Installation of Arch Linux

With a vanilla Arch Linux installation, you get the bare bones of an operating system without any pre-installed utilities. This empowers users to customize and dictate the behavior of their OS according to their preferences, giving them total control over their system.

After installing Arch Linux, you will initially encounter a bare black screen that can be customized according to your preferences. This module will guide you through the necessary steps for setting up Arch Linux.

1. Keep the System Up to Date

Before anything else, make sure to update the system using the pacman command.

$ sudo pacman -Syyu

We are now able to proceed with the installation of packages and other applications on our system!

2. Set up a Display Server

In order to obtain a graphical user interface, the initial step involves the installation of a Display Server. The most commonly used choice for this purpose is xorg, which happens to be one of the oldest and highly favored display servers available.

$ sudo pacman -S xorg

Install a desktop environment on your computer.

After that, we will reuire a Desktop Environment for our distribution. Some well-liked options are:

  • Xfce4
  • KDE Plasma
  • Gnome
  • Cinnamon
  • MATE

To initiate the installation of Xfce4:

$ sudo pacman -S xfce4 xfce4-goodies

To set up KDE Plasma:

$ sudo pacman -S plasma

To set up Gnome:

$ sudo pacman -S gnome gnome-extra

To set up Cinnamon:

$ sudo pacman -S cinnamon nemo-fileroller

To set up MATE:

$ sudo pacman -S mate mate-extra

Install a display manager on your device.

Following that, we would reuire a Display Manager that allows us to access our Desktop Environments. Some popular options include:

  • LightDM
  • LXDM
  • SDDM

To set up LightDM:

$ sudo pacman -S lightdm lightdm-gtk-greeter lightdm-gtk-greeter-settings

To activate lightdm, use the following command:

$ sudo systemctl enable lightdm

To set up LXDM:

$ pacman -S lxdm

To activate LXDM, use the following command:

$ sudo systemctl enable lxdm.service

To set up SDDM, follow these steps:

$ sudo pacman -S sddm

To activate SDDM, use the following command:

$ sudo systemctl enable sddm

5. Get an AUR Helper installed.

Paru is the recommended AUR Helper due to its vast collection of packages and applications in the Arch User Repository (AUR). Although pacman cannot directly fetch these packages, specialized programs like paru are needed for this task. Numerous AUR Helpers exist, but paru is our top choice.

To set up Paru on your device:

$ sudo pacman -S base-devel git --needed 
$ cd paru
$ makepkg -si

We can now retrieve packages from AUR using:

$ paru -S <PACAKGE-NAME>

6. Add more kernels to your system’s installation.

It is deemed advisable to have several kernels readily available in case the primary kernel encounters any problems.

Some of the well-known kernels, aside from the mainline Linux Kernel, include:

  • Linux LTS Kernel
  • Linux Hardened Kernel
  • Linux Zen Kernel

To install the long-term support kernel:

$ sudo pacman -S linux-lts linux-lts-headers

In order to setup the Hardened kernel:

$ sudo pacman -S linux-hardened linux-hardened-headers

To carry out the installation of the Zen kernel:

$ sudo pacman -S linux-zen linux-zen-headers

7. Set up the Microcode.

After the installation of Arch, it is advisable to install stability and security updates for the processor microcode released by the manufacturers. These updates include necessary bug fixes that are important for the smooth functioning of your system. Neglecting them may result in random crashes or sudden system stops, making it challenging to identify the root cause. Therefore, it is highly recommended to prioritize the installation of these updates for the sake of ensuring stability.

For processors made by Intel:

$ sudo pacman -S intel-ucode
$ sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

For processors made by AMD:

$ sudo pacman -S linux-firmware
$ sudo grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

8. Organize the lists of mirrors by their ranking.

To achieve faster updates, prioritize your mirrors based on their speed. Start by creating a backup of your existing mirrorlist.

# mv /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist.bak

Next, we will proceed to prioritize mirrors according to their speed.

#  rankmirrors /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist.bak > /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

In conclusion, to summarize

In this module, we discussed the necessary tasks to be performed after an Arch installation. There are still many things to be done, particularly related to installing crucial applications. However, we will let the reader decide which applications they prefer to work with!


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