User:NTia89/My XPS System Installation

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Note: First, this page is for my XPS 9343 only.
Note: Second, treat it as a recap-page only. Rely on main ArchWiki pages instead.
Note: Third, treat backup-ed configuration files on Dropbox as example/reminder. Don't substitute them entirely, rather use them as help for editing original/system files.

Things to do BEFORE formatting

  • Save Firefox stuff:
  1. Backup manually bookmarks into both .html and .json files.
  2. Backup manually uBlock0 settings.
  3. Stop PSD daemon and only then save Firefox file: userChrome.css.
  • Update every backups!
  1. /boot
  2. /etc
  3. $HOME
Note: For point 1. This is done for emergency-case only because Firefox Sync already saves bookmarks and retrieve them automatically when I log-in in Firefox.
Note: For point 2. This is done for emergency-case only because uBlock0 already saves settings using the Firefox Sync cloud storage; they have to be retrieved manually from the uBlock0 interface.

Getting and installing Arch

Prepare the system

  • Disable Secure boot feature from the EFI interface (press F2 during the boot)
Note: Because worthless on a such system.

Installation guide

  • Install the system
  • Configure the SSD
Note: Despite many suggestions[1] to use periodic TRIM over continuous TRIM due to firmware bugs and more, I have never had problems with my hardware, thus I continue prefer this option.
  • Install first bunch of software sudo pacman -S base-devel linux-lts linux-lts-headers intel-ucode broadcom-wl-dkms systemd-sysvcompat efibootmgr
Warning: I have dropped xf86-video-intel in favour of the modesetting driver (source) already included in mesa, thus no other package needed.
Note: Since Intel is developing a brand-new driver called Iris and it will be the default (see Tip below). It is included in Mesa just like modesetting.
Note: You have to add a temporary entry (just follow the wiki) because you have to reboot the system and Dropbox/Linux-ck are not yet ready.
  • Clean-up EFI boot entries with efibootmgr
Warning: A firmware BUG, make it impossible to delete boot entries (they will be recreated automatically on next boot). WORKAROUND: set them as inactive with sudo efibootmgr -v -b N -A where N={4,3,2,1}.

GNOME

sudo pacman -S baobab cheese dconf-editor eog eog-plugins evince file-roller gdm gedit gedit-plugins gnome-backgrounds gnome-calculator gnome-characters gnome-clocks gnome-color-manager gnome-control-center gnome-disk-utility gnome-font-viewer gnome-keyring gnome-logs gnome-nettool gnome-power-manager gnome-screenshot gnome-shell gnome-shell-extensions gnome-sound-recorder gnome-system-log gnome-system-monitor gnome-terminal gnome-themes-standard gnome-tweak-tool gnome-user-docs gnome-user-share gnome-video-effects gpaste gvfs gvfs-mtp mutter nautilus pavucontrol pulseaudio-jack tracker tracker-miners yelp unrar unace texlive-bin texlive-core rygel system-config-printer ffmpegthumbnailer lrzip net-tools ntfs-3g nmap p7zip xdg-user-dirs libcanberra-gstreamer libraw python-pyudev gst-libav gst-plugins-ugly gstreamer-vaapi grilo-plugins gnome-latex texlive-most

and its configuration:

tweaks:

  • set Search as recursive in Downloads and Dropbox folders with dconf-editor:
org.freedesktop.Tracker.Miner.Files;index-recursive-directories;['&DOWNLOAD', 'Dropbox']

Software

sudo pacman -S firefox firefox-i18n-en-gb firefox-i18n-it flashplugin pepper-flash

and their configuration:

Other software and fonts

sudo pacman -S 0ad supertuxkart android-tools android-udev geeqie gimp gimp-dbp darktable gthumb jack2-dbus picard youtube-dl handbrake easytag mediainfo-gui vdpauinfo clinfo mkvtoolnix-gui intel-compute-runtime audacity mpv libdvdcss libva-utils libvdpau-va-gl libva-mesa-driver libva-intel-driver hdparm gsmartcontrol lsof hugin hunspell-en_US hunspell-en_GB hunspell-it aspell-en aspell-it hyphen-en hwinfo iotop libreoffice-fresh libreoffice-fresh-en-gb libreoffice-fresh-it mariadb-libs coin-or-mp postgresql-libs pstoedit unixodbc libmythes mythes-en beanshell lynx meld nethogs nfoview pdfsam powertop x86_energy_perf_policy cpupower rmlint rmlint-shredder systemd-swap tlp lsb-release bash-completion transmission-gtk workrave python-pycryptodome atomicparsley chromium reflector bwm-ng mesa-demos ccid opensc ttf-linux-libertine phonon-qt5-gstreamer vulkan-intel f2fs-tools grsync udftools exfat-utils perl-file-mimeinfo clonezilla dmidecode extundelete lostfiles pacman-contrib rkhunter stress filezilla

Note: Yaourt is not maintained anymore![2] and removed from AUR, as well. I have switched to pikaur[3]. All commands stay the same due to my aliases.
  • install pikaur from scratch:
  1. Install git package
  2. Move to /tmp
  3. Download snapshot git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/pikaur.git
  4. Enter in its directory cd pikaur
  5. Compile and install it makepkg -fsi
Note: Remember to install asp for ABS support; it is listed as optional dependency for pikaur.
  • continue with installation of dropbox
  1. pikaur dropbox
  2. execute and sync
  3. change Dropbox folder icon, using SVG icon from Dropbox/arch-xps/ folder
  4. and copy/use every files backed up in arch-xps.
    Warning: Prior to compile any of the following packages.
  5. Create and own BUILDDIR and PKGDEST directories
sudo mkdir -p /var/cache/pacman/pkg/{pikaur-sources,pikaur-packages}
sudo chown mattia:mattia /var/cache/pacman/pkg/{pikaur-sources,pikaur-packages}
  • now disable Password timeout for Sudo by adding the following lines using visudo
# This disable the timeout of password request by sudo:
# once Sudo asks you for the password, it will wait for it, endless
# in this way, long processes like kernel compilation and installation with `pikaur` doesn't fail
# without any trick (see `sudoloopinterval` from `man pikaur`)
# [https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Sudo#Disable_password_prompt_timeout]

Defaults passwd_timeout=0
  • conclude by installing all remaining AUR packages:
    • yy fonts-meta-base
    • yy fonts-meta-extended-lt
    • yy ttf-impallari-libre-baskerville
    • yy otf-latin-modern
    • yy otf-latinmodern-math
    • yy mei-amt-check-git
    • yy mpv-mpris-git
    • yy phantomjs-bin
    • yy iscan
    • yy iscan-plugin-network
    • yy masterpdfeditor
    • yy memtest86-efi
    • yy profile-sync-daemon
    • yy pulseaudio-modules-bt-git
    • yy powerstat-git
    • yy systemd-boot-pacman-hook
    • yy tor-browser
    • yy diffpdf
    • yy woeusb
    • yy spectre-meltdown-checker
    • yy epson-inkjet-printer-escpr
    • yy gnome-shell-extension-audio-output-switcher-git
    • yy gnome-shell-extension-topicons-redux
    • yy gnome-shell-extension-netspeed-git
    • yy unigine-superposition
    • yy linux-ck
    • rem linux linux-headers
Warning: Now you should remove pikaur cache in $HOME.
rm ~/.cache/pikaur/
rm ~/.local/share/pikaur/
Warning: Now you should recompile and reinstall pikaur due to customized configuration files added later, which includes pikaur 's configuration file.
Note: Get rid of official -arch in favour of -ck as main kernel; rely on official -lts version as fallback.

Further steps

Sync Dropbox in order to obtain needed files:

  • Install pre-compiled (by me!) packages (directly from my Dropbox folder):
    • font ttf-weblysleekui
    • Roccat driver roccat-tools-common and roccat-tools-kovaplus
    • Bluetooth firmware bcm20702a1-firmware
  • Install SystemRescueCd 5.3.2
    • Download ISO[4], check its hash and put in /opt with the same name.
Note: Current version 6.x is no longer compatible due to base distribution switch to Arch Linux in place of Debian; this led me problems with GRUB (honestly I do not know if it is a fault of mine or an early stage version bug/issue). ANYWAY version 5.3.2 is enough for me and my XPS.
    • Configure GRUB using my grub-mkstandalone.sh script: copy in /tmp, make it executable then run it.

cp ~/Dropbox/arch-xps/grub_standalone.sh /tmp/ && cd /tmp && chmod +x grub_standalone.sh && ./grub_standalone.sh

Sources & other things

Warning:

WIP, official Intel page[5] states: [...]The intel-vaapi-driver will not be actively maintained. From BDW and SKL+, intel-media-driver for VAAPI is recommended.[...]. I do not exclude in the future I have to/I opt to switch to new driver! At the moment, (I personally tried them) the old one is better (wider format support)). Maybe Arch will drop the old one or when IRIS driver will be the default... I do not know. This is only a placeholder.

WIP2, switch to Wayland. Mainly I am waiting for official Firefox (the "foreign"/not-GNOME application I use the most) support because GNOME is in good shape, now!

WIP3, switch to Iris the newest Intel driver, since xf86 and modesetting are both no more actively developed (see above note).