Setting up Xorg, Gnome, Pulseaudio and codecs on Arch Linux

After posting the latest Arch Installation tutorial, I realized I should probably post a list of the commands I used, and what some of them do, so here you go!

Check network connection:
ping -c 3 #see if you're connected
ifconfig -a #make sure you have an IP address
dhcpcd eth0 #request a DHCP IP address for eth0
nano /etc/rc.conf #check ethernet settings

Check mirrors:
pacman -S reflector curl #install reflector to get best mirrors, curl as a dependency
cd /etc/pacman.d #move to mirrorlist directory
cp mirrorlist mirrorlist.backup #back up your mirrorlist
reflector -c %own% -f 6 > mirrorlist #return the fastest 6 repos in your country, pipe output to mirrorlist file
nano mirrorlist #make sure mirrorlist looks right
pacman -Syy #force mirrors to update
pacman -Syu #update the system

Add multilib to your system: (optional, if you are on 64-bit and want some 32-bit native apps)
nano /etc/pacman.conf
Uncomment these lines in the file (or add it, if it's not already there):
Include = /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist

Add a user to the system
useradd -m -g users -G audio,lp,optical,storage,video,wheel,games,power -s /bin/bash USERNAME
pacman -S sudo #if you didn't install it earlier
EDITOR=nano visudo #add "wheel" to the sudoers group
uncomment the line "%wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL" #remove the # symbol

From here on, things are entirely up to you…

Install pulseaudio:
pacman -S pulseaudio
pacman -S alsa-plugins

Install Xorg and drivers:
pacman -S xorg
lspci | grep VGA #to find out what graphics card you're running
startx #test out X, to see if it works

Install fonts:
pacman -S ttf-dejavu #makes fonts a little prettier

Install Gnome:
pacman -S gnome gnome-extra gnome-system-tools
xinit /usr/bin/gnome-session #test running gnome
nano /etc/rc.conf, add "dbus" and "gdm" to DAEMONS line (make sure gdm is the very last one)

Update Pulseaudio for Gnome:
pacman -S pulseaudio-gnome

Reboot and log in as your user account.

Install Firefox:
sudo pacman -S firefox

Install codecs and plugins:
sudo pacman -S mplayer gecko-mediaplayer xine-lib xine-ui libdvdread libdvdcss alsa-oss jre #add flashplugin if you're on 32-bit, or if you want to use the 32-bit one wrapped up on 64-bit

That’s about it, really!

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17 Responses to “Setting up Xorg, Gnome, Pulseaudio and codecs on Arch Linux”

  1. Privacy0 says:

    Yaourt means yoghurt in French. In French, it’s pronounced “yao-oohr.”

    Will try installing Arch today on one of my laptops.

    • TWIL says:

      thanks for the info! :)

      • Rolinh says:

        It is true but in my country (Switzerland), where we speak french too (1/3 of the country) yaourt does not mean anything (actually, we know it is french from France for yoghurt but we do not use this word): we actually say “joghurt” (probably because of a german influence).

        I’ll try to say something more interesting in my next comment ^^

  2. JavaZava says:

    You know?? You just saved me a lot of work. I was about to replay your (the best tutorial I’ve seen for this even if I have seen a lot) video, to write down all the comands you used.

    I think I’ll put your blog as my startup/home page.

  3. Zane says:

    Like JavaZava said, this is saving me some work, was already playing, pausing and skipping the first tutorial. :)
    Thanks for making this for Arch, the beginners wiki is already a bit of a big leap for me, but with this it’s making it a hell of a lot easier. Thumbs up.

  4. Odin-LZS says: this`s great that final someone created a simple arch linux install tutorial.

  5. Randy says:

    this and your videos on setting up arch helped alot, granted im still having hell lol, but at least i got a start thanks to you, much appreciated =)

  6. TWILisawesome says:

    Thanks for the shownotes! Couldn’t watch the video because I didn’t have flash, so I came here!

    Up and running with KDE at the moment.

  7. hfsjansharr(YT) says:

    Woot! Up and running,watching cnn videos on Arch running in virtual machine.Everything works! It’s somehow satisfying compiling an OS yourself,then having everything work! “Bless your face!”

    Thanks man

  8. lutherus says:

    really a wounderfoul tutorial.think this will help a lot of people out there who are traying to install arch.i`m using arch with awesome wm on my laptop and my desktop has debian sid last 7 years.

  9. Delphious says:

    When I tried to add a user adduser -m -g audio,video,wheel,games,power -s /bin/bash “username” it says group does not exist any ideas? otherwise great tutorial.

    • TWIL says:

      You’re using the adduser command instead of useradd. adduser is interactive, so I don’t believe you have to give it any parameters, you just walk through a wizard. However, I just tested that exact command on my Arch system, and it sort of worked, but it tried to create a user named “-m”.
      I’ve always just done it with this sort of command: useradd -m -g users -G audio,lp,optical,storage,video,wheel,games,power -s /bin/bash USERNAME

  10. Mike says:

    The three Arch videos convinced me to give it a try, which I did over the Christmas break. It took a lot of time (which I had) and there is quite a learning curve if you’re not an experienced Linux user. I installed it with LXDE on a 7-year old Thinkpad with a brand-new hard-disk.

    There were some hiccups along the way, but just about everything to help you solve them is there on the wiki. I got stuck trying to install some oddball rpm software (not in the AUR), but someone on the forums got me through that OK. I ended up writing my own PKGBUILD as a result. If you come to the Arch forums prepared with reasonable questions, my experience is that you’ll be treated well.

    I insist on having high quality fonts on my system and would recommend using the Infinality package:

    Also if you are using a laptop, do not forget the important refinements described here:

    There is plenty to tinker with such as fan control, a custom conky setup, and replacing the hideous plain-vanilla icons that come with the stripped-down software packages on Arch.

    I’ve been using ArchLinux for a little over two months. While it has been very satisfying to build a customized system and learn a ton about Linux in the process, one has to be pragmatic when comparing it to other distributions. As an analogy, you could buy a beater car and spend a lot of time and money restoring it to mint condition. No doubt, a very educational and rewarding experience. If, however, you are just looking for reliable, high performance transportation wouldn’t it have been more time-efficient and cost-effective to buy a new or nearly new vehicle instead?

    The same laptop had been running Lubuntu for more than a year. I detect no performance advantage or change in resource demands with LXDE on Arch. Rolling release is an appealing concept, but I have a hunch it might create just as much trouble in the long-run as the hassle of periodic upgrades associated with the major distros. For example, I (and other Arch users) got intermittent kernel panics after upgrading to 2.6.37 (now fixed).

    I will continue to be an Arch user because I am enjoying the experience of fooling around with it, but would not recommend it to anyone who is not of the same inclination.

  11. Michael says:

    Can i please ask for a assistance. I was following your transcript and video for part2 of the arch linux install. It was the section setting up Xorg. I followed the steps and video verbatim and xorg install with no errors as far as i can tell. when i try to run startx, i get an error command not found. if i run the Xorg command itself i get a black screen. I am going to try the irc channel and forum just wanted to hear your two cents.

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