Talk:Beginners' guide

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  1. Please make all editing suggestions here.
  2. Please keep discussions civil and productive.

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

Merge two network config section

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)
Reopen this discuss. Those two network configuration section still exist. They should be merged. -- Fengchao (talk) 10:16, 1 August 2012 (UTC)


Reiser4 is by far a better choice for /var than ReiserFS, if you don't count the bugs that may still exist. The latest support is for 2.6.38 but is that a reason to not even mention it? --Det 11:02, 14 August 2011 (EDT)

Reiser4 is not supported by the installation media. Misfit138 21:16, 15 August 2011 (EDT)

Configuring /etc/pacman.conf

It would be useful to make new users aware of the benefits of enabling the multilib repository when installing 64-bit Arch. Currently the guide assumes that the defaults are fine but verification is recommended, which is good and true. However, a new user may not be aware of the purpose of multilib, and I think it would be good to inform them of its purpose so that they can make a more informed choice when editing their config files. Multilib is commented out in /etc/pacman.conf by default. --Rthomas6 15:08, 19 December 2011 (EST)

I agree. Go for it. Misfit138 22:04, 20 December 2011 (EST)
Done. Close. -- Fengchao (talk) 12:17, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Beginners'_Guide#Need_Help.3F Re-direct?

I had created the IRC Collaborative Debugging page that details how to collect errors from programs, working from the console, and submitting via a pastebin service upload program. I think the details (what files need to be presented needs to stay) but the process of doing so can be re-directed? Any thoughts?

--Gen2ly (talk) 06:38, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Let's see if I've understood correctly: what you want to do is move the "how" part from Beginners'_Guide#Need_Help.3F to IRC Collaborative Debugging? In that case, one observation I may make is that the section in the Beginners' Guide refers to the forums, not IRC: how would you deal with that? -- Kynikos (talk) 15:34, 13 May 2012 (UTC)
My reasoning for this edit would be that: because at this stage of the install if there are problems booting into the X11 environment using iRC may useful to some users simply for the reason of not having to boot into an alternate OS. Thinking about this some more though, I'm beginning to think this just adds extra details that the current method is most beneficial to the majority of the users.
--Gen2ly (talk) 02:11, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
An alternative could be to link to General Troubleshooting and move all troubleshooting/help-request guidelines there. -- Kynikos (talk) 10:04, 20 May 2012 (UTC)

Booting issues with NVIDIA

I have old desktop Dell OptiPlex 740 with video card: NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE. I noticed some issue while booting the Arch from ISO. After a few init messages, the screen gets corrupted. The workaround is to pass nomodeset kernel options on boot. I think it is a good idea to add this with NVIDIA-specific section to troubleshooting section in the guide, or to General Troubleshooting article. --Mloskot (talk) 19:02, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

wireless set up for wpa

1.) One needs in addition the global option for wpa_supplicant configuration file:

here is the quote for original wpa_supplicant wiki

Global options

Lastly, you will need to specify some global options. Specify these additional lines at the top of /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf, with your editor of choice. The following is mandatory.

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=wheel
Note: For use with netcfg-2.6.1-1 in [testing] (as of 2011-06-25), this should be /run/wpa_supplicant (note: not /var/...). This will, however, break the default for wpa_cli (use the -p option to override). If this is not changed, one gets errors like "Failed to connect to wpa_supplicant - wpa_ctrl_open: no such file or directory".

There is a lot of optional parameters (have a look at /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf). For example:

Note: Your network information will be stored in plain text format; therefore, it may be desirable to change permissions on the newly created /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf file (e.g. chmod 0600 /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf to make it readable by root only), depending upon how security conscious you are.

Complete example

ctrl_interface = DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=wheel
fast_reauth = 1
ap_scan = 1

network ={
    ssid     = "mySSID"
    proto    = RSN
    key_mgmt = WPA-EAP
    pairwise = TKIP CCMP
    auth_alg = OPEN
    group    = TKIP
    eap      = PEAP
    identity = "myUsername"
    password = "********"

"fdisk" instead of "cfdisk"

According to the content of paragraph under [1] it's seems obvious to me that it should be "cfdisk /dev/sda" instead if "fdisk /dev/sda".

PS: I'm sorry for any possible mistake upthere, English is not my native language.

It is cfdisk now. Close. --Fengchao (talk) 12:21, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Separate /var and /usr

I run into problems because I forgot to mount my /var partition after chroot. Maybe you could provide a valid mounting example in the instruction.

3.9.2 Wireless setup - 'dialog' package needed

I used a wired connection from section 3.2 to install the base system and decided to configure wireless at section 3.9.2.

After installing wireless_tools, netcfg,wpa_supplicant and wpa_actiond, running wifi-menu gives the following message: "Please install 'dialog' to use wifi-menu". Maybe the package dialog should be mentioned in this section, as well as how to install it.

Fixed. -- Fengchao (talk) 12:19, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Guide restructuring

[This discussion was started after #Merging "Post-Installation" into "Installation" and #Removing "Kernel modules" and "Daemons" which have been moved here as sub-discussions afterwards. -- Kynikos (talk) 09:45, 22 September 2012 (UTC)]

I do not want to impose anything here, but in order to discuss the guide content, I think it would be easier to work on the table content first. So what do you think? How do you think we should move parts around? Present state: --zeb (talk) 11:11, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, I had to edit your post, zeb. It was way too long. I created a TOC on my user page. Basically I merged Post-Instalation into Instalation, and didn't touch the Extra or any of other sections. The changes are:
  • Removed "Kernel modules" and "Daemons" because, like I said, they're non-essential to installing Arch Linux.
  • Removed "Repositories" because it fits well into "Configuring pacman" (they're set from /etc/pacman.conf).
  • Removed "Mirrors" because you already set it.
  • Removed "Ignoring packages", which can be mentioned in passing (referencing the pacman page, maybe keep an example).
Looks much cleaner now, don't you think? "Add a user" comes after setting the root password, and "Update the system" before rebooting.
--DSpider (talk) 13:26, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Please post in the sub-discussions for discussing specific points. Reply here only to introduce new possible modifications or to link to other proposed ToC plans (like the one in User:DSpider). -- Kynikos (talk) 09:45, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Merging "Post-Installation" into "Installation"

At the end of the Installation section you are instructed to reboot. Then, in the Post-Installation section, you are instructed to update the system, and, if the linux package is updated (the Linux kernel), reboot again! This doesn't need to happen. Kernel updates come out all the time and if someone installs at the end of the month (i.e. before the new ISO comes out), chances are pretty high that the linux package will be updated. The user may forget to reboot and problems may come up when he notices that modules and other crap stop working.

Adding a regular user and updating the system could fit well into the install section. Because a Linux distribution isn't supposed to run only on the root account. Sure, Installation will be a bit longer, but this is why you're reading it, right? To install. And also, "Post-Installation" sounds silly, IMO. --DSpider (talk) 11:28, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I still don't see a reason why there should be four parts instead of three. --DSpider (talk) 08:30, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
+1 for merge. Another choice is "Add a user" to "Extra", it already have a sudo section. And this can make "installatian" page a little short. -- Fengchao (talk) 09:36, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't have the time to think if I'm pro or against right now, but I'm just quickly reminding that this merge would require adjusting at least the link in Installation Guide#Unmount leftovers.
About "Add a user", I don't think it would fit "Extra", since it's practically a required step (i.e. not an extra one).
I hope more users will post their opinion here, since this would be a substantial restructuring; I too promise that I will properly evaluate the idea and write my thoughts.
-- Kynikos (talk) 14:12, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
If the ToC of the guide is restructured as proposed in User:DSpider, the link in Installation Guide#Unmount leftovers should probably be changed to point to Beginners' Guide/Extra, and the steps currently in Beginners' Guide/Post-Installation should be added explicitly in Installation Guide, of course in a more schematic way. That's why I'm linking this discussion from Talk:Installation Guide: if however no Developer answers, we should probably advertise this discussion in the forum.
Except for this problem, personally I tend to be in favour of this merge.
-- Kynikos (talk) 12:09, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't think there's any problem in adding these steps to the Installation Guide instead of linking to a an entire page:
# nano /etc/pacman.conf
# useradd -m -g users -G audio,games,lp,optical,power,scanner,storage,video -s /bin/bash archie
# pacman -Syu
And at the end, maybe link it to the Extra section, instead. --DSpider (talk) 13:50, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
What I meant is that Installation Guide is the officially supported procedure, and it'd be better to have the approval of a Developer before changing its steps.
Nonetheless I think I could safely replace the link to Post-Installation with some instructions like yours, and leave the reboot instruction as it is, for the moment. I'd prefer something like this:
Finally reboot and configure your system as explained in Beginners' Guide/Post-Installation.
Now reboot and then login into the new system with the root account.
Configure pacman
Edit /etc/pacman.conf and configure pacman's options, also enabling the repositories you need. See also Official Repositories.
Update the system
You should now update your system. See Pacman#Upgrading packages for instructions.
Add a user
Finally, add a normal user as described in Users and Groups#User management.
You can now proceed to Beginners' Guide/Extra.
-- Kynikos (talk) 14:41, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Looks good. This should probably be done before the new ISO comes out, so that the install.txt file is updated too (instead of referring to a no longer existent Post-Installation section). Because the next ISO that comes after, will be in November - and November is a long time from now. --DSpider (talk) 10:08, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
Ok, Installation Guide now sends directly to Beginners' Guide/Extra. I'd still like to read more opinions here... Really nobody else is interested? -- Kynikos (talk) 13:41, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
In general I am in favor to a merging of the installation page with the post-installation page. We must consider that the current split into multiple pages is the daughter of the old version of the guide for beginners, it was much longer. Instead I am opposed to a reduction in the bone of the information about the procedure and the initial configuration of Arch linux by the guidance for beginners. The beginner's guide should, in my opinion, be a step by step guide for beginners who are close to Arch Linux. They may want to print this guide to have it on hand during the installation, or consult continuously. Being bounced from one page to another to set up a user, pacman, etc etc. .. do not find it useful and in line with the scope of this guide. Okay better layout according to the timeline that you run during installation, but reduce the configuration information to simple links to other pages, do not find it educational .. Keep in mind that, in theory, those who follow this guide has never tried Arch Linux, as as we speak and we have the mentality of expert users. The beginner's guide should give as much information as possible, and also exhaustive, for a first time installation, configuration, and an approach to the world of Arch Linux. This is my thought, sorry for the English is not correct, I do a mix of online translator and phrases from me ;) . Veleno (talk) 17:07, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Done. So close it. -- Fengchao (talk) 12:06, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Removing "Kernel modules" and "Daemons"

[Moved from Talk:Beginners'_Guide/Installation#What_do_you_think_about_removing_.22Kernel_modules.22_and_.22Daemons.22_.3F. -- Kynikos (talk) 09:48, 22 September 2012 (UTC)]

I don't know of any kernel module that's required for a successful install (Guest Additions are also mentioned in the Extra section), and you don't really need to explain what daemons are, do you? Every instruction I have seen on the Arch Wiki, that mentions daemons, (Deluge, Iptables, MPD, SLiM, etc) tells you to add somedaemon on the DAEMONS line from /etc/rc.conf. --DSpider (talk) 12:30, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

The other aspect is the switch to systemd: in a pure systemd, the DAEMON array and the rc.conf file are not used anymore anyway. Thus it is up to the user to use initscripts/DAEMON or systemd/systemctl enable to activate the daemons. This is already covered in the Daemon page, which could be given more importance for the initscripts to systemd transition. However using rc.conf and DAEMONS is still the official way to activate a wired Ethernet network (although again this is deprecated with systemd). So maybe this could be the place to mention Daemons? Regarding Kernel modules, I do not know. Are there instances where they are required? --Zeb (talk) 13:42, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
VirtualBox Guest Additions are optional. You can get through the whole install process without them. Please remember to add a signature to the posts. It's easier to follow the conversation this way (else people would have to look at the history page to see which said what). I've added one for you this time. --DSpider (talk) 15:16, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
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.
In my view the best solution would be not to completely remove those sections, but summarise them further and leave them as a very brief introduction to kernel modules with a link to Kernel modules (currently missing btw) and a brief intro to initscripts/daemons with a link to Daemon (perhaps also directly linking to rc.conf and mentioning the progressive move to systemd).
-- Kynikos (talk) 15:40, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
They definitely don't need to be in the "Install" section. This section is long enough as it is. Maybe in Extra. Notice how sudo is mentioned there? --DSpider (talk) 17:55, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
The "kernel Modules" section should remain in the Installation page. If an users needs of a particular module, it's right who knows how to set it here. While the "daemons" section may be moved in the "Extra" page, but all system configuration base file are mentioned here. Moved a part of these may not be the right choice. just my thought.Veleno (talk) 18:46, 19 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Veleno. The Beginner's guide is more than an installation guide. Indeed it has to cover all installation and configuration steps, which means moving these to Extra may be a stopper for people who need a kernel module during the install process. People can skip parts that are not relevant to thm (e.g. the manual network config for DHCP users). A good example of documentation is the Gentoo handbook. It is more than just an install guide, it covers everything related to configuration, inculding things that concern 1% of users. It has to stay "generic".--zeb (talk) 10:35, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
All right. Can you give an example of a kernel module that even 1% of users would actually need for a successful installation?
I cannot. But this is not the point. The point is: what is the purpose of this guide? The official install guide is too concise and this one has never been really a guide for beginners but for everybody, helping them in the installation process. Actually, even its name "Beginner's Guide" is not appropriate anymore and I would support renaming it "Archlinux Handbook". Even for an experienced Linux user, this is the central point of information on how Arch is built and administered. Back to the specific kernel modules: being able to load them and the way to do this may be important to some, and may be critical for them to install Arch on their machines. Other opinions?--zeb (talk) 14:05, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
This guide is full of fluff as it is. It should stay named as Beginners' Guide, because it's written for beginners (not for everybody, as you point it out). Anyway, these two sections ("Kernel modules" and "Daemons") are more about information than actual instructions, and they shouldn't be in the Install section. If this information doesn't help you install Arch Linux, what is the point? Then it should be in Extra, or even General Recommendations. --DSpider (talk) 06:32, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Well, I disagree the guide is full of fluff, it contains the strict minimum for a full install (and you did an excellent job trimming it down). Despite the view differences, we have to find a solution. Maybe at this stage we need to discuss reorganising it, especially with the Post-Installation and Extra pages, which are not very cohesive. In Extra we have Sudo-Sound-X, what sense it would make to have kernel modules there? It would make Extra a placeholder for every bits unwanted in Installation, and it is not godd either. Also, Daemons as it is written will be obsolete when systemd is the official init system in Arch. rc.conf is removed in a pure systemd system, and daemons have to be enabled with systemctl. To summarise, I think that the problem is not only specific parts, but that the guide needs restructuring. What do you think? Would you like to propose a new structure for the guide so that we can discuss it?--zeb (talk) 10:28, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Do I need to restate the fact that these do not belong in the INSTALLATION section? --DSpider (talk) 19:23, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Ok, how about this: we rename them "Unnecessary at this point: Kernel modules" and "Unnecessary at this point: Daemons" :| --DSpider (talk) 12:46, 5 October 2012 (UTC)
Recently this FS#30235 has been reported, showing that for some instances, a network card module has to be loaded so that dhcp can correctly activate the ethernet adapter. Since the installer is now entirely dependent on internet connection, this is quite an important feature and may not be unneccessary after all. However, I reckon this may be moved to a later section. See below for my proposal for refactoring the guide (2 parts: Installation and Maintenance).--zeb (talk) 14:50, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Removing the "Repositories" section

You'd like to simply move the content of the "Repositories" section under "Configuring pacman", right? This move would be linked to the removal of the "Mirrors" section, which would leave "Repositories" as the only "Configuring pacman"'s sub-section. If that's the case, I agree. -- Kynikos (talk) 13:54, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes. Removing the "===Repositories===" title and merging its content into Configuring pacman, after the short introduction. That's what I meant. --DSpider (talk) 14:06, 22 September 2012 (UTC)
Done, close. -- Kynikos (talk) 13:00, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Removing the "Mirrors" section

Instead of just removing the "Mirrors" section, I think what we should do would be merging its content with "Select a mirror". -- Kynikos (talk) 13:57, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Merged, closed. -- Kynikos (talk) 13:01, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Removing the "Ignoring packages" section

I agree, a reference to pacman would be enough. Some of the content of the section could be merged to pacman#Partial upgrades are unsupported or pacman#General options. -- Kynikos (talk) 14:04, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

+ 1. New users do not need it. And most of the regular users do not need it. -- Fengchao (talk) 12:15, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Done, closed. -- Kynikos (talk) 13:47, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

Is updating needed?

If you think about it, do you seriously need to update the system at this point? You already have the latest base and base-devel, and the latest bootloader, along with anything else. --DSpider (talk) 12:51, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

For net installation, the update is not needed right after installation. But this step is needed by most users on daily basis. So some introduction words is needed to tell users that system update is necessary(Arch is a rolling release). Then most of the instruction part can be left unchanged. -- Fengchao (talk) 13:42, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
The fact that Arch Linux is a rolling release distribution is mentioned on the front page of the wiki in the FAQ (which every new user should read, because they're frequently asked questions), in Arch Linux, and in Arch Compared to Other Distributions. And also on the Download page: "If you are an existing Arch user, there is no need to download a new ISO to update your existing system. You may be looking for an updated mirrorlist instead." --DSpider (talk) 14:38, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
What about refactoring the guide, so that we have one Installation section, itself roughly in 2 parts: base system installation + user accounts, then graphical/WM/DM installation, and a Maintenance section, that could receive things like pacman/update usage, sudo, kernel modules, daemons (systemd style), etc...--zeb (talk) 14:52, 5 October 2012 (UTC)