Installing Deepin Desktop Environment (DDE) on Arch

The Deepin Desktop Environment is primarily used on the Linux Distribution Deepin, which is based on Debian. What makes DDE cool is that:

  • It is Lightweight
  • It is built from scratch form the ground up
  • It is built around HTML5, and WebKit, with ease of importing Javascript plugins
  • It allows for endless customization
  • It is easy to use out of the box

Today, I would like to show how to install DDE on Arch, visually. The install process will be less painful then you may think. In this tutorial I will be using my bare Arch install. My Arch install contains nothing more then what was covered in the install guide, X, and TWM. If you have X but no desktop, you can of course follow this guide, just insert everything into the TTY and you should end up with DDE as your desktop.

The Install

We will pull in the deepin group by using the command

Sudo pacman -S deepin

The output will show that 20 ( as of writing ) members belonging to the group deepin will be downloaded. All of them are necessary to get a minimal functioning install of DDE.

Hit the 'ENTER' key

You will then see the complete list of packages that will be downloaded as well as the Total Download Size and the Total Installed Size. To continue with the installation enter the letter Y.

The packages will then begin to be transferred to your system and will then install them.

Using DDE's lightdm as the login greeter

DDE has a custom lightdm greeter to make their desktop look more clean and polished. To get the full DDE experience we will have to edit the lightdm.conf file:


I have vi, so that's the editor that I will edit the file with, but of course edit the file with the editor you feel most comfortable with.

Sudo vi /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

We will be editing one line, that line being in its raw form:


We will change the last half of that line as well as remove the pound sign ( # -not hashtag ) from in-front of the line. Copy and paste whats below into your editor over the original line:


Now we will have to enable the lightdm service. This can be achieved by copying the following line into your terminal:

sudo systemctl enable lightdm.service

This command will output the following line:

Created symlink from /etc/systemd/system/display-manager.service to /usr/lib/systemd/system/lightdm.service.


The Deepin team went all out when creating DDE. Sounds and chimes can be found all over the desktop. Be sure you have pulseaudio and pulseaudio-alsa installed so you can enjoy the full experience, as well as to listen to your audio needs.

Booting to DDE

Restart the machine and when the machine boots up again you should be brought to the lightdm-deepin-greeter. After login you can now use DDE.

Extra Goodies

The deepin-extra group contains several useful applications that fit snugly in the DDE desktop. They are:

*deepin-movie - The Deepin movie player
*deepin-game - The Deepin game center
*deepin-music - The Deepin music player
*deepin-screenshot - Deepin tool to take screenshots
*deepin-terminal - The Deepin terminal


Enjoy using DDE on Arch, if you are having any issues please do no hesitate to ask. Also if I made a mistake in this guide if you can point that out, that would be awesome as well.

Also be sure to check out the arch-deepin github page to check out bugs and issues:



Deepin is a really cool desktop.

You have amazing contributions @Goalkeeper My friend ran Deepin 15 yesterday and fell in love with it

I think you mean "sudo pacman -S deepin" instead of "sudo packman -S deepin"

Thanks for the catch bro.

Deepin is very well put together. One of the more exquisite Linux Distro's.

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Is it more or less lightweight than XFCE?

I don't love the other more lightweight alternatives, but this looks nice.

If I can resurrect my old machine, I will be trying this, or I might re partition my Laptop. I might be here for help just in case. @Goalkeeper

I have the very wierd issue of:

when I boot I get the lightdm but it has no user field, only a password. after typing any password or username, it hangs on a loading whell.

No matter, I go into a seperate terminal and log in to my user, change xinitrc to launch deepin-wm and then log in. That works but deepin lanuches without anything. I get an empty desktop and mouse that I cant click or anything.

Okayyyy.... So I boot into gnome then run deepin-wn --replace... all my windows stay behind, but theres nothign I can do to launch new ones...

What did I fuck up?

Okay figured out how to launch Deepin properly (startdde) but still cant get login screen to work

Abomination !!! xD I've tried many a desktop, but i always end up with gnome or xfce. not to mention I almost always have issues getting lightdm to not break with every other update

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Some users reported that lightdm does not work for them. They fixed their problem by using GDM.

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Its about the same as XFCE

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I fixed lightdm but...
Theres no DPI scaling in this version of deepin.
So its unusable on my 4k monitor

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Do you happen to know where I can find (downloadable) documentation about theming and scripting plugins for Deepin?
I searched their forum and blog for this. But they are slow as molasses (for me).
And I can't really find a developer or designer centric section at their site.

I do not know. But you could look at their github page and maybe that can give you some idea on how it is done. From what it looks like they are focused on getting their Deepin Store to be more full of applications, which is maybe why it has taken so long for a response.

If you do have a forum account with deepin, you can try emailing one of the moderators or this guy/women ( i do not know which ) jiingle he is the official admin.

Also I just found this and the team that you may want to ask is the "Community Development Team" I tried to search for it but no luck.

Thanks for responding.
I'll read the page that you linked tomorrow becausae it takes ages to load again.

I had already checked out their Github repos before posting.
Their deepin-manual repo looked promising but contains nothing about theming.
Their developer-center and deepin-manual-documents repos look like they are in Chinese (outlined rectangles),


And, I actually meant that the servers of their forum are slow like molasses ;)

After some poking around I think I may have found what you are looking for. It is under the Developer heading, and the documentation is all in English.

If that is the right documentation, good luck.

Oh, I thought that you meant the people that were part of the forums were slow. I was like, I better respond quickly so I am not called slow.

EDIT: Now that I look at it some more, I do not know if this is really it.

Yeah it are the docs for Gerrit. That's code review for Git pull requests and giving feedback on those to repo contributors.

I guess that I'll have to register at their forums to ask for it('s availability). I'll do that on Sunday when I have a few hours to waste waiting for pages to load. :)

Thanks for trying to help me out.