Plasma 5 Installation on Arch Linux

In my last post on Arch Installation Guide , We installed the base system and we can now login into our new system as root using the password that we set.

Table of Contents
Plasma 5 Looks


Now, we will proceed further to install the Plasma 5 desktop.

Add New User

Choose $USERNAME per your liking. I chose ssingh, so in future commands whenever you see ssingh please replace it with your $USERNAME.

 
$ useradd -m -G wheel -s /bin/bash $USERNAME
$ chfn --full-name "$FULL_NAME" $USERNAME
$ passwd $USERNAME


Plasma 5 Desktop

Network should be setup at the start. Check the status of network using:

 
$ ping google.com -c 2
$
$ PING google.com (10.38.24.84) 56(84) bytes of data.
$ 64 bytes from google.com (10.38.24.84): icmp_seq=1 ttl=64 time=0.022 ms
$ 64 bytes from google.com (10.38.24.84): icmp_seq=2 ttl=64 time=0.023 ms
$
$ --- google.com ping statistics ---
$ 2 packets transmitted, 2 received, 0% packet loss, time 999ms
$ rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 0.022/0.022/0.023/0.004 ms
$


If you do not get this output, please follow the troubleshooting links at arch wiki on setting up network.

I will be assuming you have an NVIDIA card for graphics installation.

To setup a graphical desktop, first we need to install some basic X related packages, and some essential packages (including fonts):

 
$ pacman -S xorg-server xorg-server-utils nvidia nvidia-libgl


To avoid the possibility of forgetting to update your initramfs after an nvidia upgrade, you have to use a pacman hook like this:

 
$ vim /etc/pacman.d/hooks/nvidia.hook
$
...
[Trigger]
Operation=Install
Operation=Upgrade
Operation=Remove
Type=Package
Target=nvidia

[Action]
Depends=mkinitcpio
When=PostTransaction
Exec=/usr/bin/mkinitcpio -p linux
...
$


Nvidia has a daemon that is to be run at boot. To start the persistence daemon at boot, enable the nvidia-persistenced.service.

 
$ systemctl enable nvidia-persistenced.service
$ systemctl start nvidia-persistenced.service



KWIN FLICKERING ISSUE
To avoid screen tearing in KDE (KWin), add following:

 
$ vim /etc/profile.d/kwin.sh
$
...
export __GL_YIELD="USLEEP"
...


If this does not help please try adding the following instead -

 
$ vim /etc/profile.d/kwin.sh
$
...
export KWIN_TRIPLE_BUFFER=1
...


Do not have both of the above enabled at the same time. Please look at Arch Wiki for additional details.

Now continue installing remaining important packages for the GUI.

 
$ pacman -S mesa ttf-hack ttf-anonymous-pro
$ pacman -S tlp tlp-rdw acpi_call bash-completion git meld
$ pacman -S ttf-dejavu ttf-freefont ttf-liberation


Now, we will install the packages related to Plasma 5:

 
$ pacman -S plasma-meta kf5 kdebase kdeutils kde-applications
$ pacman -S kdegraphics gwenview


Now we have to setup a display manager. I chose recommended SDDM for plasma 5.

 
$ pacman -S sddm sddm-kcm
$ vim /etc/sddm.conf

...
[Theme]
# Current theme name
Current=breeze

# Cursor theme
CursorTheme=breeze_cursors
...

$ systemctl enable sddm


Also make sure that network manager starts at boot:

 
$ systemctl disable dhcpcd.service
$ systemctl enable NetworkManager


Audio Setup

This is pretty simple. Install following packages and you should be done:

 
$ pacman -S alsa-utils pulseaudio pulseaudio-alsa libcanberra-pulse
$ pacman -S libcanberra-gstreamer jack2-dbus kmix
$ pacman -S mpv mplayer


Useful Tips

This part is optional and you can choose as per your taste. Sync time using the systemd service:

 
$ vim /etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf
$
...
[Time]
NTP=0.arch.pool.ntp.org 1.arch.pool.ntp.org 2.arch.pool.ntp.org 3.arch.pool.ntp.org
FallbackNTP=0.pool.ntp.org 1.pool.ntp.org 0.fr.pool.ntp.org
...
$
$ timedatectl set-ntp true
$ timedatectl status
$
...
      Local time: Tue 2016-09-20 16:40:44 PDT
  Universal time: Tue 2016-09-20 23:40:44 UTC
        RTC time: Tue 2016-09-20 23:40:44
       Time zone: US/Pacific (PDT, -0700)
 Network time on: yes
NTP synchronized: yes
 RTC in local TZ: no
 ...
$


On Plasma 5, It is recommended to enable no-bitmaps to improve the font rendering:

 
$ sudo ln -s /etc/fonts/conf.avail/70-no-bitmaps.conf
   /etc/fonts/conf.d
   

If you use vim as your primary editor, you may find this vimrc quite useful.

That’s It. You are done. Start playing your new beautiful desktop. Please leave your comments with suggestions or any word of appreciation if this has been of any help to you.

Follow this page for any additional suggestions or improvements in this guide.

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