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 ArchLinuxCN repository so I can get access to paru.

printf '[archlinuxcn]\nServer = https://repo.archlinuxcn.org/$arch\n' | sudo tee -a /etc/pacman.conf

I can now 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_US.UTF-8
LC_COLLATE=C
LC_NAME=fr_FR.UTF-8
LC_NUMERIC=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_TIME=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

Let’s set in a custom varible what packages we’ll be needing.

set PACKAGES \
acpi acpilight adobe-source-han-sans-jp-fonts arc-gtk-theme asar ascii \
aspell-en aspell-fr awesome awesome-terminal-fonts awesome-freedesktop-git \
base-devel bashtop bat biber bitwarden-bin bluez-firmware bluez-utils bzip2 \
chicken chromium clisp corrupter-git cppcheck cppreference \
cppreference-devhelp cpupower discord-canary discount docker docker-compose \
dockerfile-language-server-bin doxygen emacs emacs-org-mode exa exfat-utils \
farbfeld fd ffmpegthumbnailer findutils firefox flake8 flat-remix-gtk freeglut \
fzf gcc-libs gdb gimp gnome-disk-utility gnome-epub-thumbnailer gnu-free-fonts \
gnuplot go go-tools golangci-lint-bin graphviz htop hugo i3lock-color \
inetutils isync inter-font javascript-typescript-langserver js-beautify \
jfsutils jmtpfs kitty lain-git libxft-bgra linux-headers lldb logrotate meson \
minted man-db man-pages mpc mpd mpd-rich-presence-discord-git mpv mupdf-tools \
nano ncdu ncmpcpp nemo-fileroller nemo-preview neofetch netctl \
network-manager-applet networkmanager networkmanager-openvpn \
nm-connection-editor nodejs-vmd nomacs nordic-theme-git nordvpn-bin \
noto-fonts-emoji npm ntfs-3g numlockx obs-studio openssh otf-fandol \
otf-ipafont p7zip pacman-contrib pandoc-bin pass pavucontrol pdfpc picom-git \
powerline-fonts prettier pulseaudio-bluetooth python-autoflake python-epc \
python-importmagic python-language-server python-nose python-pip python-poetry \
python-ptvsd python-pytest qt5-imageformats qemu r raw-thumbnailer reflector \
ripgrep rofi rsync rtv ruby-rb-fsevent ruby-sass rustup samba scrot sent \
shadow siji-git simplescreenrecorder sshfs sxiv texlive-bibtexextra \
texlive-fontsextra texlive-formatsextra texlive-humanities \
texlive-langjapanese texlive-pictures texlive-pstricks texlive-publishers \
texlive-science tldr tmux tree ttf-arphic-uming ttf-baekmuk ttf-charis-sil \
ttf-dejavu ttf-google-fonts-opinionated-git ttf-hanazono ttf-joypixels \
ttf-koruri ttf-liberation ttf-monapo ttf-sazanami ttf-tibetan-machine \
typescript typescript-language-server-bin unicode-emoji unrar usbutils \
valgrind vscode-css-languageserver-bin vscode-html-languageserver-bin w3m wget \
x11-ssh-askpass xclip xdg-user-dirs-gtk xfce-polkit xidlehook xfsprogs \
xorg-drivers xorg-server xorg-xinit xss-lock xvkbd xwallpaper \
yaml-language-server-bin zeal

These are the minimum I would have in my own installation. You can edit it however you want. Let’s install those.

printf "\n# Installing needed packages ##################################################\n\n"
sudo pacman -Syu
for pkg in $PACKAGES
    paru -S --needed $pkg
end

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/awesome
$HOME/.config/awesome/theme
$HOME/.config/emacs/private
$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/org/capture

Our code to generate such directories looks like this:

mkdir -p $HOME/.config/awesome
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/awesome/theme
mkdir -p $HOME/.config/emacs/private
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/org/capture

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

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

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 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 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 Setting up Emacs: Installing Spacemacs

Now, the first thing we want to do with Emacs is install its Spacemacs distribution. We’ll clone its develop branch into ~/.config/emacs. We need to do this prior to our dotfiles’ cloning because of some submodules that are cloned within our ~/.config/emacs directory, and git won’t let us clone Spacemacs in an already existing and non-empty directory. To make sure it isn’t one, let’s delete any potentially existing ~/.config/emacs directory:

printf "\n# Installing Spacemacs ########################################################\n\n"
rm -rf $HOME/.config/emacs $HOME/.emacs* .spacemacs

Now we can clone Spacemacs:

git clone --branch develop https://github.com/syl20bnr/spacemacs ~/.config/emacs

And we can restore what might have been deleted in our ~/.emacs.d/private directory:

yadm checkout -- ~/.config/emacs/private/

3.9 Set up dotfiles’ git repository

3.9.1 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 [email protected]:phundrak/dotfiles.git
yadm remote add github [email protected]: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

3.9.2 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

3.10 Enable some services

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

3.10.1 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

3.10.2 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

3.10.3 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

3.10.4 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

3.10.5 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

3.10.6 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

3.10.7 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

3.12 Install packages from git

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

mkdir -p ~/fromGIT

3.12.1 Reveal.JS

I sometimes use Reveal.JS to make presentations, and I set its location in my dotspacemacs file 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

3.13 Install Rust

3.13.1 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

3.13.2 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
rustup component add rust-src
rustup component add rls
rustup component add clippy

Here is the code to do so:

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

3.14 Install some python packages

Some packages will be needed from pip in order to get our Emacs setup correctly working.

Package Why
python-language-server[all] Python LSP packages
pyls-isort Import sortings for LSP
pyls-mypy Mypy linter for LSP
pyls-black Black plugin for pyls

Let’s install them locally for our user.

printf "\n# Installing Python packages ##################################################\n\n"
pip install --user python-language-server[all] pyls-isort pyls-mypy pyls-black

3.15 Set up Chicken (Scheme interpreter/compiler)

Chicken needs to be set up before being used. First, we need to install its documentation.

printf "\n# Setting up Chicken ##########################################################\n\n"
chicken-install -s apropos chicken-doc

Then, we’ll complete the documentation like so:

cd (chicken-csi -b -e "(import (chicken platform))" -p "(chicken-home)")
curl https://3e8.org/pub/chicken-doc/chicken-doc-repo.tgz | sudo tar zx

3.16 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.

3.16.1 Install fisher

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

printf "\n# Installing fisher ###########################################################\n\n"
curl https://git.io/fisher --create-dirs -sLo ~/.config/fish/functions/fisher.fish

3.16.2 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
jethrokuan/z Pure-fish rupa/z-like directory jumping
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
oh-my-fish/theme-bobthefish A Powerline-style, Git-aware fish theme optimized for awesome.
printf "\n# Installing Fisher Extensions ################################################\n\n"
fisher add decors/fish-colored-man
fisher add franciscolourenco/done
fisher add jethrokuan/fzf
fisher add jethrokuan/z
fisher add jorgebucaran/fish-bax
fisher add jorgebucaran/fish-getopts
fisher add laughedelic/pisces
fisher add oh-my-fish/theme-bobthefish

Author: Lucien Cartier-Tilet

Email: [email protected]

Created: 2021-04-02 ven. 19:36