What do I need to get Gnome2 running? Can i simply use pacman? What packages do I need?
Until we get symbolic packages working in pacman, you can't simply ask for Gnome2 and get all the packages. But if you want to install everything in the gnome category (and their dependencies), you can do something like this (as root):
[root@earth abs]# abs Connected to cvs.archlinux.org Updating collection arch/cvs ... Connected to unofficial.archlinux.org Updating collection unofficial/cvs .... Finished successfully [root@earth abs]# cd /usr/abs/gnome [root@earth gnome]# pacman -S `/bin/ls` Targets: libglade-2.0.0-1 linc-0.5.2-1 libidl2-0.8.0-1 intltool-0.22-1 docbook-xml-4.1.2-1 scrollkeeper-0.3.11-1 gnome-common-1.2.4-2 popt-1.6.4-1 orbit2-2.4.3-1 bonobo-activation-1.0.3-1 gtk-doc-0.9-1 gconf-1.2.1-1 libart-lgpl-2.3.10-1 libzvt-2.0.1-1 libbonobo-2.0.0-1 gnome-mime-data-2.0.0-1 gnome-vfs-2.0.2-1 gnome-vfs-extras-0.99.3-1 libgnome-2.0.2-1 libgnomecanvas-2.0.2-1 gail-0.17-1 at-spi-1.0.1-1 libbonoboui-2.0.1-1 libgnomeui-2.0.3-1 bug-buddy-2.2.0-1 libgtkhtml-2.0.2-1 yelp-1.0.4-1 gnome-desktop-2.0.6-1 control-center-2.0.1-1 eel-2.0.5-1 libgnomeprint-1.116.0-1 libgnomeprintui-1.116.0-1 eog-1.0.2-1 gdm-22.214.171.124-2 gedit-2.0.2-1 gnome-panel-2.0.6-1 gnome-applets-2.0.1-1 gnome-games-2.0.3-1 gnome-media-2.0.0-1 gnome-session-2.0.5-1 libgtop-2.0.0-1 gnome-system-monitor-2.0.1-1 gnome-terminal-2.0.1-1 gnome-utils-2.0.2-1 gnome2-user-docs-2.0.0-1 libgail-gnome-1.0.0-1 librsvg-2.0.1-1 nautilus-2.0.5-1 gmp-4.1-1 librep-0.16-1 rep-gtk-0.16-1 sawfish-2.0-1 Do you want to install/upgrade these packages? [Y/n]
Note that those are backticks surrounding the "/bin/ls" command (upper left corner of the keyboard). Basically, you're using the abs script to update all the package build files, then you're telling pacman to install every package name that exists in /usr/abs/gnome.
After it downloads all those packages and installs them, you should log out and log back in so your PATH is updated and whatnot. Then edit your .xinitrc file and make it say something like this:
#!/bin/sh export GDK_USE_XFT=1 exec gnome-session
Make sure your ~/.xinitrc has execute permissions too. (chmod 755 .xinitrc)
I just tried it but there is a problem:
error: could not download nautilus-2.0.5-1.pkg.tar.gz: 550 nautilus-2.0.5-1.pkg.tar.gz: No such file or directory.