Arch Linux, Phundrak-flavored

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

Here will be presented what I do to get my system up and running on a fresh Arch Linux install. These installation instructions were written in order to get an Arch Linux distribution up and running with the same configuration as my main computer’s and my travelling laptop’s configuration.

2. Install Arch Linux

I usually install Arch from the vanilla ISO, however I began using archfi to install easily the distro (I’ve done it so many times, I know how it works now). Usually, my distros will be installed on two partitions: /home and / (root).

If the computer supports EFI bootloaders, the EFI partition will be mounted on /boot/efi. I generally use systemd-boot as my boot manager, but if you are more comfortable with another one, just install what you want. Be aware that if you format your /boot partition, you will delete all boot managers that already exist; so, if you are dual-booting, DO NOT FORMAT IT. Yes, I made the mistake of wiping the Windows boot manager when I used to dual-boot.

In order to use the suspend-then-hibernate systemd command, it is necessary to have a swap partition at least twice the size of your installed RAM. That is because when this command will be run, the system will try to save the current state of your machine, stored in your RAM, to the swap filesystem. If there is not enough space, the command will fail, and you won’t be able to use this command. For instance, my current computer has 32GB of RAM, hence my SWAP partition is 16GB large.

2.1. Get the latest, fastest mirrors

When you boot into the live ISO, execute the following command:

pacman -Sy reflector
reflector -c FR -c DE -c BE -l 200 -p http -p https --sort rate \
          --save /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist --verbose

This will update the packages from your live ISO, and you will get the best mirrors for your installation. Of course, change the countries accordingly to your location. In my case, I am only interested in French, German, and Belgian mirrors.

2.2. Install the system

Then you can use a custom script to ease your installation of Arch if you do not wish to do it manually. Personally, I’ve done it several times already, I know how the distro works, I just want to be able to install my distro quickly now. I’ll need to download the script with wget, but apparently it isn’t installed by default on Arch ISOs anymore, so I’ll need to install it.

pacman -S wget

Now, let’s grab the script. You can check it on Github.

wget archfi.sf.net/archfi
# Or from matmoul.github.io/archfi if SourceForge is down
sh archfi

Then, follow the instructions and install Arch Linux. Take the opportunity to install as many packages as you need, mainly paru which I use as my package manager (it is just a wrapper for pacman) and AUR helper, and pacman-contrib which will help us installing some packages later.

Once your system is installed, reboot and remove your installation media from your computer.

3. Execute bootstrap

The first thing I will do is add the Chaotic AUR repository so I can get access to paru as well as some AUR packages without the need of an AUR helper (ironic considering paru is one). We can then install fish, git, and paru:

sudo pacman -S fish git paru

And now that paru is available, we can install yadm:

paru -S yadm

yadm comes with a very handy feature: its bootstrap script. It can be executed automatically once the dotfiles are cloned with yadm:

yadm clone https://labs.phundrak.com/phundrak/dotfiles
# or if labs.phundrak.com is down or too slow for you
#yadm clone https://github.com/phundrak/dotfiles

Let’s take a look at what it does.

3.1. Decrypt private yadm files

Some private files are stored encrypted in the repository of my yadm dotfiles. I will need them later on during the bootstrap execution.

if test "$USER" = 'phundrak'
    yadm decrypt
else
    whiptail --yesno "Decrypt private files?" 8 40 && yadm decrypt
end

3.2. Get a correct keyboard layout

I use mainly the bépo layout, a French keyboard layout inspired by Dvorak layouts, however I sometimes need to switch back to the standard French AZERTY or the American QWERTY layout, so I make it so the Menu key switches for me my layout between these three. This makes it so my xorg configuration of my keyboard looks like this:

set keyboardconf \
'Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "system-keyboard"
	MatchIsKeyboard "on"
	Option "XkbLayout" "fr"
	Option "XkbModel" "pc104"
	Option "XkbVariant" "bepo_afnor"
	Option "XkbOptions" "caps:ctrl_modifier"
EndSection'

So, let’s ask the user if they want to set it as their keyboard configuration.

printf "\n# Set keyboard layout #########################################################\n\n"
whiptail --yesno "Would you like to set your keyboard layout to the bépo layout?" 8 55
if test $status -eq 0
    echo $keyboardconf | sudo tee /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/00-keyboard.conf
end

3.3. Set our locale

I use two main locales, the French and US UTF-8 locales, and I like to keep the Japanese locale activated just in case.

set mylocales "en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8" "fr_FR.UTF-8 UTF-8" "ja_JP.UTF-8 UTF-8"

I’ll let the user accept them one by one.

printf "\n# Set locale ##################################################################\n\n"
for item in $mylocales
    whiptail --yesno "Set the \"$item\" locale?" 8 40
    if test $status -eq 0 -a (grep -e "#$item" /etc/locale.gen)
	sudo sed -i "/$item/s/^#//g" /etc/locale.gen
    end
end

This is my configuration I usually use when it comes to my locale.

set localeconf "LANG=en_DK.UTF-8
LC_COLLATE=C
LC_NAME=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_IDENTIFICATION=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_TELEPHONE=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_MONETARY=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_PAPER=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_ADDRESS=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_MEASUREMENT=fr_FR.UTF-8"

Let’s set it as our system’s locale if the user whishes to.

whiptail --yesno "Do you agree to have the following locale set?\n\n     $localeconf"  20 43
if test $status -eq 0
    echo $localeconf | sudo tee /etc/locale.conf
end

Now we can generate our locale!

printf "\n# Generate locale #############################################################\n\n"
sudo locale-gen

3.4. Create some folders

Let’s create some folders we might need for mounting our drives, Android devices and CDs.

printf "\n# Create directories for mounting #############################################\n\n"
sudo mkdir -p /mnt/{USB,CD,Android}
sudo chown $USER:(id -g $USER) /mnt/{USB,CD,Android}

3.5. Set user’s shell to fish

First of all, the bootstrap shell will set the user’s shell to fish.

printf "\n# Set fish as the default shell ###############################################\n\n"
whiptail --yesno "Set the current user’s default shell to fish?" 8 50
if test $status -eq 0 -a ! "$SHELL" = '/usr/bin/fish'
    chsh -s /usr/bin/fish
end

3.6. Install basic packages

Ok, let’s list all the packages that I need. First, let’s begin with system packages.

Package name Why I need it
acpi Battery, power, and thermal readings
acpilight To modify the monitors’ brightness
bluez-firmware Firmware for my bluetooth device
bluez-utils To interact with bluez through custom tools
bzip2 A compression algorithm and program
cpupower Examine and tune power saving related features of the CPU
exfat-utils Utilities for exFAT filesystems
ffmpegthumbnailer Create thumbnails with ffmpeg
freeglut A small OpenGL library
gcc-libs Runtime libraries for GCC
gdb The GCC debugger
gnome-disk-utility To manage easily my disks and partitions
gnome-epub-thumbnailer Thumbnailer for Epub files
i3lock-color My screen locker
corrupter-git A script for my script using also i3lock-color
inetutils Common network programs
jfsutils JFS utilities to interact with Android
jmtpfs FUSE filesystem for the MTP protocol
kitty My current terminal emulator, works with Xorg and Wayland
logrotate Rotate system logs automatically
man-pages Linux man pages
man-db Read the Linux man pages
netctl Profile based systemd network management
network-manager-applet System tray applet for NetworkManager
networkmanager-openvpn Connect to OpenVPN servers with NetworkManager
nm-connection-editor Manager NetworkManager connections
ntfs-3g Utilities to access NTFS filesystems
openssh SSH. Do I need to say anything more than that?
pavucontrol Graphical interface to PulseAudio settings
wireplumber Session manager for PipeWire
pipewire-pulse PipeWire replacement for pulseaudio and pulseaudio-bluetooth
gst-plugin-pipewire PipeWire plugin for GStreamer
noise-suppression-for-voice Realtime noise suppression plugin for voice
raw-thumbnailer thumbnailer for RAW images
reflector Sort pacman mirrors
shadow Password & account management tools
sshfs Mount remote filesystems through SSH
usbutils USB utilities
xdg-user-dirs-gtk Creates user dirs and asks to relocalize them
xfce-polkit XFCE’s policy kit
xidlehook xautolock with extra features
xfsprogs Access XFS filesystems
xorg-xinit xorg init program
xss-lock Use an external program as X lock screen
xwallpaper Set my Xorg session’s wallpaper

For development purposes, I need the following packages:

Package name Why I need it
asar Package needed by some Electron programs
base-devel Metapackage providing lots of basic tools for development
clang LLVM’s C/C++ compiler
cppcheck Static code analysis for C/C++
cppreference The cppreference wiki offline
cppreference-devhelp Access cppreference through devhelp
docker VMs are too heavy, get a better virtualization engine!
docker-compose Docker from the CLI? I prefer through a Yaml file.
dockerfile-language-server-bin Dockerfile LSP server
doxygen A great tool for writing code documentation for C/C++
emacs The best text editor OS, hands down
farbfeld Lossless image format
flake8 Code checker for python
gnuplot An awesome plotting tool
go The Go programming language
go-tools Go’s tooling
graphviz Graph visualization
hugo Static website generator
javascript-typescript-langserver LSP server for Javascript
js-beautify Formatter for Javascript
libxft-bgra FreeType library with support for BGRA glyphs and scaling
linux-headers Development with the Linux kernel
lldb The LLVM debugger
meson Meson build system
mupdf-tools Tools for PDF and XPS viewers
nodejs-vmd Markdown renderer and live previewer
npm Javascript package manager
pacman-contrib Create and install custom ArchLinux packages
pandoc-bin Convert documents of various formats into other formats
prettier Format various web files formats
python-autoflake Remove unused imports and variables in Python
python-epc EPC (RPC stack for Emacs Lisp) for Python
python-importmagic Automatically manage imports in Python
pyright Python LSP server
python-nose A discovery-based test extension for Python
python-pip The Python package manager
python-poetry Python dependency management and packaging made easy
python-ptvsd Python debugger
python-pytest Python testing suite
qemu Machine emulator and virtualizer
r The R programming langugae
rustup The Rust toolchain installer
sbcl My favorite CommonLisp implementation
typescript Better Javascript
typescript-language-server-bin LSP server for Typescript
valgrind Our lord and saviour when writing C code
vscode-css-languageserver-bin LSP server for CSS
vscode-html-languageserver-bin LSP server for HTML
yaml-language-server-bin LSP server for Yaml
zeal Offline documentation browser

A couple of packages need to be installed to make LaTeX usable.

Package name Why I need it
biber A BibTex replacement, for citations in papers
minted Syntax highlight for LaTeX
texlive-bibtexextra Additional BibTeX styles and bibliography databases
texlive-fontsextra All sorts of extra fonts
texlive-formatsextra Collection of extra TeX 'formats'
texlive-humanities LaTeX packages for law, linguistics, social sciences, and humanities
texlive-langjapanese Fonts and macro packages to typeset Japanese texts
texlive-pictures Packages for drawings graphics
texlive-pstricks Additional PSTricks packages
texlive-publishers LaTeX classes and packages for specific publishers
texlive-science Typesetting for mathematics, natural and computer sciences

Some visual packages:

Package name Why I need it
adobe-source-han-sans-jp-fonts Japanese fonts
inter-font I’m not sure why I have these fonts
nordic-theme-git Nord theme for GTK
noto-fonts-emoji Font with emojis
otf-ipafont Japanese font
picom See picom.html
powerline-fonts Powerline fonts
siji-git Siji font
ttf-arphic-uming CJK font Ming style
ttf-baekmuk Korean font
ttf-charis-sil API font
ttf-dejavu DejaVu font
ttf-hanazono Japanese kanji font
ttf-joypixels Emoji font
ttf-koruri Japanese Truetype font
ttf-liberation Liberation font
ttf-monapo Japanese font
ttf-sazanami Japanese fonts
ttf-unifont The font I use in StumpWM
ttf-tibetan-machine Tibetan font
unicode-emoji Unicode emoji data files

Terminal utilities

Package name Why I need it
ascii Work with ASCII
aspell-en Aspell’s dictionary for English
aspell-fr Aspell’s dictionary for French
bat A better cat with syntax highlighting
bitwarden-cli CLI application for my password manager
bpytop A very beautiful htop alternative
exa A great ls replacement
fd find, but better
findutils find files on the system
fzf Command-line fuzzy finder
htop top, but better
isync Gives access to mbsync so I can check my mails
mpc Dead simple MPD client
mpd Music Player Daemon
mpv The best video player in existance
nano Simple text editor
ncdu Graphical representation of disk usage
ncmpcpp TUI for MPD
neofetch System info in the terminal
nordvpn-bin Connect to NordVPN on Linux
numlockx Turn on the numpad in Xorg
p7zip 7zip on Linux
pass The standard UNIX password manager
pdfpc PDF presentation tool in the console with multi-monitor support
ripgrep grep but better
rsync scp is dead, long live rsync!
scrot To take screenshots
tealdeer tldr but faster, great cheatsheets in the terminal
tmux Terminal multiplexer
tree See files and directories as a tree
unrar Support for rar file format
w3m Terminal web browser
wget Retrieve files from the web
x11-ssh-askpass Passphrase dialog over SSH
xclip Interact with the X11 clipboard
yt-dlp-drop-in yt-dlp but it also replaces youtube-dl

Let’s install some desktop applications too, shall we?

Package name Why I need it
bitwarden Desktop application for my password manager
discord For messaging friends
firefox Because I need a good browser
gimp GIMP Is Mbetter than Photoshop
helvum Pipewire patchbay
nemo One of the best graphical file managers
nemo-fileroller Add compression options to Nemo
nemo-preview Quick file previewer for Nemo
obs-studio Simply the best screen recording and streaming software
rofi A beautiful dmenu replacement

All these packages will be installed with the command paru -S --skipreview --needed so it won’t nag me about the PKGBUILD when I want to install something from the AUR, and if something is already installed it paru won’t try to reinstall it.

set SYSTEMPKG acpi \
acpilight \
bluez-firmware \
bluez-utils \
bzip2 \
cpupower \
exfat-utils \
ffmpegthumbnailer \
freeglut \
gcc-libs \
gdb \
gnome-disk-utility \
gnome-epub-thumbnailer \
i3lock-color \
corrupter-git \
inetutils \
jfsutils \
jmtpfs \
kitty \
logrotate \
man-pages \
man-db \
netctl \
network-manager-applet \
networkmanager-openvpn \
nm-connection-editor \
ntfs-3g \
openssh \
pavucontrol \
wireplumber \
pipewire-pulse \
gst-plugin-pipewire \
noise-suppression-for-voice \
raw-thumbnailer \
reflector \
shadow \
sshfs \
usbutils \
xdg-user-dirs-gtk \
xfce-polkit \
xidlehook \
xfsprogs \
xorg-xinit \
xss-lock \
xwallpaper

printf "\n# Installing SYSTEMPKG ##################################################\n\n"
for pkg in $SYSTEMPKG
    paru -S --skipreview --needed $pkg
end


set DEVELPKG asar \
base-devel \
clang \
cppcheck \
cppreference \
cppreference-devhelp \
docker \
docker-compose \
dockerfile-language-server-bin \
doxygen \
emacs \
farbfeld \
flake8 \
gnuplot \
go \
go-tools \
graphviz \
hugo \
javascript-typescript-langserver \
js-beautify \
libxft-bgra \
linux-headers \
lldb \
meson \
mupdf-tools \
nodejs-vmd \
npm \
pacman-contrib \
pandoc-bin \
prettier \
python-autoflake \
python-epc \
python-importmagic \
pyright \
python-nose \
python-pip \
python-poetry \
python-ptvsd \
python-pytest \
qemu \
r \
rustup \
sbcl \
typescript \
typescript-language-server-bin \
valgrind \
vscode-css-languageserver-bin \
vscode-html-languageserver-bin \
yaml-language-server-bin \
zeal

printf "\n# Installing DEVELPKG ##################################################\n\n"
for pkg in $DEVELPKG
    paru -S --skipreview --needed $pkg
end


set LATEXPKG biber \
minted \
texlive-bibtexextra \
texlive-fontsextra \
texlive-formatsextra \
texlive-humanities \
texlive-langjapanese \
texlive-pictures \
texlive-pstricks \
texlive-publishers \
texlive-science

printf "\n# Installing LATEXPKG ##################################################\n\n"
for pkg in $LATEXPKG
    paru -S --skipreview --needed $pkg
end


set TERMINALPKG ascii \
aspell-en \
aspell-fr \
bat \
bitwarden-cli \
bpytop \
exa \
fd \
findutils \
fzf \
htop \
isync \
mpc \
mpd \
mpv \
nano \
ncdu \
ncmpcpp \
neofetch \
nordvpn-bin \
numlockx \
p7zip \
pass \
pdfpc \
ripgrep \
rsync \
scrot \
tealdeer \
tmux \
tree \
unrar \
w3m \
wget \
x11-ssh-askpass \
xclip \
yt-dlp-drop-in

printf "\n# Installing TERMINALPKG ##################################################\n\n"
for pkg in $TERMINALPKG
    paru -S --skipreview --needed $pkg
end


set APPSPKG bitwarden \
discord \
firefox \
gimp \
helvum \
nemo \
nemo-fileroller \
nemo-preview \
obs-studio \
rofi

printf "\n# Installing APPSPKG ##################################################\n\n"
for pkg in $APPSPKG
    paru -S --skipreview --needed $pkg
end

Finally, I wish to install some custom packages for which I’ve written a PKGBUILD file myself. I store all of them in a dedicated directory located in $HOME/Documents/code/PKGBUILDs. I want to install some of them immediately.

Package Name What it is
emacs My custom Emacs build, it will replace the one already installed
nsxiv The best image viewer after Emacs
pumopm-git My very simple battery manager
sent A very simple presentation tool

3.7. Tangle configuration files from Org files

Before tangling our configuration files, we need to create some directories first so our files can be properly tangled. Here’s the list of directories we need to create:

$HOME/.config/fish
$HOME/.config/gtk-2.0
$HOME/.config/gtk-3.0
$HOME/.config/ncmpcpp
$HOME/.config/neofetch
$HOME/.config/picom
$HOME/.config/yadm
$HOME/.local/bin
$HOME/.stumpwm.d
$HOME/org/capture

Our code to generate such directories looks like this:

mkdir -p $HOME/.config/fish
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/gtk-2.0
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/gtk-3.0
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/ncmpcpp
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/neofetch
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/picom
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/yadm
mkdir -p $HOME/.local/bin
mkdir -p $HOME/.stumpwm.d
mkdir -p $HOME/org/capture

The next step is to tangle all the Org files. Here is the list of files that are to be tangled:

filename
bin.org
emacs.org
fish.org
index.org
mpd.org
neofetch.org
picom.org
rustfmt.org
stumpwm.org
tmux.org
printf "\n# Tangling org files ##########################################################\n\n"
printf '\n\n==== Tangling bin.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/bin.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling emacs.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/emacs.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling fish.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/fish.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling index.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/index.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling mpd.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/mpd.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling neofetch.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/neofetch.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling picom.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/picom.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling rustfmt.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/rustfmt.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling stumpwm.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/stumpwm.org")'

printf '\n\n==== Tangling tmux.org\n\n' && \
emacs -q --batch --eval '(require \'ob-tangle)' \
--eval '(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)' \
--eval '(org-babel-tangle-file "~/org/config/tmux.org")'

3.8. Set up dotfiles’ git repository

3.8.1. Update our dotfiles’ remotes

This line in the bootstrap script will test if the current user is using my username. If yes, it’s probably me.

if test "$USER" = 'phundrak'

If it is me installing and using these dotfiles, I want the remotes of my dotfiles to be set to ssh remotes using my ssh keys.

printf "\n# Update yadm’s remotes #######################################################\n\n"
yadm remote set-url origin git@labs.phundrak.com:phundrak/dotfiles.git
yadm remote add github git@github.com:phundrak/dotfiles.git

I will also want to decrypt my encrypted files, such as said ssh keys.

printf "\n# Decrypt encrypted dotfiles ##################################################\n\n"
yadm decrypt

Finally, let’s close this if statement.

end

3.8.2. Update our submodules

Now we can download the various dependencies of our dotfiles. To do so, let’s run the following command:

printf "\n# Getting yadm susbmodules ####################################################\n\n"
yadm submodule update --init --recursive

3.9. Enable some services

We have installed some packages which require some services to run. Let’s enable them.

3.9.1. Systemd-timesyncd

This service enables time syncing with the NTP protocol, so I can be sure my computer’s time is correct. The service first needs to be enabled:

printf "\n# Enabling timesync ###########################################################\n\n"
sudo systemctl enable --now systemd-timesyncd

Now, let systemd know I want to use the NTP protocol to keep my computer’s time synced.

sudo timedatectl set-ntp true

3.9.2. Acpilight

acpilight is our utility managing the brightness of our screen. There is actually no service to enable here, but we must ensure the user is part of the video group so we can modify the brightness of our screen without using sudo.

sudo usermod -aG video $USER

3.9.3. Docker

First, let’s activate Docker on startup.

printf "\n# Enabling and starting Docker ################################################\n\n"
sudo systemctl enable --now docker

Now, if we wish it, we can be added to the docker group so we won’t have to type sudo each time we call Docker or Docker Compose.

read --prompt "echo 'Do you wish to be added to the `docker` group? (Y/n): ' " -l adddockergroup
if test $adddockergroup = 'y' || test $adddockergroup = "Y" || test $adddockergroup = ''
    sudo usermod -aG docker $USER
end

3.9.4. Emacs

Emacs will run as a user service, which means it won’t be launched until we log in. However, the service won’t be started immediately, I personally prefer to start a standalone instance in which installing and compiling the Emacs packages will happen, and then once that is done I will start the service.

printf "\n# Enabling Emacs as user service ##############################################\n\n"
systemctl --user enable emacs

I don’t want to activate it immediately however, since the first startup might require some interactivity with the main Emacs frame, not with emacsclient. When Emacs will be ready, its service can be started like so (command not tangled in the bootstrap):

systemctl --user start emacs

3.9.5. Mpd

Mpd will also use as a user service in order to get rid of some lines of code in my configuration.

printf "\n# Enabling Mpd as a user service ##############################################\n\n"
mkdir -p ~/.config/mpd/playlists
systemctl --user enable --now mpd

3.9.6. NordVPN

Thanks to the AUR package nordvpn-bin, I no longer have to manually maintain my VPN connections with OpenVPN. However, it requires a service that we should activate:

sudo systemctl enable --now nordvpnd

Let’s also set its default protocol to UDP. This will allow me to use any port while connected to any WiFi as long as the 443 port is available. Because yes, I do connect to a WiFi that blocks some important ports, such as the IMAP and SMTP ports. Thanks University of Paris 8 for being SO paranoid.

nordvpn s protocol tcp

Note that this change in protocol is only valid when using the OpenVPN technology. If we want to use the Wireguard technology through Project NordLynx, this option will no longer be available. To set NordVPN to use WireGuard, we can run this command (not tangled in the bootstrap).

nordvpn set technology NordLynx

Why WireGuard? Well, it can achieve better performances than OpenVPN with physically nearby servers, and according to this article the former can be more than half as fast as the latter. It is also much more auditable than OpenVPN (only a few thousands lines of code against some hundred of thousands). Oh, and WireGuard is part of the Linux kernel since its version 5.6. And Windows’ since August 2021, but I don’t really care about Windows.

But, WireGuard is less privacy-oriented than OpenVPN. So, if I ever need to use my VPN for privacy reasons, I can simply revert back to the OpenVPN technology like shown with this command (not tangled in the bootstrap):

nordvpn set technology OpenVPN

Finally, I want to be notified of NordVPN’s actions, and I want to be able to use IPv6.

nordvpn set notify enabled
nordvpn set ipv6 enabled

3.9.7. PipeWire

PipeWire is a replacement for PulseAudio, ALSA and the likes, and it is much better in terms of security and performance. However, unlike PulseAudio, Pipewire is a user service that needs to be enabled per user.

systemctl --user enable --now pipewire-pulse.service

I also installed noise-suppression-for-voice which is a plugin usable by PipeWire to remove all noise the microphone might record save for the voice. It is damn effective, and it can be activated as a user service! In fact, I have in my dotfiles the service saved, so let’s activate it right away:

systemctl --user enable --now pipewire-input-filter-chain.service

Just make sure afterwards the microphone is redirected to the noise canceling source. The same source should be your input device where you want to use your microphone. The only downside is this is ony a mono input, but it shouldn’t matter for most people.

3.9.8. SSH server

Maybe we want to activate an SSH server on our machine. If so, we can enable it. Let’s ask the question.

whiptail --yesno 'Do you want to activate the ssh server?' 8 50
if test $status -eq 0
    printf "\n# Enabling ssh server #########################################################\n\n"
    sudo systemctl enable --now sshd
end

3.11. Install packages from git

Now, let’s install some packages from git directly.

mkdir -p ~/fromGIT

3.11.1. Reveal.JS

I sometimes use Reveal.JS to make presentations, and I set its location in my Emacs config to be in ~/fromGIT, so let’s clone it there.

printf "\n# Install Reveal.JS ###########################################################\n\n"
cd ~/fromGIT
git clone https://github.com/hakimel/reveal.js.git

3.12. Install Rust

3.12.1. Install the toolchains

When using Rust, I bounce between two toolchains, the stable toolchain and the nightly toolchain, although I try to stick with Rust Stable. To install them, I will use rustup which has already been installed previously.

printf "\n# Install the rust toolchains, nightly is the default one #####################\n\n"
rustup default stable

This will both download the stable toolchain and set it as the default one. Now to install the nightly toolchain, let’s run this:

rustup toolchain install nightly

3.12.2. Install some utilities

We’ll need some utilities when developing Rust from Emacs, namely rustfmt and racer. Let’s install them with cargo.

printf "\n# Add rust utilities ##########################################################\n\n"
cargo install rustfmt racer

We will also need some components for development purposes.

Component Why
rust-src Rust documentation in Emacs
rls LSP backend for Emacs
clippy A better version of cargo’s check command

Here is the code to do so:

rustup component add rust-src
rustup component add rls
rustup component add clippy

3.13. Set up our fish shell

The last thing we want to do is to set up our fish shell with some extensions in order to improve the user experience.

3.13.1. Install fisher

We will be using fisher as our extensions manager for Fish. Let’s install it.

printf "\n# Installing fisher ###########################################################\n\n"
curl -sL https://git.io/fisher | source && fisher install jorgebucaran/fisher

3.13.2. Install our extensions

I generally use the following extensions in my Fish shell.

Table 1: Fish extensions managed by Fisher
Package name Description
decors/fish-colored-man Color man pages to make them more readable
franciscolourenco/done Automatically receive notifications when a long process finishes
jethrokuan/fzf Improved key bindings for junegunn/fzf
jorgebucaran/fish-bax Run bash scripts, replaying environment changes in fish
jorgebucaran/fish-getopts CLI options parser; alternative to the argparse fish builtin
laughedelic/pisces Autoclose parentheses, braces, quotes and other paired symbols
printf "\n# Installing Fisher Extensions ################################################\n\n"
fisher install decors/fish-colored-man
fisher install franciscolourenco/done
fisher install jethrokuan/fzf
fisher install jorgebucaran/fish-bax
fisher install jorgebucaran/fish-getopts
fisher install laughedelic/pisces

Author: Lucien Cartier-Tilet

Email: lucien@phundrak.com

Created: 2022-08-24 Wed 18:09