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[GUIDE] BOINC on Arch Linux with NVIDIA cards  

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
In light of Tex's thread on getting boinc to run in ubuntu, I decided I would make a guide to get it running on arch. So here it is biggrin.gif

NOTE: Arch is not ubuntu. There is a lot of finicky stuff we need to do to get it up and running - unlike ubuntu which pretty much runs out of the box. This guide will show you how to install arch, create a user, install an interface and finally install boinc.

Don't even bother with ATI in linux, their drivers aren't supported well at all and boinc in linux can't use them.

The reason one would want to use Arch is simply because of how little resources it uses. Using Ubuntu gets you their heavily patched version of GNOME 3 - which is known to be buggy and resource hungry. By installing arch, YOU choose what your system will be. Arch is a minimalist installation and indeed, once you've installed it you're left with only a barebones terminal and a couple of tools for networking and compiling things. You build up your system as you go along. You have absolute control over everything, because everything is controlled through simple, well documented text files. On that note, Arch has probably got the most documentation out of all the other Linux flavours out there - https://wiki.archlinux.org/ is your best friend. The best part is, most of the stuff from there can be adapted for other distros too if you know what you're doing.

Many are intimidated by arch's install process, but it really isn't that hard. The nice thing about arch is that you have a choice of downloading the freshly updated system in install, it's called a netinstall. I won't be using this since I'm on capped internet (South Africa ftw), but you can choose to do so if you wish. It just means you won't have the need to update later. So at this point you want to grab an iso from here. You can choose between the netinstall and the core image - if you choose the core image you will need to update your system after the install process is finished. If you're using wireless and have no means of getting a wired connection going, please rather get the core image to save yourself from wireless headaches during the install.

Once that's done you need to make a decision, like with Ubuntu: Are you going to install it next to windows or on a separate drive? For simplicity's sake, I recommend installing arch on its own drive. It will simplify the install process and you don't need to worry about the bootloader nuking your ability to use windows in case something goes wrong. Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any data lost during this install process. You are solely responsible for any damage or loss that you may incur. If you're using a separate drive, I recommend unplugging it for the duration of the install so you don't get mixed up between drives later when we set up our partitions.

Now that that's out of the way, let's get installing! wheee.gif

Note: The first portion of this guide was done by me in a virtual machine, because I already have an arch system set up on my box and I don't want to reformat tongue.gif. The process is exactly the same on a real box. The process of installing boinc and the grub2 portion, however, I HAVE done on my real box in a real arch system, and it DOES WORK FOR ME.

A forenote - if at any time you don't understand something, read here, or post your questions/queries/complaints here and I will do my best to answer them and help you.

Installing Arch

Burn the ISO to disk, pop it in and boot from it. If you chose the multiple architecture ISO like me, you'll get a screen like this:
2zjc4mr.jpg
Of course, we want to select the x86_64 one, as that is the 64bit version. Don't worry about the windows borders over there, like I said I'm doing it in a VM to speed things up and save me from a reinstall. It works exactly the same in a real environment. Note that there is a memtest86+ entry in the menu, so you can use this arch disk to check your rig is stable wheee.gif

After you've done that, you'll see lots of text flash on the screen and then you'll be left with a prompt. At this prompt, type:
Code:
/arch/setup
This will start the install process. You'll be greeted by a blue screen introducing you to what's called the Arch Install Framework. This is as close to a user interface as you're gonna get for now, but it works well. Use the arrow keys to select things and enter for enter, derp tongue.gif. Hit the ok button and you will come to a new menu that looks like this:
2pryy6a.jpg

Hit enter on the first entry, "Select Source". If you chose the netinstall image, you'll want to select the core-remote entry in the menu. If you chose the core image ISO you can either use all the (older) stuff included in the ISO by just hitting the OK button or you can change your mind and select the core-remote option. Your choice. I'm going to select the core-local option that is selected by default. Once you've selected one just hit enter and you'll be taken back to the first AIF screen.

Now we want to set our text editor. Unless you really want to Google a lot or have loads of Linux experience, select nano. It is BY FAR the easiest option of the two. If you choose vi you won't get any help from me, I don't know how to use it tongue.gif Just note that after the install this will not necessarily be your only text editor, it's just the one we're going to use in the console. After you've installed an interface you can choose anything you like.

Next step: setting the clock. The first part is easy, simply find your time zone (for me Africa -> Johannesburg) and hit enter. Now if you're dualbooting windows on your box you'll want to choose localtime in the second bit there, and if your box is going to be a Linux only box select UTC. If the time looks right after that, just press enter, otherwise select manual and set the date and time yourself. After you've done that, choose return to the main menu.

Setting up the hard drive

Now comes the fun part. A reminder: I take no responsibility if anything goes wrong in this step. I've tested this on my box and it worked fine, and I'm sure it works. If you don't trust me you can head to wiki.archlinux.org and see how they do it.

You can take the easy way out and select auto prepare, which as the warning says, will erase any data on the drive. Selecting this with the default sizes will setup your partitions as follows:
Code:
100MB /boot ext2/4
256MB /swap swap
xMB / ext4
therestofyourharddriveMB /home ext4
This will work fine for boinc, but is kinda unnecessary if you're planning on keeping the box going for a long time. The only reason you'd really need a separate /home partition is for when you reformat so you can keep all your stuff and settings (yes, settings are mostly stored in the /home partition) if you reinstall or hop distros.

I'll put the method to do everything manually in a spoiler: Manual setup of partitions (Click to show)
If you want to control your partitions, select manually partition hard drives. This will start up a separate partition editor. Please be very careful with this thing, it can easily wipe your hard drive if you're not careful.

amslg5.jpg
In my VM I have an 8GB (and a half apparently) drive. All you need for a bootable Linux is a partition for / and a separate one for swap. So let's get started.
If you've got any partitions on the drive you want gone, simply select it with the up and down arrow keys and then use the left and right arrow keys to select the delete option. Nothing has been done yet! The changes only take place when you select the write option, so if you make an accident just quit and start over again.

Once you're done deleting any partitions you don't want, you can use all of your space minus the size of your swap to create a partition for /. Select the free space free space -> new -> primary -> beginning and then take the number it gives you there, and subtract however many megabytes you want your swap to be. For me this was 8595.83 - 2048 = 6541.93. Key this number in directly without pressing delete or backspace or anything like that. Once you've done this, make sure your new partition is selected and make it bootable with the bootable option.

For your swap partition you can use the same amount of physical RAM you have but it doesn't really matter as it likely won't be used anyway. I've never used any swap on my machine, except on my laptop when I was compiling something and forgot to tell it to use the memory instead of swap biggrin.gif Use the same procedure as above to create your partition. Free space -> new -> primary -> beginning -> press enter to use the rest of the space available.
Now select your new partition you made and use the type option. If you just get a screen like this:
2elfk74.jpg
It just means your resolution wasn't high enough to fit everything, and you can press any key to get to the next prompt. Then you'll see at the bottom of the screen it will ask you for a number: give it 82. This sets the partition as a swap partition.

You're done: select write, hit enter if you're happy with your setup, type yes, and kiss any hope of getting any data that was on there goodbye (well, you MIGHT be able to get it back...). Now quit cfdisk (that's what the app was called) and you'll go back to the arch install.

Select Manually configure block devices. Make sure dev is selected when it asks you for the partition access method, then press enter.

The biggest partition you see there will be your / partition which will contain /boot, /home and /var. Press enter with it highlighted, hit enter again, select ext4 as the filesystem, and then make sure you set the mount point as / (root). Press enter when it asks for any label or options (leave them both blank). Once you've done that, we'll move on to the swap partition. Select it, hit enter, select swap, and then hit enter when it asks for a label or options. Then scroll down to DONE and press enter. It will moan at you for not creating a /boot partition but you can safely ignore that, it works fine without it. It'll now format your partitions and mount them. You're done with your hard drive! biggrin.gifwheee.gif Return to the main menu.

Packages
In the main menu let's open up the Install Packages section.

Now we're on to selecting what packages you want to install. Everything in arch is installed by packages. You don't do anything with the packages themselves, but you do tell arch's package manager, aptly named pacman, to install what you want later. Don't worry too much about it for now, I'll explain more about pacman later.

It will give you a message telling you how the system works. Press enter. It will now ask you what bootloader you want to install.
Select grub, which is what will be used through the rest of this guide. Then it will ask you what package groups you want to install. Base is selected by default, DO NOT deselect it, but DO select base-devel by scrolling to it and hitting the spacebar. This package contains all the things we're gonna need to compile and install applications later, and is pretty much essential unless you only install stuff from pacman. After you've done this, press enter.

Now it's given you a whole list of applications, asking you which ones you want to install. If you're on wireless, look for the wireless_tools package and select it, otherwise don't worry about this just yet; all the essential ones are selected, so just press enter. You'll be returned to the main menu.

Next step: installing the packages. You don't have to do anything in this step, just press enter. This shouldn't take long at all, pacman is very fast and is usually done within 5-10 minutes. When it's done installing, press enter again.

Configuration: Almost done!
Step 8: Configuring your system. There's nothing overly complicated here, don't worry.

Select the nano editor when it asks you. It will then generate some locales, and then come up with a menu with a bunch of configuration files. We'll go through them in order. First, let me explain what each file is:

rc.conf: This is a general system settings file. It controls what drivers (called modules in Linux) are loaded on startup, what your machine is called (its hostname), network interface details, and what daemons (background essential processes, like services in windows) will start when arch starts. There are some things we need to do in here that I will explain later.
fstab: This file simply tells your systems what filesystems to mount at boot time. Don't change anything in here.
mkinitcpio.conf: This file tells your system what to include in the kernel image. The kernel image is what your system boots from, and it contains (obviously) the Linux kernel itself and any drivers that it needs to boot. These drivers include sata/pata/ide/scsi/raid drivers mostly. Don't change anything in here.
modprobe.conf: This file lets you pass arguments to drivers when they are loaded. For example, some wireless drivers have parameters that need to be set here in order for them to create an AP in ad-hoc mode. This file is empty by default and you don't need to do anything with it.
resolv.conf: This is where you set your DNS servers. Most people won't need to do anything here as DNS is handled by their modem/router.
hosts: Exactly the same as the windows hosts file. When looking up hostnames for web browsing/downloads/etc it will first look if the hostname has an IP in this file before asking the DNS what IP it needs. You can add things in here as you wish but don't remove the localhost lines.
locale.gen: This file controls what locale (language) your system will use. We'll deal with this in a bit.
pacman.conf: This file tells pacman what repositories it should use when looking for packages to install. We need to do stuff in here.
pacman.d/mirrorlist: As the name implies, this is the mirrorlist that pacman will use when downloading things from repositories. You can add your own mirrors here, which I will explain later.
root password: This isn't a file tongue.gif but it is the administrator password for the PC. You do need to change it, and it can be anything you like. Anyone with this password has root access which can DESTROY a system if not careful. I'll explain more later when we get to the users bit.

There are a few things we need to change in some of these:

rc.conf
Open up rc.conf, scroll down with the arrow keys to the line that says HOSTNAME="myhost". Change the myhost bit to anything you like (no spaces or funny characters like \ / * stuff like that), this is what your PC will be known as and will be seen as on the network. This is the "computer name" of windows, in Linux.
Scroll down till you find the network section, there will be a line that says INTERFACE=. Add eth0 to that line afterwards if you're on a wired connection for the boot process to handle setting up your network. Note that this will cause your boot to take much longer because it waits for DHCP.
Then scroll all the way to the bottom where you will find the DAEMONS= line. Right at the beginning of the list there you will see "hwclock". If you chose UTC time earlier in the setup then leave this as is, but if you chose localtime then put an exclamation mark (!) in front of it, so it looks like !hwclock. Once you're done with that, press ctrl+x and save it and close.

locale.gen
Next, open up locale.gen. Every line in this file that starts with a # is considered a comment and is ignored when parsing the file. By default every locale there is commented except en_US. This will work for most people and does not really matter, but you can change it. On my VM I commented en_US (there are two of them) and uncommented (removed the #) en_ZA so that the English South African locale is used. This just sets up the correct currency and decimal things for later. Ctrl X, save, exit when you're done.

pacman.conf
A critical part of getting boinc running lies in opening pacman.conf and searching for the [multilib] line. It is commented by default, but we need to uncomment that line as well as the include = ... line below it. Once you've done that, ctrl x, save, exit.

Next we're on to mirrorlist: By default pacman will download from the kernel.org arch repo. You can use this one but be aware that it is throttled to 50kb/sec and even then you're lucky to get that sort of speed on it. On my 40kb/sec line I never got my max speed, I always got ~17-20kb/sec which was painful, even for me who's used to a slow line tongue.gif So head over here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Mirrors from a machine that has interwebs and find a mirror close to you. Add a new line at the top of the mirrorlist file and add this:
Code:
Server = <copy mirror exactly from the  wiki>/$repo/os/$arch
This will tell pacman to get all its packages from there. You can read some more info on the wiki page.

You can also uncomment the first Server line that's provided by default to act as a a very slow backup repo that should always work. Just make sure you add your repo above it.

Root password
All that's left to do now is to set the root password. So select that and choose what you want. Make it complicated, especially if security is a concern for you.

We're 90% done installing arch! Hit done after you've set your root password and it will go about creating a new kernel image for you. You don't need to do anything, just watch the text fly by. You'll then be dropped back to the main menu where the next step is our final step of installation:

Installing the bootloader!

Select it. It will tell you to look at its configuration file, and will then open it when you hit ok. Don't change anything in here. Please note that if you'd dualbooting with windows on the same drive, you won't be able to boot to windows at this point. Well, not easily at least. Don't worry you will be able to later tongue.gif For now just ctrl x and close it and it will ask you what drive to install the bootloader to. PLEASE make sure you select the right one here, otherwise you'll have an unbootable installation and it's a rather complicated deal to get it working again. This is why I suggested installing arch on a separate drive and unplugging your windows drive.

Once you hit enter grub will install, and you're done installing arch! wheee.gif! Sit back and enjoy the fact that you've just set up one of the more complicated distros out there. The geek inside you will be proud biggrin.gif
Exit the installer and type reboot at the prompt. You can now boot from your hard disk safely, if all has gone according to plan. After a reboot you should see this screen:
ajkphd.jpg

It'll boot automatically. When it does you'll see lots of text fly by and then you'll be asked to login. It will simply say login: . At this point, type in root, press enter, then type in the password you set earlier and hit enter: you're now running arch Linux! What does it look like?
iofd69.jpg
Not much. This is like the command prompt of windows, but like 50000000000000x times better. You have at least ten times more commands to play with here and pretty much anything you can do in a GUI you can do here, unlike windows. In the meantime there's not much you can do but experiment with the ls and cd commands. ls is like dir, cd is the same as on windows.

Up next: Setting up users, updating and installing stuff biggrin.gif
Edited by biltong - 10/2/11 at 11:25am
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post #2 of 30
Thread Starter 
Adding a user

Okay so now we have a fully usable arch system up and running, but we don't want to use the root user for everything. That means that if you rm -r something you could hose your system completely if you're not careful.

So let's add a non-root user: type in "adduser" after logging in. It'll ask you what you want to call yourself by, so I'll say biltong. Next, press enter, then again, and then it will ask you for additional groups. Give it this:
Code:
audio,lp,optical,storage,video,wheel,games,power,scanner
Press enter for every question it asks from there. It will then give you a summary of what the account will be, if you're happy press enter.

It'll then ask you some extra details you don't need to add, and then for a password. Make sure it's different from the root password! That's kinda pointless tongue.gif

You've just created a new user.

Install sudo

Now let's download an application called sudo so we don't have to change accounts any time we want to do something that needs root access: sudo. While still logged in as root, type in this command:
Code:
pacman -Syy
If that says no address record then your internet connectivity is probably not working at the moment, so type in dhcpcd and wait for that to finish, then try pacman -Syy again. If that still doesn't work, your repo settings probably aren't correct. Post here and I will help you smile.gif

This will download a list of packages that are available to your system from the repositories, which is what pacman will use when you download applications. Then type
Code:
pacman -S sudo
It will tell you that pacman should be updated first, so let pacman update and then type the command again.
This will download and install sudo, which lets normal users execute (most) commands that need root access.

Great! sudo is now installed. But we can't use it yet, we have to configure it to allow all members of the group "wheel" to use it. so type this command:
Code:
EDITOR=nano visudo
This will open nano with a file open, so scroll down to the line that contains
Code:
#  %wheel ALL=(ALL) ALL
and remove the # and the space from the line. Ctrl x save and exit. Yay! We can now use sudo. Logout of the root account with logout, and then login with your new user name and password.

Update your system

Let's try sudo out: type
Code:
sudo pacman -Syu
and see what happens. If all has gone well, it will give you a lecture about responsibility and then ask you for your password (for YOUR account, NOT ROOT), and if it worked, pacman should start updating everything on your system. To save my poor capped internet from an hour long 90MB download, I'm not going to do this right now, but I highly recommend you do.

Now we come to the fun bit: installing a UI. The base of every popular interface is called the X window system. It handles the actual windows themselves, but doesn't give you the minimize/maximize/close buttons like we're used to on windows. Instead, think of a window without those - that is what X provides. By doing this, it lets other applications called window managers take responisiblility of that and that is what makes it so customisable.

Install a GUI
Let's install X:
Code:
pacman -S xorg-server xorg-xinit xorg-utils  xorg-server-utils
It's kinda useless on its own, so let's install some base X applications.
But wait! We need video drivers! The process is similar for other cards but I only have an nvidia card and therefore can only install nvidia drivers. By default arch will use the open source nvidia driver (not made by nvidia themselves) which provides 2d acceleration and a pretty looking console, but that's as far as it goes. If you want 3D or cuda to run, you need the proprietary nvidia drivers. So:
Code:
sudo pacman -S nvidia nvidia-utils
This will install the current nvidia drivers. The nice thing is that in future to update your drivers all you need to do is
Code:
sudo pacman -Su nvidia  nvidia-utils
and you'll be updated. It takes about a week for the drivers to make it to the repo though, and linux drivers are not always released at the same time as windows drivers.

After you've installed your nvidia drivers, reboot with
Code:
sudo  reboot
You should now be running on nvidia drivers. Now how about those X apps I spoke about earlier biggrin.gif?
Code:
sudo pacman -S xorg-twm xorg-xclock xterm
Once that's done, go ahead and start X, with the "startx" command. If you see a clock and a terminal (command prompt) start up, X is working and you can now install a fully functional GUI!

Choose your environment

There are many popular ones available. They're split into different categories: You get full blown desktop environments which include everything to have a fully working gui after installing a couple things. The most common are: KDE, GNOME (used in Ubuntu above), XFCE and LXDE. The former 2 are regarded as the most "pretty" and complete, while the latter 2 are minimalist by design and try to be lightweight by only providing lightweight applications. LXDE is the most lightweight of the lot, while KDE is supposedly making windows 7 look like a mistake. All of them are customisable though. We're BOINCers though, we want as much of our resources as possible going to BOINC, so let's grab LXDE.
Code:
sudo pacman -S lxde
It'll come up with a message asking which groups you want to install, just press enter to install all of them. When that's done,
Code:
sudo pacman -S dbus
sudo /etc/rc.d/dbus start
cp /etc/xdg/openbox/menu.xml ~/.config/openbox/
cp /etc/xdg/openbox/rc.xml ~/.config/openbox/
ck-launch-session startlxde
You now have a fully working GUI to play with biggrin.gif But we still have some tweaks to do:
We need to edit rc.conf to start dbus at every launch.
Open up lxterminal in the accesories menu down at the bottom, and type in sudo nano /etc/rc.conf then scroll all the way down to the bottom and add dbus to the end of the list.

If your resolution isn't right, there should be an entry for Nvidia settings in the menu somewhere, I can't look in my VM because I can't install the drivers.

Now that we've got an interface, let's install a CUDA toolkit so we can crunch on our GPUs wheee.gif
Download and install your favourite browser:
Code:
sudo pacman -S firefox
OR
sudo pacman -S chromium
OR
sudo pacman -S opera
A note on chromium - this is the open source project behind Google Chrome. They are largely identical and you probably won't notice anything different.

Open up your browser and head to https://aur.archlinux.org/. Meet the Arch User Repository, home to more than 30 000 user submitted packages and pieces of software. If you want to install an application but can't find it with pacman, this is your next place to look.

The AUR is a little more complicated though, because you don't download software directly from it. Instead, you download a text file called a PKGBUILD that you use in arch to automatically download, compile and install software using the makepkg command. A PKGBUILD simply contains a set of instructions for makepkg telling it where to download the source code from, how to build it and how to package it all together to make it compatible with pacman.

Now search for cuda-toolkit. At the time of writing the first result is cuda-toolkit 4.0.17-1 - click on it. You will then be brought to a page describing what the package is and the community's comments on it. Notice the dependencies line - if we don't have those we can't use this software. At the time of writing the package only depends on gcc-libs ncurses, nvidia>=270.41 and zlib. You will see a Download: tarball :: PKGBUILD line - generally it is better to download the tarball because it sometimes contains other files needed by the PKGBUILD (like patches) that won't come with the PKGBUILD alone, so grab the tarball and save it wherever you want.

Once that's done, you can either download a GUI archiver tool (like xarchiver, sudo pacman -S xarchiver) or you can use the terminal:
Code:
cd /path/to/downloaded/file/
tar -xzvf nameofpackage.tar.gz
Now use a terminal and cd to wherever you extracted the files from the archive, and execute makepkg:
Code:
cd nameofpackage
makepkg -si
You'll notice that I gave it two parameters there - the "s" tells makepkg to doulbe check that we have all the necessary dependencies and ask us to install them if we don't have any of them, and the "i" tells it to install the package it generates afterwards. If you don't give it "i" you'll have to use
Code:
sudo pacman -U very-long-and-tedious-package-name-1.1.3.4.2345-rc1.1-1.pkg.tar.xz
Yes, some of them are like that. Just use the i parameter tongue.gif

Back to the cuda toolkit: follow the instructions above and you should get a cuda-toolkit directory wherever you downloaded/extracted the archive to. Run makepkg -si and it will begin downloading a 202MB file (at the time of writing) that will install the cuda toolkit necessary for crunching.

This took a good 2 hours for me on my slow line, and right at the end of creating the package it took about 5 minutes to compress the package - whatever you do, don't cancel this, or you'll likely end up having to redownload everything and start over. If you used the "i" parameter pacman will run at the end and install the toolkit. Otherwise you can check the name of the package it created in your file manager or you can use the terminal and use "ls" and type that whole long thing out (it was cuda-toolkit-4.0.17-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.xz for me) in "sudo pacman -U nameofpackage"

Reboot. While arch is booting up you should see "Starting BOINC client" or something to that effect while it is starting all your daemons. Once you've logged in, use startlxde to start up your GUI again, and then open a terminal. Run this command:
Code:
sudo nano /var/lib/boinc/gui_rpc_auth.cfg
If there is a string of hex characters in there, the boinc client has started properly and you can safely remove that line of characters to run passwordless if you want. If not, something has gone wrong, and we will troubleshoot at the end.

Install BOINC

Follow the procedure to install the CUDA toolkit above, but replace cuda-toolkit with boinc. To summarize:
Code:
Download tarball
tar -xzvf packagename.tar.gz
cd packagename
makepkg -si
This will get you the latest beta boinc client. If you don't want the beta, simply install the old 6.10 client from pacman:
Code:
sudo pacman -S boinc
You should now be able to simply start up boinc manager! It's located in System-> Boinc Manager in the applications menu in LXDE and XFCE, I'm not sure about gnome or KDE. Open the advanced view and attach to projects smile.gif

Note: Collatz will not hand out GPU applications or work automatically on windows, a guide will follow on how to get that working.

Troubleshooting:
Post if you get stuck anywhere along the way. It took me a while to get this working but I'm fairly confident it will all work.

Autostarting X on login:
You can start X automatically after logging in by editing your .bashrc file, which is stored in your home directory:
Code:
sudo nano .bashrc
A standard .bashrc looks like this:
Code:
#
# ~/.bashrc
#

# If not running interactively, don't do anything
[[ $- != *i* ]] && return

alias ls='ls --color=auto'
PS1='[\u@\h \W]\$ '
Leave a line after that last line and add:
If using LXDE:
Code:
exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch startlxde
If using XFCE:
Code:
exec ck-launch-session dbus-launch startxfce
Save and exit.

GNOME and KDE have their own display managers that you can autostart them from. Check the arch wiki for GDM and KDM: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GDM https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/KDM You can also look at SLIM, short for Simple Log In Manager, a themeable log in and display manager. It can start any desktop environment. https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Slim

Keeping your system up to date

Every now and then you will want to do sudo pacman -Syy and then sudo pacman -Syu. This will do a full system update.
Edited by biltong - 10/1/11 at 2:13am
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post #3 of 30
Thread Starter 
Dualbooting with windows

The nice thing about linux is that with the new GRUB2 bootloader (arch uses GRUB1 by default) you can boot windows from a different drive with the right setup. Setting it up is actually rather easy, and only means downloading and installing two applications.

The first thing you're going to want to do is unplug your windows drive again if you have one - just to make sure you don't nuke windows's bootloader.

Now, we're going to install grub2. There are separate ways of installing grub2 if you have a normal old BIOS or a new UEFI bios.

First, though:
Code:
sudo -i
This command will switch you to the root user until you either close the terminal or use the logout command. BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN DOING THINGS LIKE THIS!
You will notice the $ that has been at the end of every prompt so far has now been replaced with a #. This is because $ indicates that you are a normal user, while # indicates that you are root.

If you have a normal BIOS (NON-UEFI)
Code:
sudo pacman -S grub2-bios
It will ask you if you want to replace grub, say yes.

That's pretty much it in terms of installing it, but at this point you will still boot from grub1. So, we need to configure our system to use grub2.
Code:
grub_bios-install --boot-directory=/boot --no-floppy --recheck /dev/sda
A note on linux's naming system for drives: Drives are named using the sdx system. The drive on the first available port will be called sda, the next port sdb, and so on. Partitions however, use numbers. So the first partition on the drive on the first port that has a drive, will be called sda1. The second partition on the same drive will be called sda2, and so on. The first partition on the second drive will be called sdb1. You get how it works. Note that we're using the actual drive itself and not any partitions in this command, this is because we are writing to the MBR itself. For most other commands, you will use sda1 and NOT sda.

Grub2 will now be written to the MBR, but if you reboot now you will have an unbootable system, because grub2 won't know how to boo. It needs a configuration file for that. Let's make one:
Code:
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
Now we're done! The output of the command should say this:
Code:
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-linux
Found initrd image: /boot/initramfs-linux.img
If not, DO NOT reboot and post here immediately so I can help you get your system to boot.

If all has gone well so far you can go for a reboot and see if you can boot up. It should work tongue.gif

If you have a UEFI BIOS

DISCLAIMER: I do not have a UEFI system to test this on, I am simply reading the wiki and relaying the instructions from it in a hopefully easier to understand manner. The wiki page is here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Grub2#UEFI_systems
I THEREFORE TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF THIS DOES NOT WORK.
Code:
pacman -S grub2-efi-x86_64
Code:
mkdir -p /boot/efi/efi
modprobe dm-mod
grub_efi_x86_64-install --boot-directory=/boot/efi/efi --bootloader-id=grub --no-floppy --recheck
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/efi/grub/grub.cfg
As with the BIOS version it should find a linux image and an initrd image. If so, you can try a reboot. AGAIN I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY IF THIS DOES NOT WORK.

Once you've rebooted, head over to the AUR again and get the os-prober application from here

Follow the same instructions as with the cuda toolkit.

Once it's installed, simply run
Code:
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg
if you're using BIOS, or
Code:
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/efi/efi/grub/grub.cfg
if you're using UEFI.

This the output I get:
Code:
Generating grub.cfg ...
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-linux-ck
Found initrd image: /boot/initramfs-linux-ck.img
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz-linux
Found initrd image: /boot/initramfs-linux.img
Found linux image: /boot/vmlinuz26-ck
  No volume groups found
Found Windows 7 (loader) on /dev/sda1
done
The first two entries are there simply because I have a custom kernel, you won't have that. Note that it found my Windows 7 install and put it in the config.

You can now try a reboot and see if it works smile.gif
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post #4 of 30
interesting man, never heard of Archlinux until now. How new is Arch? Are there any benefits to Arch than Ubuntu or others?
    
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post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkRyder;15112405 
interesting man, never heard of Archlinux until now. How new is Arch? Are there any benefits to Arch than Ubuntu or others?

The real main reasons you'd use Arch are a) you're a geek b) you want your OS to be fully customisable c) you want full control over everything d) you want a system that uses a little less resources than some other distros e) you love learning f) because you love challenges g) you want your system slightly faster and h) because it uses a rolling release system.

The rolling release means you don't get a 6-month release cycle or anything like that, arch doesn't have big distro updates or upgrades. Everything is always on the "bleeding-edge" (sort of like cutting edge tongue.gif) in that you always have access to the most up to date software.

Some say Arch is unstable because of the bleeding edge software but honestly I haven't found any instabilities and I've been running it for about a month on my main box and about 2 on my laptop.

You can make your system as barebones as you want and squeeze as much peformance as you can get with Arch. For example ubuntu on my sig rig took about a minute to be usable from a cold boot, Arch takes about 40 seconds.

Also it's got the best package management system in the world wheee.gif the AUR is really something else in that it's open to everyone, and the software is completely free of patches or anything of the sort unless it absolutely needs it.

Take a look through the wiki and see how much documentation there is - it's almost endless. That makes it rather easy to set up and it's good for learning too - as I said in the OP many of the articles in the wiki can apply to other distros with little or no modification at all.

The wiki even has a page on arch and what it is about, you can read it here: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_Linux

wheee.gif
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post #6 of 30
Thread Starter 
Get Collatz running on GPU:

It took me a while to work this out but it is really simple.

Stop collatz from receiving new work, and put it on suspend. Then all you have to do is download the latest x86_64 GPU binary package from collatz's optimized application list over here (at the time of writing this is collatz_2.04_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu__cuda31.tar.bz2 (Linux 64-bit CUDA)) and extract the contents of it to /var/lib/boinc/projects/boinc.thesonntags.com_collatz/. That includes the four library files (libcudart.so.x) located in the lib64 folder when you extract it, put them in the project folder too. Then restart your PC (or restart boinc, kill the manager then sudo /etc/rc.d/boinc restart), start the manager again and start crunching like you would on windows smile.gif

All that needs figuring out now is a reliable way to overclock.
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post #7 of 30
We still need a good GPU overclock method for Nvidia/AMD/ATI GPU stuff... haven't got it to work yet and stopped trying for now.

The overclock on my 560's is no biggy; but on the 9800GT and GTX460 cards, it's very significant.

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post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Flash the BIOS cool.gif
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post #9 of 30
Do tell, please provide a link that shows me what bits to change and such and I would be happy to flash the BIOS. I already did it on the 460 cards, turns out they both have different BIOS because of different mem chips... but both Asus GTX460's...

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post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
I actually have no idea how to do it, but I know if you check the NVIDIA section there will be someone who knows. I'm actually rather scared to flash my card lol. It's the same process as your 460s I'm guessing.
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Corsair H105 Windows 8 Pro 64bit Samsung B2330h MS Digital Media Keyboard 
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CoolerMaster Silent Pro M600 Coolermaster CM690II Advanced Logitech G500s CyberSnipa Something 
AudioAudio
JVC RX700 Creative X-Fi Titanium 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 LG Something + Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 Adreno 330 2 GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
32 GB internal storage 8MP AutoAwesomeHDRFace + 1MP SelfieMachine Air Android 4.4.2 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
True HD IPS+ 1080 x 1920 pixels, 4.95 inches Non-removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery LG Sexybox Capacitive touchscreen 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i5 480m @ 2.66GHz GT420M 1GB 4GB DDR3 WD 750GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit 15" 1366x768 + two point touchscreen 
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It plays TF2
(18 items)
 
LG Nexus 5
(12 items)
 
Acer 5745PG
(6 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
4790k ASRock Z97 Extreme6 Asus GTX980 Strix 4GB Kingston HyperX Fury Black 2x8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
OCZ Vector 128GB Seagate 2TB  Seagate 500GB 7200.12 Some LG that works properly 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Corsair H105 Windows 8 Pro 64bit Samsung B2330h MS Digital Media Keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
CoolerMaster Silent Pro M600 Coolermaster CM690II Advanced Logitech G500s CyberSnipa Something 
AudioAudio
JVC RX700 Creative X-Fi Titanium 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Quad-core 2.3 GHz Krait 400 LG Something + Qualcomm MSM8974 Snapdragon 800 Adreno 330 2 GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
32 GB internal storage 8MP AutoAwesomeHDRFace + 1MP SelfieMachine Air Android 4.4.2 
MonitorPowerCaseMouse
True HD IPS+ 1080 x 1920 pixels, 4.95 inches Non-removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery LG Sexybox Capacitive touchscreen 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
i5 480m @ 2.66GHz GT420M 1GB 4GB DDR3 WD 750GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 Professional 64 bit 15" 1366x768 + two point touchscreen 
  hide details  
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