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Arch Linux Installation Guide Part 2

Posted on 4 mins read

In this post, I will continue from my last post and set up my newly installed Arch Linux for daily use. I am going to install some applications that I use on a day to day basis. Some of these applications are required for my current configuration setup to work properly. The choice of applications is highly opinionated and your preferences might be different.

Note: If you had gone for installation via SSH option, then I would suggest you to edit your sshd_config file and disable root login. It can be a security risk otherwise.

Install a terminal based browser

Terminal-based browsers are very handy in cases when you are required to login into a captive portal and you don’t have access to a graphical browser. We will install two different browsers, elinks and w3m.

sudo pacman -S elinks w3m

Install X server.
sudo pacman -S xorg

This will install minimal X desktop environment with fonts, in case, you want to test your system before installing any desktop environment.

Enable multilib repository for 32-bit package support

To enable multilib repository, uncomment the [multilib] section in /etc/pacman.conf.

[multilib]
Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

Now upgrade your system.

sudo pacman -Syyu

Install video and touchpad drivers
sudo pacman -S xf86-video-intel xf86-input-synaptics
Install pacaur to fetch and install packages from AUR
sudo pacman -S expac yajl --noconfirm
cd /tmp
gpg --recv-keys --keyserver hkp://pgp.mit.edu:80 1EB2638FF56C0C53
curl -o PKGBUILD https://aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/plain/PKGBUILD?h=cower
makepkg -i PKGBUILD --noconfirm
curl -o PKGBUILD https://aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/plain/PKGBUILD?h=pacaur
makepkg -i PKGBUILD --noconfirm
cd
Install graphical browsers
pacaur -S firefox chromium
Install code editors
pacaur -S sublime-text-dev atom-editor-git visual-studio-code-bin neovim neovim-drop-in leafpad
Setup LAMP stack
  1. Install Apache server

    sudo pacman -S apache

    • Make your user-directory available to apache server

      mkdir ~/public_html
      chmod o+x ~
      chmod o+x ~/public_html
      chmod -R o+r ~/public_html

    • To enable virtualhosts, uncomment the following line in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

      Include conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf
      and add your virtualhost configuration in following file.
      sudo vim /etc/httpd/conf/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf
      To test the virtual hosts on you local machine, add the virtual names to your /etc/hosts file.

  2. Install PHP:

    sudo pacman -S php php-apache

    • Use PHP with apache:

      Open /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf and uncomment following line.

      LoadModule mpm_prefork_module modules/mod_mpm_prefork.so
      and comment the following installation_guide
      #LoadModule mpm_event_module modules/mod_mpm_event.so

      Now add these lines to /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf:

      • Add these at the end of LoadModule section.

        LoadModule php7_module modules/libphp7.so
        AddHandler php7-script .php

      • Place this at the end of the Include section:

        Include conf/extra/php7_module.conf

  3. Install MySQL server

    sudo pacman -S mariadb

    • Initialize the MariaDB data directory prior to starting the service. To do so, run:

      sudo mysql_install_db --user=mysql --basedir=/usr --datadir=/var/lib/mysql

    • Then issue the commands to start the database server

      sudo systemctl enable mariadb.service
      sudo systemctl start mariadb.service

    • To apply recommended security settings to your database, run

      sudo mysql_secure_installation

  4. Install PHPMyAdmin

    sudo pacman -S phpmyadmin php-mcrypt

    • Enable mysqli, mcrypt, zip and bz2 extensions in /etc/php/php.ini.
    • Create the apache configuration file /etc/httpd/conf/extra/phpmyadmin.conf
      Alias /phpmyadmin "/usr/share/webapps/phpMyAdmin"
      <Directory "/usr/share/webapps/phpMyAdmin">
          DirectoryIndex index.php
          AllowOverride All
          Options FollowSymlinks
          Require all granted
      </Directory>
      Then include following in /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf
      # phpMyAdmin configuration
      Include conf/extra/phpmyadmin.conf

Now restart httpd service to apply settings.

sudo systemctl restart httpd
Once all these steps are done, your LAMP stack should be working.

Setup power management

Install tlp and some of its optional dependencies

sudo pacman -S tlp tlp-rdw bash-completion ethtool lsb-release smartmontools

Then enable tlp services

sudo systemctl enable tlp.service
sudo systemctl enable tlp-sleep.service

# mask some services for tlp to work properly
sudo systemctl mask systemd-rfkill.service
sudo systemctl mask systemd-rfkill.socket

Install i3 and other tools

All these tools are part of my i3 config with exception of the theme related packages. So installing them here will help me later while setting up the i3 window manager.

pacaur -S i3 rofi polybar xautolock powerline-fonts-git i3lock-fancy-git compton scrot feh dunst unclutter xfce4-power-manager numlockx lxappearance adapta-gtk-theme gtk-engine-murrine gnome-themes-standard termite

Fix Ugly Fonts 1

Fonts rendering is one area where Linux still lags behind Windows and OSX. It can be a nightmare for users to setup fonts properly in Linux. In Arch Linux, this is even worse. I found some tricks to improve the quality of font rendering on Arch Linux. Though this is far from perfect, it is manageable. Follow these steps on Reddit to fix font rendering. I use Noto Sans, Adobe Source Code Pro, and Microsoft fonts. My apologies, but I can’t help here. Some websites still use Microsoft fonts.

Setup Python Environment

I use Python extensively and virtual environments are a must for my development setup. I use pipenv to manage my virtual environments. To install pipenv, you need to install virtualenv first. To install it, run the following command.

sudo pacman -S python-virtualenv

Now you are ready to install pipenv. Follow these instructions to install the tool.

Install some other common tools
sudo pacman -S vlc openssh npm imagemagick git la-capitaine-icon-theme-git

Do not forget to setup npm to install packages globally without requiring sudo.

That’s all! Your system should be in working condition now. Do check out my dotfiles if you want to set up your system like mine.

Hope you enjoyed the article. Cheers 😄

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