I have read that there is a new Gnome-2 like interface called Cinnamon produced by the Linux Mint developers.
Is this available for Ubuntu users - and if so how do I install it?
Cinnamon is a Gnome-Shell desktop fork. It is not strictly a Gnome-2 interface, although the developers aims are laudable - to produce a simpler more traditional desktop interface.
Development seems to be rapid. It is usable and certainly fun to play with with a growing number of extensions to install to extend the base installation.
How to install
for 13.04 and later
Cinnamon is now available in the Universe repository
Since it is in this repository, it is community maintained and thus it is up to the community to update the packages as and when new releases and bug-fixes are released.
for 11.10 and later
A cinnamon package maintainer has a PPA that contains the latest release for supported ubuntu versions.
From a terminal type the following:
Logout and select the Cinnamon session:
Enter you password and you'll see the Cinnamon desktop
... showing the traditional start type menu and applet design from Gnome-2
The Cinnamon desktop uses the same philosophy as Gnome-Shell - functionality can be added to by installing Extensions & Applets.
Cinnamon uses its own Settings tool.
Similar to gnome-shell extensions - you can install applets from a dedicated Mint website.
12.04 vs 11.10
I contacted the Ubuntu Cinnamon PPA owner - Gwendal LE BIHAN - 2nd April - this is the reply:
Precise builds are now available in the PPA and can be installed per the linked answer.
From now on, the Oneiric packages in the PPA will be fixed at v1.4. Thus if you are an Oneiric (11.10) user, your upgrade route should be via the 12.04 distro route, followed by reactivating or adding the PPA.
Alternatively, you may wish to consider one of the other answers to the question.
PPA for 12.04 (nightly build)
Packages for Precise are now available on the nightly PPA :
The stable PPA will take a little more time before it gets updated, any feedback about the nightly packages will be very welcome.
Or you can directly use linux mint repository. Just add to your software sources