So my other post got you into Arch linux. That’s awesome, except all you have is a giant tty screen.

Lets get a gui on it. This walkthrough will setup Fluxbox as your window manager (WM), no desktop environment. This will get you into a basic GUI, and it will look nice!

First things first, if youre on a 64 bit install (uname -a) you will need to enable the multilib repository:
Do this by uncommenting out the lines in /etc/pacman.conf

  Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

I have a newer nvidia card. Check the Arch wiki to make sure these drivers work for you. The Arch wiki says these drivers are for GeForce 400 series cards and newer

pacman -S nvidia nvidia-libgl lib32-nvidia-libgl nvidia-settings

REBOOT. This will switch you onto the nvidia drivers.
If you have problems at this point, consult the Arch wiki. Make sure you installed the correct drivers for your video-card.

Lets install Xorg now. This is X-Windows, and the base of our GUI (I will be using fluxbox as a windows manager, but you can use any windows manager or desktop environment you like)

pacman -S xorg-server xorg-xinit xorg-xmessage

Lets install some common stuff

pacman -S openssh numlockx firefox

Fluxbox/Window Manager

Ok, we have our drivers and xorg installed, lets get some gui goodness:

pacman -S fluxbox xfce4-terminal numlockx feh

Start fluxbox and numlock when we run startx as our user:
I didnt go over user creation or anything like that, but unless you plan as running as root, you will want to run this command as your normal day-to-day user.

echo numlockx &\nexec startfluxbox > ~/.xinitrc

Since I want to use xfce4-terminal instead of xterm, I need to tell this to fluxbox
You can edit ~/.fluxbox/menuconfig and add this line in the terminal section:


Cool, now generate menus:

fluxbox-generate_menu -B -su -is

Let’s reboot, and run startx

You can set a background now by Right Click-> Fluxbox Menu->Backgrounds
You can setup where it looks for backgrounds by editing ~/.fluxbox/menuconfig
Use man fbsetbg and man feh to learn more about tweaking how your backgrounds show up
tip: You can just use feh while in a folder (or pass it a folder name as an argument) to view pictures. Right click on them to pick if you want tiled, stretch, etc.

I would also recommend changing some style stuff to make everything easier to read:
First, get the liberation font installed:

pacman -S ttf-liberation

Then edit ~/.fluxbox/overlay

! The following line will prevent styles from setting the background.
! background: none
menu.frame.font:                        liberation-18 
menu.title.font:                        liberation-26:bold
toolbar.clock.font:                     liberation-18:bold
toolbar.workspace.font:                 liberation-14  
toolbar.iconbar.focused.font:           liberation-15:bold
toolbar.iconbar.unfocused.font:         liberation-12:bold
window.font:                            liberation-14:bold:italic
menu.bullet:                            triangle         
menu.bullet.position:                   right
window.label.focus.font:                liberation-14:bold

Then pick one of the styles. Im going to recommend BlueNight since I like the boxes and its darker.

First were going to need some tools:

pacman -S alsa-utils lib32-alsa-plugins

Next, add your user to the audio group. usermod -aG audio USERNAME

Find the order that your hardware loaded:


If you want to test your speakers, using the order you get in alsamixer (from pushing F6), you can test them with this:

speaker-test -c 2 -D plughw:1

The plughw:1 means test hardware device 1. Use whatever number you want, but when you hear sound you found your device.

Find your hardware names:

cat /proc/asound/modules
lsmod | grep snd

Set your hardware load order so that your soundcard is loaded as the first one:

echo "options snd_hda_intel index=0" > /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base.conf

Hurray! A usable Arch install!

Making Arch linux more usable

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