If you’re a fan of the Yaru theme but prefer the classic feel of the Cinnamon desktop you’ll be interested to know that an official Yaru Cinnamon theme is on the way.

Technically it’s been in development for a while, but I was hesitant to try it out while it was still in a formative stage. Waiting paid off as it’s now considered ready for testing — so I decided to dive in, build it, and see how it fares!

I built the Yaru Cinnamon theme on Linux Mint 20.3 to try it out. This means there will be some modest differences compared to using it on an Ubuntu install with the Cinnamon desktop installed (while installing the Cinnamon desktop on Ubuntu is relatively easy, it’s not a 1:1 experience with Cinnamon on Linux Mint as Linux Mint is a collection of tech, of which Cinnamon is just one part).

But overall it’s …Pretty good.

Conscious decisions, like reusing the dark panel colours from the Yaru GNOME Shell theme instead of Cinnamon’s more faded grey default, work especially well. The vibe is heavily Yaru-y, but it doesn’t feel out of kilter with the makeup of the Cinnamon desktop.

Since the the Yaru Cinnamon theme can be used with any GTK theme and icon pack I chose to pair it with the Yaru GTK theme and Yaru icon set to ‘complete’ the look as intended. One upside of Mint’s mix-and-match approach to theming is that it’ easy to recreate the “old” mixed Yaru theme that got removed last year:

a screenshot of the new Yaru cinnamon theme
The regular Yaru Cinnamon theme

While Cinnamon look pretty good with the Mint Y theme in Linux Mint, its actual default theme looks more dated by comparison. Yaru transforms it. Cinnamon with Yaru looks effortlessly modern. It’s a natural fit.

Admittedly there is quite a bit of of orange, but that’s true of the Yaru theme shipping in Ubuntu 22.04 LTS.

As well as a Yaru Cinnamon theme with “light” menu and applets there’s a completely dark version too. This pairs well with the Yaru Dark GTK theme:

a screenshot of the yaru dark cinnamon theme
The dark Yaru Cinnamon theme

Pretty nice isn’t it?

Ubuntu fans who want to use the Cinnamon desktop on their system will find the Yaru Cinnamon theme is a fantastic default. Ubuntu’s colour palette is translated beautifully. And even though the theme is still described as a “work in progress” there doesn’t appear to be much left to do.

So when can you try it?

If you’re savvy with the command line it doesn’t take too much effort to build Yaru from source (though make sure you build the Cinnamon theme as part of it).

I don’t know how the Cinnamon theme is going to be made available in Ubuntu, i.e. whether it’ll be installed as part of the main theme, a depedency of Cinnamon, or require separate installation through a standalone package.

However one gets it, it’s certain to please a lot of people when it becomes broadly available with the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release due in April.

Cinnamon cinnamon themes Linux Mint yaru