So, you’ve just installed Arch Linux, huh? Great job! Before you flex your ego on everyone, let’s make things more presentable! So, throw your tissues in the bin, put some air freshener in your room, and use that moisturiser on your hands for once. Now, let’s dive in and make your Arch Linux look a bit less like MS-DOS. The following are a few things you should do straight after installing Arch Linux
1 – Update the system
While you may have just installed a new system, times change, old man (or women, or [insert what you identify as here])! Do:
2 – Create another user
Running everything as root is not a very safe idea, without the protection of a lower user, it’ll be like assuming everyone who tells you something is the prime minister (which seemingly changes every couple of months in Australia).
To create another user and give it permissions to do root commands, do the following:
This will take you to a text editor, uncomment the line that says
%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
You will want to press “o” near the line, edit it, and then type
":x" and then hit enter to exit.
useradd -m -G wheel -s /bin/bash YOURNAMEHERE
This will give you a typical user account which you will use to login with from now on. You’ll want to set a password for this one as well since we might have some prying fingers covered in cheese flavouring touching your computer. Wait, was that you?
Similar to the installation guide, set the password.
You’re done! You can now login as “YOURNAMEHERE”. If you would like to do that now, type
3 – Installing the LTS Kernel
LTS stands for Long Term Support. While your parents might not support your new neckbeard antics (and search history), the developers certainly will… for now. First, check whether or not it’s already set up with:
To configure the kernel to use the long term support release, we will also need to reconfigure GRUB, just do the following commands.
sudo pacman -S linux-lts linux-lts-headers sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Note that sudo is now present, since I’m using a user account now.
This will probably take a moment, whip your phone out, find someone attractive to chat up and send a picture of – NO NOT THAT – the fact that you use Arch Linux. I mean, it’s better than a picture of your junk.
4 – Install a desktop environment
Command line too hard? Don’t like the MS-DOS aesthetic? Want a better experience when looking at s̭͎̠̗͎͙̦t̷͚̗̫̿ͅu̴͇̥̖̯̹ͮ͂̽͂ͅf̶͋͊́f̩͋̒̂ͩ̑̽̚? Well, it’s time to install a desktop environment.
You’ll have a few options, so do some googling and decide on what you like best.
First you’ll want to install an X server, you can do this with the following command:
sudo pacman -S xorg
If or when you get bombarded with options, just hit enter, you can remove excess packages later.
Gnome (steals more ram than google chrome)
sudo pacman -S gnome gnome-extra
XFCE (Lightweight but still nice)
sudo pacman -S xfce4 xfce4-goodies
Cinnamon (sort of unstable at times, looks like windows)
sudo pacman -S cinnamon nemo-fileroller
KDE (Looks pretty and has lots of customization)
sudo pacman -S plasma
You’ll also need a display manager such as LXDM so you can login.
sudo pacman -S lxdm sudo systemctl enable lxdm.service
After you’ve made your selections, you can now restart the system.
Note: Some DE’s don’t come with a terminal emulator, if your chosen DE doesn’t have one built in, do CTRL+ALT+F2 to go back to the shell. You can install the KDE terminal emulator by doing:
sudo pacman -S konsole
For the most part, it shouldn’t matter which terminal emulator you use, but feel free to search for the name of the terminal emulator respective to your DE.
5 – Install microcode
Microcode is useful to fix bugs that are critical for the system. It’s recommended to do this after installing Arch Linux for the sake of stability.
If you have an intel processor, do:
sudo pacman -S intel-ucode sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
If you have an AMD processor, do:
sudo pacman -S linux-firmware sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
6 – Disable the GRUB delay
GRUB is typically designed for the use of multiple operating systems, but since we’re only using one, we don’t really need the delay.
To make the system load as fast as possible, we need to edit the GRUB configuration file.
sudo nano /etc/default/grub
and add the following line at the bottom:
7 – Enable the firewall
Firewalls are smart, you are smart, right? Having a firewall is important for security online, let’s install
ufw as a basic level of protection.
sudo pacman -S ufw sudo ufw enable
To check if it’s running, do:
sudo ufw status verbos
And to make it run when the system boots, do:
sudo systemctl enable ufw.service
8 – Install basic essentials
This one helps you use the computer, this step includes a file manager, a web browser, and a video player with codecs.
Fonts are pretty important too, so stuff doesn’t look weird.
I would recommend to do at least this command:
sudo pacman -S enchant mythes-en ttf-liberation hunspell-en_US ttf-bitstream-vera pkgstats adobe-source-sans-pro-fonts gst-plugins-good ttf-droid ttf-dejavu aspell-en icedtea-web gst-libav ttf-ubuntu-font-family ttf-anonymous-pro jre8-openjdk ttf-gentium languagetool libmythes
Pro tip: Copy and paste this from the Arch Linux computer.
To install the file manager “dolphin”, run:
sudo pacman -S dolphin
For if you just want codecs, do:
sudo pacman -S a52dec faac faad2 flac jasper lame libdca libdv libmad libmpeg2 libtheora libvorbis libxv wavpack x264 xvidcore gstreamer0.10-plugins
Install VLC as your video player (The above codecs will be installed automatically):
sudo pacman -S vlc
You will probably want a web browser too,
sudo pacman -S firefox
For the most part, installing programs is a familiar process with pacman.
9 – Install an AUR package manager
An AUR package manager is very useful for when certain packages are set up in a certain way and have complex install processes. In this guide, we will install
sudo pacman -S git git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay.git cd yay makepkg -si
and that’s it! Using yay is similar to using pacman
yay -S PACKAGE
Congratulations, you should now have a presentable operating system. You on the other hand…
Have fun and tell everyone about Arch Linux (and my website 🙂 )
But seriously, have a shower first.