Manjaro Layout Manager (for GNOME)

Manjaro GNOME default look is quite OK, however it think it could be made a lot easier for new users.

A very popular feature of other distros like Zorin OS is the Layout Manager. I think it's very useful especially for new users coming from different setups like Windows/MacOSX/Unity or whatever.

I'm thinking that this would work very well with new features like manjaro-hello. Maybe @huluti could give his opinion toom since he develops manjaro-hello. For example, there could be a Tab for layout if the DE detected is GNOME.

I've already filed a feature request on Bugzilla: Feel free to contribute.

Here is the Zorin OS PPA. I've tried to port to Arch with debtap unsuccessfully but maybe there is a better way, or probably there is a way to do it from scratch. I am currently trying to write a GNOME extension but having a hard time.

Feel free to give feedback.

Edit: I'm writing a script that will showcase how this could work. Download it here:
then chmod +x and run it with ./ --unity
Let me know what you think!


hmmm, never used Layout Manager extension but it looks like it could be good for new users.

Actually the coolest thing for new users would be a window that was open after reaching desktop that had links to help (Yelp in Gnome) and Link to keyboard short cuts or some other better site for this.
How to use the new shortcut view by hitting Ctl-F1 when over a Gnome app like Nautilus. A Tweaktool Icon that links to the app where people can change anything basically.

Has anyone tried the new (in 3.22) gnome-initial-setup package? It is supposed to guide the user through setting up some of the basic GNOME settings, etc?

As soon as 3.24 comes down from [gnome-unstable] I think I'll do a new install and try it just so I'm familiar with it.


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It seems like layout managers are becoming popular... I've known about Zorin's one for a while, and xfce-panel-switch too. I've switched to Mate recently, and just discovered mate-tweak.

I think they're a good Idea to show new users what can be done, but there's much more that can be done with manual tweaking... I was messing around with Xfce some time ago and managed to get it looking very much like Gnome 3...

Not sure whether I've tried this one (3.22) in particular. But I made sure I filed the feature request under gnome-initial-setup: :wink:

Of course, it would be nice to have in the Gnome Control Center too.

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Not sure about all of them .. but peeking at xfce-panel-switch, I find there to be no reason to include it by default. Everything it offers can be achieved by a handful of mouse clicks from within the DE already. If someone wanted to make an AUR package they certainly could. And then if someone wanted to make "Manjaro Desktop-Configuration-Walkthrough Edition" they could also do that.

There already is one, actually:

Thank you for this, but I was looking for something for GNOME, as the title suggests.

Dunno what he is using, but the developer of OBRevenge uses a panel switcher of some type to cycle through several DE panels--Tint2, Xfce, MATE, and LXPanel--switch at the click of a button.

Personally, I would suppose any of the existent panel switchers as adaptable. After all, if you want to switch out to the Xfce Panel, for example, you will need at least some of the Xfce libraries.

Same goes with panels from the other DE/WMs--you'll need at least enough of their base libraries to make their panels work in your environment.

P.S. I note the xfpanel-switch is maintained by our very own @oberon. :smiley:


@c00ter Exactly, that's very similar to what I'm looking for.

I'm actually working on a bash script prototype so I can showcase how it could be done. I am including 3 options: Windows 10, MacOSX & Unity. I am using git to get the extensions and "gsettings set" to tweak them.

I just booted into the live OBRevenge, and its switcher actually offers the full fare of DEs, including Compiz WM, plus dock options. It's pretty awesome, if somewhat scary! :smiley:


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Sorry, I was referring to @cscs since he mentioned that he was missing an AUR package for xfce-panel-switch. :slight_smile:

Ah OK, gotcha!

Announcement: I created an experimental bash script to showcase how my idea could be done.

If you want to test it, I suggest you try it on a live USB or a VM (because it will affect your extension settings).

What is it?
It's a script that disables all your current extensions and downloads, installs, enables and tweaks new extensions according to your preference.


  1. Make sure you have wget and unzip. If not get them with sudo pacman -S wget unzip
  2. Download the script and use chmod +x to make in runnable.
  3. Run script ./ It will present you 3 options (--windows, --macosx, --unity) each with a description.
  • Windows is bottom panel and no top bar,
  • Mac OSX is bottom dock and top bar (both autohide) and
  • Unity is left dock and top bar
    Wait some time, until the X manager restarts, then close the terminal.
    These are not meant to be perfect they are just there to showcase the potential of a layout manager.

I would appreciate your feedback!

Idea: instead of suggesting user installs certain tools a) offer to install them or b) package the script and make it depend on the said tools. But I guess you wish to make this a cross distro tool?

To emulate unity, I recommend following extensions:

  • Dash to Dock
  • Frippery move clock
  • Hide activities button
  • Arch linux update indicator
  • Topicons plus
  • unite

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I want grab archlinux update extension to match with manjaro @Chrysostomus .. and i like the script i think is a good point to start and improve...

@Chrysostomus Thank you very much for your feedback! I added your recommendations for the Unity theme (all except arch updates, because I didn't think it's necessary). Can you please try it and let me know what you think? Just download and run it like ./ --unity (give it 1-2 minutes and ignore any errors that pop- it's just for debugging)

Should come up like this:

I'm now working on Windows and MacOSX layouts, please give any feedback.

EDIT: I also just tried it on @Ste74's new GNOME iso and it works perfectly! (well except for Frippery and Hide Activities because they don't have 3.24 versions yet -_-)

I'll try it when time permits.

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If you would use the update indicator, you might want to to use it (+gnome software) instead of pamac. Or somehow disable pamac notification, otherwise you have double notifications for updates.

Update notifier provides update action (customizable command, by default sudo pacman - Syu in terminal). I think update notifier + gnome software might actually be a good alternative to pamac (if ship without yaourt and base-devel). Running updates in terminal reduces update issues. It would be a shame not to use pamac in gtk3 environment though...

If adopting update notifier for manjaro edition, I would

  1. change the icon
  2. integrate with update-notifier package to also check for AUR updates
  3. integrate with pacui for updating.

It should be trivially easy to do.

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Once the actual switching works, maybe add a GUI like wm-switcher: Manjaro XFCE Desktop Settings like Linux Mint, is it possible? ?

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@Chrysostomus Thank you for that I will have a look into the arch updater looks very interesting.

@Photon, yes that's the plan. After I finish the script I will add a GUI probably with Builder or something. Right now the --unity option should be usable. The other two are quite basic still.

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