Installing Arch on Older Hardware

First post of the New Year. Still got it in January. I moved States, bought a house, got a dog. So blogging has not been at the top of the list. Now that I emptied my storage unit, I found my old buddy Tinman. He’s a Core i7 ‘server’ with two GTX 480’s and 2TB of space. He’s old, but sturdy. He deserves a place of glory. And and Arch installation.

Questions in Arch

I notice myself asking questions about common tasks when I come back to Arch after a long time. I think that makes for a good article as it is possible others have these questions. I’m running out of space and that’s stupid. Not a question, but I’ve felt that exact sentiment. In Arch, this is very likely the Pacman cache going crazy. Every time you upgrade a package in Pacman, it keeps the previous version.

Logging with systemd

You can set your local timezone to look at the files in a sensible way. Everything is stored in UTC. timedatectl list-timezones sudo timedatectl set-timezone America/Los_Angeles timedatectl status Local time: Wed 2018-04-18 11:34:46 PDT Universal time: Wed 2018-04-18 18:34:46 UTC RTC time: Wed 2018-04-18 18:34:45 Time zone: America/Los_Angeles (PDT, -0700) Network time on: yes NTP synchronized: yes RTC in local TZ: no You can see all the ‘units’ that you have using the following command.

Arch Toys

Before going on, make sure you meet the requirements: General recommendations after an Arch install can be found here. I’m going to use this article to collect my list of requirements. Okay, you have to install sudo. You also need a user. And a sudo group. Use visudo to edit the sudoers file. groupadd sudo will add the sudo group. Then you can gpasswd -a drone sudo to add drone to the sudo group.

Installing Arch

I wanted to install Arch because all the cool kids do it. Really, what I wanted was more control over the system and the decisions I had to make to get it to work. In the past, I have favored speed of installation and stability of the installation because I didn’t want to spend time configuring stuff that didn’t relate to what I wanted to accomplish. That basically means LTS Ubuntu.

Running I3

I wanted to switch to i3, a tiling window manager. There are some things that are better, and some things that I miss. I run Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and Unity provides a lot of functionality that makes using the computer effortless. The motivation for using i3 is that, while developing, I end up tiling all my windows in separate workspaces anyways. It seems like the natural functionality of i3 better fits my use-case.