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After some tests on opnBSD/FreeBSD/TrueOS (the 2 last for zfs usage) I need to have a working laptop with Rolling Release method, simple to tweak and maintain. I will use archlinux-2016.12.01-dual.iso, install with btrfs and switch to openrc instead of systemd Process is painful… an easier way would be to use archbang Linux…


I enhanced the almighty Thinkpad with a Crucial M4 mSATA Drive of 256GB I intend to put the system on this SSD and home, swap and /var on the spinning 500GB disk :) like so:

Partition table

SSD1sdb1ARCHROOT256+GBBTRF / for Archlinux
HD1sda1SWAP32GBLinux Swapswap for Linux
HD2sda2VAR50GBBTRFS/var for Linux
HD3sda3HOME389GBNTRFS/home for Linux

Simple :-)

Base install


ssh root login

ssh root login is already allowed grab the ip

ip addr show

Start sshd

systemctl start sshd

change root passwd


Now you can connect remotely from another host set the partition using cfdisk like displayed in the table above


Let's format all these partitions in btrfs/swap format with LABELS!!.

mkfs.btrfs -L ARCHROOT /dev/sdb1
mkfs.btrfs -L ARCHVAR /dev/sda2
mkfs.btrfs -L ARCHHOME /dev/sda3
mkswap -L SWAP /dev/sda1

Mount partitions

mkdir /mnt/{home,var}
mount /dev/sdb1 /mnt
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt/var
mount /dev/sda3 /mnt/home
swapon /dev/sda1

Check all is fine:


Thank you systemd for this horrible output….

Base system

Then install base packages plus base-devel packages

pacstrap /mnt base base-devel


For SSD tweaks and to make it shine: SSD

  • generate fstab
genfstab -L -p /mnt >> /mnt/etc/fstab

Yes I use Labels, UUID sucks

  • check fstab for options and label in place (for me it did a good job)


I use Syslinux since it does its job well and didn't fall into useless overkill configuration files and tools! Syslinux

pacstrap /mnt syslinux



Let's go to our new system!

arch-chroot /mnt 
  • /etc/hostname
 echo 30L3 > /etc/hostname 
  • /etc/locale.gen

I'll use en_US.utf-8/iso8859 so uncomment:

en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8
en_US ISO-8859-1

The generate locales

# Keep the default sort order (e.g. files starting with a '.'
# should appear at the start of a directory listing.)
  • /etc/vconsole.conf

Default keyboard in console (US variant international … with a different mapping than on X11! Well done)

echo "KEYMAP=us-acentos" > /etc/vconsole.conf
  • /etc/localtime
ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/Europe/Paris /etc/localtime
  • /etc/mkinitcpio.conf

Double check the content, then just regenerate it in case …

mkinitcpio -p linux

got scary:

==> ERROR: file not found: `fsck.btrfs'
==> WARNING: No fsck helpers found. fsck will not be run on boot.
  • /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg

I left it by default (for now ;-) ) WARNING: No fsck helpers found. fsck will not be run on boot.
:!: Check that Linux start from /dev/sdb1 not sdaX … Then the magic:

 /usr/sbin/syslinux-install_update -i -a -m


Syslinux BIOS install successful
Attribute Legacy Bios Bootable Set - /dev/sdb1
Installed MBR (/usr/lib/syslinux/bios/gptmbr.bin) to /dev/sdb

if errors, install gptfdisk package or what's required :)

  • root password


Umount stuff cleanly

First use Ctrl+D to escape from the chroot

umount /mnt/var /mnt/home /mnt

Now is the time to light a candle and type



Access remotely:

 pacman -Sy openssh 

Enable it at boot


useradd -g users -m -s /bin/bash warnaud
passwd warnaud

use visudo to set appropriate rights for the user

Install some X

pacman -S xorg-server xorg-apps xorg-fonts xorg-fonts-100dpi xorg-fonts-75dpi xorg-twm xorg-xclock xorg-xinit xorg-xdm xterm xf86-video-intel xorg-xmessage xorg-xcalc xorg-xfontsel xorg-utils vim We have intel video card so we need to add some modules at boot for KMS

vi /etc/mkinitcpio.conf

Acceleration method

vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf
Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Intel Graphics"
   Driver      "intel"
   Option      "AccelMethod"  "sna"
 vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf 
Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "evdev keyboard catchall"
        MatchIsKeyboard "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "evdev"
        Option "XkbLayout" "us"
        Option "XkbVariant" "intl"



pacman -S xorg-xdm

Enable systemd service

systemctl enable xdm.service


Power consumption for Intel Graphics:

vi /etc/modprobe.d/modprobe.conf
options i915 i915_enable_rc6=1 i915_enable_fbc=1 lvds_downclock=1

Rebuild the kernel:

mkinitcpio -p linux && mkinitcpio -p linux-ck



Reference: Install the driver:

pacman -S xf86-input-wacom

FIXME la suite …

Disable Touchpad

Deactivate the useless touchpad:

 vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf 
Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "evdev touchpad catchall"
        MatchIsTouchpad "off"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "evdev"

FIXME Check alternate solution:

TrackNav enhancement

This hack will enable scrolling using the middle button + the TrackPoint™®©

vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-thinkpad.conf
Section "InputClass"
    Identifier	"Trackpoint Wheel Emulation"
    MatchProduct	    "TPPS/2 IBM TrackPoint|DualPoint Stick|Synaptics Inc. Composite TouchPad / TrackPoint|ThinkPad USB Keyboard with TrackPoint|USB Trackpoint pointing device"
    MatchDevicePath	    "/dev/input/event*"
    Option		    "EmulateWheel"        "true"
    Option		    "EmulateWheelButton"  "2"
    Option		    "Emulate3Buttons"	  "false"
    Option		    "XAxisMapping"	  "6 7"
    Option		    "YAxisMapping"        "4 5"

Other software

Archlinuxfr repository

We need yaourt to install a bunch of aur packages for openrc

vi /etc/pacman.conf
SigLevel = Never
Server =$arch

\o/ No signature


pacman -S sudo
root ALL=(ALL) ALL
someuser ALL=(ALL) ALL

Just add the 'someuser' line and change by the user you need

Compilation options

:!: just for fun not really mandatory Reference:

vi /etc/makepkg.conf


# -march=native also sets the correct -mtune=
CFLAGS="-march=native -O2 -pipe -fstack-protector --param=ssp-buffer-size=4 -D_FORTIFY_SOURCE=2"

Modify MAKEFLAGS (4 = output of nproc)


:!::!::!::!::!::!: WORK IN PROGRESS :!::!::!::!::!::!::!::!:

Switch to openrc

bye bye systemd!

yaourt -S openrc-sysvinit

This will install sysvinit also. This will conflict with systemd crap, remove it:

Remove systemd-sysvcompat? [y/N] y
 yaourt -S openrc

use openrc-git to be super bleeding edge :) </code> Next, install some arch services + network service tools

 yaourt -S openrc-arch-services-git net-tools

openrc & bootloader

I use syslinux, the trick is to add init=/usr/bin/init-openrc to the kernel parameters of your bootloader configuration file for me on /boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg:

LABEL arch-ck
        MENU LABEL Arch Linux CK
        LINUX ../vmlinuz-linux-ck-ivybridge
        APPEND root=/dev/sdb1 ro resume=/dev/sda1 vga=792 init=/usr/bin/init-openrc
        INITRD ../initramfs-linux-ck-ivybridge.img quiet vga=current ipv6.disable=1 elevator=bfq pcie_aspm=force acpi_backlight=vendor

After a reboot, systemd is gone LOL

rc-update add udev sysinit
rc-update add dcron default
rc-update add dbus default
rc-update add alsa default
rc-update add syslog-ng default

Then it is safe to reboot ;)

Nightmare after reboot, first xdm do not work/start… second network card naming is the same as systemd…


os/archlinux/30l3-nosystemd.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/29 20:01 by warnaud