How to Start Cinnamon desktop from Run Level Three on Fedora 16

Fedora 16

The default UI on Gnome 3 is Bad.  Everyone knows it.  I’ve been running Fedora 14 for what seems like years, hoping that one day the Gnome development team pulls their heads out of their collective asses and restores a simple, low impact interface.  Instead, as of Fedora 16,  I still see these gigantic window title bars, huge ugly icons, lack of minimize and maximize buttons.  What’s next?  Tiles?  Honestly it looks like Gnome 3 was designed for a cell phone.  Or maybe on a cell phone.

Luckily the folks at Mint Linux have been working on a Gnome 3 variant with a sane UI.  One that look like a traditional, but stylish desktop.  I installed Fedora 16 and tried Cinnamon.  While Gnome 2 on Fedora 14 is still more refined, I really like the direction this project is headed.  One problem that vexed me is how to start Cinnamon from run level 3(terminal).

Purpose of this post:

  1. Install cinnamon
  2. create .xinitrc for startx to work

Step 1

As root,

[root@localhost ~]$ curl -o /etc/yum.repos.d/fedora-cinnamon.repo

[root@localhost]$ yum install cinnamon

Now in your home directory create a folder called “.themes”.  This folder will contain any Cinnamon themes you might want.

Step 2
To succussfully ‘startx’ from a terminal create a ‘.xinitrc’ in your home directory file like this,

#exec gnome-session
exec gnome-session –session=cinnamon

Make the ‘.xinitrc’ file executable.
[root@localhost ~]$ chmod a+x .xinitrc

That’s all there is to it!  I Googled and fretted over this for hours.  Repeat the procedure for any user wishing to use Cinnamon by default.  Hopefully I can save some Fedora users some time!  Thanks to the Mint Linux folks!


Written by mattb in: Linux | Tags: , , , , , , ,


  • Brokenman

    Why is it that people resist innovation? Gnome-3.10 for me is one of the best desktops out there. Usability is intuitive, I can open most things by hitting no more than 2 keys. People are stuck needing a ‘start’ or ‘menu’ button. Why have minimize buttons when they are not needed? All I need is to open my window, do my work and then close it or open another. So your opening lines here are very generalized and for me only pertain to people who resist change and innovation. If you stick to using your mate, cinnamon gnome2 style layouts your going to be regressing and will be forced to move forward one day. You’ll see.

    Comment | March 27, 2014
  • Norm

    I hate the windows 8 type desktops. ‘Intuitive’ should be based on usability and simplicity – not difficulty in finding what you want. When you use numerous programs at once, its important not to close what you are using and be able to switch between them easily. A Taskbar is brilliant for switching between programs. Change is great when its productive. When its making work more difficult for many users who cant use the system as productively as they want – then that’s a step back (or many steps).

    What I liked about Linux is that they set the positive changes in desktop evolution. Now it seems it is taking the same path as windows 8 and windows 8 is a major dud.

    Quite honestly, if Gnome 3 was the only alternative in desktop environments, then I’d just write off desktop Linux as a bad joke (just the GUI) and probably run Apples who still use a decent desktop environment. The alternative desktops to Gnome 3 is the only thing making Linux a real choice for me.

    Comment | April 20, 2014

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