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30 Jun 2016

Installing Arch Linux. Part 2

This is the 2nd part of the how-to guide for Arch Linux installation. Please click here for the 1st part.

Now we are finally booted into our Arch Linux computer! At this point we can install some basic packages. I will install PulseAudio and alsa-utils by entering
sudo pacman -S alsa-utils pulseaudio

PulseAudio is a simple audio manager that I prefer over most other solutions. Next we are going to install a basic graphic environment. Run
sudo pacman -S xorg-server xorg-xinit xorg-server-utils
to get a simple graphic test. You likely want 3D support as well so run
sudo pacman -S mesa
and while we are here grab your Graphics card driver
sudo pacman -S nvidia lib32-nvidia-utils
Sadly I only have an Nvidia card and cannot help you with a AMD based card. For more help visit - https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NVIDIA and you'll figure it out. If you’re on a laptop, run
sudo pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics
to get mouse/trackpad functionality. Finally, install the default environment with
pacman -S xorg-twm xorg-xclock xterm
Now we will test to see if we have basic functionality. Run
sudo startx
Now we are going to install the Gnome Display Manager. There are many different types but I personally prefer Gnome. Go ahead and install with
sudo pacman -S gnome gnome-tweak-tool
You can also install the package 'gnome-extra' to get a bunch of games and not needed software that I personally consider bloatware. Next, run
sudo systemctl enable gdm
in order for gnome to start on boot. Go ahead and reboot now.

You should be greeted with a login screen and now you're done! Sadly, Nvidia drivers may take you a bit to get working. The wiki article (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/NVIDIA) is very well documented and hopefully should get you up and running. Once you fool around for a bit with the 'Nvidia-settings' tool, you’ll probably figure it out. A few things you might want to change though would be how it says alex@localhost. Lets say I want it to say alex@wailord285, I can do this very easily. Simply execute
sudo nano /etc/hostname
and then type in your hostname. Here is a screenshot in the gnome-terminal now that it is running:

You can see the terminal is now titled alex@wailord285 and if I go to my routers home page, it will appear as wailord285.

Although optional, you can add a repository known as the Arch User Repository, or AUR. In the AUR, people can add custom or unsupported packages that are not in the official Arch repositories. The AUR is very likely to have a package you are looking for. For example, if you want to watch Netflix you will find that only ‘Chromium’ is available in the official repositories. Sadly, Chromium isn't supported by Netflix. But, luckily, the AUR happens to have google-chrome-stable which lets you watch Netflix.

So, let’s add the AUR. Edit pacman.conf by running
sudo nano /etc/pacman.conf
In the file add this string near the bottom:
[archlinuxfr]SigLevel = NeverServer = http://repo.archlinux.fr/$arch
Yours should now look like this:

Also, while your here you can choose to enable color in pacman which will make searching and installing a little more exciting but still optional.

Now Control X to save your changes. Something to know before you continue, is that all packages from the AUR in theory, could be a virus as its not supported or verified by an official Arch administrator. I’ve never found this to be a problem but just keep an eye out.

In order to use the AUR, proceed by running
sudo pacman -S yaourt
'Yaourt' is very similar to Pacman, but it has the ability to download AUR packages. If you want, you can view the AUR packages at aur.archlinux.org/packages/. So now you want to watch Netflix but can't because of Chromium. Go ahead and run
yaourt -Syua
to update and refresh your package list, then run
yaourt -Ss google-chrome
The -Ss flag will search for everything related to google-chrome.

Now we can see three available chrome applications. In our case, we will just take the stable version. To install run
yaourt -S google-chrome

Here you can see the pakage build downloading and a few comments from users who have problems or are reporting bugs. You can go ahead and press n and continue but you do not ever need to view the package build. You will then be asked to edit the install file, this you can also press n. The package will build and then finally ask you to confirm the installation. If you do not want to constantly press n, you can type yaourt -S google-chrome –-noconfirm which will instantly press no and then yes to install. The only problem is if a build error occurs it will automatically exit the build process. To keep all your AUR packages updated, occasionally issue yaourt -Syua. The a will check for AUR packages and download them. There you go. Installed and ready to go.

Your Arch Linux computer is now finished and ready to go. Good luck and enjoy the experience.

by Alex Gaudino, Owner of HTML High 5

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