i installed arch btw

After spending the first year of my Linux journey messing around in Manjaro, I decided that I probably know enough about Linux by now to install Arch. I took a quick look at the installation guide, got the ISO on a flash drive and booted off to a dark prompt.

I wiped the root partition. I wanted an encrypted drive but apparently I can’t get an encrypted drive without wiping all the contents first. I don’t have another drive to backup all the contents of this drive right now, so the encrypting the drive will have to wait for another time.

I then ran the pacstrap script. This script creates all the necessary directories (/usr, /tmp, /etc, /etc) and runs pacman to install the basic packages to get the system up and running. This should have gone smoothly, if the mirrors were set up correctly. Pacman was running like a bitch and couldn’t even complete downloading the databases after an hour! I could have just run rankmirrors to sort this out but someone decided that it was a good idea to move the script from pacman to a separate package. I had to terminate pacstrap, manually find a nearby mirror and update /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist for pacman to download anything. Oh, while doing this I also accidentally rm rf’ed the live environment, trying to remove the directories created by the previously terminated pacstrap. So I had to download the ISO again and get it on the flash drive from a different computer. Fml.

The rest of the pre installation steps were mostly simple one liners, until, I decided to install rEFInd, a bootloader with a lot of eye candy. Refind’s installation script is really great and does most of the hard work. You only need to tell refind the UUID of the drive to boot from if you are running the script from a chroot environment inside a live installation, like in the case of a Arch installation drive. The refind setup ended up looking pretty slick with a slightly modified version (which uses the one dark color scheme of course) of the rEFInd theme Regular.

A lot sexier than GRUB!

The post installation steps were simple too. I copied my old configs and for the most part, everything looks similar, except that the TTYs in Manjaro used a gray background and I can’t figure out how to replicate that without messing around with kernel code. I’ll have to check how they did it sometime.

I tried setting up iptables but the docs are a bit too complicated for me to understand with a quick glance. I also tried changing the colors of the Adapta GTK theme to the one dark color scheme to match everything else in my configs. After wasting a couple of days and creating an abomination of a theme, I settled for the Arc Dark GTK theme with the Papirus Dark icon theme. My Frankenstein Adapta-One-Dark fork now resides in the cold dark depths of my private git repos. I also discovered that compton’s default settings are much smoother and all the time I spent trying to make the fade transition not look like shit had been for nothing.

The system works fine, except the occasional crashes which still happen and I still don’t know what is causing them.

i use arch btw.


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