Installing arch linux on my new desktop machine

After using arch linux for quite a time on my laptop it’s time to move on a new machine. So I’ll install arch again this time taking I slightly different approach than on the laptop. So here I’ll descripe all the steps I’ve taken to get arch up and running. It’s more a documentation for myself but it might also be helpful to some.

A short info on the machine first: It’s a AMD A10 7870K with 16GB RAM, 2 SSDs (30GB and 500GB) and 4 TB HDD.

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Installing arch linux on my ThinkPad

After having worked almost 2 years with fedora, I decided to switch to arch linux. In this post I’ve written down the steps I took to install arch linux on my ThinkPad W510.
I’ve just been too annoyed by almost reinstalling the system at least once a year with every release. And there have been kernel panics and gnome shell hangs coming and going and I couldn’t really find out why. I didn’t want to spend much time on that either. I don’t want to say fedora is bad, I just have the feeling that arch linux is better for me. So after trying it in a virtual box I’m going to give it a try on my laptop. This writeup is not intented to be a arch linux install tutorial’ (there are many) or replace the wunderful arch linux wiki. It’s just a note for me what I did but I hope it might me helpful for somebody else as well.
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Luks automount encrypted disk on linux

Sometimes it is useful to automatically mount a luks encrypted disk. In this post I’m going to describe to do this safely.

  • My workstation, a Lenovo Thinkpad W510 has a drive bay, where you either store a hdd or a optical drive. I usually have a hdd placed there but sometimes I need the optical drive. So I don’t want to put the disk into /etc/fstab or /etc/crypttab. But I also don’t want to mount it manually evry time.
  • On my homeserver I use a SATA hotswap disk to make backups. I have two of those hdd, swap them weekly and always keep one of them at my workplace. These backup disks are encrypted of course. When changing the disk I always have ssh onto the server, find the disk, decrypt it and mount it. Would be great if I just had to plug it in.
  • Same ideas also apply to external data or backup disks

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linux on a MacBook – fedora 16

Since version 16 uses fedora grub2 which supports EFI, MacBooks should theoretically boot Fedora directly without using rEFIt. Some older models of Apple Laptops require a little workaround though.

On fedora64.org Jason Montleon is describing how this can work. I’m going to describe as a “copy-paste-tutorial” how I installed Fedora 16 on my 5 year old MacBook using that directions.
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