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Arch Linux — Learnings While Installing

Danilo Assis
Fullstack developer in Javascript: Node, React, GraphQL
・3 min read

TL;DR

Learning I had when installing Arch Linux.

  • what isdev/sdx
  • fdisk and cfdisk
  • mbr vs gpt drives
  • useful commands

Please, note this: If you are looking for a tutorial to help into the installation process, go with the official docs of ArchWiki. And, if needs a help feel free to call me on Twitter.

Let’s go

I made an upgrade on my computer and add a new SSD to be dedicated only to Linux. Since I was going to have to format the current HD with a partition for Ubuntu 20.04, I soon decided to migrate to Arch Linux.

Arch is a more robust version that brings in its installation the minimum necessary to run the system in a terminal. At the end of the installation process if you want a GUI you can choose one of your own and move on.

During this post that I write to you, it was my second installation of Arch Linux. Just like the first one, I went through some very simple bullshit that could have been avoided.

Therefore, the idea of this post is to explain things that I understood during the process and that can help you.

Scenario

Just for context, my hardware schema looks like this:

  • SSD 120GB with Win10
  • HD 1TB for Wn10 file storage like games, whatever
  • SSD 480GB for Linux only

dev/sdc

Right off the bat, something important whether on Ubuntu or Arch, interesting to understand is the dev/sdc. These are our storage disks.

sd originates from SCSI disk and for each disk on your machine, there will be a representation for that.

Following the scenario before mentioned, it is right to expect three dev/sdx for each disk. Normally, each is represented as a letter.

An easy to check this is running the lsblk . After run into my terminal, I got the following result:

$ lbsk
  • sda: HD 1TB
  • sdb: SSD with windows
  • sdc: new SSD for Linux

fdisk and cfdisk

fdisk is the command used to manage our partitions. With it, we can select the sd that we want to work on and create the partitions needed.

The cfdisk performs the same functions in addition to providing a graphical interface:

MBR vs GPT

During the installation of your partitions, you can find acronyms such as MBR and GPT.

MBR is the acronym for “MASTER REBOOT RECORD” and is found on older devices, usually used up to windows 8. Being suitable for installation on older devices.

GPT is the acronym for “GUID Partition Table” and is the most recent being inserted from windows 10. New devices like SSD already have this technology and it is the most suitable for use since the number of partitions has a greater capacity to be created.

Both indicate the way in which data will be written to your devices.

Useful Commands

Some simple commands that I found interesting to use and that also helped me during the process.

  • fatlabel -> used to set a label for FAT type partitions
  • e2label -> used to set a label for ext type partitions

Installing

The installation of Arch Linux is a bit more verbose and more laborious since you need to make all the necessary configurations via terminal. However, it is still steps that with good attention you can get through them easily

  • configure the keyboard, language, and timezone
  • prepare the partitions
  • mount
  • access arch-chroot and mount / mnt by installing the minimum necessary.

By last, following a tutorial according to your need, you can configure dual boot and its interface.

For the dual boot, I choose GRUB. Looking for an interface I chose SDDM and KDE Plasma

My final configs:

  • terminal: guake
  • search: krunner
  • text editor: notepadqq
  • ide: webstorm
  • db: mongodb
  • nvm, node e yarn
  • jdk 15.

Nex text for Arch Linux:

  • how to install mongodb into arch linux

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