Difference between revisions of "Talk:Beginners' guide"

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:::::::[[User:AdamT|AdamT]] ([[User talk:AdamT|talk]]) 18:55, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
 
:::::::[[User:AdamT|AdamT]] ([[User talk:AdamT|talk]]) 18:55, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
 
::::::::I don't think this third option is feasible without affecting the other two guides, in fact the big part of this whole unification is moving content from the Beginners' Guide to the various specific articles, and the third option wouldn't make sense if we don't do that. -- [[User:Kynikos|Kynikos]] ([[User talk:Kynikos|talk]]) 11:14, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
 
::::::::I don't think this third option is feasible without affecting the other two guides, in fact the big part of this whole unification is moving content from the Beginners' Guide to the various specific articles, and the third option wouldn't make sense if we don't do that. -- [[User:Kynikos|Kynikos]] ([[User talk:Kynikos|talk]]) 11:14, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
 +
:::::::::Well, this is an interesting discussion! But which of the two guides is really helpful for someone who is approaching for the first time to Linux and Arch Linux? A small guide that not express adequately the process of manual installation of the system, and refers to multiple wiki pages? Or a guide as far as possible explanatory, and which refers to external wiki pages for post-installation (although I do not understand why restart a newly installed system  without installing graphics drivers and  X environment previously ). The truth lies somewhere in between, the beginners guide is a trademark of Arch Linux; is the page which not only helps new users to install the based system,but that presents the world of Arch Linux community. From this point of view has always been seen as the "main reference" from the outside world arch. It's an wiki in the wiki, presents the Arch way, procedures FIRST installation, (do not forget that this guide helps users to the first installation) and introduces to the wiki.In addition to this, the problem is that the installation of Arch Linux requires a network connection and manual partitioning from command line, and these steps are to be explanatory and explained for those who have no experience with this method.[[User:Veleno77|Veleno]] ([[User talk:Veleno77|talk]]) 11:55, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
  
 
====The transclusion way====
 
====The transclusion way====

Revision as of 11:55, 16 November 2014

Unification

A single, unified official install guide

Note: This is based on talk/consensus in #archlinux. The official Installation Guide page is going to be expanded (or this guide could be protected, cleaned up and replace it - either works, that could be decided here).

Previously, there has been talk here about merging with the old official install guide, and just having a single official Installation Guide. However, that didn't happen when the old guide was removed because the Beginners' Guide was (and is) too long, with too much duplication of other pages after the point where it's necessary (getting the initial network access). In order to be an "official" document, it would also have to be protected - edits by regular users would be proposed on the talk page.

The installation process now always requires network access, and the ISO ships with both a browser and an IRC client, so it's not necessary to keep so much information on this page, since we have very good coverage elsewhere that surpasses the duplication here. For example, there's no need for the Beginners' Guide to explain how to do an upgrade as Pacman#Upgrading packages has much better coverage of the gritty details, and the initial install is already fully upgraded.

-- thestinger (talk) 21:52, 28 October 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the ISO comes with a browser (elinks), but it's not very good with formatting. Some people may prefer to actually print the guide (which is a waste of paper, if you ask me, but old timers may feel differently), or save it as a PDF/HTML and read it on whatever device they own (smartphone, tablet, etc).

No need to create a section for this, just reminding that the unification would affect FS#36111. -- Kynikos (talk) 06:57, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Define scope of the guide

I'd like to define the scope of the guide(s) better and whether it's OK to remove certain things from the wiki instead of marking them as 'the old way' and maybe moving them to a separate article, if needed. Currently the beginners' guide still has info related to initscripts, like setting the timezone, but the article on time has not. -- Karol (talk) 09:56, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

Right now the Beginner's Guide is "A page where user can get their system installed without reading other pages". This is where the duplications come from. Maybe we can redefine it. So we can:
# Improve Help:Reading. Add some guide about Navigation, Searching, Category and Table of Contents. So users can reach the information they want more easily.
# Reduce long duplication texts. The two network configuration part is a candicate. -- Fengchao (talk) 07:46, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
The reason for using the manual way of configuring is actually because timedatectl and friends won't work from inside a chroot. We could avoid that by having users reboot before configuring this stuff (time, hostname, etc. aren't critical at all) but that would require some minor restructuring, so it's something worth discussing. thestinger (talk) 17:28, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
[This comment was pasted here from a different, now deleted discussion]
I think that the goal of the Beginners' Guide is not only to let an Arch novice install the system successfully, but also to introduce him to how an Arch Linux system is structured and the technologies it's based on: we shouldn't think of the Beginners' Guide (or any other article) as a simple howto or step-by-step guide, but as something more formative. -- Kynikos (talk) 15:40, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Unification Status?

Hello,

Is there any forward motion on unifying or cleaning up the Installation Guides? I would like to lend my hand if or when I earn that ability.

Both my fiancee and I have recently completed installs of Arch Linux and found ourselves hopping back and forth between the official installation guide and this Beginners Guide. Short of unification, synchronizing the steps would be a huge boon for those that utilize the resources in a similar manner.

Cheers, AdamT (talk) 03:35, 24 July 2013 (UTC)

While it's more work and kind of a mess sometimes with 2 Guides, if those 2 are well maintained it has the advantage to serve distinct target groups well. If you where to merge into one, i fear you'd either annoy the expierienced Users with unnecessary fluff, or if you cut too much info out of it you'd leave the newbies with open questions.
Another system would be, have one guide, and on specific topics links to article which will explain those well. But then you would have to but all the verbose-newbiew "explain everything" information into those subarticles. I don't think it would be a better system.
One thing which i don't like about current state of the Beginners Guide, in some places there is some quite advanced info/adviced included which is only relevant in niche-scenarious. I think those should be moved into the specialized articles on a case by case basis.
What do you mean when you say "synchronizing the steps"? How would this look like?
Bwid (talk) 08:22, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Hi Bwid,
I should have clarified with regards to synchronizing the steps between the Beginners' Guide and the official Installation Guide. Simply put, the Beginners' Guide completes the installation with steps ordered differently than the Installation Guide.
Examples:
  • Connecting to the internet
    • Beginners' Guide Section 2.2
    • Installation Guide Section 2.5
  • Configure the System
    • Installation Guide Section 2.7
    • Beginner's Guide Section 2.8
      • Under which the steps are differently ordered compared to the installation guide.
Going back over this, it does seem a little trite, but if we are going to maintain two separate guides keeping them as close as possible in terms of process seems to be the simpler choice. I am not saying they need to have the same section numbers (though where feasible, that would be ideal I should think), just flow in the same order from start to finish.
There is something that strikes me as being distinctly not in keeping with The Arch Way with regards to keeping two separate guides. With that said, assuming for a moment that two guides are a necessary evil, it further seems to go against simplicity by keeping redundant information in the Beginners' Guide that could otherwise be put (and should be put or at least duplicated in my view) in the subject specific Arch Wiki articles so that people that are not just installing, or that may not consider themselves beginners might benefit from the information as well.
It does not need to be novice user centric, it does not need to be verbose. The sub-articles just need to provide the information that is necessary to properly address a given subject with regards to Arch Linux, which is the point of the subject specific articles as it is. Comprehensiveness is listed as a goal for the Arch Wiki so this should not be something that is feared (ArchWiki:About#Comprehensive).
This linking to relevant articles is exactly what the official Installation Guide does, and finding subject specific articles is a skill needed post-install for anyone that continues to use Arch Linux.
Anyway, I do not intend to talk this to death or to become hyperbolic, this just seemed to have fizzled and I was curious as to its current state. If people are happy with the current state of things regarding the installation guides that works for me I shall focus on other articles! : )
Cheers!
AdamT (talk) 18:20, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Actually i think its good that you brought the topic up again. I was wondering along the same lines a while again. Is it worth it spending time working on restructuring the guide when the the thing might be done away with soon? Also don't take my rationalization of the 2 Guides as some sort of common opinion, i am sure there are many who agree that the Beginners Guide shouldnt duplicate Install guide, and even I am not sure about if what I wrote above is true. If the decission is that the BG should be repurposed, and instead the articles which are linked from IG improved then i would be fine with it.
Bwid (talk) 19:02, 24 July 2013 (UTC)
Technically yes, having only one slim installation guide that links to specific articles is the solution supported by thestinger and me (although with slightly different opinions on some things like protection of the article), and IIRC I've never read a word against the idea from other admins.
IMO the only big problem that's still holding us back is that we're playing with what's arguably the most visited article of the wiki, which is sometimes seen as kind of a trademark from outside, so everybody (including me) is hesitant about making the final decision that will definitively kill it. Maybe, and I say maybe, we should discuss this on the forums, where we would get many more responses, although a big part of them would probably be against the merge, as many new users do like having as much information as possible in one article without having to click on links. -- Kynikos (talk) 13:02, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Bwid & Kynikos,
I appreciate both of your well reasoned responses. If the time is worth investing, perhaps putting together a third, unified option and then presenting the three on the forums (or however the admins would like) would provide a concise comparison which the community at large could form an educated opinion and decision from?
AdamT (talk) 21:47, 25 July 2013 (UTC)
Sorry I'm not following, what would be the third option? :) -- Kynikos (talk) 04:54, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
Kynikos,
No worries. The third option would be a "unified guide" that we could create without removing the existing two (the official Installation Guide and the Beginners' Guide) so that a direct comparison could be made between the existing guides and our proposed unified guide. This would allow the admins to bring the guides before the greater community for a vote on which to use (the current two guides or a singular unified replacement). The risk with this plan is the potential for wasted time in creating a guide that may not ultimately be used. We should also probably commit to deleting the third guide if the community votes against it so as not to make the current situation worse with a third unofficial guide. :)
I hope this makes my idea clearer.
Take care,
AdamT (talk) 18:55, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I don't think this third option is feasible without affecting the other two guides, in fact the big part of this whole unification is moving content from the Beginners' Guide to the various specific articles, and the third option wouldn't make sense if we don't do that. -- Kynikos (talk) 11:14, 29 July 2013 (UTC)
Well, this is an interesting discussion! But which of the two guides is really helpful for someone who is approaching for the first time to Linux and Arch Linux? A small guide that not express adequately the process of manual installation of the system, and refers to multiple wiki pages? Or a guide as far as possible explanatory, and which refers to external wiki pages for post-installation (although I do not understand why restart a newly installed system without installing graphics drivers and X environment previously ). The truth lies somewhere in between, the beginners guide is a trademark of Arch Linux; is the page which not only helps new users to install the based system,but that presents the world of Arch Linux community. From this point of view has always been seen as the "main reference" from the outside world arch. It's an wiki in the wiki, presents the Arch way, procedures FIRST installation, (do not forget that this guide helps users to the first installation) and introduces to the wiki.In addition to this, the problem is that the installation of Arch Linux requires a network connection and manual partitioning from command line, and these steps are to be explanatory and explained for those who have no experience with this method.Veleno (talk) 11:55, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

The transclusion way

I agree with the idea to create a guide for all users. For newbies, the fastest way to achieve the installation step should be written explicitly. Alternative/advanced ways (e.g. other bootloaders instead of the default proposed gummiboot for uefi bootloader) should be put in a dedicated article (to take the same example, the Bootloader article --> this article could even integrate the introduction section of grub for example. --> We will have recursive inclusions).

In order to avoid duplication and avoid too much maintenance efforts, we could use the MediaWiki's transclusion method, which embeds section of internal wiki pages into the current one (a dedicated extension exists to provide even more advanced inclusions possibilities). In that way, we maintain all the dedicated pages and include some of their sections to the unified install guide. Pay attention to don't broke the links when editing the dedicated articles. In that way, we will satisfy both kind of users: the advanced ones and the newbies.

  • The advanced ones will check the advanced pages when skimming the unified installation guide. For these users the guide will be like a memento (the current Installation Guide is thus not needed any more).
  • For newbies, it will be a beginner guide which will offer the availability to learn further by reading the linked pages.
Example:

Install guide

5. Add a bootloader
<Include introduction section of the bootloader article: what is a bootloader>

Use the recommended one for UEFI:
<Include standard/easy install section gummiboot install>

etc.

-- wget (talk) 17:57, 4 August 2013 (UTC)

Um I thought of this possibility myself a while ago, but then discarded it because it would make maintenance even more difficult, as when editing one of the transcluded articles it should always be taken into account any consequence on the "long" article; in the end, it looks too complicated to me. -- Kynikos (talk) 11:50, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
This is the reason I wrote "Pay attention to don't broke the links when editing the dedicated articles.". But I think applying this method is the best way to avoid duplication efforts. Take the following example. A guy: "It would be great if we add this new useful tool to establish a wi-fi connection to the beginner guide", another guy checking/watching the network page won't be informed and cannot bring its experience as he won't be informed about these changes written in the install guide.
If you're a developer you know what I mean when I say page inclusion is the BEST way to avoid duplication ;-)
- wget (talk) 12:52, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
One big problem I foresee with this method is that we still should maintain two separate installation guides: they should contain the same instructions, but one should contain links to the relevant articles, while the other should transclude the needed article sections; this means this method wouldn't avoid duplication completely :) I still think the "links" way is the simplest and most efficient. -- Kynikos (talk) 14:27, 6 August 2013 (UTC)
+1 for links. Based on my old experience, inclusion increase maintenance efforts, you need to consider both pages when editing. And what is worse, it make it harder for new users to contribute because change in one place may influence another page they do not know well. Let us keep it simple :) -- Fengchao (talk) 13:23, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
Please note that it is crucial that the document aimed at beginners (whether a separate article or not) direct UEFI users for whom gummiboot fails to alternative boot methods. I do not have in mind cases where a complex configuration requires something else but, rather, cases in which the user's firmware will not work with this method. One case is that in which the firmware fails with any method relying on EFISTUB. This is not the standard case but it is not uncommon either. Moreover, all UEFI users should be aware of this because firmware which boots the EFISTUB with this kernel may easily refuse to do so with the next. Any user using UEFI to boot needs to be aware of this possibility and of where to look for work-arounds if it they are hit by the bug(s) at some point. (Almost certainly multiple bugs at work here.) I am reiterating this because the original discussion (complete with forum links) has been removed as closed. That's fine but I worry that people unaware of those issues may easily streamline the new version of the guide in a way which recreates the problem with the same results: lots of confused beginners on the forums, often being directed back to a version of the guide which fails to point them in any useful direction. --cfr (talk) 23:35, 22 September 2013 (UTC)

Merge two network config sections

In my opinion the network configuration section is no longer correct and it should be replaced with the correct section from this page. At least, the static IP configuration section does not work for me. This is probably caused by the switch to systemd. --Doru001 (talk) 16:49, 29 January 2013 (UTC)

Most of this section is a repeat of info already presented earlier in the guide (most notably in 3.1.1).

I understand that directing users to 3.1.1 when they've already got a system up and running isn't that great of an idea since they are no longer in the live environment and some things are different (but not much!), but surely something can be done to reduce the redunancy (especially on the 4.1.2 Wireless LAN section, which is basically a 1:1 copy of 3.1.1.2) Xgamer99 19:49, 8 January 2011 (EST)

Went ahead and made the edit, as I can't see anything wrong with it. Please let me know if you disagree. However, I still believe that 4.1 should be re-worked and merged with 3.1.1, and just have 4.1 direct users to it. The only thing that would need to be added is the Proxy settings and manual wired connection (installer handles wired connections flawlessly, so manual activation isn't covered in 3.1.1). Xgamer99 04:00, 9 January 2011 (EST)
Reopen this discuss. Those two network configuration section still exist. They should be merged. -- Fengchao (talk) 10:16, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
There are Beginners'_Guide#Establish_an_internet_connection and Beginners'_Guide#Configure_the_network sections. Though they are not 1:1 copy, I agree that they should be merged. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 14:34, 4 August 2013 (UTC)
Just to make sure it is clear, there are two sections because one configures the network in the live environment, the other does it in the chroot environment; for example in the first section it's not needed to enable services or netctl profiles. -- Kynikos (talk) 11:43, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
I disagree, they should not be merged. The first one is just a quick and dirty one-time setup. (As it should be.) The second one is about how to setup a network manager that provides a persistent connection. I think that merging these two will lead to more confusion. (I've already seen lots of people who do not understand that the network has to be configured twice; I think that we should explain the difference more clearly.) --Lonaowna (talk) 11:53, 5 August 2013 (UTC)
What about put this into another form: Merge common parts into Network configuration and leave just a link here. -- Fengchao (talk) 13:25, 11 August 2013 (UTC)

Plan

If someone was interested and had the time to lay out here a detailed plan with indications on where to merge every section of the guide and a report of all the problems that could be encountered in the process, it would definitely be the final step before announcing the unification on the forums with full support from the admins, which would mean that at that point only strong and reasonable objections could prevent the unification. -- Kynikos (talk) 06:44, 18 August 2013 (UTC)

Here is a list of sections that should be merged. Feel free to expand, comment in #Comments. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:26, 31 August 2013‎ (UTC)

General problems

  • timedatectl, hostnamectl, localectl etc. won't work from inside a chroot, so manual method of configuration is required. This could be avoided by having users reboot before configuring this stuff (time, hostname, etc. aren't critical at all). (mentioned in #Define scope of the guide by User:Thestinger)

Comments

I think a first step we could take relatively easily would be to completely merge Beginners' guide/Post-installation and Installation guide#Post-installation into General recommendations and Xorg (following the list above in #Plan). -- Kynikos (talk) 03:35, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

The sections in General recommendations are sorted alphabetically, however for the merging it would be useful to reorder them by "usefulness" or "importance" - don't know how to measure it, but General recommendations#Appearance would certainly be the last... -- Lahwaacz (talk) 06:25, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
Of course reordering the sections by importance would be essential. Can I assume you agree with the merge proposal then? -- Kynikos (talk) 00:01, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Indeed I do, General recommendations is already much more useful than Beginners' guide/Post-installation, it makes sense to keep things in one place and merge this section. I still have some doubts about the unification generally, but they do not apply here. I'll reply to #Installation template asap. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 21:00, 2 April 2014 (UTC)
Ah yes, of course here I was talking only about the "Post-installation" merge, I should have written "this merge proposal", not "the". I've marked both sections for merging: let's wait until this Saturday 12:00 UTC for any objections, I don't think there's a reason to delay this change further. -- Kynikos (talk) 10:22, 3 April 2014 (UTC)
I suppose after redirecting Beginners' guide/Post-installation to General recommendations it won't make any more sense to provide a multi-page version of the BG, i.e. I propose to merge Beginners' guide/Preparation and Beginners' guide/Installation back to Beginners' guide. Some adjustments will need to be done, like fixing any articles that currently link to both subpages and deleting Template:Beginners' guide navigation. -- Kynikos (talk) 00:34, 5 April 2014 (UTC)
Well, the merge outlined above is now done: I'll soon complete the final merge to Beginners' guide unless reasonable opposing arguments are stated here. -- Kynikos (talk) 03:29, 12 April 2014 (UTC)
And the final merge to Beginners' guide is complete too. Template:Beginners' guide navigation is still used by some non-English pages though, so I haven't deleted it yet. -- Kynikos (talk) 06:04, 21 April 2014 (UTC)
Plus, there's Beginners' Guide (Slovenský) that's still transcluding the English articles, maybe it should just be deleted... -- Kynikos (talk) 06:09, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

Installation template

Another alternative way to unify the two main guides would be to follow the same philosophy we used to write the scenarios in Dm-crypt_with_LUKS/Encrypting_an_entire_system, originally discussed in Talk:Dm-crypt#New_idea: the new installation guide could be a bare, though complete, list of commands and simple instructions needed to install the system in one example scenario, with links to the various relevant articles for detailed information and adaptations to specific cases. -- Kynikos (talk) 21:18, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Well, the Beginners' guide suffers from issues related to both content and style, and I really think they need to be addressed at the same time. Every suggestion so far deals only with one problem.
Content: I agree that the purpose of the guide (be it Beginners' or Installation) should be to describe only one scenario and provide links to other articles describing the alternatives. I really like this part of your suggestion, but it solves only half of the problem.
Style: The biggest problem is that Beginners' guide is unique mixture of introduction to reading ArchWiki and introduction to installing and using Arch Linux, which are simply inseparable in the context of BG - you just can't expect newcomers to first read Help:Reading and only then start installing their system. So, there is a little bit of anarchy, as the BG is mostly excused from the style guidelines and there are no guidelines specifically for the BG. Unifying the two guides would necessarily mean a compromise regarding style, which would not be the best for either beginners or gurus.
Also, I think that it is a good thing that BG is readable without reading other pages (as defined in #Define scope of the guide), because it implies that the most important things have been collected and the readers don't have to click-and-search too much. This is really important for the newcomers, because the orientation in the graph of internal links (I wanted to visualize the graph, but it's just too big) is really difficult - they would need to read dozens of pages (with some alien style applied) before they had the basic system running. On the other hand, one of the main points of BG should be to prepare the readers for other ArchWiki articles, but sometimes the readers are too spoiled.
Well, that is my defence of keeping both IG and BG. In my opinion it is enough to just properly define the scope of BG and trim it down to ease the maintenance, addressing the content part. But of course if there is a suggestion on merging the two guides addressing the style issues, let's hear it!
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:16, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
About the style issue, I don't think experienced users would be so bothered by some pacman, systemctl or nano examples, and the unified guide should probably explicitly warn users that they won't find similar examples in the other articles, which would be a perfect way to invite them to become familiar with pacman, systemd, Help:Reading... Besides, if the guide will be properly structured, experienced users who don't have their own custom installation notes will be able to just follow the automatic ToC as a memory refresher.
I disagree that the fact that the "BG is readable without reading other pages" is a good thing, as that's exactly the reason that makes it hard to maintain and encourages duplication of information; if users were used to follow links instead, most of the efforts now spent in improving the BG would be instead spent in properly improving the linked articles, which would then become as easy to follow as the BG is now.
Anyway, I've proposed a change in #Comments (under #Plan) that I think should be more likely to reach general consensus, and that would already be a good step forward.
-- Kynikos (talk) 03:35, 31 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm beginning to understand the need for merging. After the BG is slimmed down to cover only one example scenario, the title will be just wrong and the scope will be exactly the same as for IG. It all depends on whether different target audience and related style differences are enough to justify two guides.
I hate being the blocker, so let's slim down BG and when it comes to the point of merging with IG, at least it will not be so shocking. I can't help but to think about it as simple redirecting of BG to IG, which will be (more or less) the eventual outcome, so I will need some time to absorb.
Finally, we should also look at ArchWiki:Requests#Cleanup: installation category, so that Category:Getting and installing Arch is actually useful for providing alternative scenarios, and to ensure there is a place where to move excessive information from the BG.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 07:35, 7 April 2014 (UTC)
You are not "the blocker", every opinion is as valuable as the others if well argumented, be it for or against the proposal. Especially in this case where we seem to be the only 2 people interested in discussing...
If the unification will eventually be completed, of course the BG will become a redirect to the IG, and the latter will be unprotected (and well watched so it's not turned again into a BG).
Let's go on with the change very gradually, that's definitely the best way to let everyone successfully and happily adapt to the new way of following the document, which, if done properly, will be even easier and clearer (no need to compare two guides anymore, just to mention an advantage).
Of course ArchWiki:Requests#Cleanup: installation category is strictly linked to all this, I'll try to get there too.
-- Kynikos (talk) 05:26, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Blacklisting radeon module

Installed Arch on my laptop, during pacstrap the screen went blank, pressing SPACE, CTL+C ... didn't helped only modprobe.blacklist=radeon enabled me to go through the whole installation process. My graphic card is ATI M96 aka Mobility Radeon HD 4650. I believe this info and similar problems should be added to the beginner's guide on a Installation's Issues Troubleshooting section. I believe this is important enough to dual post and separate it from the Removing "Kernel modules" talk. p.s. I may add that this is my first desktop Linux experience--Dhead (talk) 06:20, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Newbie here offering thoughts on what could be changed in guide

Hey everyone, I finally successfully installed arch. I know this is easy for most people, but for me it was surprisingly more than just a weekend's worth of late nights. The number one thing that I would love to propose is Archboot. I understand that this may not be eligible for the wiki since it's not an official repository. However, it did make things ridiculously easy.

Apart from that there should be a section at the very beginning explaining how to troubleshoot your own problems. Learning dmesg -HLkd and journalctl -b etc were helpful tools for me. I also appreciated learning lsblk, lsmod, ls etc from the various articles, but a quick over view of these helpful commands on this page would help newbies like myself.

Also some of the methods described can be done in multiple ways, explaining that one version of live USB / Archboot uses iw instead of iwconfig or iwlist etc is not helpful if the user is confused about whether/how they can still use the old methods and how to check which they have loaded. I finally figured all this stuff out on my own (which I probably should've! no hard feelings at all).

And lastly, the surprisingly tricky bit about "mounting" partitions that do not belong to you on a dual boot system. Ultimately for me what ended up working was knowing which file systems the others could read (esp in a UEFI system). These things can't just be "linked" to because even the pages linked to don't have the information. I got quite a bit of help from friends and google.

Just wanted to lend my first time experience. I personally was installing on a macbook air, so perhaps this might be better suited for that discussion page. However, I can honestly say that most of it can be merged together with this page. I barely (and I mean barely.) deviated from the usual archboot install for a mac. And I did it three times to make sure it was do-able.

Considering the archboot is basically the live usb wrapped in a gui (I believe?) it probably means that the two would've been quite similar for installing on a mba, and thus for macs in general. (The issues of xorg, wifi, etc, are real problems for macbooks, but I meant the general install should not require two wiki pages) Victoroux (talk) 14:01, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry! Just reading over again, and realizing that I could've saved a tonne of time if I knew the problem of "a bunch of white letters clustered on my screen" was an error I could check. It usually happened when the firmware didn't support something (in my case) but telling the user what he can do when this happens helps ease the wiki hopping. I finally, finally figured out how to debug most of my own problems and I think that is the number one thing this guide should do. No offense, but it would also lessen the load on the "newbie corner" on the forums (not that I know it's loaded or not, but less is better, right?). That way no matter what's written in the guide, if it's incorrect or leads to a bad result, the user can figure out why and what to do.. Victoroux (talk) 14:05, 7 June 2013 (UTC)
Another useful article that could be mentioned (rebooting from black screens, yay!) Victoroux (talk) 00:27, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
I'd also like to mention Archboot, if only as a Tip. Any objections? --Alad (talk) 03:18, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
See [1]. --Alad (talk) 11:02, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
Regarding your second point, General troubleshooting is in Related articles - it could be expanded there. --Alad (talk) 14:25, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

remove gdisk instructions for install medium 2013-11

fdisk now has GPT support, this means that both MBR and GPT disks can now be formatted with fdisk. Does anyone object to removing gdisk instructions from this guide when the new image is released? --Lonaowna (talk) 09:34, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

No, I strongly object. util-linux fdisk's GPT support is beta/experimental and it does not offer full set of GPT manipulation features that gdisk supports. And Rod Smith (srs5694) does an amazing job of maintaining gdisk upstream and also helps users in the forums and contributes to the wiki. You can maybe add info about util-linux fdisk's GPT support, but alone with mentioning clearly its limitations viz-a-viz gdisk. Even if fdisk gains full GPT support, gdisk is not going anywhere and its more mature. -- Keshav Padram Amburay (talk) 09:51, 25 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I thought it was classified as 'stable' now, but if it isn't, we should indeed keep gdisk. In the future however, I would like to move to a one-partioner because it would be a lot cleaner (the current 'partitioning' section is a mess). Thanks for the reply! --Lonaowna (talk) 06:38, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

For UEFI users: they should install dosfstools

Shouldn't we tell UEFI users to additionally install dosfstools? Otherwise fsck.fat fails everytime they boot and shutdown.

You are right, we should. I have opened a bug report (FS#38076) to request it being added to the base group, so it will be automatically installed during the pacstrap command. In the meantime, I'll look for a nice spot to add it to this guide. --Lonaowna (talk) 08:37, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Additional Clarification

Guide may benefit from some (admittedly obvious) clarifications and streamlining. For example:

  • Make it clear that font / keyboard / network configuration is at first for the install media, and not the system to be installed (e.g. this can be done by sectioning the guide)
  • dhcpcd should work right off the bat for wired connections; where this is so, add a line to skip to the next relevant section. A package like NetworkManager is also a nice and easy way to set up networking for installed systems. This would likely be preferable for newer users than being buried under reams of complex commands for networking.
  • Recommended to add base-devel as an option to the pacstrap command, and not just base.
I second the base-devel suggestion: for example, fakeroot belongs to base-devel, not devel, and without fakeroot, checkupdates fails silently. Anatin (talk) 16:45, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

network not accessible after configure under chroot during installation process

Hello, I encountered this issue, and repeated installation process to confirm it, while I was installing arch on an Acer aspire 722 laptop when relying wireless network access during installation.

As the wireless was configured before chroot, after chroot, if configuring it again, it won't trigger errors, but the network will not be accessible. Not sure if this happens to others, but I would suggest move the "chroot configuration new installation's network" after reboot the newly installed system, instead of configuring it under chroot.

Ipstone (talk) 20:13, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

The instruction to configure network under chroot does not mean that it should also be started. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 15:04, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

service suffix

I just undid a few of User:Jstjohn's edits that remove .service from a systemctl operation.

I think we should include these suffixes to show the beginning users that there are other things than services that can be managed by systemctl. Besides that, I think we should always include the unit type in this wiki, as there are cases where there is a foo.service and a (for example) foo.socket where not showing it can be confusing.

Further more, I cannot find any documentation about what is actually done when the unit type is excluded. I THINK that it defaults to .service but I'm not sure what happens when there isn't a .service or there are multiple types.

Thoughts? Maybe the outcome of this discussion could be included in Help:Style#Daemon operations. --Lonaowna (talk) 09:20, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

+1 for always using the .service suffix everywhere on this wiki. There are many other things that can be shortened: instead of ip link show eth0 you can write ip li sh eth0 etc. Many command line utilities and libraries (e.g. Python argparse) behave this way, I'd even say that it's a standard behaviour. Unfortunately in documentation it leads to inconsistency and bad readability. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 18:05, 31 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, consistency is always a good quality for documentation, and, between the two options, I'm also for always showing the suffix. About Help:Style#Daemon operations the problem is a little different though, as it forbids systemctl examples in the first place, except for the Beginners' Guide, so I'd say it's time to make a decision in Help_talk:Style#Daemons_and_modules about the whole wording to officially suggest in these cases. -- Kynikos (talk) 04:30, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Establish an Internet Connection --> Wireless

hey all, i am following through the beginners guide (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/beginners%27_guide) and I think that I found an error in the wireless section. (I am fairly new to netctl, but found this post which is what I am basing my "error" off of : https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1272780#p1272780 ) The guide has the user bring the interface up, then run wifi-menu to connect to the network. According to the post netctl will not attempt to connect while the interface is up. This is how my device behaved as well. It failed to connect multiple times, to multiple networks with different security, until I brought the interface down, and then it connected. If someone could change the guide to reflect that particular quirk, it may help other beginners. Thanks!

Jlmarks (talk) 06:00, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

I can confirm this, and the same behaviour is reported in [2] and [3].
I've updated the guide (and sorry for the crazy typo in the edit summary, "binr" was supposed to be "bring" :P ), but this would require further investigation, it may be a bug in netctl that has been introduced in a recent release (e.g. test with older ISOs), and in that case it should be reported.
-- Kynikos (talk) 06:29, 7 May 2014 (UTC)
netctl never touches an interface that is already up, I think this is by design (it's certainly not a new behaviour). -- Lahwaacz (talk) 15:07, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Accuracy

Wrong/inaccurate things that needs to be fixed:

  • GPT is *NOT* a replacement for MBR. MBR can contain one of several different types of partition tables, including (part of) GPT. Mr.Elendig (talk) 10:54, 17 May 2014 (UTC)
Are there references other than Wikipedia (wikipedia:Master Boot Record and wikipedia:GUID Partition Table)? Btw, these Wikipedia articles support the current versions of ArchWiki articles (Master Boot Record and GUID Partition Table). UEFI (including GPT) is certainly not a replacement for MBR only, but when used on BIOS systems, GPT is a replacement for MBR (GPT is too large to fit into the first 512B of the disk, so the "MBR part" is completely modified to recognize GPT, making it backward compatible -- see wikipedia:GUID Partition Table#Legacy MBR (LBA 0)).
Please clarify what you meant, preferably backed up by external references.
-- Lahwaacz (talk) 11:31, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

base-devel

This change re-introduced base-devel in the pacstrap example: [4]. As reported by User:Karol, the same edit was reverted one year ago: [5].

base-devel is already mentioned in the instructions above, I think users should be able to understand that they can pass it to pacstrap if we remove it again from the example, but the opposite works the same, i.e. users should be able to understand that they can pass only base to pacstrap if we leave base-devel in the example.

Now, this is the Beginners' guide, so maybe we could just leave it this time to prevent beginners from asking for help on the bbs or the ml when they try to install AUR packages without reading the AUR article, also considering that on Installation guide we correctly don't mention base-devel at all (it's mentioned where really needed, e.g. ABS and AUR)?

-- Kynikos (talk) 01:25, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

See also Talk:Installation guide#base is redundant in pacstrap command. -- Lahwaacz (talk) 15:39, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

gummiboot instructions are confusing?

The gummiboot config paths (inside the initrd and linux options) are not the same for the gummiboot guide and this guide. Also, the EFISTUB tutorial specifies different paths to copy that make both of the config paths not work.

Should the user be responsible for it or should it be changed to this:

linux        EFI/arch/vmlinuz-arch.efi
initrd       EFI/arch/initramfs-arch.img

--Axo-Tak (talk) 10:05, 28 September 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for reporting! Someone changed the paths just before your comment. I think everything should be in order now. Please let us know if you find that something doesn't work.
--Lonaowna (talk) 09:30, 5 October 2014 (UTC)

Gummiboot instructions are out of order.

I'm not certain if this is the same issue as the heading "gummiboot instructions are confusing?", but I encountered this using the Beginner's guide. In "2.4 Mount the partitions", it mentions that you should mount the ESP at /boot. But then in "2.8 Chroot and configure the base system", the root is changed to the new system's mountpoint, and /boot no longer refers to the mounted ESP partition (because this was mounted in the live installation CD, in zsh). When in "2.12.2 For UEFI motherboards" I run the gummiboot install command, it errors saying that it is not a fat32 partition. Furthermore, I'm not sure if I need to actually have the initramfs files that were made during pacstrap in the actual ESP since they were installed to /boot. (My thought is they should be, because the assumption was that the ESP has actually been mounted on /boot since before pacstrap was run.)

I'm not certain what to do. (I'm new, this is my first time going through this guide.) Could someone please review this? Or perhaps I made a mistake somewhere...?

Tmarks (talk) 14:23, 11 October 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm... After that there's a command telling about mounting to /mnt/boot, so people must mount it correctly to /mnt/boot. But I think you are right, I's a bit confusing and we should replace preceding /boot with /mnt/boot -- Kycok (talk) 11:00, 15 October 2014 (UTC)

Headers' levels

Logically all sections from 2.9 to 2.12.2.2 should be lower by one level, because they belongs to configuring in chroot environment too. Opinions? -- Kycok (talk) 11:00, 16 October 2014 (UTC)

That would make sense, however as a more radical alternative I propose to remove the "Preparation" and "Installation" headings, shifting all their subsections up by one level. "Boot the installation medium" could be moved up 2 steps instead; sections 2.9 to 2.12.2.2 would instead keep their current heading level, thus becoming children of "Chroot and configure the base system" like you suggested. -- Kynikos (talk) 11:26, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
Hmm... I don't mind if we'll do so, but I like our splitting into "Preparation", "Installation" and "Post-installation". Let's wait for another opinions -- Kycok (talk) 18:32, 17 October 2014 (UTC)
I see them as a "waste" of the 2nd-level headings instead, being too much of "catch-all" sections, especially "Installation", which practically groups 90% of the article (being this an installation guide, it's quite unavoidable...). -- Kynikos (talk) 02:43, 18 October 2014 (UTC)