Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 20.04 LTS Review

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A short while ago we had a look at the newly released Linux Mint 20 and it’s Cinnamon desktop. This time around, we’ll have a quick look at the Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix (UCR), based on Ubuntu’s 20.04 LTS version. UCR is still a young project and this is only their second stable release. Their aim is to eventually become an official Ubuntu flavor.

According to it’s main developer, ItzSwirlz, UCR is actually forked from Lubuntu and uses the Calamares installer (Correction: The project only forked Lubuntu’s Calamares settings). Some people have questioned the existence of UCR since one can easily add the Cinnamon desktop environment to a standard Ubuntu install. The developer replied that with UCR you get different default utilities, a panel layout switcher and enhanced theming. The theming is quite impressive, users will likely either love it or hate it. It’s probably more orange than even a patriotic Dutch could handle! It uses the Kimmo-Dark theme for icons, the desktop and window borders. I personally like it and actually prefer it to Mint’s green but that’s just my personal taste.

Compared to Linux Mint, with UCR you get Ubuntu’s more frequent release cycle and Ubuntu’s Software Center with Snap support. Whether these are pros or cons is up to every user for himself.

From the discussions at reddit, I gathered this system is still not fully polished. For users with limited Linux knowledge, the developer actually recommends sticking with an official Ubuntu flavor for now. Nice to see the developers being honest about their project. The website does look very professional however and very much gives the impression of being part of the official Ubuntu family.

The ISO was a 1.98GB download. During the boot process we get the regular Ubuntu purple splash screen and the same goes for the shut-down process, so theming is still missing for these two areas. In terms of resource usage, htop showed UCR used: 760 MB, 96 Tasks and 215 Threads after booting up. These figures are just slightly higher than those found in Linux Mint 20.

Out of the box, we get a very standard Cinnamon setup. The panel is located at the bottom of the desktop with the menu launcher on the left and the system tray on the right. We get desktop icons activated by default and of course we get the option to add Cinnamon Applets and Desklets to spice up our desktop experience. As for some of the software we get with a standard install:
The file manager is Nemo, just like in Linux Mint. For image viewing and processing we get gThumb and Gimp. Firefox ist the default web browser and Thunderbird the included email client. As with many distos we get the full LibreOffice suite which is actually overkill for most users. Atril is the document viewer that is commonly found in MATE desktops and for multimedia we get the Celluloid (ex MPV) player. Plank, the dock is also included and that’s because there is a nice panel layout switcher that allows us to mimic other classic desktops like Mac OS or Unity, pictured below.

I enjoyed toying around with UCR. It shows a lot of promise considering how young the project is. Will it manage to gather a sufficiently large user base to become an official Ubuntu flavor? Only time will tell. At the moment there probably isn’t enough here to set it sufficiently apart from it’s main competitors, Linux Mint and the other Ubuntu flavors. That will probably change over time as the project matures with every new release. We wish them the best of luck!



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Chief geek (editor) and maintainer of distrocrunch.com
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