10 things to do after installing Archbang 2012.12

Installing Archbang is WAY too easy, so you might wonder what to do next … here’s some ideas ;)

  1. Optimize mirrorlist – the Arch wiki has a script that generates a mirror list sorted by speed and update status. Run the script and copy the result to /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist (don’t forget to make a backup copy of the old list with all mirrors)
  2. Enable multilib – if you want to install 32 Bit binary packages (like e.g. printer drivers) you need to enable multilib support in /etc/pacman.conf – for details consult the Arch wiki
  3. Install Pepper Flash - unfortunately Adobe only supports Flash on Linux for Google, so get google-chrome or chromium-pepper-flash-stable from the AUR. It really makes a difference, especially on low end hardware like a netbook
  4. Install fontsttf-droid and ttf-liberation will significantly improve the looks of your web pages (and Google docs). If you absolutely need Windows fonts, install ttf-ms-fonts and ttf-vista-fonts (the latter will extract newer MS fonts like Calibri from Powerpoint viewer)
  5. Lock on lid close – suspend works out of the box, but the computer isn’t locked. To fix this, you have to create a new systemd service that will be triggered on suspend / hibernate, as described in this blog post (translation here - but copy the source code from the original post). After enabling the service with systemctl enable slock you laptop should lock on close. If not, you probably forgot to fill in your username instead of the placeholder
  6. Locking screensaver – to automatically lock your screen e.g. after 7 minutes, install xautolock and add the following line to your autostart.sh: xautolock -time 7 -locker slock
  7. Sync clock – install NTP and enable with systemctl enable ntpd – now your clock should be synced over the internet
  8. Extend the menu – these 2 additional menu entries might come handy (use “execute” action in the graphical menu editor) …
    - Refresh Application Menu: bash -c “(openbox-menu -p -o abapps.xml -t ‘lxterminal -e’) & (sleep 3 && killall -e openbox-menu) &”
    (works without the ‘kill’, but you end up with a lot of openbox-menu processes over time)
    - Restart tint2: bash -c “(killall -e tint2) && (sleep 1s && tint2) &”
  9. Logout with Super+X – if you are an old Chrunchbang user like me, you don’t want to miss the Super+X shortcut for logout – you can easily configure this using the graphical menu editor from the Preferences/Openbox menu, and change the execute- action to oblogout. The desktop help text can be changed in ~/.conkyrc
  10. Install pcmanfm – spacefm might be a great file manager, but after accidentally deleting my home directory while trying to remove a favorite, I decided to go back to pcmanfm. After installing, you have to change the Super+F shortcut with the Keyboard Editor from the Preferences/Openbox menu. To enable auto mount for USB sticks etc., add the following line to your autostart file: dbus-launch pcmanfm -d –no-desktop &
That’s it, should be enough to get you started. There’s always room for improvement, and an Arch system is never really finished anyway, so be creative (and share your ideas in a comment, if you like).

2 Comments

  1. Naglis says:

    Hi,
    thanks for the article! I’ve found it useful.
    Just a small hint – I guess it should be “systemctl enable ntpd”, not “sytemctl enable ntp”. (Please also note the missing ‘s’ in ‘systemctl’).
    (see also: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Network_Time_Protocol_daemon#Running_as_a_daemon)