Manjaro is an ugly duckling


Manjaro is an excellent distribution. There are so many things to love about it. Arch base, rolling, relatively stable, nice tools, packs good software to be usable out of the box. Fantastic distro - I even blog about you guys.

####But seriously - how about spending one release cycle just to fix the damn visuals?

Manjaro ships with heavily customized desktops, and to some extent this is a matter of taste, but what sets Manjaro apart from other user friendly distributions is the low quality of visual design. The Xfce desktop looks terrible, with wonky colors, mushy icons etc. Green is a nice highlight color, but not perhaps the best choice for a default wallpaper. It’s ugly. Screams unprofessional. There used to be a nice vanilla Gnome Community Edition, but the current one looks like something made by a script kiddie 15 years ago. Sure you can customize anything and make it just the way you like it, but there is absolutely no reason to give sane defaults.

First impression really counts. What you have here is a great distribution and an awesome community on top of it. Why camouflage the greatness with bad first impression?

Manjaro beautification project
Mythbusting light and fast Linux distributions
Manjaro beautification project
What is your opinion on the modern flat icon themes?

I have to agree, XFCE on install is fugly. 10 minutes later it is a wonder to behold.


Is your 10 minute customization shared somewhere? I’d love to have a look.


Seriously, what is the greater risk - trying to look different and risk looking ugly, or trying to avoid looking ugly by copying others and becoming boring this way.
I would prefer to encourage @mcder3 to continue to take some risks to make Manjaro look differently.

PS: Personally, I like EvoPop theme best, but would not recommend Manjaro adopting it as default. Manjaro is in the happy state of having an original theme.


We had a lengthy discussion including polls, wallpaper and icon contest during the last year…
Among other things there was a thread/poll: “Is Manjaro xfce ugly? | should it be changed? | should it stay the same? | does it not matter at all ?” - There was a big discussion and many votes. And the result was not at all cear! :laughing:
In any case In the end we developed the new vertex-maia-themes - I still really like them I must say, well, it’s a personal taste always… We also have a really nice collection of wallpapers now in the manjaro-backgrounds package, submitted by many forum members during the contest and also just recently, and we spent quite some time and energy in the development of at least three or four icon themes matching “our” colors.
If all that is not your style there isn’t much we can do, I’m sorry.


Personally, I disagree with the whole complaint.

Its totally unfounded, based strictly on personal opinion, and stated by a person too lazy to pick a different theme or customize the one supplied.

I rather like the default install, and mostly all I change is wallpaper.

I don’t like Flat Interfaces which KDE seems to have adopted, as I find them prone to confusing displays when multiple windows overlap. But I know how to deal with that as well (and I’m probably in a minority).

Basically, the whole post was rude, opinionated, and way off base.


Nah, he wrote some nice compliments and was not only bashing.
We can see it as an expression of his personal visual taste.
BTW: This is what the OP likes Xfce to look like


Move the panel
Change the theme
Add cairo-dock (and testing avant-window-navigator at the moment)
Change icon theme
Change wallpaper.

10 minutes is over-egging it.


Maybe the reason behind a bit dull default is to enact the creativity of the user. If they give us a really good looking default, we won’t have that fancy monthly desktop show off thread :joy:


Let’s see 50% Love the default theme. And 50% Hate the default theme.
One or two individuals work hours or days making polls getting input and modifying the defaults.
Then rolled out new Theme,Icons and Wallpaper and results is.
We see 50% Hate the default theme. And 50% Love the default theme.


I personally think the default xfce is pretty nice looking and have only made a few small changes to it. I certainly wouldn’t consider the aesthetic to be unpleasant.


I like the default Xubuntu, and if you find it bland it can work as a blank canvas; Manjaro’s customization is a bit overwhelming.


Meh, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Personally I find the default Manjaro KDE theme to be ugly, but 5 mintutes of tweaking and it is how I like it. Doesn’t mean it is ugly, just not to my personal taste.

Aesthetics are a very subjective thing, can’t please everyone.


I would agree about 1 thing.
as there is already some green in all the theme… AVOID to use a green wallpaper by default it makes a bad contrast.
Otherwise the default theme is not my taste. but it’s not ugly.


Hey, come on guys, there is nothing to complain about xfce. Look at stock xfce or other distros like debian, they are really ugly. Vertex maia icons are not my preferred, but use breeze, paper, vertex or so. Funktionality comes first and there is nothing to complain about manjaro xfce.


The Vertex Maia theme of Manjaro Xfce looks quite clean, futuristic and fresh, especially compared to stock Xfce. It looks anno 2017.

Yet at the same time it can be heavily customized further.

In my opinion, the look of the current Manjaro Xfce is a solid base.

What you’re expressing is a matter of taste.

Sure, KDE looks even more advanced, but it also looks visually more bloated and more cluttered and it’s also less stable and slower, at least on my machine.

I think it’s great that people have a choice when it comes to the look of their desktop environment.

And again, the current look of Manjaro Xfce is a solid, up to date anno 2017 look. It’s a solid base.


With all due respect ReWritable, all of your critique can be summed up in just words “in your opinion” Visual aesthetics are for the most part subjective.

As the majority here have emphasized, one of the strengths of linux in general is that the appearance can be customized by the user to their liking. It comes off as a bit presumptuous for someone to try and tell someone else what they should and should not find “ugly”, “unprofessional”, and “made by a 15 year old script kiddie”. You might also try and be more considerate to the nice person who put in the time and effort on the work you so readily dismiss.

Perhaps in the future you could include screenshots to demonstrate your suggestions for improvements.

And all of this of course is just my opinion.

Peace and Love,



At the end of day everyone is entitled to their opinion and mine is I like Xfce. I tweak it to my personal preferences but that’s ok. I used some distros that look really good but guess what I will still tweak it because I want to look like something I would like.


I use the KDE version and have changed about everything to make it look like I want it to look. The default theme is not my cup of tea, my taste is different. I won’t call it ugly, of course not, it is just not my taste.
I use the Breeze theme for just about everything to make the desktop look shining, bright, clear. I used to have, with the previous distro I used, a black desktop completely filled with many icons of programs I installed and used. Now I use a holiday picture and no icons at all, the desktop is completely empty. I set several shortcuts to start programs by a key-combo and that works good. That’s the strength of the Linux desktop: you can change it exactly the way you want it too look.
One thing is clear: you can’t argue about taste. Every person is different, everybody likes something else.

As Orbmiser also said:

Let's see 50% Love the default theme. And 50% Hate the default theme.
One or two individuals work hours or days making polls getting input and modifying the defaults.
Then rolled out new Theme,Icons and Wallpaper and results is.
We see 50% Hate the default theme. And 50% Love the default theme.

Don’t look at the theme when you look at a distro, just look through that knowing you can change it completely to your liking. Instead look at what it can do, what you can do with it.


i :heart: maia green. Using arc-maia theme for gtk and qt.

As for default wallpapers, i have suggestions but at the risk of fetting flogged and stoned to death :grin: i’ll keep those to myself.

Nobody sticks to defaults, definitely not on a linux distro. Therefore branding takes precedence here over personal taste.