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Install the Cinnamon desktop on Rocky Linux 8.5

Rocky Linux 8 has a lot of desktop environment choices that users can install when using it as a workstation (or GUI server). However, the Cinnamon desktop environment is notably absent. Thankfully, with some third-party software repositories, Cinnamon can be installed on Rocky Linux 8. Here’s how to do it on your system.

Updating Rocky Linux

Before installing the Cinnamon Dekstop environment on Rocky Linux 8, you’ll have to ensure your workstation is up to date. To update, open up a terminal window on the Rocky Linux desktop.

How do you open up a terminal window? Press Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Or, search for “Terminal” in the app menu to launch it. Once the terminal window is open, run the sudo dnf update –refresh command.

sudo dnf update --refresh

Rocky Linux will check for updates and get them ready for installation upon entering the command above. You’ll be asked to press the Y button to confirm you wish to update when everything is ready. Press the Y button to confirm you want to install the updates.

When all updates are complete, reboot Rocky Linux to apply all updates.

Enabling Rocky Linux repos

Rocky Linux can’t install the Cinnamon desktop environment out of the box. Instead, users need to enable some third-party software repositories beforehand. These software repositories will include every package you need to run the Cinnamon desktop environment.


The EPEL repo is “Extra Package For Enterprise Linux.” This software repository includes many packages that are not included out of the box in Rocky Linux. If you want to install Cinnamon, you will need EPEL enabled.

To enable the EPEL software repository, use the dnf install command and set up the “epel-release” package. This package includes everything you need to install EPEL packages.

sudo dnf install epel-release

Power Tools

EPEL isn’t the only third-party software repository required to install the Cinnamon desktop environment on Rocky Linux 8. You’ll also need the “Power Tools” software repository.

What is the “Power Tools” repo? It is a developer software repository for RedHat distributions. It enables users to install developer packages, libraries, etc. You’ll need this repo to get Cinnamon working.

To enable the repo, use the following dnf config-manager command.

sudo dnf config-manager --set-enabled powertools

LightDM, Cinnamon, and icon repos

Three Copr repositories need to be enabled to install Cinnamon on Rocky Linux 8. These repos enable Cinnamon, related icons, and the LightDM login manager. To enable these three software repositories on your Rocky Linux workstation, use the dnf copr enable commands below.

sudo dnf copr enable stenstorp/lightdm

sudo dnf copr enable stenstorp/cinnamon
sudo dnf copr enable stenstorp/icon-themes

Installing/Enabling LightDM

The LightDM login manager is what is used on Linux Mint with Cinnamon. For this reason, you’ll need to install it to access the Cinnamon desktop. Thankfully, it is easy to set up LightDM on Rocky Linux 8.

To install the LightDM login manager on your Rocky Linux 8 workstation, run the dnf install command below.

sudo dnf install lightdm lightdm-settings slick-greeter-cinnamon

You’ll now need to enable the LightDM login screen as the default login manager on Rocky Linux 8. To enable it, run the systemctl enable command.

sudo systemctl enable lightdm -f

Installing the Cinnamon desktop

Now that the LightDM login screen is set up on your Rocky Linux 8 system, you’ll need to install the Cinnamon desktop environment. Thankfully, the “sternstorp/cinnamon” repository will provide all necessary Cinnamon packages to your Rocky Linux system.

sudo dnf install cinnamon

In addition to the “Cinnamon” package, you should also install the “gnome-terminal” and “gnome-system-monitor” packages on your Rocky Linux 8 system. Why? The Cinnamon package doesn’t appear to install these automatically during the installation, and you’ll likely need them to use Cinnamon.

sudo dnf install gnome-terminal gnome-system-monitor

Lastly, you must install the Linux Mint theme files and Mint icon files. Cinnamon can function fine on Rocky Linux 8 without these packages; however, it may not look as intended, and as a result, we highly suggest installing these packages.

sudo dnf install mint-themes mint-y-theme mint-*-icons

When all packages are installed, reboot your computer. When you reboot, you should see the new LightDM login screen.

Logging into Cinnamon in Rocky Linux 8

With all the Cinnamon, Gnome, Mint theme packages, and Mint icon packages installed, Rocky Linux 8 is ready to use Cinnamon. Log out of your current desktop session and return to the login screen to use it.

Once on the Rocky Linux 8 login screen (LightDM installed earlier), select Cinnamon as your new session. Then, select your user account, enter your password and log in.

Upon logging in, you’ll be using the Cinnamon desktop environment on Rocky Linux 8. Enjoy!

1 Comment

  1. Tried two diff tuts, diff order but same pkgs. “dm-tool switch-to-greeter = not running inside a display manager, XDG_SEAT_PATH not defined”

    “systemctl status lightdm.service” says inactive(dead)

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