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Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary heading Template:Article summary wiki: A DE which is also based on GTK3. Template:Article summary end

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

Additionally, you may install the following packages:

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

Additional Infos

Github repository

All Pantheon related PKGBUILDs can be found on my GitHub repository:

You will need to build at least 'bamf' from there because the AUR package is out of date and belongs to another TU who won't answer my plights to use my working PKGBUILD. Building 'gala-bzr' and 'pantheon-files-bzr' from there is also recommended, pantheon-files-bzrAUR has wrong dependencies, but the current maintainer of the AUR packages whished to keep maintaining them and I did not want to abuse my superpowers.

Stable releases

Several of the listed packages have seen stable releases, it is recommended to use them when available, they are available on the GitHub repository and in the AUR.

Packages based on older evolution-data-server

dexter-contacts-bzrAUR, feedler-bzrAUR and maya-calendar-bzrAUR do not build because they are based on evolution-data-server 3.2. Arch Linux provides version 3.8 which uses a different API.

Launching Pantheon

Via a Display Manager

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

Note: Currently, pantheon-session-bzrAUR is just a bunch of shortcuts to launch the core Pantheon components. Additionally, attempting to launch a session only shows a black screen at the moment.

Via .xinitrc

You can also use ~/.xinitrc with slim to launch the Pantheon shell, using the following code:

exec gala &
pantheon-wallpaper &
cerbere &

You may add any other program you'd like to start with it as well.

Note: This method works for me, although the first attempt to log in fails and brings back slim, trying a second time successfully launches a session.


Configuring Pantheon is done via switchboard-bzrAUR and its plug, a few of them are available in the AUR, and not all of them work as intended for the moment.