Manjaro beautification project

I changed the topic title from de-uglyfication to beautification. The original topic title was intentionally provocative in order to gain attention. I also found some vLogs where teenage girls shared their de-uglyfication tips :smiley:

Beautification is the process of making visual improvements to a person, place, or thing.

@torvic @mbb Regarding subjective matters, the target should be to deliver something that appeals to the majority. Everyone else can always customize things to their liking. Subjective != Reason not to optimize. Excellent discussion regarding the font rendering - it is now obvious that I don’t know the half of it.

Do you guys have configuration file snippets that people go try themselves?

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Thank you for changing topic title. This title more constructive :slight_smile:


Maybe an app (like qt5ct-settings) would be awesome to make users want their liking :smiley:
Changing WM title, apps etc. fonts
Setting Lcdfilter
Hinting and rendering
what type of fonts (mac, infinality, cleartype…)

So basically you’re looking for a combined qt5ct–qtconfig-qt4–gtk2config–lxapperance-gtk3 tool?

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Yeah it seems quite like that :joy: :joy:

Well, I think this could come much later on. I consider the essential to be how fonts render and not the fonts themselves. Of course the tools could set the same rendering options for the different frameworks by directly changing their config files, but, as far as choosing fonts go, I’d leave it to the DE’s for the time being. However, inspiration and part of the code could very well come from other apps.

I agree. We were talking only about font rendering, excluding the fonts themselves and the theme colours.

That’s quite easy to provide. Fontconfig doesn’t even require any special config (except for DPI and maybe antialiasing), as it can be mostly configured by creating/deleting simlinks, as @Odysseus pointed out.

xdpyinfo | grep dimensions provides info to be parsed and compute the correct DPI (I’ve read Xorg can output the wrong DPI info!!), though I’m still to see how does this work with multiple outputs, since that’s the info of the display.

The question is: a) users need to know what the options do before trying them, or else they’ll be stuck (or loosing time) on a loop of settings combinations; and b) some clarifications are needed regarding Xft/Fontconfig and X/Wayland.

For example, I’ve read Xft uses fontconfig but handles rasterization and rendering by itself. That explains why antializing and rgba appeared to be applied twice when I set both Xft and Fontconfig with the same options. Situations like these should be easily accessible to users, before they try “messing” with config files. Including some warnings on the snippets themselves could be time-saving and an efficient method to inform users.

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But there comes another problem: some fonts look better with specific rendering options than others, in other words, when you change fonts, you often have to adapt the rendering options as well. Depends on the info provided by the ttf/otf fonts.

I still haven’t managed to find an easy way to have different screens with different DPI. I have two monitors (24"@1920x1200, 27"@2560x1440) and one TV (40"@1920x1080) connected to my graphics card, and obviously the DPI varies greatly, so I had to find a compromise.

Just for the record, here are excerpts of my config files regarding fonts:


Xft.dpi: 108
Xft.antialias: true
Xft.hinting: true
Xft.rgba: rgb
Xft.autohint: false
Xft.hintstyle: hintslight
Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault

~/.gtkrc-2.0 and ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini:

gtk-font-name=“Oxygen-Sans 10”

With these settings, the fonts (Oxygen as main font, terminus in urxvt terminals) look great for my eye.
Here’s a screenshot (i3), hope you see the fonts sufficiently well. On the right, you see the listing of links in /etc/fonts/conf.d. In the middle, rofi dmenu using Roboto Slab font.

I don’t think this is an issue, because it happens to some specific fonts. It doesn’t seem like an overall behaviour for me, otherwise it would be daunting to even think about changing fonts. Those kinds of situations can be overridden by user config files for the targeted fonts. In fact, config files for known isolated issues could very well be referred in a tutorial/wiki, or could even be included in a tool as it gets improved over time.

Yup! That’s a question I also can’t answer. My Wife’s computer is connected to the TV but I never though about that issue because I only use it to watch videos and photos. Maybe it’s time to do some experimentation…

Yes, they look good. I’m also using those settings. They’re default, I think.

Regarding to themes. Linux world has advantage or disadvantage changing the look of the desktop.
Advantage: great freedom, flexibility
Disadvantage: Hard to keep up with changing environments, compatibility issues with qt, gtk and its versions.
I bet more people would vote for the first and deal with the issues that pops up time to time :slight_smile:

After a bit of consideration, I choose to go with Noto Fonts. The Noto Sans UI for the desktop and Noto Mono Regular for the terminal. It looks quite Ok on my hardware.


I always just set font to terminus. It is pretty, and renders perfectly regardless of settings and dpi, and does not waste cpu cycles to draw the font.

For terminal it is simply one of the best fonts. On gui elements it is a bit of a acquired taste.


Dear @DeMus and people think like you :smiley:
The point is; Manjaro, Mint, Ubuntu… like distros claim that they are user friendly and ready to use OSs. That mean is they should give best result for general usage and compiled environment for work and enjoyment. Topics like that is the key to make more and more best results and progress by time. We should discuss themes, fonts, default packages shortly everything about Manjaro. We don’t have employees to work for Manjaro we just have voluntary devs and community to try making good things. We can not expect all Manjaro users to read documents to make their tastes because many users very lacks of knowledge about their systems and even they don’t need to that. How many people do you know complaining Windows or Mac’s fonts, if more people saying about fonts we think about what is the problem and how we can solve this. I don’t agree with people say fonts is personal taste, no there are some criterion for human eye and perceptions, after that If you don’t happy with those results make your own research. I read about 5-6 hours freetype2 documents, Arch wikis and some tutorials but how could you expect from new comers to do that.
This is not just about fonts this entirely about Manjaro development. Topics and discussions like that is so important for our development. Discussion, fighting whatever you named we should do more often for our goods.
I love Manjaro and their people, and I want to see more people choose to her for their daily usage. More people generally means more progress according their customer :wink:
Best Regards.


I hoped this thread to remain on the topic (polishing Manjaro), unlike the original Ugly duckling. All you just wrote had been said there already, with replies.

Regarding Paper icon theme, the Bunsenlabs forum has a script to change the colour of the Paper folder icons to whatever you want, and another script to make the symbolic and action icons white so they better fit a dark theme. I tried the scripts and it looks like it works only for certain older versions of the theme due to some re-organisation of the sub-folders in the latest version of the icon theme. But if you know your stuff you might be able to change the script (I don’t).

Using the scripts I was able to make a customised Paper icon set with the folder icons in the toxic green of the Maia wallpaper, and white navigation/toolbar icons. Since the icon set being an older version is missing some icons found in latest Paper, you can rename the customised Paper and make it inherit from the latest Paper or even Papirus.

I believe it is important that a default look for Manjaro XFCE must maintain a distinctiveness that makes it recognisable. Otherwise it will be just a nice but generic XFCE desktop. Other than that I won’t be participating in this thread.


Contributing to the discussion.
First and basic is to know what you want and as objective as possible.
About fonts.
The goal can be to be distinctive. So it should be the same OOTB for the official flavors.
Then, to be not too wide, not too narrow. There are enough sane choices, so it’s just a poll to choose one of them.
Font rendering.
Some say there is some combination of settings that is CPU light. It’s too deeply technical for me, so let the gurus show the way.
I strongly support the dark theming, not only for visually impaired or sensitive, like me, but also for less energy consumption, that is objective enough and a road we can steer the community and newcomers to. A dark background presentation is professionally clearer, from experience. At least, we should always include an easy way to a dark theme. I can’t help mentioning a Gnome choise of “prefer dark theme” that we should take advantage and extend as a clear proposition to all other distros.
Icon set.
Just like the font choise, it could be the same OOTB for the official flavors. The goal must be to keep the chosen one as complete as possible, as time goes by, adding the new programs and settings as they come up.

I hope I helped as a base roadmap.


My old eyes second this :slight_smile:


Well of course. Manjaro should have the Manjaro flair. Note that I am just a tinkering hobbyist, so I sketch up these ideas on whatever is availble. And the readily packaged options do not have the Manjaro flair. The real and only motivation behind this topic is to raise the concern that Manjaro’s (my current favorite distro) OOTB visuals are seriosly lacking and could/should be improved.

Speaking of which - I am currently expretimenting with Paper (icons, WM theme, GTK) and it has some bugs with the panel. Other than that, it does look pretty clean, although it is not a dark theme. Greybird is nice, but not dark - I wonder what kind of patching would be needed to modify Greybird to have a toxic green highlight color, rather than blue.

Also, could someone propose a nice dark theme for experimenting? Flat or flat-ish, rather than glossy. Glossy reminds me of Vista.

There are nice dark variants of Breeze, Adwaita, Vertex. Breeze dark is flat. AFAIK Manjaro team works on Breath theme based on Breeze.


Looks like a nice improvement. Are there plans to package this and release for testing anytime soon?

@mcder3 The new default wallpaper is still quite bright and collides with the primary theme color (green). Luckily the wallpaper is the easiest thing to change for the end user.

BTW, I generally don’t use Firefox, but how do I get rid of the customized dark theme that is used by default?

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