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How to install the Cinnamon desktop environment in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

A few years back, we did an article on how to get the Cinnamon desktop environment on Ubuntu. Back then, the way to get Cinnamon working was to use a third-party software repository (AKA a PPA). With 20.04 LTS, there is no need to use a PPA, and Ubuntu users can enjoy the full Cinnamon experience with minimal effort.

In this guide, we’ll cover 2 ways you can easily get the Cinnamon desktop environment working on Ubuntu Linux 20.04 LTS, as well as newer releases of the operating system.

Option 1: Install Cinnamon from Ubuntu repositories

If you’re an Ubuntu user and you want to get Cinnamon working on an Ubuntu PC running 20.04 LTS or newer, here’s what to do. First, open up a terminal window on the Ubuntu desktop. You can do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, once the terminal window is open, follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: Cinnamon is available for all Ubuntu users via the Ubuntu “Universe” software repository. However, not all users have access to “Universe” out of the box, so, we’ll demonstrate how to set it up.

To set it up, simply run the following add-apt-repository command in a terminal window.

sudo add-apt-repository universe

After adding the “Universe” repo to your system, you must run the update command to update Ubuntu’s software sources.

sudo apt update

Once everything is up to date, “Universe” is set up.

Step 2: The Cinnamon desktop environment is separated into several different packages. They are all tied together via the “cinnamon-desktop-environment” meta-package. So, if you want to get the complete Cinnamon experience on Ubuntu, you must install this package.

To install the meta-package, use the following apt install command.

sudo apt install cinnamon-desktop-environment

Step 3: Allow the Cinnamon packages to install on your Ubuntu PC. There are quite a few of them, so it’ll take some time. When the installation process is complete, reboot your PC.

Step 4: Upon rebooting your computer, you will see the login screen — unless you have an auto-login setup. In which case, click “log out” to exit your current session.

At the login screen, look for the session menu. Each login screen is different, so you may need to click around to find it. Once you do, select “Cinnamon” in the session menu.

Step 5: Select your user account on the login screen to access Cinnamon on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and newer.

Option 2: Installing Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix

Another way to try out Cinnamon on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and newer is to install the Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix. It’s a community-based Linux operating system with Cinnamon as the primary desktop environment.

In this section, we’ll show you how to get Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix working. To start, head over to the official Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix page, and click download to grab the latest release. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Plug in a USB flash drive of about 4 GB in size to the USB port. 2 GB may also work, but beware as some USB flash drives are smaller than advertised.

Once the device is plugged into your computer, follow our post titled “4 ways to create a bootable USB installer on Linux” to learn how to create a bootable USB installer for Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix.

Step 2: Reboot your Linux PC and load up the BIOS. Once inside of the computer’s BIOS, configure it to boot from the USB flash drive that contains Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix.

Step 3: Upon booting to the Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix installer USB, you will see the Cinnamon desktop. On the desktop, click on “Install cinnamon-remix 20.04” to launch the installation tool.

Step 4: Once the installer is open, you will see “Welcome to the cinnamon-remix-installer.” Click on the “Next” button to begin.

Step 5: After clicking “Next,” you will be asked to select your region. Click it on the map. Setting your area allows the installer to choose your timezone correctly.

Step 6: Past the timezone page, you’ll be asked to set your keyboard layout. Look through the list of choices and set the layout you prefer. Then, click “Next” to move to the next page of the installer.

Step 7: When you’ve set your keyboard layout, you’ll be asked to configure the partition layout for your installation. When your installation is configured, click “Next.”

Step 8: When you’ve configured your partitions for the new installation, you must create a user account. Using the on-screen user creator, set up your new Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix user account. Then, click on the “Next” button to continue.

Step 9: Past the user creation screen, the installer will show an overview of how the installation will take place. Take a look at the overview and confirm if this is how you want to install the OS. If not, click “Back” and change it up.

To install, click “Install” at the bottom.

Step 10: When Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix is installed, reboot your PC. When the reboot is complete, log in and enjoy Cinnamon on Ubuntu!

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