This article originally posted on 10/31/2010. The following was copied from Wayback Machine as I don’t have the original version anymore. The images in this article are also hosted on the Wayback Machine, so I removed “Click to Enlarge” in the article as there aren’t any enlarged version.
I first heard Arch Linux two years ago when I also discovered Linux from Scratch project. At that time, I didn’t have any experience on GNU/Linux nor the command line. I have finally chosen Ubuntu 8.04 because its good reputation on the Internet. However, I’m not interested in Ubuntu anymore since I recently upgraded to Ubuntu 10.10 and downgraded back to 10.04. Because my GNU/Linux skills have increased during the past years, I have decided to try Arch Linux.
During the installation process, I followed the installation instruction on the Arch Linux wiki:
After transferring to USB using UNetBootIn, I have to change the USB drive label to ARCH_201005, otherwise it will display the following message:
To change the label, type “palimpsest” (without quote) in the terminal. Select the USB device on the left. Make sure to unmount the driver first, and then click the “Edit Filesystem Label” button to change the drive label to ARCH_201005.
And since I have both 64-bit laptop and 32-bit netbook, I downloaded the dual ISO which contains both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the OS. After I copied the files to the USB drive through UNetBootIn and booted into the boot menu, the 32-bit and 64-bit selection items have no effect. The only option that works is the first “Default” one which is the 32-bit version. Because I want to install it on my 64bit-based laptop, I tried to figure out how to install the 64-bit version of Arch Linux. After looking into the boot options by press the tab key at the boot menu, I found out that all of the boot image files for each architecture are in the /boot folder. I also noticed that the working “Default” one is based on the two files in the root directory: ubninit and ubnkern. I think that these files are the same as the ones in the /boot/i636/ folder. Therefore I renamed these files with .32 extension and copied the only two files in the /boot/x86_64/ folder to the root directory with the same names as the ones with .32 extension. I then copied and renamed these files to the root directory with .64 extension for backup purpose. In the end, here is my current files in the root directory of the USB device:
Note that the two files without any extension (ubninit and ubnkern) are 64-bit files. I could delete them and replace with the .32 extension files in the near future once I decide to install Arch Linux on my netbook.
Since I was installing on the laptop, I have no wired Internet connection. I had to first connect to the Internet by using ifconfig, iwconfig, and dhcpcd utilities before the installation. Also, according to the wiki, I have to execute “dmesg | grep firmware” command in order to find out and install the appropriate wireless firmware during the installation.
Once I installed Arch Linux, I needed to solve the wireless auto-connection issue. Thanks to the netcfg wiki (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Network_Profiles#Connecting_automatically), I quickly solved the issue. One last thing that I’ve done is to remove the network daemon in the DAEMONS section of /etc/rc.conf file since I have loaded net-profiles daemon and I think the net-profiles daemon has the same usage as the network daemon.
After I installed GNOME and Compiz, I noticed the title bar on all the windows were missing once I enabled Compiz through fusion-icon. Thanks for the tip on the Arch Linux forum (https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=96991), I was able to regain the title bar. The solution is easy: open the ccsm (CompizConfig Settings Manager) and enable the Window Decoration plugin under the Effects section (make sure to enable Move Window and Resize Window plugins under Window Management section as well since they are basic window interaction elements). I also noticed that unlike Ubuntu and other similar distributions, all the Compiz plugins in Arch Linux are disabled by default since I installed GNOME from scratch.
The following are the reference sources that helped me during the installation:
- Arch Linux Beginner’s Guide: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Beginners’_Guide
- Wireless Auto-connect at startup:https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Network_Profiles#Connecting_automatically
- phpMyAdmin wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PhpMyAdmin
- Install AUR packages:https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_User_Repository#Installing_Packages_from_the_AUR
- Install LAMP: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/LAMP
- Wine installation: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Wine
- “Boot device didn’t show up after 30 seconds” issue:https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=77815
- Wireless network device lacks of firmware issue:https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=52342
- Installing python issue: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=73410
- No title bar with Compiz issue: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=96991
- /var/run/network//suspend/ net-profiles issue:https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=91461
- Cannot use gedit with root issue: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=836688
If you have other tips on the Arch Linux installation and configuration process, please share them in the comments below.