User:Svito/attic/General recommendations

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Comment: This is draft for General recommendations started from Talk:Main page#System maintenance. Use Template:Comment for suggestions on the draft page.

This document is an annotated index of popular articles and important information for improving and adding functionalities to the installed Arch system. Readers are assumed to have read and followed the Installation guide to obtain a basic Arch Linux installation. Having read and understood the concepts explained in #System administration and #Package management is required for following the other sections of this page and the other articles in the wiki.

System administration

Core utilities Core GNU/Linux command-line tools.
Users and groups Control access to the system's files, directories, and peripherals.
systemd Suite of system and service management tools.
System maintenance Common maintenance tasks and best practices.
Security Recommendations and best practices on hardening the system.

See also Category:System administration.

Package management

pacman The package manager of Arch Linux.
Official repositories Explains the purposes of the officially maintained repositories.
Mirrors Use the fastest and most up to date mirrors of the official repositories.
Arch Build System How software is built into packages.
Arch User Repository Unsupported repository of user contributed build scripts.

See also Category:Package management.


Arch boot process An overview of the Arch boot process.
udev Device manager that detects hardware and loads the right kernel modules.
Microcode Processors may have faulty behaviour, which the kernel can correct on startup.

See also:

Graphical user interface

Xorg The open-source implementation of the X Window System.
Wayland A newer, alternative display server protocol.
Desktop environment Use an existing desktop environment or assemble your own.
Window manager Stacking, tiling or both? There are plenty.
Display manager Log in with a graphical user interface.

See also:

Power management

Power management Tools, systemd and various power saving tips.
CPU frequency scaling Reduce heat, noise and power consumption of your CPU.
Laptop Power management for laptops.
Suspend and hibernate Save energy and continue where you left off.

See also:


Category:Multimedia includes additional resources.


Sound is provided by kernel sound drivers:

  • ALSA is included with the kernel and is recommended because usually it works out of the box (it just needs to be unmuted).
  • OSS is a viable alternative in case ALSA does not work.

Users may additionally wish to install and configure a sound server such as PulseAudio. For advanced audio requirements, see professional audio.

Browser plugins

For access to certain web content, browser plugins such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player, and Java can be installed.


Codecs are utilized by multimedia applications to encode or decode audio or video streams. In order to play encoded streams, users must ensure an appropriate codec is installed.


This section is confined to small networking procedures. Head over to Network configuration for a full guide. For more, please see Category:Networking.

Clock synchronization

The Network Time Protocol (NTP) is a protocol for synchronizing the clocks of computer systems over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks. See Time synchronization for implementations of such protocol.

DNS security

For better security while browsing web, paying online, connecting to SSH services and similar tasks consider using DNSSEC-enabled client software which can validate signed DNS records, and DNSCrypt to encrypt DNS traffic.

Setting up a firewall

A firewall can provide an extra layer of protection on top of the Linux networking stack. While the stock Arch kernel is capable of using Netfilter's iptables and nftables, neither are enabled by default. It is highly recommended to set up some form of firewall. See Category:Firewalls for available guides.

Resource sharing

To share files among the machines in a network, follow the NFS or the SSHFS article.

Use Samba to join a Windows network. To configure the machine to use Active Directory for authentication, read Active Directory Integration.

See also Category:Network sharing.

Input devices

This section contains popular input device configuration tips. For more, please see Category:Input devices.

Keyboard layouts

Non-English or otherwise non-standard keyboards may not function as expected by default. The necessary steps to configure the keymap are different for virtual console and Xorg, they are described in Keyboard configuration in console and Keyboard configuration in Xorg respectively.

Mouse buttons

Owners of advanced or unusual mice may find that not all mouse buttons are recognized by default, or may wish to assign different actions for extra buttons. Instructions can be found in Mouse buttons.

Laptop touchpads

Many laptops use Synaptics or ALPS "touchpad" pointing devices. For these, and several other touchpad models, you can use either the Synaptics input driver or libinput; see Touchpad Synaptics and libinput for installation and configuration details.


See the TrackPoint article to configure your TrackPoint device.


This section aims to summarize tweaks, tools and available options useful to improve system and application performance.


Benchmarking is the act of measuring performance and comparing the results to another system's results or a widely accepted standard through a unified procedure.

Improving performance

The Improving performance article gathers information and is a basic rundown about gaining performance in Arch Linux.

Solid state drives

The Solid State Drives article covers many aspects of solid state drives, including configuring them to maximize their lifetimes.

System service

This section relates to daemons. For more, please see Category:Daemons and system services.

File index and search

Most distributions have a locate command available to be able to quickly search for files. To get this functionality in Arch Linux, mlocate is the recommended install. After the install you should run updatedb to index the filesystems.

Desktop search engines provide a similar service, while better integrated into desktop environments.

Local mail delivery

A default setup does not provide a way to sync mail. To configure Postfix for simple local mailbox delivery, see Postfix. Other options are SSMTP, msmtp and fdm.


CUPS is a standards-based, open source printing system developed by Apple. See Category:Printers for printer-specific articles.


This section contains frequently-sought "eye candy" tweaks for an aesthetically pleasing Arch experience. For more, please see Category:Eye candy.


You may wish to install a set of TrueType fonts, as only unscalable bitmap fonts are included in a basic Arch system. There are several general-purpose font families providing large Unicode coverage and even metric compatibility with fonts from other operating systems.

A plethora of information on the subject can be found in the Fonts and Font configuration articles.

If spending a significant amount of time working from the virtual console (i.e. outside an X server), users may wish to change the console font to improve readability; see Fonts#Console fonts.

GTK+ and Qt themes

A big part of the applications with a graphical interface for Linux systems are based on the GTK+ or the Qt toolkits. See those articles and Uniform look for Qt and GTK applications for ideas to improve the appearance of your installed programs and adapt it to your liking.

Console improvements

This section applies to small modifications that improve console programs' practicality. For more, please see Category:Command shells.

Tab-completion enhancements

It is recommended to properly set up extended tab completion right away, as instructed in the article of your chosen shell.


Aliasing a command, or a group thereof, is a way of saving time when using the console. This is specially helpful for repetitive tasks that do not need significant alteration to their parameters between executions. Common time-saving aliases can be found in Bash#Aliases, which are easily portable to zsh as well.

Alternative shells

Bash is the shell that is installed by default in an Arch system. The live installation media, however, uses zsh with the grml-zsh-config addon package. See Command-line shell#List of shells for more alternatives.

Bash additions

A list of miscellaneous Bash settings, history search and Readline macros is available in Bash#Tips and tricks.

Colored output

This section is covered in Color output in console.

Compressed files

Compressed files, or archives, are frequently encountered on a GNU/Linux system. Tar is one of the most commonly used archiving tools, and users should be familiar with its syntax (Arch Linux packages, for example, are simply xzipped tarballs). See Archiving and compression.

Console prompt

The console prompt (PS1) can be customized to a great extent. See Bash/Prompt customization or Zsh#Prompts if using Bash or Zsh, respectively.

Emacs shell

Emacs is known for featuring options beyond the duties of regular text editing, one of these being a full shell replacement. Consult Emacs#Colored output issues for a fix regarding garbled characters that may result from enabling colored output.

Mouse support

Using a mouse with the console for copy-paste operations can be preferred over GNU Screen's traditional copy mode. Refer to Console mouse support for comprehensive directions. Note that you can already do this in terminal emulators with the clipboard.

Scrollback buffer

To be able to save and view text which has scrolled off the screen, refer to General troubleshooting#Scrollback.

Session management

Using terminal multiplexers like tmux or GNU Screen, programs may be run under sessions composed of tabs and panes that can be detached at will, so when the user either kills the terminal emulator, terminates X, or logs off, the programs associated with the session will continue to run in the background as long as the terminal multiplexer server is active. Interacting with the programs requires reattaching to the session.