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This project is a port of the Ubuntu Unity desktop and most of its features to Arch Linux. Please see the Arch Wiki for more information.


  • thn81
  • L42y
  • City-Busz
  • All of the other AUR maintainers that helped make it possible to run Unity under Arch Linux

Compiling from source

Please make sure you don't already have modified versions of the dependencies installed. For example, gtk3-ubuntu might fail to compile if there's a modified version of gtk3 already installed.

Packages ending with "-ubuntu" contain Ubuntu patches and REPLACE Arch Linux versions of those packages.

To compile from source, just build all of the packages in the following order:

Package Description
systemd System and service manager
dbus-activation-env Push session env vars to dbus/systemd
gtk2-ubuntu GTK toolkit 2.0 with Ubuntu's patches
gtk3-ubuntu GTK toolkit 3.0 with Ubuntu's patches
libdbusmenu-ubuntu Library for passing menus over DBus
ido Widgets and objects used for indicators
libindicator Symbols and functions for indicators
libindicate Libraries to raise 'flags' on DBus
libindicate-qt Qt 4 bindings for libindicate
libappindicator Library to export menu bar to Unity
unity-gtk-module Application menu module for GTK+
dee-ubuntu Model to synchronize instances over DBus
libunity Library for integrating with Unity
libunity-misc Differently licensed stuff for Unity
indicator-messages Collects messages that need a response
bamf-ubuntu Application matching framework
libtimezonemap GTK+3 timezone map widget
gsettings-desktop-schemas-ubuntu Shared GSettings schemas for the desktop
gsettings-ubuntu-schemas GSettings desktop-wide schemas for Ubuntu
gnome-settings-daemon-ubuntu Daemon handling the GNOME session settings
gnome-session-ubuntu GNOME Session Manager
gnome-screensaver-ubuntu GNOME screen saver and locker
unity-settings-daemon Daemon handling the Unity session settings
libgeonames Library for parsing local DB
unity-control-center Utilities to configure the Unity desktop
properties-cpp C++11 library providing properties/signals
lightdm-ubuntu Cross-desktop lightweight display manager
unity-api API for Unity shell integration
appmenu-qt Global menus support for Qt4
appmenu-qt5 Global menus support for Qt5
indicator-application Takes menus and puts them in the panel
indicator-appmenu Indicator to host the menus from apps
indicator-datetime Indicator to show the date and time
indicator-keyboard Indicator to show kb. layout/input method
indicator-power Indicator to show battery information
indicator-printers Indicator to show active print jobs
indicator-session Indicator for session management
indicator-sound Indicator to show a unified sound menu
gsettings-qt Library to access GSettings from Qt
dee-qt Qt5 bindings for dee
libcolumbus Small, fast, error tolerant matcher
hud Backend for the Unity HUD
network-manager-applet-ubuntu NetworkManager applet w/indicator support
overlay-scrollbar Overlay scrollbars for GTK+2 and GTK+3
frame Open Input Framework Frame Library
grail Gesture recognition and instantiation lib.
geis Implementation of the GEIS interface
glew-unity The OpenGL Extension Wrangler Library
nux An OpenGL toolkit for Unity
unity-asset-pool Design assets for Unity
nautilus-ubuntu File manager for GNOME and Unity
zeitgeist-ubuntu Service for logging user activities
libzeitgeist Zeitgeist client library
unity-lens-applications Unity lens for searching applications
unity-lens-files Unity lens for searching files
unity-lens-music Unity lens for searching music library
unity-lens-photos Unity lens for searching photos
unity-lens-video Unity lens for searching videos
unity-scope-home Unity lens for aggregating search results
unity-scopes Unity scopes for searching online sources
compiz-ubuntu Compositing window manager
lightdm-unity-greeter LightDM greeter for Unity
unity Desktop shell designed for efficiency
unity-language-packs Unity language packs


See the Arch wiki for more troubleshooting tips.

  • AHH! Something is wrong with Unity!

    Try resetting the settings for Unity and Compiz and relogin:

      rm -rvf ~/.cache/unity/
      rm -vf ~/.cache/unity-lens-video

    If something is still wrong, please file a bug report at either:




  • The global menu does not show up for Qt 4 applications.

    Just install appmenu-qt


Porting Ubuntu's Unity Shell to Arch Linux



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