Has humble me mentioned that Arch Linux is a useless Desktop OS? Vanilla Arch has a ‘Foundation of Sand‘ ‘n that foundation is slowly washing away. This is the followup to ‘Part 1‘ and will be the last in this series. Hard to believe that Arch “DOS” Linux could be worse than it was last year, but it clearly is. Terrible Desktop OS! Any Distro based on Arch is going nowhere but down, IMHO. Arch “DOS” Linux is why Distros like Windowsfx/Linuxfx are becoming so popular, they are based on stability, and geared towards actual Desktop OS users. Arch “DOS” Linux is surviving off whatever past reputation it once had, and wastes too much time focused on rushing out the latest Linux Kernel instead of actually focusing on developing a good Desktop OS.

Anyway, I’m done with the testing this time, and am amazed at how unstable ‘n buggy Vanilla Arch has become over this past year. Here’s a quick pic of an almost successful installation (screenshot actually worked in GNOME DE – tho the terminal still failed to open!?):

Didn’t recognize the Geforce 1660, but display looked better than it did in the Cinnamon DE.

I checked for problems with my previous installation method and nothing serious was wrong. Have to pay close attention to spaces and -‘s (dashes) mainly. I tweaked previous method ‘n will add it at the end of this post. Checked for new tutorial sources ‘n found this – How to Install Arch Linux [Step by Step Guide]. Here’s an interesting part of the article:

Step 6: Select an appropriate mirror

This is a big problem with installing Arch Linux. If you just go on installing it, you might find that the downloads are way too slow. In some cases, it’s so slow that the download fails.

It’s because the mirrorlist (located in /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist) has a huge number of mirrors but not in a good order. The top mirror is chosen automatically and it may not always be a good choice.

Thankfully, there is a fix for that. First sync the pacman repository so that you can download and install software:

#  pacman -Syy

Now, install reflector too that you can use to list the fresh and fast mirrors located in your country:

#  pacman -S reflector

Make a backup of mirror list (just in case):

#  cp /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist.bak

Now, get the good mirror list with reflector and save it to mirrorlist. You can change the country from US to your own country.

#  reflector -c “US” -f 12 -l 10 -n 12 –save /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

All good to go now.

This command prompt installation process was already a ‘pain‘ so I wasn’t going to add to it with something like that. Most things about Arch “DOS” Linux are slow ‘n falling apart, so this news didn’t surprise me. Too much focus on rushing out the latest Linux Kernel, and this is what the results are, e.g. mirror sites in terrible shape.

So, terminal not working in GNOME DE, but both Cinnamon ‘n Plasma didn’t even have terminals. GNOME did have screenshot working, but Cinnamon ‘n Plasma didn’t have any screen capture utility. I couldn’t get anything to update … GNOME Shell integration extension in FireFox wouldn’t work, so Dash to Panel wouldn’t install either. No Gnome Tweaks was available in software either. GParted couldn’t be added because the terminal wouldn’t open.

Most of the testing was done with the ‘Apevia‘ Ryzen™ 9 3900X ‘n GeForce GTX 1660 XC Linux test machine; however, I tried twice on the ‘Rose‘ Intel Linux test machine to install Cinnamon DE, and there was some kind of graphics problems going on because the welcome screen was screwed up (couldn’t login). Tried to install LightDM display manager for Cinnamon, but it failed to open anything other that the command prompt…have read that Arch has problems with the Cinnamon DE. Here is the tweaked and updated installation method:

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Arch Install:

 

  • Prep target drive w/ GParted – 550mb fat32 … 2000mb swap … rest ext4
  • Use Etcher to create installation media
  • Keymap default is US
  • Internet is easier w/ Ethernet (Wi-Fi difficult) .. ping google.com to check .. Ctrl c ends ping (added #  pacman –Syy)

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Time & Date  # timedatectl set-ntp true

 

Partitions and File system format already prepped w/ GParted.

 

Am not sure, so just in case turn swap on# swapon /dev/sda2

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Install base – mount drive# mount /dev/sda3 /mnt

Then# pacstrap /mnt base linux linux-firmware

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Configure# genfstab –U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

Chroot then# arch-chroot /mnt    (Note: notice the prompt changed)

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Note: command-line –  ln  – is for creating links between files ..  ls  – lists files & dir, etc.

Timezone:  # ln –sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Region/City/etc/localtime     (Note: my Region is America & City is New_York).

  • To find Region: # ls –sf /usr/share/zoneinfo   (that will list countries – mine is America)
  • To find City: # ls –sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/

With info now known, then type this:

# ln –sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/New_York/etc/localtime

 

Hardware clock: # hwclock –systohc

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Install nano# pacman –S nano

 

Localization# nano /etc/locale.gen       (Note: my locale is –   en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8    – I need to find that in the long list and “Uncomment” it. Scroll down using the terminal/text cursor as a guide, and then stop it on your locale … hit Ctrl + x … “Y” to save and enter. (remove the # from the start of the line go to e in en and backspace)

 

Next, run# locale-gen

  • Should show your locale – mine is en_US.UTF-8

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Network configuration … set hostname:

#  nano /etc/hostname

#  karmi    (“karmi” is my hostname – now, Ctrl + x to exit “Y” to save)

 

Host file# nano /etc/hosts

Then add the following 3 lines:

 

127.0.0.1              localhost

::1                           localhost

127.0.1.1              karmi.localdomain           karmi                     (Note: “karmi” is my hostname – use your own.)

 

Ctrl + x, then “Y” to save and enter.

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Root password and users … Note: am always looking for ways to avoid the Linux ‘Pesky Password’, and Vanilla Arch offers the option of not adding users, i.e. I bypassed the ‘Pesky Password’ by just creating a root password and becoming root. Only reason I’m messing with the terrible Arch Vanilla Linux – the other ‘Pretenders’ are useless Distro Arch Vanilla wannabes … Arch Vanilla Linux says this: Warning: Arch-based distributions are not supported by the Arch community or developers.

 

#  passwd

New password: 123

Retype new password: 123

OK…that creates the root password and I am the only user – root.

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Install grub and boot loader  (Note: hit “Y” when asked to download):

#  pacman –S grub

#  pacman –S efibootmgr dosfstools os-prober mtools

 

#  mkdir /boot/EFI

#  mount /dev/sda1 /boot/EFI

#  grub-install –target=x86_64-efi  –bootloader-id=grub_uefi  –recheck (missed a space before –bootloader) NOTE #2: the double “- -” are not showing up after publishing .. it looks like a single dash.

(Note: if entered corrected the after install it should report “No error reported”.)

#  grub-mkconfig –o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

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Install network manager and git:

# pacman –S networkmanager

# systemctl enable NetworkManager

# pacman –S git

 

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That should do it …  # exit (out of chroot)

#  umount –l /mnt

#  shutdown now                                             (That’ll get us to Arch prompt w/o GUI)

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OK…that all seemed to work fine, but with no graphics.  Here is an example of what it takes to get graphics in Arch “DOS” Linux:

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For the ease, I will install LXDM display manager – should work great with me as root!

#  pacman -S lxdm

  • Hit “Y” to install (note: for this post always hit “Y” to install…)

#  systemctl enable lxdm.service

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(Note:  # pacman -S gnome         .. and select “default” for all) … then:

#  systemctl start gdm.service

  • May boot right into DE with that command … just reboot and it takes you back to prompt

#  systemctl enable gdm.service

  • Reboot and you go to GDM login screen

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#  pacman -S cinnamon nemo-fileroller

  • Hit “Y” to install

 

For the ease, I will install LXDM display manager – should work great with me as root!

#  pacman -S lxdm

  • Hit “Y” to install (note: for this post always hit “Y” to install…)

#  systemctl enable lxdm.service

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# pacman -S cinnamon nemo-fileroller

# pacman –S lightdm

# systemctl start lightdm.service

  • Note: that went to blank screen and I ctrl-alt-delete to force reboot

# systemctl enable lightdm.service

 

# reboot

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Nothing worked, basically. Desktop OSes are about stability ‘n reliability – *NOT* some rushed out kernel. Stay away from Arch ‘n the Archies, IMHO.