I use ArchLinux on my 2 dev machines. One is an old Alienware M17xR4 that somehow is still alive and that I can only use plugged in (or on battery for like 20 minutes) and a powerful desktop machine that I share with Windows for playing videogames.
The reasons why I use Linux for development are basically because I enjoy it. I've never used Windows for development so I don't know if I would enjoy it and I've used Mac... and I just don't like it. I feel MacOS gets in my way all the time and doesn't always allow me to do what I want to do.
The reason why I use Arch? ... I don't know and I honestly ask myself this question every time I need to reinstall the system. But whenever I try something else I end up coming back to my Arch setup. It is just customized the way I like it.
Installing Arch isn't easy or straightforward, you normally need to know what you're doing and last time I tried it took me around 3 hours because I'm dummy and lazy and I still don't understand EFI or how to make Grub work with it (spoiler: I used refind).
In order to avoid this pain again I've decided to write this down so that I don't need to go through the same again 🤷
Most of it is just copied from the awesome Arch installation guide, with just a pinch of what I want and explaining the same steps just for myself (if you want to install Arch please go and use the installation guide instead of this!)
If wifi just works
If not, make sure your Ethernet cable or mobile tethering is connected. Arch will enable DHCP for the Ethernet devices it finds them (that includes USB tethering) while it boots. You only need to:
systemctl restart dhcpcd@enps0swhatever
check you have ping to
timedatectl set-ntp true
Use cfdisk. Important, make sure
/var is not on the SSD. There's probably no reason for that on modern SSDs? I don't know, it just scares me.
I use these partitions.
/dev/sda is the normal HDD and
/dev/sdb is the 32GB SSD.
/dev/sda1, 1G, /boot/efi /dev/sda2, 1G, /boot /dev/sda3, 100G, /var /dev/sda4, all, /home /dev/sdb1, all, /
/dev/sdais the Windows installation disk on SSD
/dev/sdbis the Windows storage HDD
/dev/sdcis the Linux SSD
/dev/sddis the Linux storage HDD
EFI exists already from the Windows partition, don't format it, just mount it.
/dev/sda2, /boot/efi /dev/sdc1, all, / /dev/sdd1, 300G, /var /dev/sdd2, all, /media/store /dev/sda4, exists, /media/windows /dev/sdb2, exists, media/store_win
pacstrap /mnt base linux linux-firmware neovim vi zsh networkmanager sudo genfstab -U /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab
On desktop remember to add
linux-headers base-devel broadcom-wl-dkms to the list of pacstrap packages. Because I have a broadcom wireless card and otherwise I don't have wifi on my first boot (and it is a pain to configure it later!)
arch-chroot /mnt ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Madrid /etc/localtime hwclock --systohc nvim /etc/locale.gen # uncomment en_US.UTF-8 and es_ES.UTF-8 locale-gen echo "LANG=en_US.UTF-8" > /etc/locale.conf echo "my-hostname" > /etc/hostname
127.0.0.1 localhost ::1 localhost 127.0.1.1 my-hostname
I tipically install grub, but last time I wasn't able to do it and ended up installing refind.
This just worked on the laptop 🤷
pacman -S grub efibootmgr grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --bootloader-id=GRUB --efi-directory=/boot/efi grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
pacman -S refind refind-install
/boot/refind_linux.conf and make sure it has a line that refers to the
"Boot using default options" "root=PARTUUID=978e3e81-8048-4ae1-8a06-aa727458e8ff rw quiet splash"
PARTUUID can be found with
Sometimes I add this theme https://github.com/bobafetthotmail/refind-theme-regular
Exit from chroot
umount -R /mnt reboot
systemctl enable NetworkManager systemctl restart NetworkManager nmcli device wifi rescan nmcli device wifi list nmcli device wifi connect SSID-Name password wireless-password
visudo # to enable sudo to members of wheel group userad -m -G wheel -s /bin/zsh username passwd username
Then exit and login with this new user
If you're here and you're not me, ⚠️stop⚠️. This is how to install my own personal dot-files and you don't want them, believe me.
sudo pacman -S python python-pip python-neovim git base-devel git clone https://github.com/franciscoj/dot-files ~/Documents/src/dot-files cd ~/Documents/src/dot-files ./boostrap/linux.sh sudo DIFFPROG="nvim -d" pacdiff sudo pip install dotbot dotbot -c install.conf.yaml
sudo systemctl enable lightdm