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Thread: My Arch Linux Notes1511 days old

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  2. #2
    Arch Ninja sagecss's Avatar
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    Introduction

    1. Introduction
    2. Arch Linux Base Install - Part 1
    3.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 2
    4.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 3
    5.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 4
    6.
    My Partition Structure Explained - Part 5
    7.
    Getting a Desktop Environment Up and Running - Part 6

    This thread will serve as future reference for me on this topic, however, I hope too that this will serve as a resource to others who are new to Linux and more specifically new to Arch Linux.
    I have decided to keep this thread in the Linux Basic Help Collection section merely to maintain some form of chronological order to what I am doing.

    As my objective is to learn more about
    Arch Linux and Linux in general, I would appreciate any comments and advise given by the avid linux followers here at BitBenderTech, on my Linux endeavours. See the following post on posting [ame="http://www.bitbenderforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=70676"]Questions[/ame]


    I took an interest in Arch Linux some time last year. Unfortunately due to work committments my time has been limited to really get stuck into it. Recently I decided to take the bull by his horn and get back into it. Even though Slackware has been suggested as a good distro to sharpen your teeth on (and no doubt it is), I was looking for something that would have me at the prompt to setup, configure and tweak, that has an easy package manager, which takes care of dependency requirements; yet still gives me the choice to select what I want to install or don't want to install. For me Arch Linux has satisfied these requirements.

    It is a distro with a minimalistic install (not full of bloated crap), so you need to get a base system installed, get Xorg installed and layer a Desktop Environment on top of that. The distro is all about choices, your choices, even when it comes to group package installations, where you simply say no to installing all packages and install only what you want...just bloody fabulous, don't you think

    If for some reason you can't find the package you are looking for, among the very extensive list available, there is always the Arch Build System (compile from source) you can take a look at. You can read more about this here


    Arch is a rolling release, so a simple occasional pacman -Syu and your system is up to date with all the latest and greatest. It is an optimized binary based distribution for i686 so should move along quite speedily and should also run well on old hardware.

    Arch has a plethora of support and a community more than willing to assist. As always do as much research as possible before posting a question and give enough detail as well.

    Arch also supports both 32 and 64 Bit systems. It is all round relatively simple to use, install and configure.

    But, enough of my ramblings, check out the about Arch for yourself here


    To date I have managed to get XFCE4 and Gnome (which I am currently trying out) working without too much difficulty. If you are into KDE, check out KDEMOD (
    The Chakra Project). This I was able to get working without too much difficulty as well. Vanilla KDE was straight forward as well, however KDE does not seem to be for me.

    Now, if you intend installing Arch Linux (and I'll go through it in a bit), before jumping in and wanting to rush everything, get the misses to make you a cup of coffee or bring you a beer, or maybe some wine; get her to start cooking dinner and to ensure the kids are in bed...if you are the wife wanting to do this, I'm afraid you will have to multitask as you always do ...Nah, just kidding

    Seriously though, take the time to have a read of the
    Official Arch Install Guide and the Beginners Guide
    These should set you well on your way and more than likely you won't have to return here.
    I'll go through the install anyway though. Oh, and if you do intend to return to follow the install go to Arch Linux
    Downloads, download the iso image and burn it to a CD and place it within easy reach.

    Be warned though, this Linux stuff is addictive!

    Last edited by sagecss; 03-13-2010 at 08:52 PM.

  3. #3
    Arch Ninja sagecss's Avatar
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    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 1

    1. Introduction
    2. Arch Linux Base Install - Part 1
    3.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 2
    4.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 3
    5.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 4
    6.
    My Partition Structure Explained - Part 5
    7.
    Getting a Desktop Environment Up and Running - Part 6

    OK, let's walk through the Arch Linux base install together. At the time of this writing my ISO version was 2009.08.
    You have read the official install guide and beginners guide...right?
    You have downloaded and burned the iso image to a CD?

    Reboot your PC with the CD in the drive, you will be presented with the following:




    Hit the enter key on the highlighted Boot Arch Linux Live CD

    Once the system has completed the bootup process you will see the following:



    Type the word root and enter
    You will then see the following:




    Note the first row in the asterisk box tells you how to run the setup process with the command /arch/setup - DON'T TYPE IT YET, just remember it or jot it down for now.

    Even though Arch setup allows you to to configure your partitions I prefer to do this manually prior to initiating the setup process. We can use either
    fdisk or cfdisk for this. Let's use cfdisk on this occasion as it is very beginner friendly. At the prompt presented above type the following:


    cfdisk /dev/sda


    This is assuming you have a SATA drive installed in your computer as the primary hard drive and the drive on which you intend to install Arch Linux. For our purposes here I will also assume one of two possibilities regarding partition configuration:


    1. You have installed Window$$$ on a primary partition and have un-partitioned space available to install Linux
    2. You woke up this morning, regretted having ever heard about M$, as the thought gives you the runs, and you have a nice clean drive just aching for a beautiful distro of Linux

    Below is an example or possible partition structure for point 1. above:




    sda1 = NTFS partition for Window$ (This you have already installed and now you create the following partitions)

    sda2
    = 100MB primary Linux partition, which will be used as our boot partition, since we will be using the GRUB boot loader
    sda3
    = 1000GB primary swap partition (select 82 as the Type)
    sda6
    = 4489GB logical Linux partition, which we will use as our / (root) partition

    Make a note of the sdax partitions created and beside each write down what you will use it for...this will be needed during the install.

    Once these partitions are created Write changes to disk and press q to Quit.

    OR

    Below is an example or suggested partition structure for point 2. above:



    If you have started with a clean HDD cfdisk may already present a suggested partition scheme by Arch Linux, delete the suggested scheme for now and configure your partition as indicated above.

    The above picture shows the following:


    sda1 = 100MB primary Linux partition, which will be used as our boot partition, since we will be using the GRUB boot loader
    sda5 = 1999GB logical swap partition (select 82 as the Type)
    sda6 = 6489GB logical Linux partition, which we will use as our / (root) partition

    The above is needed as a minimum. Forget about fancy/complicated partition structures, especially at this point, so
    K.I.S.S.

    Again,
    make a note of the sdax partitions created and beside each write down what you will use it for...this will be needed during the install.

    Once these partitions are created Write changes to disk and press q to Quit.

    Type reboot at the prompt, with the Arch boot CD still in the drive.

    A partition structure can be as simple or as complex as you want, it's your choice. Later I will discuss my current partition structure and reasoning as an alternative but here is what it looks like at present:



    Last edited by sagecss; 03-13-2010 at 08:58 PM.

  4. #4
    Arch Ninja sagecss's Avatar
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    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 2

    1. Introduction
    2. Arch Linux Base Install - Part 1
    3.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 2
    4.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 3
    5.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 4
    6.
    My Partition Structure Explained - Part 5
    7.
    Getting a Desktop Environment Up and Running - Part 6

    Ok, so we have done a reboot and been presented with the login again, type root at the presented login and then at the prompt type:

    /arch/setup


    Ok, read the second sentence in the following picture, "...The install process is fairly straightforward"

    So, I will mention a few things along the way, otherwise simply highlight as I have and hit the enter button.
    Right, let's go...


























    Straightforward? indeed it is, let's keep going
    Last edited by sagecss; 03-13-2010 at 08:59 PM.

  5. #5
    Arch Ninja sagecss's Avatar
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    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 3

    1. Introduction
    2. Arch Linux Base Install - Part 1
    3.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 2
    4.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 3
    5.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 4
    6.
    My Partition Structure Explained - Part 5
    7.
    Getting a Desktop Environment Up and Running - Part 6

    Now we will setup our mount points on the partitions we created before the install...



    Make sure you select Manually Configure block devices...




    This is where you need to get out the notes you made on your partition structure...remember?



    We will use sda1 for our /boot partition



    We will use ext3 filesystem type for this.



    Now simply select the /boot mountpoint



    Leave the following blank



    Below you can see how you have configure sda1. You've got the idea...yes? Let's mount the other two...







    On the root partition we will use ext4 as the filesystem type...why? Well becaus it is my choice.





    Now, ensure your setup looks like the one below.



    It will create file systems and devices for you now





    Yep, fairly straighforward
    Next we will select the packages we will be installing
    Last edited by sagecss; 03-13-2010 at 09:00 PM.

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    Arch Ninja sagecss's Avatar
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    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 4

    1. Introduction
    2. Arch Linux Base Install - Part 1
    3.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 2
    4.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 3
    5.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 4
    6.
    My Partition Structure Explained - Part 5
    7.
    Getting a Desktop Environment Up and Running - Part 6

    As before, as part of the process, Select Packages will be selected for you, hit enter.





    Hit the down arrow key once and hit the space bar to select base-devel. I always install this, but hey, remember it's your choice.



    You can scroll down to the bottom to poke around if you wish but I just enter on ok and get on with it



    The selection process is done and now to install the packages



    A courteous gesture



    To spice things up a little you will now see a few things happening



    Hit the enter button again to continue so we can get on with configuring the system



    Next we will configure the system



    If you are new to Linux, select nano (I only use nano, easy to use; I like that)



    Right, for the purpose of simply getting a base install going we will only configure a few things here:

    /etc/rc.conf
    /etc/hosts

    You don't even have to do this, it works fine without any adjustments.

    The following two must be done!

    /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist
    Root-Password



    Let's do it! Enter on /etc/rc.conf

    In rc.conf we will change the hostname to something you like;make it a little more personal.
    Scroll down till you see HOSTNAME and between the quotation marks type what you want.
    I have simply typed "mypc"



    Hit Ctrl+o > Enter > Ctrl+x
    This will take you back to the main configuration window.
    Scroll down to /etc/hosts and hit enter.
    You should see this



    Above you can see where my cursor is under the word localhost, delete that word so only mypc remains.
    Like this...



    Hit Ctrl+o > Enter > Ctrl+x
    Scroll down to /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist and Enter.
    Now find your server location or the closest one to you and un-comment (remove the # in front of the line) the relevant rows.
    Something like this...



    Hit Ctrl+o > Enter > Ctrl+x
    Scroll down to Root-Password > Enter
    Type a password (don't be a dork in skipping this step) > Enter. You will be asked to retype your password



    Retype and Enter
    Scroll down to Done and Enter



    A bit more excitement will follow



    We are nearly done. Next we will install the GRUB boot loader







    Next you will be presented with the GRUB menu.lst configuration file. Scroll down and change both the kernel lines to look like this



    MAKE SURE IT LOOKS EXACTLY THE SAME AS ABOVE!!!

    Hit Ctrl+o > Enter > Ctrl+x







    That's it. Hit Enter and you will see this



    Enter again and you will be taken to the prompt, type reboot > Enter, removing the CD from your CD/DVD drive.
    You will then be presented with the following GRUB menu



    Your system will go through the boot process and present you with the login



    Type root > Enter
    Type your password > Enter

    And next you will be presented with the most beautiful thing you have ever seen...wait for it..............



    Isn't that lovely? What you see here is the result of your first Arch Linux Base Install.

    It was fairly straightforward, wasn't it?

    From here we will get your system configured, ensure everthing is working as it should and if you don't like working in the pretty prompt only, we'll set up the GNOME desktop environment as well; and over time we will build a workable system, which you have put together to your liking.
    Last edited by sagecss; 03-13-2010 at 08:57 PM.

  7. #7
    Arch Ninja sagecss's Avatar
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    My Partition Structure Explained - Saving Time Down The Track

    1. Introduction
    2. Arch Linux Base Install - Part 1
    3.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 2
    4.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 3
    5.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 4
    6.
    My Partition Structure Explained - Part 5
    7.
    Getting a Desktop Environment Up and Running - Part 6

    Being new to Arch Linux i.e. borking my system and fiddling with my partition structure, I ended up re-installing Arch a few times. Obviously doing a fresh base install takes up a bit of time and I wanted to set things up to be able to place a fresh base install onto a partition (any partition for that matter) quickly.

    My partition structure, as mentioned before, currently looks like this:



    So what's going on here...

    sda1 - Primary Partition
    I have always kept this partition open for a windows install (NTFS), for a game or two, or whatever else

    sda2 - Primary Partition
    This is my boot partition and where the GRUB configuration files live. It is mounted as /boot.
    Has ext3 filesystem

    I have used tar to make a backup of this partition, which is kept on a seperate disk.

    sda3 - Primary Partition
    This partition is for swap space

    sda5, 6 and 7 - Logical Partition
    This is for my stuff i.e. some data etc...
    All have ext4 filesystems

    sda8 - Logical Partition
    Is where I boot to for maintenance work on my system. This is simply a fresh base Arch install, that's it.
    This is so I don't have to use a boot CD for such tasks, unless I have thoroughly borked my system.
    Has ext4 filesystem

    I have used tar to make a backup of this partition, which is kept on a seperate disk.

    sda9 - Logical Partition
    This partition also has a fresh base Arch install. The difference is that this base install is the one that gets
    transferred to other partitions, however, prior to the transfer a full system update is performed , ensuring a fully updated base install at the time.
    Has ext4 filesystem

    So in practice I simply transfer sda9 to another partition, adjust the fstab, change the grub menu.lst and I'm on my way again. There are many alternative ways and probably better, but this is how I have done it for now.

    sda10 - Logical Partition
    This is my current OS partition. I simply did what I mentioned above and layered a gnome desktop environment onto it.

    Has ext4 filesystem

    On sda11 I have another Arch Install that I was stuffing around on, which will be deleted in the near future and a bit of free space after that.

    LET'S SETUP SDA8 AND SDA9


    All the following commands are run as
    root

    Create three partitions similar to the above picture. Adjust the sizing to suite
    your requirements. I will use sda8, sda9 and sda10, substitute your own sda numbers according to your configuration.

    Install Arch Linux to partition
    sda8.

    When the installation is complete, place the Arch Linux Install CD into the drive, reboot and login.We have now ensured that no partitions are mounted from the source hard drive.

    What we will do first, is make a backup of sda8, which will be stored on a separate disk. With Linux there is always more ways than one to get a task done, but after considering Grogan's comments in this post and further reading on tar; due to the flexibility it offers, I will use the tar command for all future backups. It is also possible to use the cp -a command, but this we will use later under a slightly different scenario.

    Let's do it!

    cd /mnt
    mkdir data source destination boot
    mount -t ext4 /dev/sdb1 data
    (sdb1 is my data drive, substitute yours with the correct device)
    mkdir data/sysbakup (create a similar directory if you don't already have something similar in place)
    mount -t ext4 /dev/sda8 source
    cd source
    tar czvfp /mnt/data/sysbakup/myarchbaseinstall2009-08.tar.gz *
    cd ..
    umount source


    With the tar options you can omit the
    v (for verbose) and use whatever tarball name you prefer.

    With that done we now have a backup of sda8.

    A note here: Just in case the whole disk screeches to a grinding halt for some reason, the above would obviously not be enough to restore our system to the way it was. Remember that we need the boot partition (sda2) as well. If you want to make sure you have this backed up, do the following (you should still be in the /mnt directory):

    mount -t ext3 /dev/sda2 source
    cd source
    tar czvfp /mnt/data/sysbakup/myboot-sda2-2009-08.tar.gz * (sda2 will always be used as my boot partition)
    cd ..
    umount source

    ___________________________________________________________________________ ________________
    Let me side-step here for a minute
    Just to demonstrate; with the backups we just made, if I had to restore my system, due to a major crash or I simply wanted to restructure my drive, I could do something like the following:

    Boot with the Arch Linux Install CD
    Use cfdisk/fdisk to create the following partition structure:
    sda1 - ntfs
    sda2 - linux - ext3
    sda3 - linux - swap
    sda5 - linux - ext4

    mke2fs -t ext3 /dev/sda2
    mkswap /dev/sda3
    mke2fs -t ext4 /dev/sda5

    reboot (still with the install CD and login again)

    cd /mnt
    mkdir data destination
    mount -t ext4 /dev/sdb1 data
    mount -t ext3 /dev/sda2 destination
    (remember I always use sda2 as my boot partition)
    cd data/sysbakup
    tar xzvfp myboot-sda2-2009-08.tar.gz -C /mnt/destination/
    nano /mnt/destination/grub/menu.lst
    (make the necessary changes and save, which you will see below)
    umount /mnt/destination
    mount -t ext4 /dev/sda5 /mnt/destination
    tar xzvfp myarchbaseinstall2009-08.tar.gz -C /mnt/destination/
    nano /mnt/destination/etc/fstab
    (make the necessary changes and save, which you will see below)
    cd /mnt
    umount data destination

    Now we will reinstall GRUB to the MBR
    NOTE: you could use grub-install /dev/sda for this, but the manual states that this is less safe; instead we will do this through the grub shell, which can be invoked by typing:

    grub
    You will be presented with the grub prompt i.e. grub>. Now do:
    grub> root (hd0,1)
    grub> setup (hd0)
    grub> quit

    reboot


    DONE!!!
    ___________________________________________________________________________ ________________

    Back On Track Again
    So, remember the objective for me is that:

    sda8

    Is only used as a partition to do maintenance from, and I prefer to leave it in its original state; so, no updates, nothing! Fresh as the day it was born.
    sda9

    Is the base Arch Install, which will be used for replacing or when placing the OS onto other partitions, and this one will always be updated to the latest and greatest packages before
    transferring to another partition.
    sda10
    Or any following partitions is where the working OS will live.

    We could use the cp -a command here to copy sda8 to sda9, but to ensure the tarball we made works, we will use that instead.

    Remember, before we side-stepped we were still in the /mnt directory, make sure you are.

    mount -t ext4 /dev/sda9 destination
    cd data/sysbakup
    tar xzvfp
    myarchbaseinstall2009-08.tar.gz -C /mnt/destination/
    cd /mnt


    We will now make a couple of adjustments to config files:

    nano destination/etc/fstab


    Change the path in fstab to sda9, like this:



    Ctrl+O > Enter > Ctrl+X
    umount destination

    Now let's add sda9 to our GRUB menu

    mount -t ext3 /dev/sda2 boot
    nano boot/grub/menu.lst


    Add the menu item for sda9 to menu.lst to look like the last paragraph or section below:



    Ctrl+O > Enter > Ctrl+X

    umount boot data
    reboot
    (remove the Arch Install CD)

    The Following Will All Be Done On sda9 (Arch Linux Fresh)

    You should be presented with the GRUB menu with a menu entry Arch Linux Fresh. Enter on this and let the system boot.
    You may get disk errors. If you are asked enter your admin password and do...

    fsck /dev/sda9
    fsck /dev/sda2
    reboot


    It may also do an auto-reboot if any disk errors occurred.
    You should now be presented with the login and all should be ready to roll. Login and type your password

    Now update this install on sda9 (we will go through this later in more detail) by typing the following:

    pacman -Syu

    Chances are you will be asked to update pacman first. Say
    yes and when done re-run the pacman -Syu command.

    Do a reboot once the update is complete:


    reboot

    and login again and at the prompt type.


    ping -c 3 google.com

    Just to make sure your network is working. It should be working just fine.

    Now we can transfer sda9 to sda10 (which will be our working partition)

    Reboot WITHOUT the Arch Install CD (put that CD away, we won't be needing it again) and when presented with the GRUB boot menu, select your sda8 (maintenance install) title, and when presented with the login enter root and your password


    You already created sda10, so let's get a filesystem on that partition:


    mke2fs -t ext4 /dev/sda10 (use any filesystem you prefer i.e. ext2, ext3...)

    If you want to label the partition:

    e2label /dev/sda10 working_arch (will set sda10's label to working_arch or whatever you prefer)

    Now let's do the transfer:

    cd /mnt
    mkdir source
    destination boot
    mount -t ext4 /dev/sda9 source

    mount -t ext4 /dev/sda10 destination

    This time we will use the cp command:

    cp -a source/* destination

    When done, edit destination's fstab and adjust the / path to sda10. As done before, mount the boot partition and edit the grub menu.lst file and add another menu entry for sda10.

    The commands:

    nano destination/etc/fstab (make the changes and save)
    mount -t ext3 /dev/sda2 boot
    nano boot/grub/menu.lst
    (make the changes and save)

    umount source destination boot

    That's it. Do a reboot and when presented with the boot menu select your sda10 title and you will be taken to your login.


    You can see how easy it is now to replace Arch, or if you have a need, to place it on to another partition.


    I would like to thank the Arch community for the effort they have made to share their knowledge on all the Arch Wiki's.


  8. #8
    Arch Ninja sagecss's Avatar
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    Getting a Desktop Environment Up and Running

    1. Introduction
    2. Arch Linux Base Install - Part 1
    3.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 2
    4.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 3
    5.
    Arch Linux Base Install - Part 4
    6.
    My Partition Structure Explained - Part 5
    7.
    Getting a Desktop Environment Up and Running - Part 6

    Right, let's get a Desktop Environment (DE) up and running.

    Note that:

    All commands will be in bold font and in the form:

    # command
    (for commands to be executed as root) OR
    $ command (for commands to be executed as user)

    Login as root and enter your password

    First we will create your user account. At the prompt type and enter:


    # adduser


    Type a login name for yourself, accept the next available UID and initial users group.
    When presented with additional groups type: video,audio,optical,storage,network



    You can add floppy as well if you use one.

    Accept the home directory, shell and expiry date defaults.
    Now, for heavens sake, you don't need to bail...what follows is nothing to be scared of , hit that Enter key.
    Your user account will be created. Continue to hit the Enter key till you are asked to enter a new password...yep, do it! Enter a password and retype it to confirm. Account setup is complete.

    Note: Adding a user to a group, or not, allows us to control what hardware the user has access to.

    Let's quickly check if our network is up and running


    # ping -c 3 google.com



    The network should be working just fine, if not, head on over to the [ame="http://www.bitbenderforums.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=48"]Linux Rebellion[/ame] forum and we'll try to help.

    Now we will update our system with:

    # pacman -Syu


    You may be asked to update pacman first, no problem, say yes and when done, type the pacman -Syu command again and update the system.


    Now, this could take some time on a first run. It will show how much it needs to download, so it may be an opportunity to repay the wife by you serving a cup of something this time round


    When the update is complete do a reboot

    # reboot


    and log in as root again when prompted


    While all the following installing is going on take note of any dependencies shown, these can be considered and can be added later

    To get gnome up and running, first install Xorg


    # pacman -Sy xorg


    Install the whole content


    I have a 280 Nvidia graphics card, so for the newer cards


    # pacman -Sy nvidia


    If prompted to remove libgl conflict say yes


    Next, add hal to the startup daemons


    # nano /etc/rc.conf


    Scroll down to the bottom and add hal after crond, to look like this:




    hal and dbus will now start at boot up. [/SIZE]hal and dbus can also be started manually by typing in:

    # /etc/rc.d/hal start


    Since hal needs the dbus daemon to be running, the hal daemon script starts the dbus daemon first, then starts hal.


    Become user by typing:

    # su - sage


    Notice the prompt change...



    Note that Xorg now uses hal and dbus to autodetect the mouse and keyboard. With the correct video driver installed and relatively new monitor, xorg will usually detect and configure them well enough to work.
    To test this, as user type:

    $ startx


    You should see 3 windows and a clock in the top right of the screen.
    Like this:


    In the left most window above type:


    $ exit


    This will exit xterm and have you back at the user prompt.
    Type exit again:

    $ exit


    This will go back to the root login, then


    # Xorg -configure


    This will probe the system and create the file /root/xorg.conf.new in the /root directory. Copy this file to /etc/X11/xorg.conf
    as follows:

    # cp /root/xorg.conf.new /etc/X11/xorg.conf


    Nano can be used to edit and make changes to the /etc/X11/xorg.conf file, but it should work just fine. I only added my monitor's horizontal sync and vertical refresh rate. This can be found in the monitors user manual.
    Make sure you enter the correct rates if you do!

    Here is what my config changes look like in the monitor section



    The xorg.conf file can be tweaked to your individual needs.

    Go back to your user account:

    # su - sage


    Then:

    $ startx

    The screen does a few back flips and then comes up with a GUI again with three xterm windows, same as before; only this time at a higher resolution, looking much better than before.


    Again in the top left window
    :

    $ exit

    Then
    at the user prompt exit:

    $ exit


    Now we will install the Gnome packages needed with:

    # pacman -S gnome gnome-extra gnome-system-tools ttf-ms-fonts ttf-dejavu


    gnome and gnome-extra are package groups.

    gnome contains all the metapackages the developers have deemed necessary for a bare bones GNOME environment.
    gnome-extra contains all the metapackages the developers have deemed necessary for all the goodies. This line also installs gnome-system-tools, and fonts.

    Say yes to install whole content for group gnome

    For the gnome-extra you can either say yes to install whole content or as I did say no
    and select the packages you want or feel you need.

    Following is a list and description from the arch gnome wiki - For Extra

    alacarte -
    is an editor for the gnome-menu, if you are planning on using the menu it is recommended to use this package, though it can be done manually.
    bug-buddy -
    reports bugs, if you do not want to report bugs this package is not needed.
    cheese -
    uses your webcam to take photos and videos; if you do not have a webcam then this package is not needed.
    dasher -
    is a text entry application that uses the pointer instead of a keyboard. If you and everyone that will be using this desktop can use a keyboard then this package is not needed.
    deskbar-applet -
    is an all-in-one search bar for the GNOME desktop. If you do not need a desktop search then this package is not needed.
    ekiga -
    is a VOIP/Videoconferencing application. If you have no need for VOIP or use a different application like Skype, then this package is not needed.
    empathy -
    is an all-in-one instant messaging client. This replaces Pidgin as the default chat client.
    eog -
    views almost all types of images, you may choose to take your own image viewer.
    evince -
    is a simple document (e.g. pdf) viewer. If you are planning on using a different viewer e.g. Adobe Reader then this package is not needed.
    evolution -
    is a Personal Information Management PIM (e-mail, calendar, contacts, etc.) application for GNOME. If you are planning on using a different PIM; e.g. Thunderbird, or a web PIM like a Google or yahoo account then you have no need for this package.
    evolution-exchange -
    is a plug in for Evolution that allows Evolution to connect to Exchange. If you do not use Exchange or Evolution then you have no need for this package.
    evolution-webcal -
    is a web calendar plug in for Evolution. If you do not use Evolution then you have no need for this package.
    fast-user-switch-applet -
    is an applet that allows the switching of users without going through a log out, and log in screen, i.e. you can switch users fast. If there is only one user on your computer or you like seeing the log in screen then you have no need for this package.
    file-roller -
    is a GUI archive manager which works as winzip/winrar. If you prefer to (un)pack archives through the command-line this package is not needed.
    gcalctool -
    a default calculator application with different views.
    gconf-editor -
    the back-end editor for all GNOME settings.
    gdm -
    facilitates the starting of GNOME at boot up. If you like your computer to boot into a nice traditional command line and you will start GNOME only when you need it, then this package is not for you.
    gedit -
    is a GUI based text editor. If you plan on using a different text editor €“ as most people's devotion to their favorite text editor is religious you more than likely have an example in mind €“ then you have no need to install this package.
    gnome-audio -
    is a collection of sounds for events in GNOME. If you have your own sounds, do not want sounds or have no sound at all then this package is not needed.
    gnome-games -
    and gnome-games-extra-data is a collection of simple desktop games; e.g. Nibbles, Sudoku, etc. If you feel that childish games are a waste of your time, hard drive space and bandwidth then this package is not for you.
    gnome-mag -
    is a screen magnifier for people with poor vision. If you and everyone that will be using this desktop have good vision then you have no need for this package.
    gnome-nettool -
    and gnome-netstatus are collections of GUI based networking tools. If you do all your networking stuff from the command line then this package is not for you.
    gnome-power-manager -
    keeps track of battery status, and other power tracking tools. Only laptop users should use this package.
    gnome-system-monitor -
    an application that displays computer hardware information, and system resource usage.
    gnome-terminal -
    a GUI terminal, if you prefer your own terminal application like xterm or aterm then this package is not needed.
    gnome-utils -
    is a collection of utilities for GNOME, containing a file logger, log-viewer, search-tool, dictionary, floppy drive support and a application for taking screen-shots. It is recommended to take this package.
    gucharmap -
    lets you view Unicode characters.
    gok -
    is the GNOME on screen keyboard. If you and every one using this desktop plan on using a standard keyboard for all your keyboard needs then do not install this package.
    hamster-applet -
    is a time-tracking applet for the GNOME panel. If you have no need for a time-tracking applet, then do not install this package. You can visit its website for more info.
    mousetweaks -
    is accessibility software for users that have limited control of a mouse (e.g. can manipulate only one button). If you and every one that will be using this desktop have full control of the mouse then there is no need to install this package.
    nautilus-cd-burner -
    allows the burning of files to CDs by dragging-and-dropping in the GNOME file manager, Nautilus. The only reason not to install this package is if you do not have a CD burner on your computer.
    orca -
    is a screen reader for the GNOME desktop to help users with limited vision. If you and everyone else that will be using this desktop have good vision then this package is not needed.
    seahorse -
    and seahorse-plugins are packages for de/encrypting information. Do not take this package unless you know what you are going to use it for.
    sound-juicer -
    is a CD ripping application for GNOME. If you are planning on using a different application for ripping CD e.g. Banshee or do not have a CD drive then you have no need to install this package.
    tomboy -
    is a simple desktop note-taking application. If you want to avoid installing the large Mono libraries and use the Tomboy replica gnote (written in C+), or simply prefer the use of pen and paper, you do not need this package.
    totem -
    is the official movie player of the GNOME desktop. If you plan on using a different movie player e.g. VLC then you have no need for this package.
    vinagre -
    is a VNC client for the GNOME desktop. If you have no need for a VNC client then you have no need for this package.
    vino -
    is a remote desktop server for the GNOME desktop. You can use it to share your GNOME session desktop with other users. If you have no need for a remote desktop server then you have no need for this package.
    zenity -
    a tool that allows you to display GTK dialog boxes in command-line and shell scripts.

    OK, choices have been made and gnome packages installed.

    Edit rc.conf again


    # nano /etc/rc.conf


    scroll down to daemons and add rpcbind and fam
    to look like



    Daemons are started in the order listed at boot up, and shut down in reverse order during restart or shutdown.
    Save changes (Ctrl-O) and exit (Ctrl-X)


    So, what does rpcbind, fam, dbus and hal do for us?


    rpcbind
    is responsible for port mapping. It keeps track of and assigns port numbers to applications, daemons, etc.

    fam
    is File Alteration Monitor. If you add, change, or delete a file in the filesystem, fam will notify any running applications that have fam monitoring programmed into them, that a change has been made. So, if you have Nautilus running displaying your home directory, and a file gets deleted in that directory, the icon for that file will automatically disappear. Fam senses that a file was deleted, notifies running applications (in this case Nautilus) and Nautilus will then update itself and show that the file is now gone.

    dbus
    The main thing is D-Bus allows other programs to register on it for offering services to others. It also offers client programs the possibility to look up which services are available. Programs can also register as waiting for events of the kernel like hot swapping hardware. Hot swapping hardware means that if dbus and hal are running, and you plug in a USB memory stick, the system will recognize it and automatically mount it for you and place an icon on the desktop. Now you simply double click the icon to access the USB memory stick. Check out the dbus wiki.

    hal
    stands for Hardware Abstraction Layer. It's main interest to the user is that HAL can gather information about removable storage devices and trigger their representation within the user's desktop environment. Such as the USB Memory stick example talked about in the dbus description. Obviously all this can be done manually if preferred.

    A note from the Arch Wiki regarding HAL
    HAL functions largely overlap with udev and kernelspace functionality. Therefore, HAL is rapidly becoming obsolete in favor of udev. Currently, a small number of programs still rely on and use HAL, though development is heading toward utilizing udev as a replacement in the near future.


    Right, let's get the final things sorted, again change to user...


    # su - sage


    The xinit program is used to start the X Window System server and a first client program on systems that cannot start X directly from /etc/init or in environments that use multiple window systems. The .xinitrc file is therefore a simple way to start X. Let's create the .xinitrc file:


    $ nano .xinitrc


    An empty file will open. Type in

    exec gnome-session

    Save your changes (Ctrl-O) and exit (Ctrl-X)


    $ exit

    # reboot


    At the login prompt, login as sage (yourusername), enter password and


    $ startx


    You should be facing something like this



    You will face a horrid green leafy background at startup, right click and change the background to something more suitable to the eye.

    _____________________________________________________________
    Note that I am not using gdm to start my desktop environment. Mounting of drives or partitions may fail, when doing it through Nautilus or the likes. Try to mount a partition or drive with nautilus, if you get an -IsCallerPrivileged failed-, use ck-launch-session (part of the consolekit package) to start the DE/WM.

    For example with startx/GNOME, this was originally in ~/.xinitrc:
    exec gnome-session

    Change it to:

    exec ck-launch-session gnome-session

    and the problem should be solved.

    _____________________________________________________________

    A working gnome DE/WM is now installed and ready to use.

    That was not too difficult at all, was it?


    Let's get sound working. You can do this from a terminal within gnome, but I logged out of Gnome and at the terminal:

    $ su - root

    Then

    # pacman -Sy alsa-utils


    ALSA provides audio and MIDI functionality to the Linux operating system. The alsa-utils package contains some utility programs for ALSA. One of which saves the current Volume Control settings at restart or shutdown, then restores those settings at boot up. To enable that feature, edit the /etc/rc.conf file and add alsa to the very end of the DAEMONS= line.


    # nano /etc/rc.conf




    Save the changes and exit nano, then change back to user:

    # su - sage

    Configure the mixer by typing:

    $ alsamixer

    You will see this:



    Use m to enable and adjust sound settings. Press esc key when done, then:

    $ exit
    $ su - root
    # alsactl store


    This will store the current alsa settings to be loaded at boot time.


    # reboot


    At login prompt type user name and password


    $ startx

    and that should have your base gnome up and running


    Navigate around the Gnome environment and familiarize yourself with it. Applications can now be installed to your hearts content and tweaks applied


    Enjoy your Arch Linux with the Gnome Desktop Environment

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