Make your desktop look (a little bit) like Manjaro GNOME


Before people throw a hot take at me about not including everything, this article only details about the default Manjaro look and feel. This is also sort of a step-by-step guide but some details are intentionally more ambiguous than others because other people's stuff are different, or other people may have a slightly different way of doing things. Instead of sorting through Manjaro's various Git repos and telling people how to fetch everything from there, everything we need is already pre-built in the ISO, so it will be assumed you will obtain these files from a live session of Manjaro, which isn't that difficult to obtain and set up.

As for why no downloads for the files one can obtain from the live session, I am not entirely certain how the Manjaro team would like me just sharing their stuff, so out of respect for them I'm making the end-user do a little more work for this end result. I'll update this thread with the files if I can be assured it'll be alright to submit them, but know they will be out-of-date in the future.

A brief primer about themes

As well other related topics.

A "Theme", by definition is only the desktop appearance, independent of fonts, and potentially independent of icons (however, icons do come with a lot of themes to complete the look and feel). A theme isn't really Complete by an end user-s perspective until they've picked the general theme, cursor theme, fonts and icon themes of their choosing, which to some degree may be interchangeable. For the purposes of this guide some file manipulation will be necessary (since I took the easy way out and just copied from Manjaro GNOME during a live session) but for completeness, here are all the possible "Standard" theme component directories for open-source systems;

Kind of ridiculous right? Fortunately half of those are user directories, and the other half is for the system. Most distributors use the most simple root path possible, which is good because that makes the next task a fair bit more simple.

Finding Manjaro's theme files

Contents to obtain from a Manjaro live session

Some of this might be better performed through the terminal, if you wish to do things the quick and easy way: Using nautilus, mount your system partition; then with cp (-R for duplicating nested directories) as sudo, type in for source as the first path, then for destination the same path, except it will begin with /run/media/manjaro et cetera.

General theme
The default theme is Arc Maia, a blend of Arc's smoky blue with green accents. This can be found in /usr/share/themes, copy all the Arc themes somewhere for later use in your installation.

  • Files obtainable from a live session
    • /usr/share/themes/Arc-*
  • Where in your installation they should go
    • `/usr/share/themes

Icon theme

This icon set leans heavily on symbolic icons, so unless you also replace the symbolic set by overwriting what's already there on your system it won't look exactly like Manjaro. Also, some applications may look a little funny with an odd mix of specified and symbolic icons.

It's a similar story, except it's for icons, and not themes, unsurprisingly;

  • Files obtainable from a live session
    • /usr/share/icons/Arc-Maia
  • Where in your installation they should go
    • /usr/share/icons

Firefox theme
Horst3180, the author of the Arc theme was kind enough to also supply optimizations for Firefox. The Manjaro community made derivatives for their Maia theme too. As follows;

  • Files obtainable from a live session
    • /usr/lib/firefox/browser/extensions/arc-*
  • Where in your installation they should go
    • /usr/lib/firefox/browser/extensions
    • Alt: /usr/lib/firefox-addons/extensions

Contents to obtain in your primary session

Cursor theme
This can be installed from Ubuntu's repository, and as of present (at least for Zesty) requires no further changes to the interface. As follows;
sudo apt install breeze-cursor-theme

If there are significant differences between Manjaro's Breeze set and the default KDE one I hadn't notice; somebody will have to point out those differences for me.

There are two fonts which are not included in Ubuntu; Cantarell and Hack. The former can be had from; just search cantarell. The second, Hack may be more beneficial to obtain from the Nerd Fonts repository, which contains patched fonts for when you want to gussy up your terminal with awesome stuff in the future. So for the latter, you can do this;

sudo wget -O /usr/share/fonts/Knack\ Regular\ Nerd\ Font\ Complete.ttf
sudo wget -O /usr/share/fonts/Knack\ Bold\ Nerd\ Font\ Complete.ttf
sudo wget -O /usr/share/fonts/Knack\ Italic\ Nerd\ Font\ Complete.ttf
sudo wget -O /usr/share/fonts/Knack\ Bold\ Italic\ Nerd\ Font\ Complete.ttf
fc-cache -f

Nerd Fonts' derivatives of Hack are called Knack, in case you wonder where "Hack" is.

Alternatively, you can just grab the full Nerd Fonts set but it takes a significantly long time to obtain from GitHub. and they do not install as system-wide fonts, instead depositing themselves into /home/$HOME/.local/share/fonts, so there is an added benefit of not bothering with its install script, but if you insist on the complete set this will do;

sudo apt install git
git clone
./nerd-fonts/ -S

You might want to cd where you want nerd-fonts to be deposited: Unless you explicitly tell git otherwise, it will clone directories and files to .; the current directory.

Applying the theme

This is some super-simple stuff; Perform In any order;

  • mate-appearance-properties / Theme: Select any of the Arc-Maia selections
  • Click Customize
  • Icons: Arc-Maia
  • Pointer: Breeze
  • mate-appearance-properties / Fonts
  • Application: Noto Sans Regular
  • Document: Sans Regular
  • Desktop: Noto Sans Regular
  • Window: Cantarell Bold
  • Monospace: Knack Nerd Font Regular

...or Hack if you installed the normal version elsewhere.

  • firefox / about:addons, Appearance: Select a corresponding Arc-Maia theme to the one you are using

After that, you should be done; Apply your own background and make it a little more unique from there.


I appended this with additional information I forgot about because I was up early in the morning burning both ends of the wick and I got a little too sleepy to care. Nonetheless it’s “Finished” now.

More appending, resolving some mistakes previously. No more mistakes exist far as I know (but I said that last time so trust that as far as you can throw a car).