User:Erus Iluvatar/Install

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The Arch Linux community does not offer support for the information contained in this page; for installation procedures, the Installation guide is the only officially supported document. The content below is mainly maintained by User:Erus Iluvatar, who last reviewed it on 2022-04-05, and it may be out of date or inaccurate.

List of thing I do to each of my Arch Installs

Initial setup and checks

# loadkeys fr-latin1
# setfont ter-114n
# if [ -d /sys/firmware/efi/efivars ] ; then echo "UEFI!" ; else echo "BIOS/CSM?" ; fi
# ping -c3 archlinux.fr
# timedatectl set-ntp true

Install with archinstall

Preferred disk layout

Partition Partition type Size File System Mount point
/dev/efi_system_partition EFI system partition 512 MiB up to 2GiB FAT32 /mnt/boot
/dev/root_partition Linux x86-64 root (/) All the disk except if memory is ≤ 4GiB ext4 /mnt
/dev/swap_partition Linux swap Two times the system memory if ≤ 4GiB swap # swapon

Packages

use the gnome profile in archinstall, add :

arch-audit archlinux-contrib base-devel bash-completion elinks firefox fff gnome-extra gpm htop intel-ucode meld mlocate mpv nano ncdu ntp openssh pacman-contrib pkgfile smartmontools systemd-swap terminus-font tmux <insert more packages here>

but remove :

gnome-software gnome-software-packagekit-plugin orca <insert the other packages to remove here>

Files to check the content of

Boot process

Note: Don't forget to rebuild with mkinitcpio -P after this
/etc/mkinitcpio.conf
# The i915 or corresponding module can be added here for early KMS
MODULES=()
BINARIES=()
FILES=()
# Use of systemd instead of base speeds up boot
# needs ro on the kernel cmdline to have systemd Fsck it before remounting
HOOKS=(systemd autodetect sd-vconsole modconf block filesystems)
# Using lz4 usually is faster than zstd
COMPRESSION="lz4"
Note: As stated in Swap#systemd-swap a migration to zram-generator(8) should be done
/etc/systemd/swap.conf
zswap_enabled=1
zswap_compressor=zstd
zswap_max_pool_percent=25
zswap_zpool=z3fold
systemd-boot
Note: On systems with ≤ 4GiB of RAM, a swap partition is used on my setups, for the rest of the systems a swap file is only created to enable hibernation but should not be needed for normal use
/boot/loader/entries/arch.conf
title Arch Linux
linux /vmlinuz-linux
# See Microcode
initrd /intel-ucode.img
initrd /initramfs-linux.img
# See Persistent block device naming#by-partuuid and Suspend and hibernate#Hibernation for details
options root=PARTUUID=1234abcd-1234-1234-1234-123456abcdef resume=UUID=4321dcba-4321-4321-4321-654321fedcba resume_offset=123456789 ro quiet
GRUB

Go see GRUB when needed, changing the config the blessed way is a pain.

Locales and Console config

/etc/locale.gen
en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8  
fr_FR.UTF-8 UTF-8
/etc/locale.conf
LANG=en_US.UTF-8
LC_NUMERIC=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_TIME=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_MONETARY=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_PAPER=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_MEASUREMENT=fr_FR.UTF-8
/etc/vconsole.conf
KEYMAP=fr-latin1
FONT=ter-114n

Misc

Note: For the following config files only the modified or added lines are kept to help with clarity
/etc/sysctl.d/sysrq.conf

Enable the use of REISUB :

/etc/sysctl.d/sysrq.conf
kernel.sysrq=244
/etc/environment

Set nano as the main editor and enable Wayland variables for Firefox and QT

/etc/environment
VISUAL=nano
MOZ_ENABLE_WAYLAND=1
QT_QPA_PLATFORM=wayland
/etc/ntp.conf

Use the French NTP pool

/etc/ntp.conf
server 0.fr.pool.ntp.org
server 1.fr.pool.ntp.org
server 2.fr.pool.ntp.org
server 3.fr.pool.ntp.org
/etc/pacman.conf

Use color, an easter egg, a clearer list of what will be done and enable parallel downloads of packages.

/etc/pacman.conf
Color
ILoveCandy
VerbosePkgLists
ParallelDownloads = 5
/etc/makepkg.conf

Use a more parallel MAKEFLAG (see make(1)), define the packager name on locally built packages and disable compression on the packages since most of them will be installed right away. The absence of compression should not be a problem even if serving them on a local mirror since my LAN is 1Gbps.

/etc/makepkg.conf
MAKEFLAGS="-j -l8"
PACKAGER="LASTNAME Firstname <email@adress.tld>"
PKGEXT='.pkg.tar'
/etc/nanorc

Use colors, syntax coloring and always show the cursor position in the {status|mini}bar

/etc/nanorc
set constantshow
set titlecolor bold,white,blue
set promptcolor lightwhite,grey
set statuscolor bold,white,green
set errorcolor bold,white,red
set spotlightcolor black,lightyellow
set selectedcolor lightwhite,magenta
set stripecolor ,yellow
set scrollercolor cyan
set numbercolor cyan
set keycolor cyan
set functioncolor green
include "/usr/share/nano/*.nanorc"
/etc/conf.d/wireless-regdom

For laptops, enable the regional regulatory domain:

/etc/conf.d/wireless-regdom
WIRELESS_REGDOM="FR"

QT fonts

To get emojis to render properly in Quassel (and probably most other Qt applications), i've shamelessly adapted the config file found at https://gist.github.com/IgnoredAmbience/7c99b6cf9a8b73c9312a71d1209d9bbb

Make sure the 50-user.conf preset is enabled, refer to Font configuration#Fontconfig configuration for more details.

~/.config/fontconfig/conf.d/69-noto-mono-color-emoji.conf
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
    <match target="pattern">
        <test qual="any" name="family"><string>Noto Sans Mono</string></test>
        <edit name="family" mode="append" binding="weak"><string>Noto Color Emoji</string></edit>
    </match>
</fontconfig>

Keyboard setup on X11

$ localectl set-x11-keymap fr pc105 oss_latin9

From GDM#Keyboard layout it looks like this command will also apply to Wayland ?

Avoid long Gnome configuration

On a previously setup system, do :

$ dconf dump / > dconf.ini

On the new machine, do :

$ dconf load / < dconf.ini

Monitors order in GDM

After having set monitors order within Gnome preferences, the resulting configuration file can be copied to get used by GDM

# cp /home/erus/.config/monitors.xml /var/lib/gdm/.config/

Enable and start all daemons and timers

# systemctl enable --now gpm ntpd sshd fstrim.timer pkgfile-update.timer systemd-boot-update.service

The updatedb.timer should be enabled by default.

AUR

Warning: Read AUR and remember to carefully check the PKGBUILD, any .install files, and any other files in the package's git repository for malicious or dangerous commands. If in doubt, do not build the package, and seek advice on the forums or mailing list. Malicious code has been found in packages before. [1]
$ mkdir -p /home/erus/.cache/yay/yay/
$ cd /home/erus/.cache/yay/yay/
$ git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/yay.git
$ makepkg -sri # add the -f flag if the package is already built but you need to rebuild
$ cd ~ ; yay -Syu inxi-git neofetch-git yt-dlp-git yt-dlp-drop-in systemd-numlockontty

Emojis

To have an emoji picker mimicking the Windows one, install emoteAUR and add a new custom shortcut in the Gnome Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts, Custom Shortcuts, named Emoji Picker for example, calling the emote command, with the Super+; keybinding.

System Maintenance

First of all, re-read System maintenance

Once a week, do a full system upgrade and make the necessary changes with .pacnew files, restart updated services, reboot if needed :

# pacman -Syu
# DIFFPROG=meld checkservices
$ if [ "$(file /boot/vmlinuz-linux | sed 's/.*version //;s/ .*//')" == "$(uname -r)" ] ; then echo "No reboot required" ; else echo "Kernel has been updated, reboot asap" ; fi

The output of arch-audit should be looked at too for known high or remote severity risks.

Once a month, check the output of pacman -Qdt. It will list all the packages that were installed as a dependency but don't have any packages that depend on them anymore : remove unneeded packages and change the install reason with pacman -D --asexplicit for those who should not be removed.
The output of pacman -Qdtt shows the packages which are only an optional dependency : check if they still are useful.
Remove all packages from cache for the uninstalled packages but keep one past version for the installed packages :

# paccache -rk1
# paccache -ruk0

Things I don't mess with

TODO