Congratulations, and welcome to your new Arch Linux system!
Your new Arch Linux base system is now a functional GNU/Linux environment ready for customization. From here, you may build this elegant set of tools into whatever you wish or require for your purposes. Most people are interested in a desktop system, complete with sound and graphics: this part of the guide provides a brief overview of the procedures to acquire these extras.
Go ahead and login with your user account.
Sudo can noticeably simplify administering your system.
ALSA is included with the kernel and it is recommended to try it first. However, if it does not work, or if you are not satisfied with the quality, OSS is a viable alternative. If you have advanced audio requirements, take a look at Sound for an overview of various articles.
Graphical User Interface
The X Window System (commonly X11, or X) is a networking and display protocol which provides windowing on bitmap displays. It provides the standard toolkit and protocol to build graphical user interfaces (GUIs).
To install the base Xorg packages:
# pacman -S xorg-server xorg-xinit xorg-server-utils
Install mesa for 3D support:
# pacman -S mesa
Install a video driver
If you don't know which video chipset is available on your machine, run:
$ lspci | grep VGA
For a complete list of all open-source video drivers, search the package database:
$ pacman -Ss xf86-video | less
vesa driver is a generic mode-setting driver that will work with almost every GPU, but will not provide any 2D or 3D acceleration. If a better driver cannot be found or fails to load, Xorg will fall back to vesa. To install it:
# pacman -S xf86-video-vesa
In order for acceleration to work, and often to expose all modes the GPU can set, a proper video driver is required:
|GPU||Package(s)||multilib (32-bit) 3D driver||Documentation|
|Nvidia||(and for 3D support)||Nouveau|
Nvidia graphic card owners have three options (in addition to the
- The open-source
nouveaudriver, which offers fast 2D acceleration and basic 3D support. While it is good enough for basic compositing, it does not fully support power-saving yet. See the Feature Matrix.
- The open-source (but obfuscated)
nvdriver, which is very slow and only has 2D support.
- The proprietary
nvidiadriver, which offers good 3D performance and power-saving. Even if you plan on using the proprietary driver, it is recommended to start with Nouveau and then switch after you have X set up and working. Nouveau often works out-of-the-box, while
nvidiawill require configuration and likely some troubleshooting. See NVIDIA for more information.
ATI/AMD graphic card owners have two options (in addition to the
- The open-source
radeondriver provided by the package. See the Feature Matrix for details.
- The proprietary
fglrxdriver, which is split into the following AUR packages:
- Radeon HD 5xxx and newer ( AUR).
- Radeon HD 2xxx, HD 3xxx, HD 4xxx ( AUR).
- Tip: Alternatively, you can enable an unofficial
[catalyst-hd234k]repository, depending on your model. See ATI Catalyst for more information.
Even if you plan on using the proprietary driver, it is recommended to start with the open-source one and then switch after you have X set up and working:
Install input drivers
Udev should be capable of detecting your hardware without problems. The
evdev driver ( ) is the modern hot-plugging input driver for almost all devices, so in most cases, installing input drivers is not needed. At this point,
evdev has already been installed as a dependency of the package.
Laptop users (or users with a tactile screen) will need thepackage for the touchpad/touchscreen to work:
# pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics
For instructions on fine tuning or troubleshooting touchpad issues, see the Touchpad Synaptics article.
X Server features auto-configuration and therefore can function without an
xorg.conf. If you still wish to manually configure X Server, please see the Xorg wiki page.
XkbLayoutkey may differ from the keymap code you used with the
loadkeyscommand. A list of many keyboard layouts and variants can be found in
/usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/base.lst(after the line beginning with
! layout). For instance, the layout
gbcorresponds to "English (UK)", whereas for the console it was
$ pacman -Ss xf86-input | lessYou only need or if you plan on disabling hot-plugging, otherwise,
evdevwill act as the input driver (recommended).
Install the default environment:
# pacman -S xorg-twm xorg-xclock xterm
If Xorg was installed before creating the non-root user, there will be a template
.xinitrc file in your home directory that needs to be either deleted or commented out. Simply deleting it will cause X to run with the default environment installed above.
$ rm ~/.xinitrc
To start the (test) Xorg session, run:
$ startx -- vt$(fgconsole)
A few movable windows should show up, and your mouse should work. Once you are satisfied that X installation was a success, you may exit out of X by issuing the
exit command into the prompts until you return to the console.
If the screen goes black, you may still attempt to switch to a different virtual console (e.g. Template:Keypress), and blindly log in as root. You can do this by typing "root" (press Template:Keypress after typing it) and entering the root password (again, press Template:Keypress after typing it).
You may also attempt to kill the X server with:
# pkill x
If this does not work, reboot blindly with:
If a problem occurs, look for errors in
Xorg.0.log. Be on the lookout for any lines beginning with
(EE) which represent errors, and also
(WW) which are warnings that could indicate other issues.
$ grep EE /var/log/Xorg.0.log
If you are still having trouble after consulting the Xorg article and need assistance via the Arch Linux forums or the IRC channel, be sure to install and use by providing the links from:
# pacman -S wgetpaste $ wgetpaste ~/.xinitrc $ wgetpaste /etc/X11/xorg.conf $ wgetpaste /var/log/Xorg.0.log
At this point, you may wish to install a set of TrueType fonts, as only unscalable bitmap fonts are included by default. DejaVu is a set of high quality, general-purpose fonts with good Unicode coverage:
# pacman -S ttf-dejavu
Choose and install a graphical interface
The X Window System provides the basic framework for building a graphical user interface (GUI).
- Window Managers (WM) control the placement and appearance of application windows in conjunction with the X Window System.
- Desktop Environments (DE) work atop and in conjunction with X, to provide a completely functional and dynamic GUI. A DE typically provides a window manager, icons, applets, windows, toolbars, folders, wallpapers, a suite of applications and abilities like drag and drop.
Instead of starting X manually with
xorg-xinit, see Display Manager for instructions on using a display manager, or see Start X at Login for using an existing virtual terminal as an equivalent to a display manager.
For a list of applications that may be of interest, see List of Applications.
See General Recommendations for post-installation tutorials like setting up a touchpad or font rendering.