These notes assume that you finished the basic install from the install live CD, which I have notes for here. At this point you are expected to be able to login to the Arch system installed on the local hard drive as the root user.
Now it’s time to create a user for the system and also add some groups to it as it’s not recommended to run as root.
useradd -m -g users -G wheel,storage,power -s /bin/bash jonasg
Then set the password for this new user:
Now we have to allow this user to do administrative tasks (assuming that we
sudo when we ran the
Next, uncomment the following line in the sudoers file:
%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
From this point on you should become the new user you just created and do
everything as that account and using
As an extra security item, you can also remove the root password so that no one
can login as the root user (Note: don't use
passwd -l because the recovery
root login won't work any longer):
passwd -d root
/etc/pacman.conf and uncomment
Update packages, db, and system:
At this point you can also install some utilities that allow you to access and
install software from the AUR. There are 2 packages you will need to install by
hand in order to accomplish this task. They are
package-querytarball from https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/package-query/
yaourttarbal from https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/yaourt/
tar -zxf <package-name>.tar.gz
package-querydirectory and build it with
sudo pacman -U package-query-1.5-2-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz
Remember to install
package-query first because
yaourt depends on it. Also
wget at this point with
pacman -S wget
To install a basic X Window GUI environment, execute the following:
pacman -S alsa-utils xorg-server xorg-server-utils xorg-xinit xorg-twm xorg-xclock xterm
Then you can test your X installation:
That will bring up a TWM session and you can exit by entering
exit in one of
the XTerm instances.
We do have a very basic install of X, but we can make it look a lot nicer by installing a few extra packages:
yaourt -S xfce4 xfce4-goodies gamin lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter
Enable a graphical login prompt:
sudo systemctl enable lightdm.service
There are also a few extra packages you can install to make things look even pruttier... Icons and themes ...
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yaourt -S gtk-engine-murrine gtk-engine-unico faenza-icon-theme xfce-theme-blackbird xfce-theme-greybird xfce-theme-albatross xcursor-themes xcursor-aero xcursors-oxygen
The Linux kernel includes open-source video drivers and support for hardware accelerated framebuffers. However, userland support is required for OpenGL and 2D acceleration in X11.
First, identify your card:
lspci | grep -e VGA -e 3D
You should see something like this:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Cape Verde XT [Radeon HD 7770/8760 / R7 250X]
You will want a proprietary driver that has better support for your
hardware. For the above card you will want to install the
catalyst driver from
To configure X, you will have to create an
xorg.conf file. Catalyst provides
aticonfig tool to create and/or modify this file. For a complete list
of aticonfig options, run:
aticonfig --help | less
Now, to configure Catalyst. If you have only one monitor, run this:
First let's install some graphical networking tools:
yaourt -S networkmanager network-manager-applet networkmanager-openvpn networkmanager-pptp
I enable the NetworkManager service to start at boot. However, by default, Arch Linux receives an IP address via DHCP by using the DHCP client daemon (dhcpcd). Since the two will conflict, I'm going to disable dhcpcd.
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systemctl enable NetworkManager.service systemctl disable dhcpcd systemctl disable dhcpcd@enp2s0
Let's install some nice True Type fonts:
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sudo pacman -S font-mathematica freetype2 terminus-font ttf-bitstream-vera ttf-cheapskate ttf-dejavu ttf-droid ttf-fira-mono ttf-fira-sans ttf-freefont ttf-inconsolata ttf-liberation ttf-linux-libertine ttf-ubuntu-font-family xorg-xfontsel
To create all of the default directories in $HOME (e.g., Documents, Music, Pictures, etc...), run the two commands below.
sudo pacman -S xdg-user-dirs xdg-user-dirs-update
Unlike Ubuntu or Linux Mint, Arch Linux won’t support many codecs or DVD playback out-of-the-box. The packages below should cover most of what you need to do.
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sudo pacman -S alsa-firmware alsa-utils ffmpeg flac gst-libav gst-plugins-base gst-plugins-good gstreamer gstreamer0.10 gstreamer0.10-ffmpeg gstreamer0.10-good-plugins lame libdvdcss libdvdnav libdvdread libmpeg2 libtheora libvorbis mplayer pavucontrol pulseaudio pulseaudio-alsa pulseaudio-equalizer pulseaudio-gconf vlc winff x264 x265 xfce4-pulseaudio-plugin xvidcore
Unmute and test your speakers with the commands below. This is assuming you’re using ALSA and have a 2.0 setup.
amixer sset Master unmute speaker-test -c 2
Here is also a list of packages I'll need for daily use:
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yaourt -S arandr bash-completion bzip2 cabextract cdrkit chrony clamav conkeror coreutils dropbox dropbox-cli emacs evince exaile exfat-utils file-roller filezilla firefox fish freerdp galculator gimp gksu gvfs gvfs-afc gvfs-mtp gzip hardinfo haveged htop ipython libreoffice libvncserver linux_logo lsb-release mc mg nmap ntfs-3g openssh openvpn opera p7zip pptpclient remmina rsync samba scrot thunar-archive-plugin thunar-media-tags-plugin thunar-volman tigervnc tlp tmux transmission truecrypt tumbler unace unarj unrar unzip util-linux viewnior vim wget x11vnc xchat xfburn zip zsh zsh-lovers zsh-syntax-highlighting
I have also written some documentation about Arch and Printing and Arch and Virtualbox. Check it out.
You can now reboot the machine an use the newly installed GUI environment. The LightDM login manager will throw you right into a XFCE session. From here you can customize the desktop, add extra monitors and software...