the Arch Linux thread

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
" You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny."
-Darth Vader

As some of you might of heard I recently decided to install Arch Linux due to the constant nagging of kalpik and some others in the IRC channel. The summary of our discussions go like this:
[22:33:42] <@kalpik> krazzy, http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_Linux
[22:33:57] <@kalpik> krazzy, http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_vs_Others
[22:34:11] <amitava> BUT IF u want peace of mind: Get a mac, get a life
[22:34:26] <Filled-Void> lol
[22:34:33] <amitava> >.<
[22:35:01] <Filled-Void> kalpik, is Arch also a compile and use distro?
[22:35:11] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, it can be if you want :)
[22:35:20] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, arch is superb! you MUST try!
[22:35:41] <Filled-Void> kalpik, Oh ok. then never mind I was looking for a change. Ubuntu is gtting old for me, Arch , gentoo and crux bleh need compiling
[22:36:37] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, binaries for everything are available!
[22:36:38] <amitava> wtf Filled-Void try leopard..
[22:36:39] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, try na!
[22:37:00] <Filled-Void> kalpik, how big is the download
[22:37:14] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, 135 MB for ISO and about 300 MB for gnome
[22:37:17] <munna-boi> Filled-Void,PIRATE!!! Blilly uncle loves you
[22:37:42] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_vs_Others
[22:37:44] <Filled-Void> kalpik, Wht if I choose fluxbox instead?
[22:37:52] <@kalpik> Manan, lol..
[22:38:08] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, lesser downloads i think.. i've only tried gnome
[22:38:20] <Filled-Void> kalpik, Is it possible to install kde on it if I need it?
[22:38:26] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, the ISO only installs base system..
[22:38:30] <@kalpik> Filled-Void, yes!
[22:39:25] <aditya> kalpik: you guys telling Filled-Void to use arch?
[22:39:26] <munna-boi> Filled-Void is one crazy *******
[22:39:31] <@kalpik> aditya, yes

So lets see I understand this much at this point.

* I need to download about 300 MB
* You start out with Nothing other than a CLI.
* Loads of configuration.
* Looking forward towards lots of pain and aggravation

Interesting. Good enough for me to become cannon fodder for this reckless experiment. Although I must say that kalpik and some others did say they would help me out when I install it. Well hell with that, I thought how hard could be to install it myself. (The previous line in correct words mean backup your data cause you are so screwed :D.)

Here is a certain link which may explain why Arch might have some benefits over other distros. Please don't start a distro war here. If you plan on come in riding on your horse guns blazing be free to do so on IRC in #ArchLinux or their forums. As for other Windows users and Mac users I am in no way asking you to change and I pray you don't the configuration changes don't justify your change to the platform unless you are so sick with the platform you are using. Of course you could try it in a VM though if you would like.

Answers to the most frequently asked questions.


Here are two Install Guides you will find very very handy. Follow these word by word and you should be fine.
Beginner's Guide
Install Guide

Anyway I'm going to be quite short and say I downloaded the File needed for the base system from here..

Went on installing and I'll be very frank it wasn't hard at all. As long as you follow the Beginners Guide Step by Step. You want to be adventurous knock yourself out, but don't throw your CPU out once you find out that you just overwrote your Windows/Linux partition.

Step 1 : Read the Beginner Guide.
Step 2 : If you didn't do Step 1 then go back to Step 1 and read it.
Step 3 : Pick an Environment (Gnome, KDE, Fluxbox etc) you will be happy with and continue from there. You can install others later but lets first get this baby up and running.
Step 4 : Once you have decided which environment you want read the guide from the portion corresponding to the respective environment you have selected.
Step 5 : Install "yaourt" you can find the wiki for it here.http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Yaourt
Step 6 : Install any or all the other programs you need. Remember this is Arch the only thing you have is probably your terminal and very basic utilities. Mainly you would want Multimedia Players, Chat programs, Codecs, Java, Flash. This should give you a fully functional system. Also you might want to install HAL and FAM. Each one of these are documented in the various wikis which I have linked below.

At this point you could call it or you could keep on customizing your system to your liking. Currently I have all the above installed and the rest is still coming. So you will see a couple of updates in this here and there.

Pros :

* You only get what you want. Theres no extra bloat.
* It is damn fast. Wouldn't you love 12-15 second boot ups as well as shutdown . No I dont mean from CLI I mean from Gnome 2.22.2.
* You don't have to sit all day waiting for your computer to compile all day long.
* Its a rolling release . No more waiting for your friends courier or favorite magazine to come out with the next release.

Cons :

* Arch is a bit of a pain getting it configured from scratch.
* You need a broadband connection . Considering that this is a base system you will need tons of downloads tog et your computer up to date.
* Arch is intended for Intermediate to advanced users. No, I'm not either I'm a beginner with this and if it weren't for help I'd probably be still with a CLI.

Sample rc.conf :
Section contributed by Hellknight.

/etc/rc.conf is the system configuration file for Arch-specific settings. This is a very important configuration file to edit. It is recommended to review the file while installation and later make further configurations. During installation remember to use the nano editor since it's simple enough to use for newbies.

Here is a sample rc.conf file :

PHP:
#
# /etc/rc.conf - Main Configuration for Arch Linux
#

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# LOCALIZATION
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# LOCALE: available languages can be listed with the 'locale -a' command
# DAEMON_LOCALE: If set to 'yes', use $LOCALE as the locale during daemon
# startup and during the boot process. If set to 'no', the C locale is used.
# HARDWARECLOCK: set to "UTC" or "localtime", any other value will result
#   in the hardware clock being left untouched (useful for virtualization)
#   Note: Using "localtime" is discouraged.
# TIMEZONE: timezones are found in /usr/share/zoneinfo
# KEYMAP: keymaps are found in /usr/share/kbd/keymaps
# CONSOLEFONT: found in /usr/share/kbd/consolefonts (only needed for non-US)
# CONSOLEMAP: found in /usr/share/kbd/consoletrans
# USECOLOR: use ANSI color sequences in startup messages
# VERBOSE: Verbose level (from 1 to 8). man 3 syslog for level info
#
LOCALE="en_US.UTF-8"
DAEMON_LOCALE="no"
HARDWARECLOCK="localtime"
TIMEZONE="Asia/Kolkata"
KEYMAP="us"
CONSOLEFONT=
CONSOLEMAP=
USECOLOR="yes"
VERBOSE="3"

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# HARDWARE
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# MODULES: Modules to load at boot-up. Blacklisting is no longer supported.
#   Replace every !module by an entry as on the following line in a file in
#   /etc/modprobe.d:
#     blacklist module
#   See "man modprobe.conf" for details.
#
MODULES=(powernow-k8 cpufreq_ondemand cpufreq_powersave vboxdrv vboxnetflt )
# Udev settle timeout (default to 30)
UDEV_TIMEOUT=30

# Scan for FakeRAID (dmraid) Volumes at startup
USEDMRAID="no"

# Scan for BTRFS volumes at startup
USEBTRFS="no"

# Scan for LVM volume groups at startup, required if you use LVM
USELVM="no"

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# NETWORKING
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# HOSTNAME: Hostname of machine. Should also be put in /etc/hosts
#
HOSTNAME="AX-64"

# Use 'ip addr' or 'ls /sys/class/net/' to see all available interfaces.
#
# Wired network setup
#   - interface: name of device (required)
#   - address: IP address (leave blank for DHCP)
#   - netmask: subnet mask (ignored for DHCP)
#   - gateway: default route (ignored for DHCP)
# 
# Static IP example
# interface=eth0
# address=192.168.0.2
# netmask=255.255.255.0
# gateway=192.168.0.1
#
# DHCP example
# interface=eth0
# address=
# netmask=
# gateway=

interface=eth0
address=192.168.1.2
netmask=255.255.255.0
gateway=192.168.1.1

# Setting this to "yes" will skip network shutdown.
# This is required if your root device is on NFS.
NETWORK_PERSIST="no"

# Enable these netcfg profiles at boot-up. These are useful if you happen to
# need more advanced network features than the simple network service
# supports, such as multiple network configurations (ie, laptop users)
#   - set to 'menu' to present a menu during boot-up (dialog package required)
#   - prefix an entry with a ! to disable it
#
# Network profiles are found in /etc/network.d
#
# This requires the netcfg package
#
#NETWORKS=(main)

# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
# DAEMONS
# -----------------------------------------------------------------------
#
# Daemons to start at boot-up (in this order)
#   - prefix a daemon with a ! to disable it
#   - prefix a daemon with a @ to start it up in the background
#
# If something other takes care of your hardware clock (ntpd, dual-boot...)
# you should disable 'hwclock' here.
#
DAEMONS=(hwclock @acpid syslog-ng network netfs dkms_autoinstaller sshd @crond @alsa dbus hal kdm @cupsd @cpufreq)
So here's the explanation..
I'll start it with sections..

HARDWARECLOCK="localtime" /* Keep it localtime if you've dual boot, keep it to UTC if you're using Arch only */
TIMEZONE="Asia/Kolkata" /* This is the timezone where I live in. Change it according to your needs */
KEYMAP="us" /* The keymap of your keyboard layout. */
USECOLOR="yes" /* Implies if you want to use color in the terminal/konsole */


Modules section

Here you can load the modules you want. Some of them are automatically detected these ones were not, so I loaded them here in the file

MODULES=(powernow-k8 cpufreq_ondemand cpufreq_powersave vboxdrv vboxnetflt)

/*Explanation of the above modules*/

powernow-k8 = For AMD K8 & K10 power management. Don't know about Zacate, Llano & Bulldozer series
cpufreq_ondemand = On demand cpu frequency management. It is used for giving applications the necessary processing power
cpu_powersave = Power saving profile for CPU. A must for laptop users
vboxdrv = Virtualbox driver. Only if you've installed Virtualbox.
vboxnetflt = Virtualbox net driver. Only if you've installed Virtualbox.

USEMRAID="no" /*Yes if you've RAID*/
USEBTRFS="no" /*Yes if you're using Btrfs file system*/
USELVM="no" /*Yes if you're using Logical Volume Manager (learn about it, it is very helpful though) */

NETWORKING Section

HOSTNAME="AX-64" /* This is the hostname of my machine. */

/*For DHCP */

interface=eth0
address=
netmask=
gateway=


/*For static IP */ (boots quickly, if you set it to static IP)

interface=eth0
address=192.168.1.2
/* Change it to the desired one. This is my PCs address */
netmask=255.255.255.0
gateway=192.168.1.1
/* This is my router's address. Your's can be 192.168.0.1 too. (Issue ifconfig in the terminal to look what's yours) */

Daemons Section

DAEMONS=(hwclock @acpid syslog-ng network netfs dkms_autoinstaller sshd @crond @alsa dbus hal kdm @cups @cpufreq)


/*Explanation*/
hwclock = system set to hardware clock
acpid = Advance configuration & power interface daemon. For power-management
syslog-ng = For starting system log daemon
network = To start the network
netfs = Network file systems such as SMB, NFS etc. If you don't require it, remove it.
dkms_autoinstaller = Dynamic Kernel Module Support. It automatically compiles modules when a new kernel is installed. A must have for everyone.
sshd = Secure shell daemon. For ssh login. Optional
crond = Cron daemon. A must have
alsa, dbus, hal = Three very important daemon. Required or else no sound, graphics etc.
kdm = K Desktop Manager req for KDE. GDM for GNOME.
cupsd = For printing. Optional.
cpufreq = for CPU frequency scaling.


Wikis for Everything you need :
Although you can google or find this on Arch Linux's Website I'm goign to link this for the benefit of the user.
Beginner's Guide
Installation
of a Desktop Environment

Java and Flash
Yaourt
Audio Codecs
All you need to know about Pacman
Compiz Fusion
openOffice.org (Don't forget to install libsndfile)
 
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Pat

Beyond Smart
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

Interesting..I had last tried Arch around 6 years back and I loved it for the fact that it taught me a lot about linux (no, I dont mean the kernel).I have got a good broadband connection and decent knowledge about how it all works. I will prolly give it a shot this weekend.

Btw, any idea how good the 64-bit version is ? or should I stick to 32-bit ?
 
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OP
FilledVoid

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

Btw, any idea how good the 64-bit version is ? or should I stick to 32-bit ?

The only difference during install proces which is noticeable is probably the Flash install . Otherwise everything so far has been the same.
 

Hitboxx

Juke Box Hero
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

How will this go on the laptop? I have my dad's lappy for two whole months with me now, so I can experiment and wreck this baby. What say?

Its a Core Duo T2050 one with 512mb of RAM.
 
OP
FilledVoid

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

How will this go on the laptop? I have my dad's lappy for two whole months with me now, so I can experiment and wreck this baby. What say?

Its a Core Duo T2050 one with 512mb of RAM.

The processor and memory should be fine. What I don't know about is the other onboard chipsets like display and if there is wireless then that. Otherwise its should be awesome. I say wreck it!!!!
 
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

I was about to install arch a week or so back, but luckily, you volunteered to become my guinea pig.
I too was mislead by kalpik...:p

Anyway, how about a list of packages to install a good home desktop System ?

I need:

Xfce Suite
A good disc burner like bareseno or whatever; don't need HD-DVD and BluRay support
A floppy management software
don't want zip drive support
Totem
GMPlayer
a GUI to MEncoder
Audacity
ALSA
PulseAudio
A good graphical package manager
Building Tools
OpenOffice.org
All Codecs, including restricted/propiatary/win32 ones
All Archieving formats support, including rarer ones like arj, and propiatary ones like rar
Mac4Lin :D
Firefox and SkipStone+webkit+gecko
Linux RT
Jack Server
Jack Rack, Ardour2, Hydrogen, Jack Control, Jack Equiliser
almost 80% of ubuntu studio apps
An IDE, for C++, Java and Python
Python
GimpShop
RareWares software, like rarewares kernel.
 

Zeeshan Quireshi

C# Be Sharp !
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

Am installing Arch tonite in VIrtualBox . mehul is going to guide me . lets see how it goes and how much performance increase i get compared to Ubuntu JeOS .
 

amitava82

MMO Addict
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

I installed it couple of days back. For me, its very slow (Gnome). It does take less RAM but very unresponsive. Sometimes it takes about 10 seconds to open an application(gedit, nautilus, terminal etc). And in between those 10 seconds I don't see any hard disk activity which would suggest that its actually opening the application.
 
OP
FilledVoid

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux
I was about to install arch a week or so back, but luckily, you volunteered to become my guinea pig.
I too was mislead by kalpik...

No matter what I said kalpik made no guarantees that process would be easy. As a matter of fact he told me to install it when he was here. It was me being adventurous and going on with the process. To be frank although I did think I'd end up with disastrous results , I am glad that I actually did listen to kalpik. I love this distro.

Anyway, how about a list of packages to install a good home desktop System ?
Sure , but theres a problem. You might not like the programs I like. So you might want to install programs you prefer.

As for your applications most of them are covered in the Beginners Guide also. As for the rest you should be able to find them using "pacman" or once you install "yaourt". The AUR and [urlhttp://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Yaourt]yaourt[/url] wikis are definitely worth a read and hence I've linked it here also.

Also you might want to stay away from Gnome / KDE applications if you are using the XFCE environment otherwise it would required you to download much more data and use more resources I'm guessing.

As far as openoffice.org is concerned I've included in the links above. The base requires a 100+ MB download. Also make sure you install libsndfile as explained in the wiki listed here. Otherwise it won't most likely start.

You also might want to read the pacman documentation on further searching for packages. Also note that yaourt follows the same syntax that pacman does and it has some added benefits as well.

Am installing Arch tonite in VIrtualBox . mehul is going to guide me . lets see how it goes and how much performance increase i get compared to Ubuntu JeOS .

Wooot wish you good luck :). But I think you would be better off on a native install rather than VM but thats my opinion of course. Especially if you expect nice performace.

I installed it couple of days back. For me, its very slow (Gnome). It does take less RAM but very unresponsive. Sometimes it takes about 10 seconds to open an application(gedit, nautilus, terminal etc). And in between those 10 seconds I don't see any hard disk activity which would suggest that its actually opening the application.

Did you try the Gnome Tips ?
 
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Hitboxx

Juke Box Hero
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

Arch party on IRC tonight!!

And as I can see you have dirtied your hands, I command you to be at IRC tonight to guide us less knowledged folks :p
 
OP
FilledVoid

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

Arch party on IRC tonight!!

And as I can see you have dirtied your hands, I command you to be at IRC tonight to guide us less knowledged folks :p

Considering your experience in Linux I seriously doubt you need help from me :D. But will help any way I can :).
 

praka123

left this forum longback
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

long time since I booted into archlinux. :)
but some tips: you should like to use "unstable" repo(not "testing" ). also community repo.

then there is AUR from where you can download pkgbuild and extract and run "makepkg" to make package.

and then.....there is ABS. you may like to add C Flags and makeopts=-jx etc. blah and more blah ;)

also ,there is some rankmirror script which will arrange /etc/pacman.d/xxx.list(forgot).

then.....install pacutils.nvidia and etc drivers are available in AUR.
then...deluge pkgbuild is available in deluge website.
 

Dark Star

Cyborg Agent
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

I am getting mad .. I too wanna use it :D Have used in my friends Laptop it was blazing fast :hap2: It seems parka and you will be the right guy to help me :D

Edit : Gnome System Monitor is awesome.. I hope KDE brings something similar :)
 

praka123

left this forum longback
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

@Shashwath :move on! Kdemod(ROCKS!OWNS!) means you wil stop your distro hopping there in Archlinux! :D

kdemod in archlinux is the main reason.you know ;) @Filled void: try kdemod rather than Gnome(their version a lil buggy imo ).
 

mehulved

18 Till I Die............
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

/me downloading the ftp install. Will sit in the morning and install from base up. No DE's. Will keep it as minimal as possible. Just ratpoison for WM. Is midori available in the AUR or pacman repos?
 

Pat

Beyond Smart
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

I installed it couple of days back. For me, its very slow (Gnome). It does take less RAM but very unresponsive. Sometimes it takes about 10 seconds to open an application(gedit, nautilus, terminal etc). And in between those 10 seconds I don't see any hard disk activity which would suggest that its actually opening the application.

I have a strong feeling you need to do this. Straight from the FAQs

Q) Why is Arch so slow? I thought it's supposed to be fast!

A) Make sure that your hostname is correctly set in /etc/hosts (i.e., that it matches the hostname in /etc/rc.conf. Have a look at "Configure the System" in The Beginner's Guide). If the hostnames do not match, applications may start up very slowly.
 
OP
FilledVoid

FilledVoid

Who stole my Alpaca!
Re: The Dark Side :Arch Linux

/me downloading the ftp install. Will sit in the morning and install from base up. No DE's. Will keep it as minimal as possible. Just ratpoison for WM. Is midori available in the AUR or pacman repos?

Using yaourt I was able to find it.
Code:
[filledvoid@Delegate-X ~]$ yaourt -Ss midori
aur/midori 0.0.18-2
    A lightweight web browser based on Gtk WebKit
aur/midori-git 20070107-1
    A lightweight web browser based on Gtk WebKit
[filledvoid@Delegate-X ~]$

kdemod in archlinux is the main reason.you know @Filled void: try kdemod rather than Gnome(their version a lil buggy imo ).

Will do so bud. However I have been fine ever since I installed HAL and FAM and edited the rc.conf file.

@amitava : Yeah I agree with Pat I was warned about the /etc/hosts file and /etc/rc.conf file warlier and it seems to be a major performance issue if its not setup correctly.
 
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