March 6, 2013

The Wonderful World of Arch (Part 4) [Post-Install]

This is a continuation of my three previous posts, found here, here, and here.

Login using your username and password NOT as root! root should under NO circumstance be used as a normal user.

At this point, we've rebooted and we're ready to configure X.
First, we need to do a system upgrade (to get the latest linux headers) and install sudo.
For the moment, we need to login as root by typing su, then Enter, and then your root password at the password prompt.
Now we can upgrade the system, install sudo, and install X.

pacman -Syu

to upgrade the system, and then:

pacman -S sudo

to install sudo.

Now we have to configure sudo to allow your non-root user to issue root commands.
The usual way to do this is by using:

visudo /etc/sudoers

...however this uses the editor vi, which I do not currently know how to use.

***NOTE*** There is a very good reason for needing to use visudo, which is explained here.

There is a solution to this though:

VISUAL="/usr/bin/nano -p" visudo

That command will open nano as the visudo editor.

In this file, you will need to uncomment the line that reads

# %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

by removing the # before the line.

Exit nano, and then type exit to get out of the root shell.

Now we install X.
X (or X11) is a window management system. Ubuntu, Mint, and SUSE all use X under a desktop environment to manage windows.
First, we have to install X from the Arch Repositories:

sudo pacman -S xorg-server xorg-xinit xorg-server-utils
pacman -S mesa

This will be different for everyone, so i'm not going to cover it, instructions can be found here.
If you have a laptop, you should install the synaptics package like so:

sudo pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics

Now to test X. First we install the test environment:

sudo pacman -S xorg-twm xorg-xclock xterm

and then run X:


...and exit by exiting all of the open terminals (there should be 3).

Now that we know X works, it's time to install a GUI!
The desktop environment you choose is up to you - the instructions probably differ for each one. This page has a list of desktop environments (bear in mind that there are more than just those), each with install instructions. I chose Cinnamon because I think it looks gorgeous. The instructions for each DE are fairly straightforward, so I'll leave you on your own for those.

Next comes the display manager, which is essentially a graphical login screen. I chose SLiM, but there are many others. As with the desktop environments, these are fairly straightforward to install and i'm not going to go into the installation.

My next post will be about wrestling with getting WiFi up and working with a Broadcom Wireless chip! Now found here!

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