Introducing Ubuntu Unity for Arch Linux

Injecting the Unity desktop environment on the Arch Linux distro

By on December 23rd, 2013 11:01 GMT

Back in June, we were ready to announce the immediate availability for download of a new Linux distribution, called Unity-for-Arch, which used Ubuntu's Unity user interface on a basic Arch Linux Live CD.

Unfortunately, the developer neglected the Live CD, which at that time did not work as expected, and concentrated his efforts on porting the Ubuntu Unity user interface to Arch Linux through third-party repositories.

Therefore, if you ever dreamed of using the Unity desktop environment designed by Canonical for its popular Ubuntu Linux operating system on top of the reliable, powerful, and stable Arch Linux distribution, now is your chance, thanks to the Unity-for-Arch project.

The Unity shell packages, on which Unity-for-Arch is based, are ported from the stable Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) Linux operating system, which is still supported by Canonical until 2014.

Unity-for-Arch includes exactly the same packages found in an official distribution of the Unity project, such as the required GTK2/3 toolkits, all the necessary indicators and libraries, as well as the Nautilus, GNOME, and Ubuntu packages.

By default, it includes the following Unity Lens: Unity Applications Lens, Unity Files Lens, Unity Music Lens, Unity Photo Lens, Unity Video Lens, and the Unity Smart Scopes.

To install the Ubuntu Unity user interface in your Arch Linux operating system, add the following repository to the Pacman configuration file that can be found at /etc/pacman.conf:

[Unity-for-Arch]
SigLevel = Optional TrustAll
Server = http://dl.dropbox.com/u/486665/Repos/Unity-for-Arch/$arch

[Unity-for-Arch-Extra]
SigLevel = Optional TrustAll
Server = http://dl.dropbox.com/u/486665/Repos/Unity-for-Arch-Extra/$arch


After that, open a Terminal and run the following commands, one by one, hitting Enter after each one:

sudo pacman -Syu
sudo pacman -S $(pacman -Slq Unity-for-Arch)


Wait for the packages to be downloaded and installed, and reboot your system. You should see the LightDM login manager after the machine restarts. For more details, please read the entire Unity-for-Arch documentation provided on its GitHub page. Also, read the Arch Linux Wiki for more details regarding this port of the Unity shell for Arch.

Xiao-Long Chen is the one responsible for this port of Unity to Arch Linux. He is also known for porting Ubuntu's Unity desktop environment to the Fedora Linux operating system.

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