First results from Cinnamon meta work using UbuntuStudio 13.04

Len Ovens len at
Thu Jun 20 00:42:23 UTC 2013

On Mon, June 3, 2013 10:13 pm, lukefromdc at wrote:
> 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.

You would probably need to add a -settings package. There is a tool for
making them called ubuntu-defaults-builder. Be warned, it just gives a
starting point and there are some things you can't use in it... like
setting up a firefox default home page.
> The real serious problem is this: all of the default themes included with
> US won't show which window is highlighted when running Cinnamon!

There seems to be a trend in themes to not make the focused window very
apparent. I hope it goes away soon as I find it annoying. KDE default is
that the text in the title bar gets bold or grey :P   It is fine for full
screen use like most consumers do, but not for production where any number
of windows may be visible on the desktop.

> 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!

They both may be highlighted, I would have to see the compared out of
focus window to know for sure.

You do need to be aware however, that the greybird theme is still under
development and that the new version will land in this cycle... along with
xfce 4.12

> 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.

Again this would have to be in a settings package. Normally, there would
be a directory like /etc/xdg/sessionname/ that has the default menu and
settings in it. Looking through our -settings package may be helpful to
you for this.
will let you browse our system settings defaults. There should be
something similar for cinnamon in /etc/xdg/somedir/ Look for similar file
name directories as you find in ~/.config/

> 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.

Menus are still moving in cinnamon as gnome shell changes, I would look
for things to start settling down as it matures. I was able to get our
menus working in some of the cinnamon menus from MINT. Though they seem to
only have one depth of menu :P  It was just a matter of finding the menu
config that was in use at the time. Often not the one I would have

I was not that impressed with Mint or Cinnamon (due to it not liking my
video setup) so I have removed it ... so I can play with fvwm and
afterstep which is a whole other menu problem... much more configurable
and not near so automatic as the gnome/xfce/kde user would expect.

> 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?

That's the angle I am working from. It will probably be ready soon in some
kind of shape. A small app that gives the user a choice of metas to
install including the menus and kernel. It should give the user the
ability to add some of the default system settings as well. (like making
sure jack can run RT ... whatever that will take... hopefully jack will be
fixed to not need the user in the audio group soon)

> 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

The trick is to take the contents of your ~/.config/ directory and make
that the system default. Sometimes you can take a file from there and put
it in the system directory and other times not. :)

What happens is that the first time you log into an account after install,
The system defaults are copied into your home .config directory. So to
test system defaults, remove ~/.config (and maybe ~/.cache) and log in
again. You may wish to back up this directory first :)

Len Ovens

More information about the Ubuntu-Studio-devel mailing list