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#1 2013-07-02 12:23:23

Rohdehoved
Member
Registered: 2013-02-25
Posts: 7

What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Hi everyone!
This is my first post (I think).

I've been using Linux (Ubuntu) for.. A long time, first time I installed it, I used it for 4-5 months, then reinstalled Windows. Then 7 months ago (maybe even more), I got very tired of Windows and all of their bullshit. So I installed Ubuntu and I've been running it ever since. I'd like to try Arch Linux, because I've heard that you learn a lot and that it's very customizable and so on. Also it's pretty badass that you install everything yourself and so forth.

BUT! I've talked with a guy who tried to install it and he said it was hell. He said I'd at least need another PC, so I could google stuff as I come along. Which I have. I've partitionized my harddisk, so I can go back to Ubuntu if I fuck up. I feel ready to do this. I'm going to follow this tut: http://lifehacker.com/5680453/build-a-k … he-process

Do you guys recommend something that I should read about or learn before I venture into the Arch Linux world? I know my way around bash, even knows how to script in it using loops and all that. I'm also a Java-programmer, so I'm not a complete computer-retard.

So is there something that I should learn before? Thanks in advance! ^^

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#2 2013-07-02 12:35:24

flipper T
Member
Registered: 2012-09-14
Posts: 419

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Do not use that link. If you do & things go wrong, you will not find any help or sympathy here.

Use the beginners guide in the arch wiki. If you are comfortable using the terminal then you will be fine.

You can access the on line guide & these forums during the installation process by using the elinks web browser from the same pc you are installing on. That said, it does make things slightly easier if you do have access to another pc / smart phone etc during installation.


If I'm curt with you it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this. So, pretty please... with sugar on top. Clean the [censored] car. -The Wolf

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#3 2013-07-02 12:57:45

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,683
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Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

To reiterate what flipper said: do not use that link, or any others like it, or any youtube walkthroughs.  One of the biggest (perhaps the biggest) strength or arch linux is it's documentation, particularly the wiki (wiki.archlinux.org) which is kept up to date.  Arch is a rolling release, and things change rapidly.  Any online tutorial that is not constantly updated will just be wrong.

I don't think you need to really have any pre-existing knowledge to run arch - what you need, though, is a willingness and ability to learn.  Those who fail are those who think it is 'stupid' that they are responsible for their own system; they are 'stupid' for installing arch if they don't want this, it's not a big secret, if you run arch you will have much more control of - and thus more responsibility for - maintaining your system.

But all the resources to do this are available on the wiki, in man pages, and in the forums.

If you want to learn, then arch is the place to be.  But don't try to take shortcuts.  I have to reuse my own line from recently on the forums: short cuts are only short because they don't really go anywhere.  Use the beginner's guide.


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#4 2013-07-02 13:00:10

drcouzelis
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From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,437
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Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Rohdehoved wrote:

I'd like to try Arch Linux, because I've heard that you learn a lot and that it's very customizable and so on. Also it's pretty badass that you install everything yourself and so forth.

You can learn a lot using Arch Linux because of two things. One, you need to read a lot. It's not hard reading, but it's necessary, and the documentation you read is very good. Two, nothing is setup by default for you. For example, if you want your file manager to automatically mount a flash drive when you put it into your computer, you have to set that up yourself. But, of course, there's a wiki page for how to do that, so it's not hard.

I've talked with a guy who tried to install it and he said it was hell. He said I'd at least need another PC, so I could google stuff as I come along.

There are many people that don't find installing Arch Linux to be hell. I installed it for the first time almost four years ago. It took about two hours. I haven't reinstalled since.

Do you guys recommend something that I should read about or learn before I venture into the Arch Linux world? I know my way around bash, even knows how to script in it using loops and all that. I'm also a Java-programmer, so I'm not a complete computer-retard. So is there something that I should learn before?

As was mentioned, please use the Arch Linux Beginner's Guide. When you have questions, use the wiki, search the forums, use the GOOGLE, read the man page (seriously, try "man archlinux"), and then post a question to the forums.

Everyone here is super friendly! big_smile Except when they're not.

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#5 2013-07-02 13:02:27

Rohdehoved
Member
Registered: 2013-02-25
Posts: 7

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Okay. So I'm all ready to go, fuck the Lifehacker.com, I'll use the ArchWiki. So ArchWiki is my best friend, so is google and the man pages. Okay, I'm set to go. You'll probably hear from me soon xD Thanks :- D

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#6 2013-07-02 13:05:25

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,683
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Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Rohdehoved wrote:

He said I'd at least need another PC, so I could google stuff as I come along. Which I have.

This is handy for using a familiar browser to read the wiki - but not necessary.

Once you have a network connection in the live media, you can use lynx/elinks (I forget which is included now, but one of them is) and read the wiki on one tty while installing on another.

But I suppose there is some information to not take for granted: when you are running the installer you'll be in a tty - tty1 specifically.  There are several tty's running and you can get to another one by hitting ALT-F# (eg alt+F2, then alt+F1 to get back where you were).  So you can run the installation on one tty, have another tty with a text-mode browser on wiki.archlinux.org, and another for reading man pages. (edit: this is just an example, you don't need to do any of this, especially if you have another computer handy).

Last edited by Trilby (2013-07-02 13:05:59)


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#7 2013-07-02 13:05:39

flipper T
Member
Registered: 2012-09-14
Posts: 419

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

You say "fuck" more than my grandmother does.

Perhaps you should widen your vocab. "By Jove" is a good alternative.

smile


If I'm curt with you it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this. So, pretty please... with sugar on top. Clean the [censored] car. -The Wolf

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#8 2013-07-02 13:09:54

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

In addition to the excellent advice by flipper and Trillby:

You must be prepared to first try to fix things yourself. When people say you learn a lot by using Arch, this is in fact the way that you learn. You encounter a problem and then you set out to try to figure out how to solve it. This involves learning to effectively search the available documentation: http://wiki.archlinux.org, man pages, info manuals, searching the forum (hint: use "site:bbs.archlinux.org" in your search engine rather than the forum search mechanism), searching the web, and so on. Eventually, you will learn the underlying logic of the system and you'll be able to start to pinpoint and fix the source of problems on your own.

Remember to stay on top of the news. You can subscribe to the RSS feed on the Arch Linux front page. If you ever run into any problems with a system update, check the news before going any further.

Don't install software from the AUR until you absolutely have to and, when you do, keep the number of AUR-installed packages to a minimum. Remember that they are unsupported! And when you do install from the AUR, do not use any wrappers or helper scripts (i.e. yaourt or pacaur) until you have done it the manual way enough times to really know what's going on.

When you do need to seek help on the forums, remember to give sufficient background information. Tell us what you've already tried and what didn't work. Use "code" tags. Remember that the forums can be very helpful but your hand will not be held. Once again, that's where the learning comes from: personal experience, not step-by-step how-tos.

When something cannot be fixed, blame Allan.

File bug reports.

Update the wiki with your knowledge.

Don't ask on the forums which package you should try, A or B, try both of them as well as C and D! Learn from trying, tinkering and breaking.

Don't reinstall Arch, ever. It should be fixable no matter what. Some cases might be more complicated than others but the tools exist to fix it.

Don't use pacman's "--force" option unless explicitly advised to do so.

Have fun smile

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#9 2013-07-02 13:14:47

Rohdehoved
Member
Registered: 2013-02-25
Posts: 7

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Trilby wrote:

Once you have a network connection in the live media, you can use lynx/elinks (I forget which is included now, but one of them is) and read the wiki on one tty while installing on another.

But I suppose there is some information to not take for granted: when you are running the installer you'll be in a tty - tty1 specifically.  There are several tty's running and you can get to another one by hitting ALT-F# (eg alt+F2, then alt+F1 to get back where you were).  So you can run the installation on one tty, have another tty with a text-mode browser on wiki.archlinux.org, and another for reading man pages. (edit: this is just an example, you don't need to do any of this, especially if you have another computer handy).

I've only used tty once or twice and I thought it was kinda messy, mostly because I didn't know the prober way to close it, login, logout etc. Text-mode browser? Jings, I never even knew it was there. Well, I'll google it and find out how to use it wink Thanks.

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#10 2013-07-02 13:21:49

drcouzelis
Member
From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,437
Website

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

flipper T wrote:

You say "fuck" more than my grandmother does.

Yes, this is a family friendly forum. Also consider:

  • Poo on Windows!

  • Lifehacker.com can stick it in their serial port!

  • My friend said installing Arch Linux was a humdinger!

Think of the five year olds that come here looking for Arch Linux help. Also, here's the real forum rules.

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#11 2013-07-02 13:32:43

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,617

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

flipper T wrote:

"By Jove" is a good alternative.

By Jove the Lifehacker.com

I can go back to Ubuntu if I by Jove up

hmm


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#12 2013-07-02 13:40:26

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,683
Website

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Hey all you by jovers, I'm gonna go take a tinkle


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#13 2013-07-02 13:43:20

alphaniner
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From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,617

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Also, I find it amusing that those offering alternatives have doubled the f-bomb magnitude of this thread. lol


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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#14 2013-07-02 13:54:00

flipper T
Member
Registered: 2012-09-14
Posts: 419

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Ha-Ha you muther-by-jovers !


If I'm curt with you it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast and I need you guys to act fast if you wanna get out of this. So, pretty please... with sugar on top. Clean the [censored] car. -The Wolf

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#15 2013-07-02 14:44:36

Awebb
Member
Registered: 2010-05-06
Posts: 4,162

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

As you can learn from this thread, one thing you should learn is, that you should simply try for yourself and only open a thread, if you have a specific question you cannot solve by reading the docs. We will go haywire otherwise.

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#16 2013-07-02 14:48:34

ewaller
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From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 12,688

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Come on guys,  back on topic. Please.
Also, please remember that try to respect other operating systems and distributions.  Legitimate complaints are okay, but broad brushed condemnations laced with profanities are not within this communities' norm.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Like you, I have no idea what you are doing, but I am pretty sure it is wrong...Jasonwryan
----
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way

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#17 2013-07-02 15:19:55

satanselbow
Member
Registered: 2011-06-15
Posts: 530

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Read the wiki - more to the point understand the wiki ... it will be cool... post a new thread if you come up against any particular issues that are not comprehensively covered in the wiki.

Arch is awesome - but sometimes requires you to be equally awesome. Most awesomeness can be found in the joving wiki. Welcome aboard.

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#18 2013-07-02 15:50:47

fledermann
Member
From: Bielefeld, Germany
Registered: 2013-06-24
Posts: 34

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Hi Rohdehoved,

you say that you know your way around the bash, but you didn't use the tty yet. If you're willing to put some work into it, you can get arch up and running no time. I agree with Trilby that you should know how to set up an internet connection manually and use the text-browser (elinks) to look stuff up. The installation is not easy, but it's not very hard either. Just try it out.

Oh, and the author of the lifehacker article wants to tell you that arch is cool and badass. It's not. You won't pick up any women (assuming you're a heterosexual male) by telling them "my Arch is setup with fvwm and dillo, that's some lightweight stuff, you wanna come see it boot?"

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#19 2013-07-02 15:56:44

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,683
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Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

fledermann wrote:

You won't pick up any women (assuming you're a heterosexual male)

That's my experience: the women I pick up tend not to assume I'm a heterosexual male! wink

(Sorry for more O.T., but abiguous modifiers are irresisable ... and that sounds much different than intended)


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#20 2013-07-02 16:07:32

fledermann
Member
From: Bielefeld, Germany
Registered: 2013-06-24
Posts: 34

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Trilby wrote:
fledermann wrote:

You won't pick up any women (assuming you're a heterosexual male)

That's my experience: the women I pick up tend not to assume I'm a heterosexual male! wink

(Sorry for more O.T., but abiguous modifiers are irresisable ... and that sounds much different than intended)

Very clever smile And I just realized that I ignorantly excluded gay females, who would also be picking up women. Anywho...

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#21 2013-07-02 16:08:08

jakobcreutzfeldt
Member
Registered: 2011-05-12
Posts: 1,033

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

And that's enough of that...

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#22 2013-07-02 16:16:23

fledermann
Member
From: Bielefeld, Germany
Registered: 2013-06-24
Posts: 34

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

Yessir

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#23 2013-07-03 11:24:31

MickeyRat
Member
Registered: 2011-11-15
Posts: 81

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

From a noob to a noob.  The install isn't that bad.  Here are things that I have found useful after the install.

Understand a little about how to use find.
Understand a little about how to use grep.
Learning VI isn't absolutely necessary but, it's helpful.
Know how to get around in and recognize less (It's a text viewer).  Some commands throw you into it.  Other times you'll want to pipe output into it.
Checkout the systemd wiki (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Systemd) and learn about the journalctl command.
Learn all you can about pacman (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pacman and https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pacman_Tips to start)
Keep a backup of your installed programs from pacman and the AUR.  You'll be glad you did if you have to reinstall at some point.

Last edited by MickeyRat (2013-07-03 11:27:45)


Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.
- Oscar Wilde

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#24 2013-07-03 11:36:44

Rohdehoved
Member
Registered: 2013-02-25
Posts: 7

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

MickeyRat wrote:

From a noob to a noob.  The install isn't that bad.  Here are things that I have found useful after the install.

Understand a little about how to use find.
Understand a little about how to use grep.
Learning VI isn't absolutely necessary but, it's helpful.
Know how to get around in and recognize less (It's a text viewer).  Some commands throw you into it.  Other times you'll want to pipe output into it.
Checkout the systemd wiki (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Systemd) and learn about the journalctl command.
Learn all you can about pacman (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pacman and https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Pacman_Tips to start)
Keep a backup of your installed programs from pacman and the AUR.  You'll be glad you did if you have to reinstall at some point.

I'll look into it, thanks tongue

Also, I bumped into a problem.. A rather big one, to be honest. Anyway, I'm not OP on this one, but I have the same problem, and I posted a reply (#17) with my problems. If anyone know anything about this, it'd be great ^^

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#25 2013-07-03 13:18:36

alphaniner
Member
From: Ancapistan
Registered: 2010-07-12
Posts: 2,617

Re: What should I know/learn before installing Arch?

MickeyRat wrote:

Learning VI isn't absolutely necessary but, it's helpful.

I would recommend vim (in extra repository) rather than vi (in core repository and part of 'base' when installing). Vim is "vi improved" but it should be called vimu, "vi made useful". In Ubuntu I think vi is symlinked or aliased to vim, but they are two different beasts in Arch. Though in a Linux context, I think most people mean vim when they say vi.

Rohdehoved wrote:

Also, I bumped into a problem.. A rather big one, to be honest. Anyway, I'm not OP on this one, but I have the same problem, and I posted a reply (#17) with my problems. If anyone know anything about this, it'd be great ^^

Unless I'm missing something, I think you need to post a link.


But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain - that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.
-Lysander Spooner

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