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How to replace GNOME with Cinnamon on a F20 live media install

asked 2014-03-22 09:47:19 -0600

ermo gravatar image

updated 2014-08-24 07:01:58 -0600

Seeing as there is no F20 Cinnamon spin, it would be nice if there was a well-documented way to turn the default GNOME spin installed from a F20 live media install into a Cinnamon-only install.

(The answer w/instructions previously included in this post has been moved down into a 'proper' answer)

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Are you interested in joining forces with Fusion Linux team and making Cinnamon spin? or email me directly -

valentt gravatar imagevalentt ( 2014-04-07 06:10:48 -0600 )edit

Dude, you're an idiot. Not only your script will ruin any fedora 20 installation but it will leave the user unable to boot again unless they have a live usb available. Get this post down admins.

His script will uninstall all the gnome software, including network manager and UI and will always bring the user to command prompt in usrlvl 1 with only yum installed but no access to the internet.

No.2, that command to install cinnamon that way won't work. Plus it makes no sense. If you installed Cinnamon before uninstalling gnome, you might have something. But I'm not sure even that would work.

freddiebirkhoff gravatar imagefreddiebirkhoff ( 2014-08-07 22:26:38 -0600 )edit

@freddiebirkhoff - you should read man yum-shell. I don't think you understand the way it handles transactions.

@ermo - why did you copy the answer into your question? Now it reads like you have a question because you had a problem with the instructions, because you're forcing a blog/knolwedge base format instead of using the Q&A format. @valentt - I'd guess there isn't an official Fedora cinnamon spin because noone has volunteered to maintain it - Contribution Opportunity there :) You don't even have to rebrand everything, do your own marketing and distribution, etc.

randomuser gravatar imagerandomuser ( 2014-08-08 00:25:17 -0600 )edit


The instructions work as posted for me. If you doubt that, you're welcome to try in a disposable VM.

As randomuser alludes to, the trick is that yum shell orders and merges the transactions such that you don't end up with a broken system.

ermo gravatar imageermo ( 2014-08-23 16:42:37 -0600 )edit


I figured that it would be easier to have the recipe up top for when people searched for how to replace GNOME with Cinnamon. If you would rather that I moved the instructions to a separate answer, I'll do so.

ermo gravatar imageermo ( 2014-08-23 16:44:26 -0600 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2014-03-24 03:19:39 -0600

FranciscoD_ gravatar image

It'll make more sense to grab the net-iso and install a minimal system and then install cinnamon on top of it. It'll save you bandwidth, install latest packages and give you a pristine cinnamon system. Removing the gnome group will also uninstall quite a few system packages as part of dependency hell. Reinstalling cinnamon should pull them back in, but the system maybe quite unusable in the interval. if you must install Gnome and replace it, a better way of doing it would be using yum shell

sudo yum shell
> groupremove gnome-desktop #or whatever the group is called
> groupinstall cinnamon #or whatever the group is called
> ts list #list the transaction
> ts solve #solve the transaction
> ts list #check package lists
> ts run #run transaction

More at man yum-shell

Do the other yum stuff before and after this one transaction as you see fit.

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answered 2014-08-24 06:58:44 -0600

ermo gravatar image

updated 2014-08-24 11:02:44 -0600

If you have already installed GNOME from a F20 live media install, the following set of commands should successfully replace GNOME with Cinnamon (thanks to yum shell, transactions will be re-ordered such that you don't end up hosing your working system):

# Log out of gnome

# switch to the console using ctrl+alt+F2
# Then log in to the console and become root with your favourite method

# Have the system shut down its graphical environment while allowing
# console logins and network access
systemctl isolate

# Install the newest version of yum, which is not broken wrt. groups_as_objects
yum upgrade yum

# Mark the Cinnamon desktop environment group for installation on the next yum upgrade
yum group mark install "Cinnamon Desktop"

# Disable the Gnome Display Manager, since it will be removed shortly
systemctl disable gdm

# -- The following is an adaptation of FranciscoD's answer
# Use yum shell to ensure a sane single transaction which won't leave
# the system inoperable after removing the gnome-desktop group
# but before installing the cinnamon group.
# Commands preceeded with '>' should be entered in the yum shell
# (excluding the '>' of course)
yum shell

# Get rid of the gnome-desktop group
> groupremove gnome-desktop

# Explicitly install all the packages in the Cinnamon desktop
> groupinstall cinnamon

# Have yum show the transaction list
> ts list

# Have yum resolve the combined transaction
> ts solve

# Have yum show the resolved package list with packages to remove and packages to install
> ts list

# Have yum run the transaction in a single go
> ts run

# Once the transaction is complete, exit the yum shell
> exit
# -- End FranciscoD comment adaptation

# Ensure that LightDM (installed as part of the Cinnamon desktop) starts automatically
systemctl enable lightdm

# Upgrade all packages on the system
yum upgrade

# Reboot the system (to take advantage of any newer kernel available)
systemctl reboot
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@randomuser: Thanks for the "gnome-session-quit" tip and your subsequent inclusion of it in the instructions. :)

ermo gravatar imageermo ( 2014-08-27 11:55:18 -0600 )edit

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Asked: 2014-03-22 09:47:19 -0600

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Last updated: Aug 24 '14