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Arch Linux on ThinkPad R500

Step 1

Prepare USB stick with core system, follow Boot from this USB and run /arch/setup.

Step 2

Partition the harddisk according to your needs. I have

  • 100 MB boot partition (ext2)
  • 2 GB swap (swap must be large enough to hold all your RAM in order to use pm-utils !)
  • 512 MB AFS cache (ext3)
  • 40 GB for system (ext4)
  • and rest for /home (ext4).
Step 3

Installed base and base-devel package groups. Did basic configuration and rebooted from disk.

Step 4

Editted /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist (chose a convenient mirror) and updated system and installed new packages: kde, xorg, mesa, vim, gvim, xf86-video-intel, bash-completion, mc, firefox, fuse, sshfs, curlftpfs, xmms, mplayer, hugin, enblend, jhead, geeqie, texlive, fonts (artwiz-fonts, font-bitstream-speedo, gsfonts, texlive-fontsextra, texlive-genericextra, ttf-btistream-vera, ttf-cheapskate, ttf-dejavu, ttf-fireflysung, ttf-junicod, ttf-ms-fonts, xorg-fonts-100dpi, xorg-fonts-75dpi, xorg-fonts-alias, xorg-fonts-encodings, xorg-fonts-misc, xorg-fonts-type1), fontforge, audacity (+ plugins ladspa, swh-plugins, cmt), gimp, inkscape, go-openoffice, lsof, ntp, cups, jre and jdk, flashplugin, colorgcc, cmake, proj, gdal, xerces-c, most, dnsutils, parted, timidity++, sudo, kdesvn.

vimperator installed as a plugin to firefox.

From AUR: merkaartor, garmindev, qlandkartegt, gdigi, lib32-skype (required lib32), bin32-wine.

Step 5, create users
Step 6, SSH configuration


Look here for password-less configuration.

I'm using SSHFS and in particular this script to mount remote disks. The -o reconect option is crucial if you want to use it along with suspend/hibernate.

Step 7, Xorg configuration

To start, follow and then change graphics driver to intel.

To set up KMS, look at

Touchpad Install xf86-input-synaptics. Here you can find hints for configuration and here is my configuration file (I don't like my touchpad producing 'clicks'). Recently (April 2011), I realized that this solution doesn't work any more. I've managed the same with the files in /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d, notably 10-synaptics.conf.

To disable the touchpad while typing, try this (taken from here)

syndaemon -i 2 &

For managing screens, I made this little script: screenManager.

Step 8, automatic mounting

Install HAL and D bus, see

I tried autofs, see, but not much success yet.

Step 9, wireless

Install wireless_tools and iwlwifi-5000-ucode, more information on Install netcfg, see more on Install networkmanager and kdeplasma-applets-networkmanager, for set up follow

In the end, the NetworkManager didn't really work for wireless connection. It failed to establish a default route. It could have been bypassed by doing it manually, but it was not really comfortable. A bit of googling unveiled that I'm not the only one with this problem. On of the suggestion was to try out the Wicd. I did so and it seems to work out-of-box.

The iwlwifi-5000-ucode does not exist anymore, the drivers are now part of the kernel. Optionally, one can use compat-wireless package.

Step 10, sound

Install alsa-lib and alsa-utils, for configuration see

Disable pc speaker: MODULES=(… !pcspkr).

The annoying suspend/resume beeps can disabled in BIOS.

Step 11, AFS

Install kernel26-headers and then build openafs package from AUR. Configuration hints here.

Step 12, bluetooth

I followed this

To use it with a Nokia phone, try packages gnokii and gnocky (see more at Bluetooth_and_Gnokii). Use hcitool to scan for active devices and obtain their addresses.

Step 13, power management
Step 14

For disk shock protection, install hdapsd from AUR, here is my configuration hdapsd.

Step 15, finger reader
Step 16, printers

Install hplip and foomatic-db.

Step 17, ntpd

With no doubt it is good to have the system time well synchronized. For example AFS needs it. To achieve this, one can use NTP. Here is my ntp configuration file. Look here for NTP configuration with wicd (and substitute ntpd for openntpd). Don't forget to make the scripts executable.

Step 18, DigiTech RP250, my guitar effect box

The effect has been recognized automatically as a sound card after having it plugged. With a tool like Audacity, one can select which card to use for playback and recording.

With Audacity, I encountered a problem when I tried to have a playback and record through the effect simultaneously. Recording while having playback through the laptop sound card worked well. I played a bit with the settings of Audacity and it seems that setting

Audio to buffer: 20 ms
Latency correction: -20 ms

(in Audacity Preferences/Recording) solves the issue.

Install gdigi from AUR to have an equivalent of X-Edit.

en/linux/arch_r500.txt · Last modified: 2011/04/28 14:36 (external edit)