Saturday, February 11, 2017

Installing Archlinux Today 2017

Archlinux has a reputation for a difficult installation among the linux distros. I have installed Arch back three years ago and no it doesn't mean it will be easier now. I remember the general structure of the install but beyond that, I'm a newbie. The Arch website has excellent Wiki and Installation Guide. Prepare to read it and a lot more. Before anything else this post is NOT a how-to of installing Archlinux, so be warned. You want an excellent guide, then the two links above should be your best bet.


​installing Arch 

This post is about what I did wrong. It's about where I tripped. My stupidity enumerated. Maybe it's worth a few laughs that's all. The first intense moment must be partitioning. I have data in 3 hard drives that I don't want to lose. The fourth drive ( an SSD) is the boot device. This device is going to be erased because I have to install an operating system on it. Duh. I decided to use LVM, logical volume management. Once bitten by LVM you can't come back to metal. It's easier to handle resizing in LVM. I decided to have three logical volumes - root, home and swap. The resizing took 3 tries, trial and error. When I finally executed it, I completely forgot I still have an extra 500MB partition for /boot. I don't have a separate /boot but it didn't matter. I tried activating the existing lvm. The command which succeeded is:

#lvchange -ay       

then I checked the status of the lv's with:

#lvdisplay

Also since I'm going to install Arch on LVM, I have to make sure that I place the proper hook in the mkinitcpio file. Otherwise, the system won't boot.

I remember I configured the locale and generated it. When I got into the GNOME desktop I can't start/open the terminal. Reason: the locale isn't set. So I went GUI and set it in GNOME Region & Language settings. 

The first thing that I checked when I boot into the Arch live media is the Internet connection. I could ping google and archlinux. After reboot into the fresh install, I can't use pacman. The error is Network unrecognize. Service not available. In an Archlinux install, you lose Internet connection, it's a deal breaker. So luckily, I have my trusty tablet and I googled the problem. It seems like a lot of people reported this and a long thread in the Arch forum did not help me. Troubleshooting network connection is like fishing. I can ping my hostname. My interface name is enp3s0 and I got that from ifconfig. I also tried lspci -v, to check my device and to see if the firmware is available to it. So I checked the logs with:

#dmesg | grep <device>

All the pieces of the machine is there, but they're not starting. Something is not enabled. To check the services:

#systemctl list-unit-files

Why is the dhcpcd daemon disabled? It's not just that. Online-accounts, etc. It's disabled. Users have to start them manually. 

#systemctl enable dhcpcd.service

I created two users during the installation. Root and User. Before downloading a desktop environment I installed sudo. So far so good. I reboot into the GNOME desktop. I login as User with my User password. I open the terminal to continue with post-installation and when I try commands I am being required to show my privelege. I use sudo for that, except USER isn't in sudo yet. I have to add USER in the sudoer file and in order to do that I have to have root priveleges. 

Ok now, step back. I log out of the session. I am presented with the gdm screen. I log in as root. I could not go to any tty, I swear I don't know why. So now I'm logged in as root and I then modify sudoers with visudo. 




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