Arch setup I

It’s been a long time in the coming, true. Due to a lot of stuff in real life, I haven’t been to blog properly. In some ways this is better, as it’s now a month with Arch, and I have a better understanding of it.

So after I booted off the CD (Version 0.8), I got few screenfuls of text, with the livecd checking for binary packages in every removable medium it could find. It seems that arch will allow you to install any package that’s in the /packages directory of some removable media. Then /arch/setup brought me to the installation screen.
That gave me the choices like Partition, Set Mountpoints, Install packages, Install Kernel, Configure System Install Bootloader and Reboot. My hard disk was already partitioned, so there was no problem. I went straightway to set the mountpoints (in my cases just / and /home).

Since I had downloaded the full version of the CD, I had to wade through a lot of packages to finally settle for what I liked. Installing was finished in a jiffy, and then I had to configure the system. I did not touch /etc/modprobe.conf and /etc/modules.conf. /etc/rc.conf is the master configuration file in Arch, having settings for everything from timezone, to what modules are loaded at startup, what daemons are started, etc. The comments are self-explanatory.

Installing the kernel and the bootloader was straightforward. I installed GRUB to the MBR (master boot record) and rebooted.

Then I copied my xorg.conf from my Gentoo install to here. I installed openbox, trayer and a few other applications (like gaim – now pidgin), put them in my .xinitrc
and startx’d.

Since I installed XFCE, which is nowadays heavily dependent on HAL, I remembered to
add hal and dbus to the DAEMONS array in /etc/rc.conf. Also be sure to
add yourself to the storage, optical, video, audio and power groups, otherwise you won’t get a wholesome experience.

I’ll put some more details on how I configured NetworkManager, and how I started
building packages for arch in a later post. What I like about Arch, is its beautiful simplicity. That kind of simplicity really opens your mind up to new possibilities, that’s probably why we have a lot of cool things discussed in the forums; nice and
simple, the kind of tools that make you feel warm and cozy.

Till next time – enjoy the beautiful world of open source!


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