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Configuring Arch for a graphical interface

The base iso comes up in a terminal. We want some sort of graphical interface. My (JN) preference is Openbox with tint2 and conky and nitrogen.

  • Openbox: a window manager
  • tint2: a system tray, a task list, a battery monitor and a clock
  • conky: system monitor software for the X Window System. It allows a quite nice display of keyboard shortcuts
  • nitrogen: lightweight desktop background browser and setter.

The above was the approximate configuration of Crunch-Bang linux and its successor Bunsenlabs-Hydrogen, which are Debian based. Archanywhere and Revenge seem to make it easier to install and use XFCE, so those have been tried first.

170429 ArchAnywhere attempts

Attempts to build live ISO using systems installed with ArchAnywhere and Revenge

Session 2017-4-29 (J Nash, S. Murphy, Bruce Davis)

Renewed attempt with archanywhere-dual:

First ran archanywhere installer using the following options:

  Two tries, as first did not give a working graphical interface after
  an install to USB. This records the second try.

      xfce system (NOT archanywhere xfce, which appears incomplete)
      added xfce goodies from wiki
		no multiboot
		Add 32 bit apps support
	Set root pw = rootpw, user pw for "user" = userpw
        GUI pacman pac-aur chosen
	audio group: pavucontrol
	graphics group: feh, imagemagick

Attempt to remaster

The VBox system then seemed to work OK. Now need to remaster.

sudo pacman -S archiso
Chose releng profile for custom install.

Then had a difficulty with the screen not being available to root.

sudo su -
      mkdir archlive
cp -r /usr/share/archiso/configs/releng/archlive/
cd archlive

BUT cannot edit packages because screen ownership is with “user” not “root”.

Back out. Before “sudo su -” run

      xhost +

This is potentially dangerous, since anyone then has access.

sudo su -
export DISPLAY=:0

We managed to make an iso following the instructions and this did boot, but did not have all features desired.

In our running arch system, we could install and run alsaplayer. However settings to adjust the screen did not work properly. We could not get xfce4-panel to work after it apparently installed succcessfully. The “settings” and “display settings” buttons/links still not active.

170319 (trying with Revenge and Arch Anywhere)

Downloaded archanywhere dual and revenge installer 32 as per Scott's notes. Note that revenge was put in a file that was NOT labelled ISO.

Created and installed (chose openbox, but that's maybe a poor idea – XFCE may be easier).

Then tried to run alsaplayer to play music. (alsaplayer is rather dated, but it has nice keyboard shortcuts that are familiar to my dancing colleagues. Moreover, it can slow down or speed up tunes via a keyboard shortcut.)

Note need to create vmshare dir and mount it so I had some mp3 files.

 sudo mount -t vboxsf vmshare vmshare  # from home dir in guest

audacious plays, alsaplayer does not.

To get VBox Guest additions, had to mount /dev/sr0, install gcc and make from base-devel and run the

Managed to mess up arch anywhere.

Try again with Arch Anywhere

Redo with xfce, changing to ALSA audio driver in VBox settings.

Change back to pulseaudio as no sound.

Reboot, but now file manager not working???

Could not get pacman to find mp3 stuff. And some apps not responding.

Try again with Revenge

Choose pulseaudio. LXDE

Tried to insert and run but no linux-headers.

  pacman -S linux-headers # worked!


vboxadd.service failed and locked at end “Reached target Graphical Interface”.


No good. So try again to install.


 linux-lts kernel
 internet chromium
 media audacious
 utilities virtualbox leafpad ntfs-3g

Then insert VBox Guest Additions iso, open terminal and

sudo ./

Seems OK. So reboot.

Yes, screen sizing works. Mounted vmshare after creating. And audacious plays tunes.

pacman -S alsaplayer

does not work, but install implied MPEG support needs libmad.

pacman -S libmad

alsaplayer works!

Try Archanywhere again.

adding libmad got alsaplayer working.

Slightly different interface to revenge.

livedistro/jn170424.txt · Last modified: 2017/05/04 16:38 by jcnash