Linux: Moving Away From Ubuntu

First off, I  nitroshare. It’s really the easiest way to transfer files between linux and windows on my network. Although, at the moment, I’m transferring files off of my desktop (linux) to my laptop (linux). I just thought I’d share that tidbit before moving on. . .

So, as the title implies, I’m moving away from Ubuntu, or more specifically Ubuntu-based distributions. Until yesterday, I had Xubuntu on my laptop, and I’m thinking about ditching Xubuntu on the desktop as well. Ubuntu isn’t bad, but I’ve wanting to use something that’s a bit more streamlined, which is why I installed Manjaro. I’ve decided to stick with my staple of XFCE for a desktop environment because Gnome 3 makes me want to gouge my eyes out, Cinnamon is plagued with too many bugs (really? no tray icons for applications?!!), Mate is much like Gnome 2 but is lacking for my tastes, and KDE never struck my fancy.

xfce desktop config

XFCE 4.10 Desktop on Manjaro 0.8.1

Manjaro is Arch under the hood but uses it’s own software repositories. You can still access the community-maintained Arch User Repository (AUR) for additional software, which I like. Arch itself is a very tedious install if you have the patience and time to do it. Manjaro makes getting it up and running easier and has a nice GUI install much like Ubuntu-variant distros. I like that fact that I can use yaourt. I always install software from command line anyway, but yaourt makes it much easier finding the software I want to install than having to deal with some bloated software center supplied with the other distros. It’s simply a wrapper for pacman that allows access to AUR.

The only beef I have on with my Majaro installation is xscreensaver, but I’m going to switch out to lightdm and light-locker as time permits. It’s simply a low priority at this point since the annoyance has more to do with aesthetics and than functionality.

Setting Up Users

While I am the primary user when it comes to my laptop, I make a habit of setting up user accounts for everyone in my family. Let’s face it, there comes a time when a spare machine is needed, and I refuse to let anyone use the computer while logged on to my account. Call it a pet peeve of mine.

That being said, I generally like to set up the desktop for each user and mimic the basic layout for my own desktop. Most of the time, family members like my configuration and request it for their own account as well. However, like a dumbass, I’ve manually done this every time I’ve initiated a new install. This is why God invented shell scripting and geniuses who have a few more brain cells than I. Could I write it myself? Yes, but why re-invent the wheel?

The below script is based on the one found here:

Script & The Steps

Get the Script


          copy-config2user is a shell command that copies one’s desktop configuration files
          to another specified user.

Usage: copy-config2user USERNAME


          Copyright (C) 2012 Serge YMR Stroobandt

          This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify
          it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by
          the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or
          (at your option) any later version.

          This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
          but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
          GNU General Public License for more details.

          You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
          along with this program. If not, see <>.

          See user on4aa on


function copyitem() {

                    echo; echo “Deleting $ITEM of user $TOUSER…”
                    sudo rm -Rv /home/$TOUSER/$ITEM

                    echo; echo “Copying $ITEM of user $USER to user $TOUSER…”
                    sudo cp -av /home/$USER/$ITEM /home/$TOUSER/$ITEM
                    sudo chown -R $TOUSER /home/$TOUSER/$ITEM

if [ -z $1 ] || ! [ -d /home/$TOUSER ] || [ $USER = $TOUSER ]; then
                    echo “Please, specify the user who will receive your desktop configuration.”
                    copyitem “.config/autostart/”
                    copyitem “.config/Thunar/”
                    copyitem “.config/xfce4/”
                    copyitem “.icons/”
                    copyitem “.fonts/”
                    copyitem “.themes/”

Step 1: Copy the code into a text editor and save it as copy-config2user. (Mousepad, gedit, nano… pick your poison.)

Step 2: Make the file executable with chmod +x copy-config2user.

Step 3: Execute it by typing ./copy-config2user USERNAME at the command line.

Note: The above script was intended to work on a Manjaro or Arch installations. This line will need to be modified if you wish to use it on Ubuntu or another distribution.

Original (above):

sudo chown -R $TOUSER /home/$TOUSER/$ITEM

Change to:

sudo chown -R $TOUSER:$TOUSER /home/$TOUSER/$ITEM

By default, all users are in the same group on Manjaro so there is no need to change group ownership of the cloned files. I would only recommend this script for fresh installs or new users. Otherwise, files and such may be deleted during the process. You can also edit the files/folders as necessary. In my case, I wanted to copy the .icon, .font, and .theme folders, but this is entirely optional. The primary objective is to copy the XFCE configuration with this script.

Other Packages

Below is a list of other packages that I installed on my Manjaro installation using yaourt:

  • gtk-theme-config
  • google-chrome
  • bluefish
  • filezilla
  • gourmet
  • transmission-gtk
  • gscan2pdf
  • darktable
  • minitube
  • nitroshare

Manjaro comes with xnoise for its media player. Personally, I like xnoise over Banshee or Clementine, which I often used under Linux Mint and Xubuntu. By default, VLC media player is also installed.


About The Author

is a blogger, writer, self-proclaimed geek & nerd, and the gyrl behind Ramblings of a Gyrl. A few cats shy of 'crazy cat lady' status and fully embraces her love of video games, films, cooking, and literature. She is currently writing her first novel for publication.

This article has 2 comments

  1. I have had the same experience with most desktop environments; I like XFCE and open box best. Have you tried evolution Linux? It configures a fully functional Arch Linux installation piece by piece for you at the touch of a menu. You can select every aspect and it will install it for you, and best of all it is vanilla Arch!

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