The Arch journey

It’s already the second month of 2017 apparently and it’s been pretty much three months since my last posting. Not a lot has happened, school has been going just fine and I’ve actually given in and fully adopted Arch Linux. Or at least as fully as I can, I do still have to use Windows at school but you get the idea.

I decided to go and try to install Arch Linux on my school/work laptop for the first time on the new year’s eve and I was bit surprised how painless the whole process was. It took me less than two hours to get the installation done and not too long after that to get the graphical environment running (Gnome 3). Since the installation has been quite solid since that I even made the decision of at least trying to go full Linux on my home machines and started the process of migrating my Windows 10 desktop to an Arch machine. The install itself was again quite painless, took actually less than hour this time around but a few problems arouse. On my desktop I have an actual dedicated graphics card, Nvidia GTX 970 and to fully utilize it to its potential I had to install the proprietary drivers. Well, the drivers themselves installed just fine but for some reason I couldn’t get the graphical environment, more precisely display manager (LightMD) to start. Luckily I was somewhat familiar with the systemd services and logging process since we used CentOS as an operating system of choice at school to study Linux. I did some digging in the journalctl and apparently the culprit was just a single missing x-server related package, which was preventing the connection to be made for xorg and then launching LightDM.

And with that said, now I am quite happy Arch user. Got myself a nice Mate 1.16 desktop environment, working graphics drivers and all the programs I need. The hope is that this installation will be used for quite some time, I am not too afraid for some things to broke every now and then, I should be able to if not fix those at least get around them until I do have the know-how of what happened with the updates. I do plan to keep my laptop bit more clean when it comes to the packages installed, just so it might survive more updates without anything mission critical breaking. Though to be honest there isn’t too many things that would be affected by a breakage since most of the work is done either with the Google cloud applications or at school using the Windows machines and the Cisco devices. So not too much to lose other than an hour or two of getting the laptop back running.

But for now I say my farewells and hopefully next time I am writing here I do still have the Arch installed on my desktop as well, I do not want to give in to the temptation of installing Windows again, even if it means “sacrificing” some more or less useful applications (e.g. Adobe Digital Editions and the software related getting the DRM protected e-books usable on e-reader).