Fixing mirrorlist on Arch Linux Arm (Raspberry Pi)

I hadn’t updated my Raspberry Pi (a B+ model for my rpi-drd project) in about a year. Pacman -Syu kept complaining about being unable to find files on any of the mirrors.

So I, without thinking, ran reflector on an x86 host and copied it over. Oops. Now it definitely can’t find packages.

The archlinuxarm.org website gave me the hostname I needed, but not the entire URL. Put this in your mirrorlist (as the sole entry) to restore functionality:

Server = http://mirror.archlinuxarm.org/$arch/$repo

Installing Arch Linux with an encrypted root

I’ve got a ThinkPad T410. I got it off craigslist in what was a somewhat shady transaction. Regardless, it came with a 300GB spinner. Not interested in finding out how much life was left on it I got a solid state replacement from NewEgg for “Cyber Monday”. A 240GB Intel one for $110, that’s less than 50 cents per GB!

The spinner has a single unencrypted partition with Arch Linux running on it. I wanted to run Arch on an encrypted partition. The main reason: If it’s ever stolen I don’t want to have to worry about any of the data on it. Bonus reason: Geek/spy points.

So, while there are excellent guides for installing Arch, and setting up encryption, and optimizing an SSD, there don’t seem to be any combining the three. In reality it’s not that much more difficult, and if you are motivated to setup encryption on Linux in the first place you probably know what you’re doing. Still, I was disheartened a bit at the lack of information so I decided to note how I went about it in general. Continue reading

Arch Linux on Lenovo ThinkPad T410

I picked up a really cheap ThinkPad T410 from Craigslist. First-gen mobile Core i5, 4GB, 320GB drive and most importantly: 1440×900. A 40% increase in horizontal space (and 17% vertical). Finally I can tune without trying to get TunerStudio to fit.

Installing Arch was quick, as usual. The laptop has a fingerprint reader, which works really well in Linux. Now I can log in with a finger swipe–although you have to press enter after swiping.

The only thing I might change is swapping out the spinner disk for a SSD, since they are pretty cheap. I don’t like the idea of a disk in a moving vehicle.

Moving home server to Arch

I’ve ordered a 2 terabyte hard drive to¬†appropriately¬†serve as a backup drive for my home server. This would normally just require swapping the old backup drive out for it, and then performing a backup. But I figure since I’ll have it down anyway, I’ll have enough drives to swap to Arch Linux and get things going again with the old drive as a … backup.

I’ve got quite a few services setup on it, and I’m not looking forward to moving all the config files over

Switched to Arch Linux from Gentoo

Time installing Gentoo: days
Time installing Archlinux: 30 mins.

I have an old Intel based Dell laptop with 1.8GHz single-core processor. I’ve had Windows XP on it for a couple years, then I switched to Gentoo for the past 5 or 6 years. Well, it’s really not the kind of laptop that you should be compiling everything from source on. I’m tired of going through the “everything’s broken, hook it the ethernet cable and start fixing it” routine after I’ve left it alone for months at a time.

I just use it to tune my car, it’s the “Garage Laptop”. So, Gentoo isn’t a good fit. And Gentoo seems to be becoming this bloated mess of package mismatches. Since I leave my laptop alone for a while, I end up not being able to install a package I want since the version my portage tree has is no longer in the main tree. So, ’emerge –sync’, and now I have to update 50 packages just to get the one I want.

No thanks.

I’ve got a working system with XFCE4 in 30 mins. Plus, it takes only about 2 GB of my 32 GB SSD. Restoring my home folder puts the total at 6 GB, which is more than 4 GB less than my Gentoo install.

This is a decision I needed to make a long time ago.