Talk:Beginners' guide

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  2. Please keep discussions civil and productive.

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

PPPoE

How can I connect to pppoe when I need to install rp-pppoe first, according to instructions? I know that there is an available pppd lower level utility (ppp package), but please don't do this to a beginner like me. I'm not even sure that this works for pppoe and, anyway, the Beginner's Guide should be explicit, not laying such traps to beginners. (Plus, it should be PPPoE, not PPoE, this way I can't even find it on the page when I search for it.) Doru001 (talk) 16:07, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

The rp-pppoe package should be available on the installation medium, so it should be possible to run pppoe-setup as described in Direct Modem Connection#DSL (PPPoE), without installing anything. You should have a working internet connection now: continue the Beginners' Guide, and when arriving at 2.9 Configure the network, you will have to install rp-pppoe manually on your new system (pacman -S rp-pppoe): otherwise it won't be possible to connect to the internet after finishing the installation and rebooting. After rebooting, run pppoe-setup again for the last time and you should have a working internet connection on your brand new system.
Good Luck! --Lonaowna (talk) 16:53, 21 July 2013 (UTC)

Network Configuration

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)

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 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)

Troubleshooting boot problems

nomodeset and video=SVIDEO-1:d dindn't solve my blank screen problem with that board. The video= setting depends on the port, the display is connected. I have my display connected via VGA, so video=VGA-1:1280x800 did do it for me. I don't know if this will solve the problem for the majority of the users. I don't need to care about the display, because I just want to setup SSH and then never need a Display for that box anymore.

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).

Include arch-wiki-lite to ISO

I'm also going to see if arch-wiki-lite can be included on the ISO instead of the current little overview of the install process in /root. -- thestinger (talk) 18:07, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

You said it yourself that you need an internet connection anyway. The arch-wiki-lite package contains an older snapshot of the wiki, and if someone were to read it at the end of the month before a new release, they could essentially be reading outdated information. --DSpider (talk) 07:11, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't see the point of including arch-wiki-lite.
It's true at the moment that it's not always kept up-to-date, but it could be generated every month with the new installation image if it was a more important package, which as you point out isn't perfect either. The need for including it is that there are other pages needed to even obtain an internet connection for many users. It makes me sad to think that people are printing out this whole long guide when there's a computer in front of them :). thestinger (talk) 17:26, 3 November 2012 (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)
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)

Reloading font and keymap after arch-chroot

In the beginner's guide, after "arch-chroot /mnt" it says that we need to load keymap (loadkeys) and font (setfont) because the environment has changed... I installed Arch on a few computers so far and never did that, the keymap and font persisted even in the chroot. So maybe it isn't necessary and someone should remove that from the guide ?

Issues During Installation

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)

User management

The 'User management' section has been changed in a really bad way: The 'archie' example was removed. Now there is just a link to [user management] like in the experts guide. A newbie now is left to guess which groups he should put his user to (wheel, power i.e.) and has to search deeper before he can proceed. The old entry was much better for beginners.

Blindly telling "Newbie" to create user using -G wheel create security risk. This guide require "Newbie" to choose and install their own bootloader. Basic user and group knowledge is much easier than that. And every Arch user should have no difficulty to grasp them. -- Fengchao (talk) 02:24, 7 March 2013 (UTC)
I second the first comment in a sense. The beginner's guide should hold everything related to the installation of Arch Linux through the command line right after they (the beginner's or "newbies") have successfully booted the OS up to configuring their regular user account. And it should also include, or at least point out another page in the wiki, basic commands such as "su" and/or installing and configuring "sudo" for handling administrative tasks - CodingThoughts 20:58, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
It still covers the whole installation process, it just doesn't make assumptions about what kind of user setup you want. The guide is for all kinds of installs - servers, single-user desktops, multi-user laptops, shared workstations, thin clients, etc.
You definitely don't want to be in any groups like power or audio for a regular desktop install without a special use case. You don't need to be in a single group for using audio, video acceleration, suspending, mounting external drives, etc.
-- thestinger (talk) 02:47, 15 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, you are completely right, I was assuming stuff. Still, I'm going to add references to su and sudo later on. I don't see how that could hurt the Post-Installation part of the guide. - CodingThoughts 11:39, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
I do remember there used to be one short introduction of sudo in post-installation. I can not recall why it is removed. However, please only add link and short introduction. Duplication of Wiki text is just like duplication of code, both of them make wiki/code harder to maintain. -- Fengchao (talk) 14:37, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Got it. - CodingThoughts 16:31, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

Wireless Connection

the Wireless Connection section of the beginner's guide makes no mention of wifi-menu at the top (only at the long end), whereas the Installation Guide, supposedly more advanced, says to just run it

Wifi-menu works flawlessly in my experience and just running wifi-menu without any boilerplate is a much easier option than the procedure in the Beginner's Guide; I think the Beginner's Guide should say: "run wifi-menu", followed by a short walkthrough, then "if wifi-menu does not work for you, try the procedure below". --Xananax (talk) 19:16, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Replace rEFInd with Gummiboot

Gummiboot is much simpler to configure and setup. At the very least, the guide should be rewritten to reflect that the drive should be mounted on /boot not /boot/efi for both Gummiboot and rEFInd (latest version) to work with out the need for a custom systemd script to run every time the kernel updates.

Setting hostname

Why don't we use hostnamectl set-hostname <hostname> for setting the hostname? I'm not sure what the advantages are but I guess the program exists for a reason. -- Lonaowna (talk) 17:48, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

catalyst-dkms and lib32-catalyst-utils are in the AUR

Should we remove them from the guide? -- Karol (talk) 09:00, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

Well, being really extra fussy, I point out they wouldn't be the first AUR packages on the guide, see the end of Beginners' Guide/Installation#EFISTUB. I'm not even really sure if we need that table at all, which could even be considered duplicating the various linked articles.
In the end I don't have a position on this (yet), I just wanted to add some notes :P
-- Kynikos (talk) 14:29, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

netcfg -> netctl

I made a few edits to the second wireless config section as it still specified the use of netcfg, which has been deprecated by netctl for a while. (I essentially just changed mentions of netcfg to netctl, and changed {{ic|net-auto-wireless} and net-auto-wired to netctl-auto@interface_name.service and netctl-ifplugd@interface_name.service. I also removed the information about settings the interface name in /etc/conf.d/netcfg and /etc/network.d since netctl uses /etc/netctl. Let me know if there are any issues with the edit.

--Dopamine (talk) 18:45, 27 May 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)

Edits to UEFI booting

The section on UEFI booting had been edited to exclude all mention of other boot managers and of the possibility of using a boot loader. In addition to deleting significant parts of the original explanation, the guide was not only misleading but made patently false claims. For example, it claimed that there were two options for UEFI booting when there are many. It claimed that the ESP must be mounted at /boot although this is only true if using gummiboot. (It is not even necessary to sync the kernel etc. if one uses rEFInd despite the claim above. Recent versions of rEFInd can read the kernel and initramfs from a separate boot partition.) I have corrected these claims but I have not restored the earlier coverage of grub, rEFInd etc. I have, however, mentioned that using a boot manager such a grub may work around issues with recent kernels on some machines. These changes should not be reverted. The misinformation here is creating confusion and this is coming out in the forums. See e.g. https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=1297790.

I am also not at all in favour of the way this section has been edited. Whereas the earlier version gave an overview of the options and set up for grub and rEFInd, with links to further information clearly indicated, the current version systematically excluded mention of possibilities other than direct EFI menu entry and gummiboot. The history of the page tells its own story. Every time somebody added a pointer to alternatives in, it has been deleted. Very particular issues are now covered in great detail with no mention at all of other work arounds e.g. EFI/Microsoft/Boot/bootmgfw.efi is covered but not EFI/boot/bootx64.efi. As far as I can tell, there is no principled reason for including information about particular work arounds and hardware but excluding others. I think very specific issues should be covered elsewhere and that this page should give an overview. What it should not do is distort the presentation of the options available. I have not fully addressed this as there is obviously an issue with the way this section is being edited and that probably needs to be addressed and discussed before further work is done. For now, my edits at least indicate where on the wiki further information can be obtained and they correct the misinformation of which I am aware.

--cfr (talk) 00:31, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

I agree that the section was misleading, but it was still an improvement over the old situation. The rEFInd guide was way too complex for the beginners' guide and very error-prone. It is also almost never necessary to use a full-blown boot loader such as GRUB. While I completely agree that other bootloaders should be mentioned, I think that the two currently advertised options are enough for the beginners' guide.
I have made made a small edit to your text, as the EFISTUB example also requires the ESP to be mounted at /boot.
--Lonaowna (talk) 09:34, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
I can't really follow this discussion closely, but I've invited User:Dislikeyou to participate here. In any case from now on I want to see whoever edits the article use the Edit Summary field (the text field just above the "Save page" button): you are supposed to write there briefly what you've done and, even more importantly, why.
That said, my opinion is that the guide should only give an overview of which methods are available for booting on UEFI mobos, and link to the proper articles instead of duplicating content. At most, a couple of very quick and easy methods (beginners friendly) could be expanded just to get new users started without too much hassle, but any in-depth observations, like special cases and workarounds, should be described in that method's main article, not in the Beginners' Guide.
-- Kynikos (talk) 11:57, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
As I say in the linked thread, I really don't know how common the need for a boot loader (as opposed to a boot manager) is. Certainly I need it and certainly users show up on the forums needing it.
One view is that grub and gummiboot should be described briefly here with a link to rEFInd. This seems reasonable to me.
Another reasonable option, I think, would be to just describe the various options here and rely on links to instructions elsewhere on the wiki. I think that would also be very reasonable (and possibly most reasonable).
Either gummiboot or a direct EFI menu entry is likely to work for people not bitten by the bug but gummiboot offers more flexibility so I think it makes sense to highlight/recommend gummiboot as a first choice.
People bitten by the bug need a boot loader rather than a mere manager and I think it makes sense to recommend grub as a second choice for that reason. (None of the other options are currently considered sufficiently robust or reliable. grub is complex but it has the advantage of working fairly reliably. Most threads on the forums about EFI booting which involve the bug end up with the user succeeding with grub. If there is a less complex alternative which will work in these cases, I would definitely like to know about it.)
--cfr (talk) 23:06, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Lets add a link to rEFInd, leave the current sections like they are and put back the GRUB section. I'll gladly do it if you agree.
--Lonaowna (talk) 09:08, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. If the result is on the long side, I think some of the special cases in the coverage of gummiboot could be moved to the relevant wiki page. I'm not sure that hardware specific work arounds should be included in the Beginners' Guide. On the other hand, if they are very common issues then it seems reasonable to include them. (I just have no idea of the proportion of readers likely to need them.)
I cannot tell from the bug report on the update of nvram entries whether that bug in gummiboot is fixed or not. I don't use gummiboot (being bitten by the EFI stub loader bug and all) so I don't know if it is a live issue still or not. (The bug was reopened but the comments suggest a configuration error was confused with the bug in that case. I'm not completely clear about it, though.)
--cfr (talk) 01:01, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Done, GRUB is restored. The large troubleshooting note still has to be moved to a more appropriate place such as UEFI Bootloaders, but I'm not sure where to put it. Any help would be appreciated.
--Lonaowna (talk) 10:00, 10 July 2013 (UTC)
Alternatively there's Unified Extensible Firmware Interface#Troubleshooting; you may even create UEFI Bootloaders#Troubleshooting. -- Kynikos (talk) 07:06, 11 July 2013 (UTC)