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

GNOME's main focus is on productivity. It's a very popular and common desktop environment used as the default for many major Linux distributions, such as Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu, and others.

In this guide, we'll show you how to install GNOME 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 install GNOME on Manjaro
  • How to install commonly used GNOME components
  • How to set GDM display manager for GNOME
  • How to install Manjaro configuration and themes for GNOME
GNOME desktop environment running on Manjaro Linux
GNOME desktop environment running on Manjaro Linux
Software Requirements and Linux Command Line Conventions
Category Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used
System Manjaro Linux
Software GNOME
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 GNOME


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

$ sudo pacman -S gnome

This will only install the base GNOME package. You can (optionally) install extra GNOME themes, games, and features by executing this command:

$ sudo pacman -S gnome-extra

Set GDM display manager for GNOME

Once pacman has finished installing GNOME and the extra components, we need to configure GDM as our system's display manager, as it's the recommended display manager for GNOME. GDM should have already been installed earlier as a dependency of GNOME, so it just needs to be enabled at system startup:

$ sudo systemctl enable gdm.service --force

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

$ reboot

When Manjaro loads back to the login page, you should be greeted by the GNOME desktop interface. You can make sure you have GNOME selected by clicking the cogwheel in the lower right corner of the screen. Login to Manjaro to finish loading the GNOME desktop environment.

You can change the desktop environment from the Manjaro login screen
You can change the desktop environment from the Manjaro login screen

Install Manjaro configuration and themes for GNOME



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

GNOME loaded on Manjaro with default settings
GNOME loaded on Manjaro with default settings

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

You can install those packages with the following command:

$ sudo pacman -S manjaro-gnome-assets manjaro-gdm-theme manjaro-settings-manager

If you chose to install these optional packages, you'll need to reload GNOME to see the changes. It's easiest to just reboot your system entirely. When you're loaded back in, you can add the finishing touch by changing the wallpaper. Just right click an empty spot on your desktop and click "Change background."



Change your background to a Manjaro wallpaper to maintain that Manjaro feel
Change your background to a Manjaro wallpaper to maintain that Manjaro feel

Conclusion

In this guide, we saw how to install GNOME on Manjaro Linux. We also learned how to install additional GNOME components and configure GDM desktop manager.

GNOME utilizes an intuitive desktop interface that looks a lot like what'd you see on a tablet or phone. Many of the most popular Linux distributions use it as their default interface, so it's easy to see why you'd want to give a shot on Manjaro as well.

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