I assume that you tried out a lot of software and pocked around the file system. Just to make sure that everything is as it should be, we’ll reboot the computer before installing Arco Linux B.
Refresher: Hold down the F? key to boot off of the USB stick and wait until the boot process has finished. After that, you will see the default Arco Linux desktop with a grey window in the center.
Arco Linux uses the Calamares installer which makes installing Linux much easier than it used to be. As soon as you press that big gray button, the install will start. Please be patient because there is a lot of data that has to be loaded from your USB stick. Once Calamares has all of the information it needs, the installation process can begin.
Once the NEXT button becomes available, click it and proceed to package selection.
Arclo Linux B package selection
The main reason why we downloaded ArcoLinux B is simply based on the fact that we want a lean and fast install. The regular ISO is about 500 Meg bigger and installs additional desktop environments which I don’t use. Therefore, I prefer the leaner B derivative which gives me everything that I need and nothing that I don’t want.
I am installing ArcoLinux B on a Dell workstation which has an Intel processor and an Nvidia GFX card. Because of that, I chose “NVIDIA with Linux kernel” by placing a check mark in the box.
The other options are Linux kernel without any NVIDIA, Linux-lts without Nvidia and so on.
If you have an older Nvidia gfx chip then expand all of the first 8 options and try to pick the best one. Older Nvidia cards might use the 390xx driver series.
Which Nvidia driver do I nave / need?
Only google can answer that but duckduckgo.com knows too. Look up your system specs online and find out which graphics card you have. Then go to the NVIDIA website and search for the latest driver. If you card is a recent model, then the 5th option will be the right one.
If you don’t have an AMD GFX card, then all of the entries which contain “without any nvidia” need to be considered.
It is important to me that you succeed so let’s do a sample search together.
First, go to the https://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us website.
As soon as it loads, you will have to provide your card details. Here is what I picked:
Here is what search returned based on the info I provided:
Release Date: 2019.8.29
Operating System: Linux 64-bit
Language: English (US)
File Size: 137.7 MB
Now I know the drive version which, as per the above search result is 435 and the release date. That’s all I need. Since Calamares gives me no newer option than 390, I can select the 5th choice “NVIDIA with Linux kernel” with confidence.
Under ucode, I have only two options. Select the once which matches your processor. Inel or AMD.
The only option I need from the category is plank. Anything else I get later if I need it.
What is plank? Plank is a nice dock applet which currently runs on the left side of your monitor. Later on, we’ll move the panel to the top and plank and all of the icons we’ll put in there to the bottom.
After Accessories, we need some graphics apps. The ones of interest are:
Blender and Gimp. If you need more, you can easily add them later.
Libre Office Fresh
If you want an office suite then I highly recommend that you install Libre Office Fresh and all of the sub-options. Note that the “Fresh” entry is newer than the “Still” option.
Libre Office is a big install but if you use your computer for work, then you have to have it. I could not be without it. If you are short on hard drive space, then Google Docs is an alternative.
We only grab two pieces of software for now. They are:
Audacity and the VLC player. Later on, you can add as you like.
We’ll grab four packages here. I consider those a must-have:
catfish, gufw, timeshift and youtube-dl
And that is it. All of the other packages we’ll skip. If you need additional packages then you can always add them with pacman which is the package manager Arco Linux uses. For now, we stick with the important packages which makes updating the system a bit faster.
The next step Calamares performs is partitioning the system
Unlike before, when we picked Gparted to maybe erase partitions before installing, Calamares is moving on to do this most crucial step. If you deleted your C drive then Calamares will create all of the needed partitions and give you a perfect Linux install. This is how I do it because I don’t need Windows 10.
Take a good look at the image below. Pay attention to which hard disk you install to in case you have more than one. Use the drop-down to select the correct one.
After that, pick one of the four options:
- Install alongside
If you want to keep Windows 10, then pick this one
- Replace a partition
This would let you select a partition that already exists but you no longer want. If you installed another Linux distro in the past and want to ditch it, then this would be the right option.
- Erase disk
That is the best way. If you are ready to leave Windows behind, then giving Linux the complete hard drive is the best option.
IMPORTANT! In case you regret this decision in a few days from now then you can reinstall Windows anytime. Microsoft gives anyone a free W10 ISO which is about 5 Gig in size. The installation process is also done via USB and all of the steps are automated. Windows will take over the complete hard drive and set itself up most likely as it was before you installed Linux. Keep this in mind. If you have backups and know your outlook account password then you can revert anytime.
- Manual partitioning
That’s what you looked at earlier when I showed you how to erase partitions . Manual partitioning is an advanced option because it gives power users the choice of specifying the precise disk size as well as create additional partitions for Timeshift and so on.
Encrypt system? DON’T
directoriesWhen asked to encrypt the system I advise that you don’t. The exception is for professionals who store a lot of sensitive information on laptops.
Here is why you would encrypt. Anyone with a bootable USB stick like you now have can live-boot a computer. 99.9% of all computers are not encrypted which means that all of the data is unprotected. It can be takes (copied) and even erased. This can be a good thing and also a bad thing. If your laptop is no longer booting and you have to drop it off at some repair depot then you could try and live-boot a Linux distro. Load the file browser and navigate to the C drive. Back up (take) and delete as you need to. This way, the repair depot will not get your pictures and other files.
Sill, I advise to not encrypt the whole system. Later on, I will show you a way of encrypting certain folders and files in your home directory. Doing this is also secure because if someone gains unauthorized access to your computer then she/he won’t be able to open them.
Finally, check the result by analyzing the two colored stripes at the bottom of the above image. They will be different on your computer because I already have ArcoLinux installed. Your install will reflect the Windows 10 install and the second line will show you what your hard drive will look like after Gparted does its magic.
We are almost there. The last step is to set up your user account. Sorry, I don’t have a picture of that process because I would have to install in order to make one. Since it’s a simple task, I just tell you about it.
You need to provide a user name and a computer name followed by a password which you have to enter twice in case you make a typo.
User name: I suggest something short and simple. Keep in mind that you might make screenshots and those often show your user name and system name. Therefore, I would not pick my first name and instead make it something neutral.
Computer name: Again, short and sweet does the trick. I have seen anything from “bimbo” to Beowulf”. You chose but make it something memorable so that you can find your computer on the network if you happen to have multiple machines in your home or office.
Password: Ahh, the password. Passwords are my passion. As a matter of fact, I am writing an eBook that is all about creating secure passwords. It’s a complicated process but at the same time, just pick something that is about 12 or a bit more characters long.
I recommend that you uncheck the option of using a different administrator password. There is no need to remember two unless you are the admin of a business with multiple users. If you are using the computer yourself, then use the user password for everything.
As soon as you uncheck the option, it will disappear which is what you want to see.
Once the account has been created press Enter and wait for Calamares to finish installing. Be patient because it has to copy a lot of data from the USB stick. Even on a fast system, it can take around 10 – 15 minutes. In comparison, Windows takes twice as long so relax and browse the net while Calamares installs.
Once the installer has finished, it’s time to reboot. If you did all the steps right then you will be greeted by a brand new Arco Linux B operating system which we will configure for maximum performance in the next chapter.
It is possible to have missed something. If that is the case the repeat the previous steps again. It’s OK. Sometimes it takes a few tires to get it right. Even in a few days from now when something goes wrong you always have to option to reinstall. I have done that the other day when I installed Manjaro on a laptop. Because there were issues with the external monitor, I started over and made different choices which fixed the problem.