General Tips

Arch Linux is my favourite operating system. It's incredibly minimal, fast, and easy to customise. This page documents some tips that don't belong in any specific category. I may split this content out later.

As always, see my dotfiles for the technically details.

Key software

Installation

I've written my own installation guide based on "Install Arch Linux on XPS 13" by njam. It's also a good idea to follow along with the official installation guide as well.

Laptop battery life

Use tlp for better battery life. The defaults are usually perfectly fine.

sudo pacman -S tlp                # install tlp
sudo systemctl enable tlp.service # enable the service

HiDPI

As far as I'm aware, HiDPI is a shitshow on Arch if you're not using a mainstream desktop environment like KDE or Gnome. Default DPI everywhere is the best solution for now. If scaling is important it's possible to get "good enough" fractional scaling under Arch, i3, and Xorg with the following.

Set xrandr DPI to 96 with xrandr --dpi 96 (likely in .xinitrc) and set the GDK_DPI_SCALE environment variable to a number like 1.25 for 125% scaling (this worked well on my XPS 13 1080p). Firefox should have layout.css.devPixelsPerPx configured to 1.25 in about:config to scale up the UI by 125% to match the GTK DPI scale.

If you're using an external display where these DPI values are different, try not to cry and unset GDK_DPI_SCALE, and the Firefox config, then log out and in.

User management

It's typically better to use groups to manage user's access to certain features.

Arduino/ESP8266

Add the current user to the uucp group. gpasswd -a $USER uucp. See also

Sudo

Install the sudo package.

Instead of adding a specific user to the /etc/sudoers file, use the wheel group to allow users access to sudo command.

  1. Use visudo and uncomment the %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL line.
  2. Add the user with a home folder to the wheel group with useradd -m -G wheel <username>.

AppImage

An .AppImage file is a completely self-contained executable for Linux, similar to an .exe in Windows. Though without installers they're sometimes a bit messy to run.

To install, download the .AppImage file to ~/AppImage/ and run the following:

  1. sudo chmod +x ~/AppImage/MyApp.AppImage
  2. ~/AppImage/MyApp.AppImage

.desktop files are created in ~/.local/share/applications and icons can be found in ~/.local/share/icons/hicolor/*.

Links


Content properties

  • Type: Note
  • Category: Arch Linux
  • Tags: linux
  • Custom slug: None

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