Difference between revisions of "Pantheon"

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===No transparency in pantheon-terminal===
===No transparency in pantheon-terminal===
Transparency in pantheon-terminal is not functional. It appears to work briefly at start then background becomes opaque. See bug report: https://bugs.launchpad.net/pantheon-terminal/+bug/1260383
Transparency in pantheon-terminal is not yet fully functional with GTK themes other than the elmentaryOS theme. Either use {{AUR|gtk-theme-elementary}} or add [http://bazaar.launchpad.net/~elementary-design/egtk/4.x/revision/210 this] code to your theme.
===White icons in pantheon-files===
===White icons in pantheon-files===

Revision as of 09:26, 10 April 2014

Pantheon is the default desktop environment originally created for the elementary OS distribution. It is written from scratch using Vala and the GTK3 toolkit. With regards to usability and appearance, the desktop has some similarities with GNOME Shell and Mac OS X.


Pantheon is split into several packages which are available in an unofficial repository which is daily updated with recent changes from upstream. To use the repository add the following lines at the top of your sources in /etc/pacman.conf:

SigLevel = Optional
Server = http://pkgbuild.com/~alucryd/$repo/$arch
Note: All Pantheon related PKGBUILDs can be found in Alucryd's GitHub repository.

Alternatively, all packages provided by the repository are also available in the AUR for those who prefer to build the packages from source.

To get a minimal desktop interface, you may start by installing pantheon-session-bzrAUR. This will pull the following core components:

Note: You will need to install at least one indicator, otherwise wingpanel will not launch. Look for "indicator-*" in the AUR.

However,it is recommended to install the following packages to get a fully working Pantheon Shell:

Note: You will also need to install plugs, look for "switchboard-plug-*" in the AUR.

Additional Info

Packages based on older evolution-data-server

dexter-contacts-bzrAUR and feedler-bzrAUR do not build because they are based on evolution-data-server 3.2. Arch Linux provides version 3.10 which uses a different Vala API.

Launching Pantheon

Via a Display Manager

pantheon-session-bzrAUR provides a session entry for display managers such as gdm or lightdm.

Note: Either use the bzr version of cerbere or add 'gala' to the monitored processes for this to work.

Via .xinitrc

You can also use ~/.xinitrc to launch the Pantheon shell. The following code will successfully launch a Pantheon session:

if [ -d /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d ]; then
  for f in /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/*; do
    [ -x "$f" ] && . "$f"
  unset f

gsettings-data-convert &
xdg-user-dirs-gtk-update &
/usr/lib/polkit-gnome/polkit-gnome-authentication-agent-1 &
/usr/lib/gnome-settings-daemon/gnome-settings-daemon &
/usr/lib/gnome-user-share/gnome-user-share &
eval $(gnome-keyring-daemon --start --components=pkcs11,secrets,ssh,gpg)
exec cerbere
Note: Pantheon may refuse to start correctly, resulting in errors such as no visible mouse cursor and others. In this case you have to add the window manager 'gala' to the list of monitored processes of cebere. This can be done in dconf-editor and should look like this.

Autostart applications

Pantheon, when launched via ~/.xinitrc, does not support XDG autostart. However, there are 3 other ways to achieve this for applications which do not provide a systemd unit:

  • You may add any program to your ~/.xinitrc, preferably right before the exec cerbere line. This is the better choice for one-shot programs.
  • Or you may edit the org.pantheon.cerbere.monitored-processes key using dconf-editor and add the programs of your choice. This method is best for applications which keep running in the background.
  • Or you may use a program like dapperAUR, dex-gitAUR, or fb-autostartAUR to add support for XDG autostart in your ~/.xinitrc.
Note: Keep in mind that applications started via cerbere cannot be terminated, they will keep respawning.


Configuring Pantheon is done via switchboard-bzrAUR and its plugs, most are available in the AUR and the custom repo. All pantheon settings can also be altered via dconf, they are located in the org.pantheon key. Use dconf-editor for easy editing.

Part of the configuration is handled by gnome-control-center via a dedicated plug, which unfortunately only supports GNOME up to 3.6. Use gnome-control-center itself and gnome-tweak-tool instead.

Pantheon Files

Enable context menu entries

If you want to enable context menu entries such as for file-roller to extract/compress archives, then you have to additionally install contractor-bzrAUR.

Known Issues

Indicator menus in wingpanel not working

The indicator menu entries such as About This Computer, Lock, Sound Settings, Lock are not functional. Clicking on them does not provide any functionality.

No transparency in pantheon-terminal

Transparency in pantheon-terminal is not yet fully functional with GTK themes other than the elmentaryOS theme. Either use gtk-theme-elementaryAUR or add this code to your theme.

White icons in pantheon-files

Currently there seems to be a bug which displays the view icons in the top location in a white colour instead of black. This can be fixed by adding the following line to gtk-widgets.css or gtk-widgets.css of your gtk-theme-elementaryAUR theme:

GtkToolItem { color: @text_color; }

Wingpanel is transparent

Depending on your GTK theme, wingpanel can be completely transparent. This is the case for the elementary theme for example. The Numix theme seems to produce a solid panel, however it will become transparent upon certain events, reloading wingpanel makes it solid again.

Corrupted graphics in canonical indicators

Indicators behave incorrectly with every theme I've tried. They are very ancient, all of them date back to 2012 because the newer indicators depend on Ubuntu patches, and they should be killed with fire anyway. Wingpanel is doing just that and I hope the next major release will ship their new plugin system.

Can't interact with the LightDM Pantheon greeter

You need to delete /var/lib/lightdm/.pam_environment. Do note however that this file is a workaround for the following LightDM bug: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity-greeter/+bug/1024482