It should have been a routine update with Pacman last Saturday. But it didn't go so smoothly at all.
The Arch Linux site posted a warning on those who are going to update their systems. I have quick hands and not too much sense to check the site first. So I forced the updates and borked my filesystem. There are solutions offered but it didn't work for me.
I did what I could do. With a lot of help from my trusted live cd I repaired my filesytem. I have a dual boot with Ubuntu 12.04. Somehow I managed to ruin grub too. Ubuntu is using GRUB2 and ArchLinux is using the legacy GRUB. I was using the GUI featured GRUB2 since it's easier to edit. I just do 'update-grub'. The legacy GRUB offers a text configuration file.
I also created a dedicated partition for /boot in ArchLinux. Formerly I just use the /(root) partition. I shrunk the /home directory and use the freed space for /boot and /. I did the hard drive preparation before hand with gParted when I was safely logged in Ubuntu 12.04.
I also learned a few things for when I had to reinstall ArchLinux. Yes I am not suppose to reinstall ArchLinux but I'll never learn if I didn't purposefully take the unrecommended path. GNOME's GDM (login manager) habitually gives me trouble when it refuses to acknowledge my user account. This time before I include gdm in /etc/rc.conf, I made sure gdm allows me in.
Pacman 4.x checks package integrity and authentications. A new installation requires me to issue:
$ pacman-key --init
$ pacman-key --populate archlinux.
Then I can download more applications. In Arch Linux, you slowly build up the system. Install the base system first. Then the sound and video next. I refer to alsa-plugins and xorg-utils. Then the video drivers. Then the big group of desktop environment.
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