You Can Now Install Ubuntu’s Unity Desktop on Arch Linux, Here’s How

Unity Arch Linux

Rudra Saraswat, the maintainer of the official Ubuntu Unity flavor has released today a new tool that lets you install the latest version of the Unity7 desktop environment on your Arch Linux computer.

If you’ve been waiting to install and enjoy the Unity7 desktop environment on your Arch Linux machine, the wait is finally over thanks to Ubuntu Unity developed Rudra Saraswat, who managed to package and port the Unity7 desktop to Arch Linux.

He created a custom repository with all the needed packages, allowing you to install the latest and greatest version of the Unity7 desktop on Arch Linux with a few easy steps as described in the paragraphs below or in Rudra’s blog.

“A lot of people wanted to use Unity on Arch and we were asked about it on various channels/groups of Ubuntu Unity, so I thought of working on it, especially now that I’m actively developing Unity7,” told Rudra Saraswat to 9to5Linux.com.

Here’s how to install the Unity desktop on Arch Linux

Editor’s note:

I performed the installation on a fresh Arch Linux install only with a Xorg desktop profile and chroot into it. I do not recommend installing it on top of your current desktop environment as there may be incompatibilities.

To install the latest version of the Unity7 desktop environment on your Arch Linux computer, you will first have to add the repository key to the pacman keyring by running the two commands below in a terminal emulator.

curl https://unity.ruds.io/repo.key | sudo pacman-key --add -
sudo pacman-key --lsign-key 3FB6809130A5DB7F

Then, you need to edit the /etc/pacman.conf file to add the repository where the Unity7 packages are stored. To do that, open your favorite terminal emulator and run the sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf command. Scroll down until you see the [community] repo and add the following lines right above it.

[arch-unity]
SigLevel = Required DatabaseOptional
Server = https://unity.ruds.io/arch-unity

Now it’s time to install the Unity7 desktop environment. To do that, simply run the following command in the terminal emulator.

sudo sh -c "pacman -Syyu; pacman -S unity-meta"

Once all the packages have been downloaded and installed, you will have to enable LightDM as the default display manager by running the first command below, which is only possible if you log into a virtual terminal using the Ctrl+Alt+F1 keyboard shortcut.

sudo systemctl enable --now lightdm

You can also use a different display manager like SDDM if LightDM is not your cup of tea. That’s it, enjoy your brand-new Unity7 desktop environment on Arch Linux!

Updated 15/11/22: Rudra completely changed the installation process of the Unity7 desktop environment to make it a lot easier by using a custom repository. Please follow the instructions above to install it, but please be aware that there will be conflicts with your desktop environment (e.g. GNOME), so it’s recommended to perform a fresh Arch Linux install using the xorg desktop profile.

Last updated 3 weeks ago