Talk:Beginners' guide

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Revision as of 15:23, 26 April 2011 by Multiphrenic (talk | contribs) (Archboot ISO release suggestion)
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  1. The Beginners Guide now redirects to Beginners' Guide.
  2. A version bump in mediawiki has rectified the former apostrophe bug which rendered the page useless.
  3. Please make all editing suggestions here.
  4. Please keep discussions civil and productive.

Thanks. Misfit138 15:23, 22 October 2009 (EDT)


fstab option notail

I have just done my first install, and i included the option 'notail' in my fstab file. This lead to the drive being read only.

WEP connection

To connect to WEP it is:

iwconfig wlan0 essid linksys key "hexcode"

Check the Integrity of the Downloaded File

What about: "If you picked the netinstall iso, try: grep netinstall checksum_file.txt | sha1sum -c" It's so much easy to read the result this way.

About 2.9.3 - /etc/fstab

  • I think the possibility of using tmpfs for /tmp should at least be mentioned and possibly even encouraged.
  • Only the noatime option is mentioned, what about its big brother nodiratime and its safer cousin relatime ? Maybe a note about that in the Arch installer-generated /etc/fstab would be good too. See for details.

Changaco 08:13, 25 October 2009 (EDT)


I have seen posts in newbie corner that could be solved by just mentioning ntfs-3g in some appropriate place in the beginners guide or in the General Recommendations/appendix. --Singenbale 09:26, 18 December 2010 (EST)

Should we reference the Archboot ISO releases?

As an FYI, should we reference the newer Archboot releases? They often contain newer drivers, and so if a beginner is having problems, especially with network and wireless adapters, (like I've had) they may want to try that first. A lot of Google searches on problems with drivers offer complicated solutions, such as using another distro, or a LiveCD, compiling and moving drivers -- all of which can be avoided with a newer unofficial ISO.

I would be happy to write a blurb and explain the process. --Multiphrenic 11:23, 26 April 2011 (EDT)

To split or not to split?

Also inspired from #A simple, lightweight Beginner's Guide...

I would like to see the Beginners' Guide split into a series of separate articles. This would serve to facilitate maintenance, primarily. The page already outlines four parts apt to be split into separate articles. I envision:

  1. Beginners' Guide (essentially, the "Preface" section as it currently stands and "Appendix" at the end)
  2. Beginners' Guide/Part 1: Base Install
  3. Beginners' Guide/Part 2: Configure and Update
  4. Beginners' Guide/Part 3: Sound
  5. Beginners' Guide/Part 4: Graphical User Interface

Additionally, a "complete" version of the guide could be generated at Beginners' Guide/Complete that simply includes all four parts in succession using the {{}} markup. This version would be intended for those printing the guide.

Ideally, I think Part 1 should eventually redirect to the Official Arch Linux Install Guide. I see no need to maintain two installation guides. However, this is an entirely separate discussion.


-- pointone 14:39, 2 December 2010 (EST)

I appreciate the effort at making the best of a situation. Without a collapsing outline mechanism, the splitting out of the sections into separate articles may be useful. However, at the end of each one, the user needs a large link to get them back to where they started, so that they can continue on with the next step in the install. - KitchM 19:56, 2 December 2010 (EST)
I think it could be a good thing, although I fear that it could ultimately become inconvenient and convoluted. One of the things that has kept the guide so popular and well-regarded is its existence as being self-contained. *Note that there is virtually no negative press on the web about the guide in its current state.* A 'beginner' would simply need to follow it step-by-step and in most cases never need to follow links in order to achieve a relatively complete DE system. At the opposite extreme would be something like the Debian wiki, which exists as innumerable little pages with 'Next Top Previous' et all. I find the Debian wiki to be unruly and a big mess. So, my input is be wary of the guide spiraling into fragmentation, which in my view will render it convoluted and harder to grasp, especially for a beginner. Progress and improvement is always welcomed. Change, however, is not always positive. I truly hope it actually turns out to be an improvement. -my $.02 Misfit138 12:32, 3 December 2010 (EST)
I appreciate your concern, and I too am wary of the Debian "step-by-step" style installation guide. However, ArchWiki has matured immensely since the Beginners' Guide was originally written and designed. Before, many supplementary articles did not exist or were of inferior quality. Now, however, we enjoy a wide range of well-written, detailed articles covering a respectable number of topics.
I believe it is time to rethink the goal of the Beginners' Guide. What is its purpose and intended audience?
  1. To cover all aspects of installing and configuring Arch Linux? Then it certainly fails in this respect, and needs much expansion. (For example, it doesn't even explain how to install OpenOffice! Who decided that audio/sound deserves mention here but not printing?)
  2. To simply guide new users through installation of a basic Arch Linux system and configuring a graphical environment? Then we're close, but there is some unnecessary cruft here.
In my opinion, this guide should serve to bring users to the point where they can browse the rest of ArchWiki in a comfortable graphical environment (that is, Xorg + web browser). Then, they are free to pick-and-choose which extra components they wish to install and follow detailed (dedicated) guides on each. After all, are Arch Linux users not expected to search the wiki/forums first for help?
My primary concern is, and always has been, duplication of effort. The recent flood of edits required by the drastic changes in recent versions of Xorg is an excellent example of why maintaining two Xorg installation guides is problematic. By splitting the Beginners' Guide, we can eventually replace the GUI section with selected sections of a well-written Xorg article using available wiki tools (includeonly/noinclude are not reserved for templates alone). Similarly, as I mentioned above, the installation section can eventually be replaced by a drastically improved Official Arch Linux Install Guide (this is a very long-term goal). With careful consideration and planning, I am sure these changes will be positive in the long-term.
-- pointone 13:54, 7 December 2010 (EST)
Yes, pointone, I agree fully and am all for progress and improvement, and your reasoning is sound. I'm also very happy that I am not the only one afraid of the Debian-style wiki threat. Thank you for acknowledging this. I have beaten this drum around here for years. Misfit138 11:08, 8 December 2010 (EST)
Splitting the article might be a good idea, but I don't like the idea of graphics being covered in two different articles, so I'm going to do what makes sense - move installing Xorg to the GUI section (basically just have to move the part 4 header). This also makes me wonder why we cover sound here and not in a Sound article instead - which would let us give people more choice between ALSA and OSS, and also let us mention PulseAudio and JACK for people who want them on top of ALSA/OSS. Sound isn't required for people to have a GUI web browser/text editor that they're comfortable with, which seems to be the purpose of this guide. thestinger 13:55, 3 December 2010 (EST)
The ALSA article has also improved quite a bit, and it will probably work for more people than the sound section here, which doesn't even cover alsaconf. It's sort of similar to how the DE articles improved to the point that they were easier to follow than this guide thestinger 14:01, 3 December 2010 (EST)
I am all for the creation of a survey Sound article. Allowing Multiple Programs to Play Sound could serve as the base (it desperately needs clean-up and expansion). I don't think sound deserves coverage in the Beginners' Guide, really. -- pointone 14:15, 9 December 2010 (EST)
The Allowing Multiple Programs to Play Sound article was basically 99% ALSA related troubleshooting or plugs for dead software (joss, oss2jack, aRTS, esound) so I merged most of it into the ALSA and just started a basic outline for Sound from scratch. thestinger 16:52, 9 December 2010 (EST)

4.1 Configuring the network

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 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)

Adding a User section...

Wouldn't it be easier, and more user-friendly, to just invoke the adduser command? It's like useradd, but interactive. That way we can get rid of a chunk of that section (describing the options of useradd) since most of the interactive options of adduser are self-explanatory... Remember, this isn't a guide in which we should teach the user what the options of every command. That's what the man pages and other wiki articles are for... --Xgamer99 20:59, 9 January 2011 (EST)

Splitting into sub pages

I just migrated all the data to different sub-pages as discussed here...

The pages are designed in such a way that all of the content resides on the sub pages and are linked to (included) from the main Beginners' Guide page. This creates the illusion of a complete, and lengthy, one-page guide for those who prefer it. This should make everyone happy. =D It also creates pages for those who prefer that. Note that the content is not copied, but instead is linked, like templates. This means that two copies of the same thing are not maintained -- change the source, and you change both the 'complete' and 'paged' views.

Editing is much the same also. If you traditionally use the in-article [edit] links, you'll be presented with the text from the sub page seamlessly. If you edit via the Edit button at the top of the page, then you must go to the sub page itself and edit it (since the main page will have no content to edit).

One thing to note is how to use anchor tags between sub pages. If you're editing, say, the "About This Guide" section where it links to the major sections of the guide, you need to take into consideration that the reader might either be a) reading it from the 'complete' page, where the link would only need to be #PageAnchor, or b) reading it on the different sub pages in which case it will need to be linked like so: Beginners' Guide/PageName#Section. The easiest way to do this is to use the <noinclude> tag like so: Beginners' Guide/PageName#Section. That way, if the reader is reading the entire guide on one page, the Beginners' Guide/PageName will not be included. But if the user is directly on the seperate sub pages, it will be included. Please keep both 'complete' and 'page' viewers in mind when linking to information located on different sub pages. Also, please note that this does not matter on info located on the same page; it can still be linked to via the regular #Section syntax. --Xgamer99 15:02, 12 January 2011 (EST)

Well done! Thanks for undertaking this drastic edit. -- pointone 18:50, 12 January 2011 (EST)

Tip or Note?

I think that the message "This guide is also available in multiple pages....." at the top of the page should be the same template as its analogous in the sub pages. I'd vote to make all Tips: what do you think? -- Kynikos 15:05, 6 March 2011 (EST)

Changed it. -- Kynikos 07:30, 9 March 2011 (EST)