Difference between revisions of "Beginners' Guide/Post-Installation"

From ArchWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Add a user: grammar; styling. Male spoon?)
(Interactive method)
Line 141: Line 141:
As shown in the example, you are advised to enter values only for the {{ic|Login name}}, {{ic|Additional groups}}, and leave the other fields empty.
As shown in the example, you are advised to enter values only for the {{ic|Login name}}, {{ic|Additional groups}}, and leave the other fields empty.
The list of ''Additional groups'' in the example is a typical choice for a desktop system, hence it is recommended especially for beginners:
The {{ic|Additional groups}} list from the example is a typical choice for a desktop system, hence it is recommended especially for beginners:
*'''audio''' - for tasks involving sound card and related software.
*'''audio''' - for tasks involving sound card and related software.

Revision as of 22:37, 9 September 2012

Tip: This is part of a multi-page article for The Beginners' Guide. Click here if you would rather read the guide in its entirety.

Template:Article summary start Template:Article summary text Template:Article summary end


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.

Go ahead and login with the root account, because we will configure pacman and update the system as root.

Note: Virtual consoles 1-6 are available. You may switch between them with Template:Keypress,Template:Keypress, ... Template:Keypress.

Configure pacman

Pacman is the Arch Linux package manager. It is highly recommended to study and learn how to use it. Read man pacman, have a look at the pacman article, or check out the Pacman Rosetta article for a comparison to other popular package managers.


For repository selections and pacman options, edit pacman.conf:

Note: When choosing repos, be sure to uncomment both the [repo_name] header lines, as well as the Include lines. Failure to do so will result in the selected repository being omitted! This is a very common error.
# nano /etc/pacman.conf

Most people will want to use [core], [extra] and [community].

If you want to run 32-bit applications on Arch x86_64, enable the [multilib] repository, as well:

Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

See Official Repositories for more information, including details about the purpose of each repository.

For software unavailable directly through pacman, see Arch User Repository.


Mirrors are listed in /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist, ordered by priority.

Note: If you're using an older installation medium, your mirrorlist might be outdated, which might lead to problems when updating Arch Linux (see FS#22510). Therefore it is advised to obtain the latest mirror information as described below.
  • Arch Linux MirrorStatus reports various aspects about the mirrors such as network problems with mirrors, data collection problems, the last time mirrors have been synced, etc.
  • Mirrorlist Generator uses the above to automatically sort mirrors by various criteria. Please use HTTP mirrors. They are faster because of something called keepalive. FTP is slower, because it sends out a signal each time pacman downloads a package, resulting in a brief pause. For other ways to generate a mirror list, see Sorting mirrors and Reflector.

Change them to your liking and force pacman to refresh all package lists even if they are considered to be up to date:

# pacman -Syy

Use this whenever a mirror is changed. This is considered to be good practice and will avoid possible headaches.

Note: Some issues have been reported in the Arch Linux forums regarding network problems that prevent pacman from updating/synchronizing repositories (see [1] and [2]). When installing Arch natively, these issues have been resolved by replacing the default pacman file downloader with an alternative (see Improve Pacman Performance for more details). When installing Arch as a guest OS in VirtualBox, this issue has also been addressed by using "Host interface" instead of "NAT" in the machine properties.

Update the system

Warning: System updates should be performed with care. It is very important to read and understand this before proceeding.

Often the developers will provide important information about required configurations and modifications for known issues. The Arch Linux user is expected to consult these places before performing an upgrade:

  • Arch news. If you did not read this before an upgrade and you encounter an error, check the news before you post a question on the forum!
  • Announce mailing list.

Sync, refresh the package database, and upgrade your entire system with:

# pacman -Syu

Or, same thing:

# pacman --sync --refresh --sysupgrade

If you are prompted to upgrade pacman itself at this point, respond by pressing Template:Keypress, and then reissue the pacman -Syu command when finished.

Note: Occasionally, configuration changes may take place requiring user action during an update; read pacman's output for any pertinent information. See Pacnew and Pacsave Files for more details.
Note: Reboot if the linux package (the Linux kernel) was updated.

Keep in mind that Arch is a rolling release distribution. This means the user doesn't have to reinstall or perform elaborate system rebuilds to upgrade to the newest version. Issuing pacman -Syu periodically (and noting the above warning) keeps the entire system up-to-date and on the bleeding edge. At the end of this upgrade, the system will be completely current.

See the Package Management section of the FAQ for answers regarding updating and managing packages.

Ignoring packages

After executing the command pacman -Syu, the entire system will be updated. It is possible to prevent a package from being upgraded. A typical scenario would be a package for which an upgrade may prove problematic for the system.

In this case, there are two options:

  • Indicate the package(s) to skip using the --ignore switch:
# pacman -Syu --ignore libass filesystem
  • Indicate the package(s) to skip in pacman.conf:
# nano /etc/pacman.conf
# Pacman won't upgrade packages listed in IgnorePkg and members of IgnoreGroup
IgnorePkg   = libass filesystem

Please note that the user is expected to keep the **whole** system up-to-date with pacman -Syu, rather than selectively upgrading packages. You may diverge from this typical usage as you wish; just be warned that there is a greater chance that things will not work as intended and that it could break your system. The majority of complaints happen when selective upgrading, unusual compilation or improper software installation is performed. Use of IgnorePkg in /etc/pacman.conf is therefore discouraged, and should only be used sparingly, if you know what you are doing. Use of IgnorePkg is analogous to "voiding the warranty".

Add a user

Warning: Linux is a multi-user operating system. You should not perform everyday tasks using the root account. It is considered a very poor practice and could be extremely dangerous. The root account should only be used for administrative tasks.

Add a normal user account, using one of the two following methods. The user archie is just an example.

Interactive method

The adduser command will prompt for information interactively:

# adduser

Login name for new user []: archie
User ID ('UID') [ defaults to next available ]:
Initial group [ users ]:

Additional groups (comma separated) []: audio,games,lp,optical,power,scanner,storage,video

Home directory [ /home/archie ]:

Shell [ /bin/bash ]:

Expiry date (YYYY-MM-DD) []:

As shown in the example, you are advised to enter values only for the Login name, Additional groups, and leave the other fields empty.

The Additional groups list from the example is a typical choice for a desktop system, hence it is recommended especially for beginners:

  • audio - for tasks involving sound card and related software.
  • games - for write permission for games in the games group.
  • lp - for managing printing tasks.
  • optical - for managing tasks pertaining to the optical drive(s).
  • power - for allowing interactions with power options (e.g. shutdown with power button).
  • scanner - for using a scanner.
  • storage - for managing storage devices.
  • video - for video tasks and hardware acceleration.

For additional information about listed and other groups, see User groups.

Now you will be presented with a preview of your new account, and the ability to cancel or continue operations: after pressing Template:Keypress the account will be created, and you will be prompted to enter additional, optional information for the new user (e.g. the full name). After that, you will be asked to enter the password for your account.

Non-interactive method

# useradd -m -g users -G audio,games,lp,optical,power,scanner,storage,video -s /bin/bash archie

You will have to set a password using passwd. To enter additional information you can use the chfn command.

Deleting the user account

In the event of an error, or if you wish to delete this user account in favor of a different name or for any other reason, use userdel:

# userdel -r [username]

The -r option will remove the user's home directory and its content, along with the the user's settings (the so-called "dot" files).

More information

Read Users and Groups for further information. If you want to change the name of your user or any existing user, consult the Change username page. You may also check the man pages for usermod(8) and gpasswd(8). Template:Beginners' Guide navigation