The bloody Arch install.

There are a considerable number of issues with Arch, and one of the big ones is installation. So, this time, I intend to do it properly. I’m using my old desktop, which currently has three drives: an 2 SSD and a large old fashioned spinning drive. I aim to use one SSD for the OS and other SSD will be for the multiple various other requirements with the HD for data. Apart from that the hardware is quite old (my motherboard is at least a decade old).

It is currently running an arch based OS — KaOS — but it’s getting slow and KaOS won’t handle the way the place is set up.
The laptop has Arch running — I used the Zen Installer. If you have simple hardware, save yourself some time. It is much easier. So some of the commands are Arch only, and some of the problmes related to the NZ server I used.

The night before

So to start with, I downloaded the Arch ISO from here, along with the signature which is in the same place. (First Wiki error). I then tested the download.

[weka@keruru Downloads]$ pacman-key -v archlinux-2020.09.01-x86_64.iso.sig
==> Checking archlinux-2020.09.01-x86_64.iso.sig... (detached)
gpg: Signature made Wed 02 Sep 2020 05:41:04 AM NZST
gpg:                using RSA key 4AA4767BBC9C4B1D18AE28B77F2D434B9741E8AC
gpg: Note: trustdb not writable
gpg: Good signature from "Pierre Schmitz " [full]

Next problem is burning the iso to a USB. Old machine, so got a USB stick that was blank, and used the most reliable USB burner I know of: Balena Etcher. I now find DVDs and CDs are not reliable. The main issue was that Arch does not have a native download, but that is what the AUR is for.

$ yay -S balena-etcher

You will need to confirm that you want to keep the build environment, that you agree to installing dependancies, and the thing will run. Let it. You can then open it up, and select your iso.

Screenshot from 2020-09-23 20-04-30

Your USB stick — this is one of the big reasons to use Etcher, because it finds all the USB sticks and ensures you don’t wipe the wrong one.

Screenshot from 2020-09-23 20-05-20

And then you will be able to burn, using sudo. Etcher will ask for your usual password. Do not use the su password, use your usual login password.

Screenshot from 2020-09-23 20-06-09

Etcher will tell you when the USB has the OS on it. The next step is to boot your computer. This will generally involve you powering the computer up while mashing either the F2, F10 or F12 key. I always forget which key it is.

Onto getting Arch up

The BOIS uses F* to boot with. One of the hard drives was not recognized. Getting the basic install was much more straingfhorward than last thime — but I made some mistakes. In particular, I did not manage to adivet the DNS server.

So when I rebooted, no ping. At this point, I’need to ensure that the second hard drive is up, and have another go.

Using the Zen installer

Less time today, so I went for it. I pulled out the old disk and it is connected correctly but is not being seen. Given that it is very old, happy to accept that and use USB disks for backup.

$ fdisk -l
Disk /dev/sda: 111.79 GiB, 120034123776 bytes, 234441648 sectors
Disk model: KINGSTON SV300S3
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xf0364696

Device     Boot Start       End   Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/sda1        2048 234441647 234439600 111.8G 83 Linux

Disk /dev/sdb: 931.51 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Disk model: WDC WD10EALX-759
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: dos
Disk identifier: 0xf0e47c87

Device     Boot Start        End    Sectors   Size Id Type
/dev/sdb1        2048 1953523711 1953521664 931.5G 83 Linux

Using the zen installer, got Budge Gone working quite nicely. It looks like this. Screenshot from 2020-09-25 12-07-56

Now to add what I need to work. Office is installed.

Let; start with Brave: Firefox is good but Brave is more secure.

$ yay -S brave-browser

Now the photo stuff I need: rapid photo downloader, darktable, gimp, digikam.

# pacman -S gimp darktable digikam rapid-photo-downloader

next job is loading up R and a graphical environment. Again, fairly easy.

# pacman -S r gcc-fortran rkward 

Finally, I added Zotero, which is a cross platform reference manager that works well with Libreoffice and Microsoft Word. I have used in instead of endnote for work for a couple of yares. Again, fairly simple

yay -S zotero

This now gives me a working machine that will keep on going.

AUR even has deezer, (from git) which means Ic an stream music.

Budgie has reconciled my analogue mike

In short, it’s now working.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
6 months ago

Huh. I have a really old laptop that I use for programming Harley fuel injection systems. It is slower than molasses in January plus Windows XP is no longer supported to the point that I get weird errors whenever it tries to do any updates. Wonder if this would help. Maybe this winter I spend some time playing. Worst case scenario, I reinstall XP since I still have the disks.