I have often been dreaming about a nice lightweight laptop expierce with Linux – and finally I found the solution.

First I downloaded the latest Arch Linux dual iso (X86 + X64).

I inserted the CD – and expected that everything would be sort of the Debian way… BUT I WAS WRONG. You had to do pretty much everything yourself. Establishing partition, swap-partition, mount the partition to /mnt, mkswap, swapon the swap-partition, chroot with arch-chroot into the new partition, use pacman to install the base-packages and setup the bootloader. I ended up succeeding, even though there was a bounch of commands I havnt been used to do manually before.

So now I had a clean Arch Linux machine, which could boot up.

I decided to install XFCE4 – because its small and lightweight. And I had actually seen youtube videos of XFCE4 + Compiz-fusion, which I liked.

The installation of XFCE4 was easyly done using pacman -S.

Same with Chromium (Google Chrome for Arch).

I thought I would like to install compiz – and thought it wouldnt be a problem because I was certain I could use pacman -S to install the packages… But! No! Compiz was taken out from the pacman-packages because the package is not maintained anymore (I also faced this on debian). I googled about it – and alot of suggestions was made, which didn’t work anymore due to the lack of support anymore. I ended up finding a solution though. A dude named japgolly actually had restructured the project on github: https://github.com/japgolly/archlinux-packages/tree/master/build

I downloaded the zip and utilized first: makepkg –asroot   – and afterwards makepkg -i –asroot from inside the subfolders. In the progress I found missing dependencys which I installed using pacman. I also had to take the packages in the right order due to some of the packages been depending on other packages. But in the end I succeded making all the packages and installing them.

Now it was just lack of sound + graphic-acceleration. For the graphic card I figured out that I neded the i915-modules. I found fast a guide for creating these modules – and I had now graphic-acceleration. For the sound-card i installed alsa-utils – and other alsa-packages – and everything started working.

I created a profile for my wireless router using wpa_supplicant – and this also worked from console – and I managed to get it auto-starting with the dist. I have a problem getting wpa_gui to work from inside XFCE4 though – which I will take a look on now. But the new dist looks really promising – and Im able to boot way faster than everthing I ever tryed before. It has been worth its effort 🙂

Its purely show off with the Compiz + XFCE4 combination. Microsoft could really learn from this opengl accelerated desktop expierience:

The traditional compiz cube

Compiz working in XFCE

Kind Regards