8

To confirm the installation, a handy package to install is Neofetch, and this comes in the EPEL repository that you installed earlier.

To install this package, use the following command in your terminal.

sudo dnf install neofetch -y

Once installed, run the following command in your terminal.


Example output (Click Image Expand):

Install Cinnamon Desktop Environment on AlmaLinux 8
Install Cinnamon Desktop Environment on AlmaLinux 8

And that is it, and you have successfully installed the Cinnamon desktop environment.

Update/Upgrade Cinnamon Desktop Environment Packages

Run the standard dnf upgrade command for future updates for the desktop environment and any default packages from the App Stream.

sudo dnf upgrade --refresh

When updates are available, it is the same process to upgrade.

Comments and Conclusion

In the tutorial, you have learned how to install the Cinnamon desktop environment on your AlmaLinux 8 Workstation.

Overall, compared to other alternative desktop environments of Cinnamon, the AlmaLinux version is one of the most polished and is an excellent alternative for users that want to switch between desktops.

Ideally, you can install this package and switch around depending on your mood if you have a decent system. If you prefer desktop jumping, it’s worth checking out if the looks appeal to you. If unsure, I suggest installing a VM first, then on your main machine.

For further information on using the Cinnamon desktop environment, visit the official documentation.


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