Installing ArchLinux with Gnome Desktop

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April 23, 2010 Linux No Comments

Do the base installation, see link below:
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners Guide

Installing the Base system
# /arch/setup as the root user.
Go through all the screens so you can install base system.

Step 1: Configuring the network (if necessary)
Hopefully this is working after the reboot.

Step 2: Update, Sync, and Upgrade the system with pacman
nano /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist and uncomment the mirror's in your location.

Initially force pacman to refresh the package lists:
# pacman -Syy

Step 3: Update System
# pacman -Syu

Step 4: Add a user and setup groups
# useradd -m -G users,audio,lp,optical,storage,video,wheel,power -s /bin/bash archie
# passwd archie

Step 5: Install and setup Sudo (Optional)
# rm /usr/bin/{view,rview}
# pacman -S sudo vim
# EDITOR=nano visudo

Install X and configure ALSA

Step 1: Configure sound with alsamixer
nano /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf and add this line "options snd-pcsp index=2" without quotes.

# pacman -S alsa-utils
# pacman -S alsa-oss
# alsaconf
# su - yourusername
$ alsamixer
Unmute the Master and PCM channels by scrolling to them with cursor left/right and pressing M.
Increase the volume levels with the cursor-up key. (70-90 Should be a safe range.)

Sound test
$ aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav

Saving the Sound Settings
$ exit
# alsactl store
# nano /etc/rc.conf
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network crond alsa)

Step 2: Install X
# pacman -S libgl (The NVIDIA driver will remove this)
# pacman -S xorg
# pacman -S mesa

Install Video Driver Package
lspci | grep VGA
# pacman -Ss xf86-video | less
# pacman -S xf86-video-what is your video card.

NVIDIA Graphics Cards, which I have.
1. nvidia-96xx slightly newer cards up to the GF 4.
2. nvidia-173xx Geforce FX series cards
3. nvidia newest GPUs after the GF FX

Install Input Driver Packages
# pacman -S xf86-input-keyboard xf86-input-mouse

Step 3: Configure X
# Xorg -configure
# cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Nvidia card setup
# nvidia-xconfig
# nvidia-xconfig --composite --add-argb-glx-visuals

Some useful tweaking
Option          "RenderAccel" "true"
Option          "NoLogo" "true"
Option          "AGPFastWrite" "true"
Option          "EnablePageFlip" "true"

If there are instances of DRI, ensure they are commented out:
#    Load        "dri"

Input hotplugging
# pacman -S hal dbus xf86-input-evdev

Laptop users will also need the synaptics package to allow X to configure the touchpad:
# pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics

The HAL daemon
# /etc/rc.d/hal start
DAEMONS=(syslog-ng network crond dbus hal alsa)

C: Test X
Before you test make sure to load hal daemon(/etc/rc.d/hal start) as the root user.
# su - yourusername
$ cp /etc/skel/.xinitrc ~/
$ nano ~/.xinitrc and add exec "exec xterm" with quotes.
$ startx

When you get to the "Installing and configuring a Desktop Environment"
Step 1: Install Fonts
pacman -S ttf-ms-fonts ttf-dejavu ttf-bitstream-vera ttf-cheapskate artwiz-fonts


Then choose Gnome and go here for more information: Click on this to go to the Archlinux Gnome Page
# pacman -S gnome gamin gnome-extra gnome-appearance-properties gconf-editor

Load gui at startup.

nano /etc/inittab and rem out id:3:initdefault and unrem id:5:initdefault and rem out x:5:respawn:/usr/bin/xdm -nodaemon and unrem x:5:respawn:/usr/sbin/gdm -nodaemon

Video, Sound, Codecs and plugins
# pacman -S vlc exaile libdvdread libdvdcss flashplugin

Disabling IPv6

# nano /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf
# disable autoload of ipv6
alias net-pf-10 off

Applications I like to add
# pacman -S conky
Goto this url http://www.dbarticles.com/ for my conky.conf file which I "nano /etc/conky/conky.conf"

Autostart Programs
On the Gnome bar click on System > Preferences > Startup Applications, Click on Add and add in your information and now when you login the application will be started.

Other Applications and applications I like to use.
# pacman -S base-devel leafpad xarchiver firefox pidgin epdfview gthumb gimp brasero rdesktop chromium filezilla tar gzip bzip2 zip unzip unrar p7zip arj roxterm cheese openssh keepassx

Installing Packages from the AUR and here for more information:
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/AUR_User_Guidelines

# pacman -S base-devel
# su - yourusername

Goto this webpage and download the Yaourt Tarball:
http://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=5863

$ tar -zxvf yaourt.tar.gz
$ makepkg -s
$ sudo pacman -U yaourt-0.9.2.6-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.gz

Now you can install applications from the AUR which is a community-driven repository for Arch users.
$ yaourt -S zenman follow the directions to install package.

Caching DNS
http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pdnsd

Mirror Status
Now we want the mirror's that are the most up to date.
As the root user
# pacman -S reflector
# mv /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist /etc/pacman.d/mirrlist.orig
# reflector -l 8 -r -o /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist (8 most up to date mirrors)
#
At the bottom I always leave the Any mirrors.

Mirror Speed
As the root user
# cd /etc/pacman.d/
# cp mirrorlist mirrorlist.backup
# rankmirrors -n 8 mirrorlist.backup > mirrorlist
# At the bottom I always leave the Any mirrors.

Now refresh the package list
# pacman -Syy

Extra Articles I found, click on the links below to see original articles.
Easy Arch linux Setup Guide
Screen resolution in Virtual Machine (Vmware)

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