Rough guide to installing & configuring Arch Linux – my way.

A super rough guide on how I install Arch Linux (by no means the ‘official way’)
Boot the live media it will boot to a root prompt, the following commands (and notations) are meant to help with installing Arch, but not do it for you – its important to know you PC its limitations and the hardware there in – so bear this in mind as you may still need to read The Arch Wiki

I will place comments in brackets, if you have started sshd on the live media you can use a terminal for the install and copy/paste from a web browser actually you cant as WordPress messes up formatting (edit 28/10/17)…

[load your keyboard region, I’m in the uk (good’ol Blighty) you may want ‘us’ or another region use ‘ls /usr/share/kbd/keymaps/**/*.map.gz’ to list them]

loadkeys uk

[now assuming you have wifi do the following to get an internet connection, if you use ethernet, at boot its probably online already]


[then get ntp to set the time – pacman can fail if the time is not right]

timedatectl set-ntp true

[now partition your HDD or SSD – I use fdisk but you may prefer cfdisk or parted – I wil assume 3 partitions ‘/’= /dev/sda1, ‘/home’= /dev/sda2, ‘/swap’ = sda3. I’ll be using etx4 file system – if you are using a SSD I would not bother with swap – lets format]

mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda1
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2
mkswap /dev/sda3
swapon /dev/sda3

[then mount the partitions]

mount /dev/sda1 /mnt
mkdir /mnt/home
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/home

[now install some apps usually its just base & base-install, but I tend to install a DE and DM to make it usable on reboot (edit 28/10/17 – added pulseudio-alsa for sound out of the box)]

pacstrap -i /mnt base base-devel nano rsync sox mc w3m tmux irssi openssh grub mtools wpa_actiond wpa_supplicant dialog rfkill os-prober reflector autocutsel calcurse calc neomutt fbdump fbgrab gpm gst-libav gst-plugins-bad gst-plugins-base gst-plugins-base-libs gst-plugins-good gst-plugins-ugly gstreamer imagemagick inxi lame lm_sensors opus-tools noto-fonts noto-fonts-cjk noto-fonts-emoji noto-fonts-extra p7zip print-manager cups cups-pdf opus opusfile sudo ttf-dejavu ttf-hack ttf-liberation unzip unrar vbetool wget cpupower xorg-drivers xorg xorg-apps xorg-fonts lxqt qupzilla sddm gvfs xarchiver intel-ucode pulseaudio-alsa breeze-icons breeze-gtk

[once done generate your /etc/fstab – if you are usinag a SSD don’t for get to check if you need to add the “discard” argument to the ext4 filesystems]

genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

[now enter your install]

arch-chroot /mnt /bin/bash

[set up your timezone – Im in the uk , you may want to check out the contents of /usr/share/zoneinfo/]

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/London /etc/localtime

[set system clock to utc]

hwclock ––systohc

[need to set locale , to do this edit /etc/locale.gen and uncomment your locale – mine is en_GB.UTF-8]

nano /etc/locale.gen

[then generate your locale]


[make sure the system uses the locale]

echo LANG=en_GB.UTF-8 >> /etc/locale.conf

[set the keymap for your install]

echo KEYMAP=uk >> /etc/vconsole.conf

[set your hostname]

echo fqdn >> /etc/hostname

[append to hosts file – be carefull make sure it appends and does not overwrite use >> and not > if not sure edit /etc/hosts with nano]

echo “ fqdn.localdomain fqdn” >> /etc/hosts

[set the install’s root password]

passwd <?>

[add a user]

useradd -m -G wheel -s /bin/bash <name>

[set a password for the user]

passwd <name>

[install your bootloader]

grub-install –target=i386-pc /dev/sda

[then install the boot config , if you have any special reqirements make sure you edit /etc/default/grub bfeore running..]

grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

[enable the display manager]

systemctl enable sddm

[set up sudo for user(s)]

EDITOR=nano visudo

[then locate and uncomment the line that looks like]

# %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

[so it looks like]

%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL

[then save]
[extra’s – these are not necessary but what the hell, while you are here..]
[setup cups]

systemctl enable org.cups.cupsd.service

[set up reflector service]

nano /etc/systemd/system/reflector.service

[add the following to that file]

Description=Pacman mirrorlist update
ExecStart=/usr/bin/reflector ––age 24 ––protocol https ––latest 10 ––sort rate ––save /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

[ and save – for later use]

[if you want to keep your primary and selection clipboards in sync for all users do the following or place it in ~/.xinitrc later]

nano /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc.d/40-autocutsel

[and add the following]

autocutsel -fork &
autocutsel -selection PRIMARY -fork &

[then save]
[exit the chroot]


[unmout all drives]

umount -a

[then reboot]


[just wait of you get a “stop job” running]
[this should then reboot into SDDM]

[CONGRATS you have installed Arch Linux – although initially LXQt needs a bit of attention, log in to your user account]

click menu button navigate to  Preferences > LXQt settings > LXQt Configuration center

As there are no icons showing click “appearance” then “icon theme” then select “breeze”
in the same window after selecting breeze

Then click LXQt theme and select one (I choose ‘light’)


once selected , click font and select a font and size to your liking


go back to the LXQt Configuration center then click “keyboard&mouse” layout



add the correct layout for your keyboard and set it to the top of the list

then go to “session settings” and set your default browser and terminal (qupzilla and qterminal)


[you will now need to set up your wireless conncetion in qterminal. click menu > system tools > qterminal. For wired conncetions refer to the arch wiki]
[once qterminal is launched]

sudo wifi-menu

[select your wireless AP and enter the password when required, if you have issues with this you may need to use rfkill]

sudo rfkill list all

[if any blocked if HARD blocked – chcek your wifi switch if SOFT blocked use]

sudo rfkill unblock all

[if your wireless has frequent SOFT blockages try using the following 2 lines]

sudo systemctl enable rfkill-unblock@all
sudo systemctl start rfkill-unblock@all

[to start wireless at boot automatically do]

ip a

and make note of your wireless id  usually starts with ‘wlp’

sudo systemctl enable netctl-auto@<wireless-id>

[while qterminal is still open as its time to set up some effort saving alias’s]

nano ~/.bashrc

[add the following lines to the bottom]

# Pacman Alias’s
alias ud=’sudo pacman –Syu’
alias uda=’yaourt –Syua’
alias i–=’sudo pacman –S’
alias s–=’pacman –Ss’
alias y–=’yaourt’
alias r–=”sudo pacman –R”
alias m–=’sudo systemctl start reflector’
alias d–=’sudo pacman –Rns $(pacman –Qtdq)’
alias UD=’m-&&ud&&uda’

[then save and return to your home with]

cd ~/

[and now we set up setup yaourt – in qterminal- thanks to for supply these two lines]

cd && mkdir -p .aur/package-query && cd .aur/package-query/ && wget -O PKGBUILD && makepkg -si ./

cd && mkdir -p .aur/yaourt && cd .aur/yaourt/ && wget -O PKGBUILD && makepkg -si ./

[once installed you can search aur via yaourt by]

y- <search term>

[and for a complete update against the latest/fastest fully sync’d repo in qterminal with]


[my other alias’s allow you to shortcut many reguarly used pacman functions]

i- <package to install>
y- -S <yaourt package to install>
d- <remove all orphans packages>
m- <update to latest/fastest repo server>

[I hope this rough guide of how I install Arch Linux has been of use – enjoy]



Rough guide to installing & configuring Arch Linux – my way.

of Plasma Fails and Gnome madness

First blog post in a LONG time , but I guess that as I am using it now , it must have some use.

This is mainly a reminder to myself so that I can roll back after trying out various applications and desktop environments .

As Thunderbird (email) and Lightning (calendar) were becoming unstable for me ( + the fact that Thunderbirds days are numbered) I decided to look at alternatives .

The native choice on plasma would be  KDE’s Korganizer and Kmail which after trying for a couple of weeks I realised were basically rubbish (oh yes they are!)  as they were unstable and did not theme nicely as the other KDE/Plasma5 applications

after looking at other options I decided to switch to using Evolution as my email and Gnome-Calendar as my… calendar ( yes there are lots of gnome dependencies and you need gnome-control-center too for Oauth2 on gmail accounts) , despite being Gnome apps , Plasma5 themes them nicely and garnishes them with matching window title bars ( and they look more native than Kmail and Korganizer).

This peaked my attention – the fact that Gnome apps were as good as this , so I thought “lets try Gnome”, having been burned in the past ( the fact that EVERY  time I try the Gnome3 DE that I get frustrated as to how user unfriendly it is)

So prior to doing anything else did the following

pacman -Qnq > before.txt


Then installed the remaining part of the Gnome3 environment with

sudo pacman -S gnome gnome-tweak-tool


which installed the Gnome3 environment, which I really wanted to get configured and even after about  3 hours , was no where near

Once again  Gnome3 proved to be a ghastly experience (for me) , even with the gnome-tweak-tool.

I will say that I like a traditional desktop which Gnome3 most certainly is not.

Having decided to ditch Gnome3 but keep the part of Gnome I was happy with ( Evolution and Gnome-Calendar) I did the following to make a list of the then -installed applications

pacman -Qnq > after.txt

Now all I needed to do extract the differences between before.txt and after.txt to create appstoberemoved.txt

comm -13 <(sort before.txt) <(sort after.txt) > appstoberemoved.txt

and then use pacman to remove them and any other unneeded packages

sudo pacman -Rnu – < appstoberemoved.txt

once completed , I was left as if the installation of  Gnome3 was like a bad dream.

Hope this helps others as it helped me.












of Plasma Fails and Gnome madness