Arch Linux Part 5

In this post I’ll continue the setup of my Arch linux system by installing a display manager and finishing up some gui customization.

Right now my machine boots right to a shell and I need to manually grab an IP from dhcp, then start my gui. That gets annoying to do every time. I will install a display manager so I can boot directly to a more appealing screen and more easily launch my desktop.

I start by installing my display manager. I went with LXDM because it looks nice and works with different desktop environments easily.

sudo pacman -S lxdm

Once the display manager is installed I enable it using systemd

systemctl enable lxdm

Now with all of that hard work done I reboot my machine and I’m greated with a nicer looking login screen.

arch_lxdm

In the bottom left corner I could select different desktop environments to boot into if I had multiple installed. The screen is customizable but looks fine to me so I’ll leave the defaults.

Now I would like net0 to always grab a dhcp address on startup so I head over to the wiki section on networking. It looks like the simplest way to handle this is with the systemd-networkd.service service. I enable that service first

systemctl enable systemd-networkd.service

Next I create the file /etc/systemd/network/wired.network and put in the following information

[ Match ]
Name=net0

[ Network ]
DHCP=ipv4

Now the next time I reboot the machine I automatically get an IP on net0 from DHCP. My machine is basically ready to start getting tools but I need to install one more critical feature. I have such a nice looking background I would like my non-focused windows to be transparent. i3 doesn’t support this natively so I install a composite manager called compton. It’s just another pacman package so I install it with

pacman -S compton

Just installing compton doesn’t automatically do anything. I need to tell i3 to start compton each time by editing the file ~/.config/i3/config and add the following line

exec compton -f

This will cause compton to start with i3. The -f flag tells compton to use a fade effect when switching windows. It’s just another nice looking feature. Next I edit the compton config file located at /etc/xdg/compton.conf and andjust the “inactive-opacity” value. This give the nice affect of seeing through windows that aren’t focused.

arch_opacity

That will do it for my initial setup of Arch. After this I will begin installing tools to make my new OS a little more useful.

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