When you download Manjaro, there is an edition available that comes with the Cinnamon desktop environment preloaded. But if you've already installed Manjaro Linux and didn't select the Cinnamon desktop when you were downloading it, don't worry, it's easy enough to change your desktop environment in Manjaro.

The Cinnamon desktop environment is from the developers of Linux Mint, a team that strives to make their Linux distribution user friendly and intuitive. As a result, the Cinnamon desktop has a very traditional vibe and it's really easy to use.

In this guide, we'll show you how to install Cinnamon on Manjaro and begin using it as an alternative or a replacement to your current desktop environment.

In this tutorial you will learn:
  • How to insall Cinnamon on Manjaro
  • How to install commonly used Cinnamon components
  • How to set LightDM display manager for Cinnamon
  • How to install Manjaro configuration and themes for Cinnamon
Cinnamon desktop environment running on Manjaro
Cinnamon desktop environment running on Manjaro
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Manjaro Linux
Software Cinnamon
Other Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the sudo command.
Conventions # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
$ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Install Cinnamon

To get started installing Cinnamon, open up a terminal and type the following command:

$ sudo pacman -S cinnamon

This will only install the base Cinnamon package. If you want to install the other commonly used components of Cinnamon, execute this command:

$ sudo pacman -S cinnamon-wallpapers cinnamon-sounds gnome-terminal parcellite

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Set LightDM display manager for Cinnamon

Once pacman has finished insalling Cinnamon and the extra components, we need to configure LightDM as our system's display manager, as it's the recommended display manager for Cinnamon. Install LightDM and enable it at system startup:

$ sudo pacman -S lightdm lightdm-slick-greeter lightdm-settings
$ sudo systemctl enable lightdm.service --force

When this is complete, reboot your system for all of the changes to take effect:

$ reboot

When your system finishes starting up, you'll be able to click the upper right icon (pictured below) to change your desktop environment before logging in, if Cinnamon isn't already selected by default.

Click the icon pictured here to change your desktop environment
Click the icon pictured here to change your desktop environment

Install Manjaro configuration and themes for Cinnamon

Cinnamon is installed and loaded, but we're missing that Manjaro feel. See?

Cinnamon desktop has been installed on Manjaro, but we have no theme files
Cinnamon desktop has been installed on Manjaro, but we have no theme files

That's because we're still missing the Manjaro theme packages for Cinnamon. These packages are purely optional, as Cinnamon functions fine without them, but it will insert the Manjaro logo in various places and give you some additional configuration options for Cinnamon.

You can install those packages with the following command:

$ sudo pacman -S manjaro-cinnamon-settings adapta-maia-theme kvantum-manjaro

Use nano or your favorite text editor to open the following file:

$ sudo nano /etc/lightdm/slick-greeter.conf

Delete what's inside this file and paste the following snippet. This will make our interface look more like the Cinnamon community edition of Manjaro.

[Greeter]
background=/usr/share/backgrounds/greeter_default.jpg
background-color=#263138
draw-grid=false
theme-name=Adapta-Nokto-Eta-Maia
icon-theme-name=Papirus-Dark-Maia
font-name='Cantarell 11'
xft-antialias=true
xft-hintstyle=hintfull
enable-hidpi=auto


slick-greeter configuration file
slick-greeter configuration file

Save your changes and exit the file. Reboot your system one last time, and then we'll add the finishing touch.

Once you're loaded back, your wallpaper should be different and the theme colors have been changed. But there's still no Manjaro logo in our taskbar. Let's change that.

Right click the menu (lower left of the screen) and choose Configure.

Open up the configuration menu
Open up the configuration menu

Click on "use a custom icon and label" and then select the Manjaro logo from the list of icons.

Select the Manjaro icon (or any you like) for the taskbar
Select the Manjaro icon (or any you like) for the taskbar

And we're done. Looking good, huh?

Cinnamon desktop environment running on Manjaro
Cinnamon desktop environment running on Manjaro

Conclusion

Cinnamon is based on GNOME with improvements meant to enhance user friendliness. It has more customization than GNOME and many users will find its traditional approach very intuitive. We've got to admit, it fits in quite well with Manjaro.

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