First results from Cinnamon meta work using UbuntuStudio 13.04

lukefromdc at lukefromdc at
Tue Jun 4 05:13:34 UTC 2013

Cinnamon and Nemo install easily from Ubuntu's own repos in 13.04, but are NOT in Saucy's repos due to conflict with Gnome 3.8 gnome-shell
packages. I pulled them into a default UbuntuStudio 13.03 install, but ran into quite a few problems that might make it very difficult (at least for me)
to make a meta that could create a ready to use install from just installing packages.

The real serious problem is this: all of the default themes included with US won't show which window is highlighted when running Cinnamon! I installed 
gnome-tweak-tool and tried them all, nothing worked. I tried manually installing the newer Cinnamon packages from Mint, which I use in my working
OS. No difference, even though window border highlighting works fine in my normal installs. Had to disable treating recommendations as dependancies,
or the resulting chain of "recommends" would pull in everything from Rhythmbox to all of Unity and take up over 100MB on disk!

I've enclosed two screenshots: an XCFE  UbuntuStudio desktop, and Cinnamon in UbuntuStudio with GNOME theme and the UbuntuStudio menu
icon, both with one active window. Only in the XFCE version is the window highlighted! The only thing that worked was using my UbuntuStudio-legacy 
GTK theme, which was not developed for XFCE. Then every window border theme  worked fine, highlighting the active window as expected. Therefore,
it appears the bug is in the "greybird," "bluebird," and other themes packaged with US, and not with Cinnamon itself. This is the first time I've ever 
seen Cinnamon or Gnome-Shell act like that.

The other possible blocker is that I don't know any way of scripting Cinnamon setup as to menu icon (the US icon of course), number of desktops, and
what to put in the panel. Also the DE-agnostic menus for US would have to work in Cinnamon when they come out.

After a couple hours of manual setup of everything from the theme and Cinnamon issues to copying the default desktop background to somewhere it 
can be read by GNOME-and having to first install and then remove Nautiilus in order to change it at all, I've got a nearly-working "CinnamonStudio"
desktop. Have to either use a GTK theme meant for GNOME like my "Ubuntustudio-Legacy" theme, or accept having highlight colors of active window
borders not working. Everything else works, menus are default Cinnamon menus. Only way to change those is to use one of the alternate Cinnamon
menus, I don't know how to write these as they are in javascript like their gnome-shell ancestors. I can do a little editing in Javascript with these applets,
but that's it.

These issues also made me think of the inverse route to this same concept: pulling existing ubuntustudio metas into a default install of Mint, which uses 
Ubuntu repos and has access to every single Ubuntu package. Wonder if I am trying to reinvent the wheel here?  

My own desktop evolved down quite a different route, from UbuntuStudio with GNOME 2.32 via early Unity and Gnome-Shell experiments, to Gnome-Shell
with Frippery extensions and finally to Cinnamon, ending up very far from anyone's defaults as I rolled back visual changes over the years to keep the
appearance I liked so much in 2008. Only thing is, my personal fork may work great, but even if I turned all my themes and text files into debs, there
would be hours of manual configuration to deal with after adding them to a default install just like after my 2011 reinstall to change over to 64 bit. I was
quite surprised at the ugly issues I got pulling Cinnamon into a default install of current Ubuntustudio, given that my own desktop is a distant descendant of 
UbuntuStudio Hardy with reinstalls at Jaunty and Precise, both times in alpha, both times with old and loved  themes and behaviors reinstated.
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