Saturday, 15 August 2015

RPi2 Arch Linux

These are my notes right now on how to install Arch Linux on the Raspberry Pi 2 as well as set up a GUI


SD Card Set Up:

follow installation instructions here(Linux, you can make a bootable usb and follow this, i will try to release a plain .img of RPi2Arch in the future)

Set up Arch: Update Arch, Create User, Change Time, Video Driver:

walk through initial installation here, we didn't mount any extra partitions, ignore swap as the constant read/write damages your sd card.

if you are planning on using a window manager/desktop environment install

xf86-video-fbturbo (experimental rpi video driver) or xf-video-fbdev (ordinary driver)


sudo pacman -S xorg-xinit (automatically start the window manager after login) xorg-server

Window Manager:

  • Openbox(similar to windows, light and configurable(look into obconf))
    • mkdir -p .config/openbox (makes directory for your openbox config files)
    • sudo pacman -S openbox (install openbox itself)
    • cp /etc/xdg/openbox/* .config/openbox/ (copy files to your openbox config directory)
    • sudo pacman -S (proograms you want to install like a panel ie Tint2)
    • nano /config/openbox/autostart (edit what programs start with openbox)
    • scroll down and add tint2 & to the bottom, Ctrl+X to quit, press Y to save and enter to overwrite the file

  • i3(another window manager, ignore this if you already installed openbox):
    • sudo pacman -S i3-wm dmenu(as a light application launcher, use Mod+d to use)
    • nano ~/.config/i3/config, scroll down and delete the last part about starting i3status

  • cp /etc/X11/xinit/xinitrc .xinitrc (copy the original xinitrc to .xinitrc folder)
  • nano .xinitrc (configure 'startx' to run the window manager)
  • scroll to the bottom, delete everything starting at twm & as we didn't install them, 
  • then add exec openbox-session or i3 depending on what you chose, Ctrl+X, Y, enter.
  • press startx to start the window manager


Here is a helpful list of the packages installed in the default raspbian environment
  • Install Yaourt for easy access to AUR (Arch Linux User Repository) files
  • Terminal Emulator - Xterm(default), rxvt-unicode(if you're looking for a bit more)
  • IDE/Text Editor - Geany
  • Image Viewer & Background Manager - Feh
  • Player - omxplayer (requires xorg-xset and xorg-xrefresh, VLC is too laggy)
    • no gui, run in terminal with: omxplayer -o (type hdmi or local for jack audio) (directory of video file)
  • System Panel - Tint2
  • File Manager - PCManFM, or ranger for a terminal experience (you can enable previews too)
  • Web Browser - Firefox(laggy), Midori(has no youtube), iceweasel(not as laggy as Firefox), i have yet to try pale moon and epiphany browsers, apparently Minimal Kiosk Browser works well with YouTube but i can only find it on Debian at the moment.
  • Audio Driver - alsa-utils alsa-firmware alsa-lib alsa-plugins
    • adjust audio with alsamixer and change input with amixer cset numid=3 x
      • where x = 0 for auto, 1 for analog, 3 for HDMI
desktop uses about 34mb of ram in i3
edit tint2

GPIO  for more info
download the tar.gz file
extract the file
open the folder and create text file PKGBUILD
paste this into PKGBUILD:

Now open up geany and go to
[Build] - [Set Build Commands] - [Execute commands]
Change 'python "%f"' to ' sudo python "%f" ' 
now you have RPi.GPIO working and your scripts in Geany will run with root privledge (be careful) 

follow this for openbox install (no need for python2-xdg just add programs into startup file)
optimize boots

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