Now Running Arch Linux28 February 2014 · 3 min read Tweet
After using Ubuntu for a year, I decided to install Arch Linux on my laptop. This post by Jai Luthra got me all excited about Arch. It took me a whole weekend to do it and I've been using it for a month now. I initially thought of using awesome-wm but since I was familiar with KDE on Ubuntu, I went for KDE.
- 8GB DDR3 RAM
- 750 GB HD
- Intel Core i5 @ 2.5 GHz
- 2GB Nvidia GT630M
What brought me towards Arch was the fact that it has a rolling release
model which means every update can be installed to the system the moment
it's released. A single
pacman -Syu will give you the newest version
of everything installed on the system.
- pacman is the package manager for Arch. It downloads and installs packages directly from Arch repos, eliminating the need to look for .deb or .rpm and other shit.
- The packages that are not available on the official Arch repos can
be installed from AUR (Arch User Repository) which is
community-driven. It contains PKGBUILDs that allow you to compile a
package from it's source with the
makepkgutility and then install it via pacman.
Although the installation process was very gruesome, it was in a way, enlightening. It wouldn't have been possible without The Arch Beginner's Guide.
Since I wasn't dual-booting Ubuntu & Windows for some months and really liked having just linux on my laptop, I decided not to dual-boot Arch too.
First, I formatted the disk using GParted. Then booted Arch Linux from a USB stick having the iso on it. I used YUMI to write the image to USB stick.
fdisk to create the following MBR partition scheme:
lsblk to list the hard disks attached to your system,
along with their existing sizes.
- 30GB /root partition
- 665GB /home partition
- 3.7GB SWAP (as that's all I was left with)
Found this code here:
Let M=RAM and S=SWAP both in GB, then
if M<2 S=2*M else S=M+2
Base System Installation
I connected the laptop to my Home Wi-Fi network and then used
to install the base system after updating the mirrorlist and mounting
Tip: Use the US or Germany mirrors as Indian mirrors are slow and buggy.
Since I initially had some problems with GRUB, I used syslinux as my bootloader.
After a clean install, it was time to install the video drivers. I first installed X. Then installed the K Desktop Environment.
kdebase instead of
kde and then install the
packages you need. It's cleaner this way.
Since most of the desktop effects weren't working nicely, I started
searching for the nvidia drivers,
pacman -Ss nvidia gave me a list of
all nvidia drivers in the repos and I installed the ones which I thought
were required by the discrete graphics card on my laptop. But it
resulted in anyone's worst nightmare. Overheating.
After much googling and asking on the #archlinux IRC channel, I found that the solution was in the Arch Wiki the whole time. I needed to install Bumblebee.
So, I first uninstalled all the
nouveau packages and then
installed only the following ones:
nvidia, voila! Overheating gone! (If you want to run
32-bit applications on a 64-bit system, you need to the
Everything is working fine except for 1 or 2
Fn key keyboard
shortcuts. Also, I need to manually enable the
dhcpcd service to
connect via the ethernet port, use
wifi-menu to connect to Wi-Fi (when
netctl doesn't work) and use
ip link to set the interfaces up and
down, but I like to do it with the CLI.