Installing Arch Linux on a Precision 690

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This article describes the steps I made to install Arch Linux with Gnome, Dropbox, Apple File Shares and so on.


Install as per the Arch Wiki. this gives a bare bones non networked installation.

Arch Linux uses netctl rather than NetworkManager. Therefore a profile needs to be created see the wiki article for netctl.

Mounting Disks

The following command will show the disks by id. This can be used to add the disk and mount point to /etc/fstab

   ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid/

Example output

   [root@A02 john]# ls -l /dev/disk/by-uuid/
   total 0
   lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 11 Oct 29 09:26 098c48fe-fd27-46f3-a0a4-e4db778e59ab -> ../../loop0
   lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Oct 29 09:26 8080d8a1-8cb4-408b-aef8-f25c5c98a840 -> ../../sdf1
   lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 10 Oct 29 09:26 ae9193f3-71ae-4102-9fc3-bc08dbafb9cb -> ../../sde1

Network Profiles

Use one of the following profiles (with the correct IP details) depending upon whether a static or dynamic address is required.

Profile path:

DHCP (/etc/netctl/ethernet-dhcp)

   Description='A basic dhcp ethernet connection'
   ## for DHCPv6
   ## for IPv6 autoconfiguration

STATIC (/etc/netctl/ethernet-static)

   Description='A basic static ethernet connection'
   #Routes=(' via')
   ## For IPv6 autoconfiguration
   ## For IPv6 static address configuration
   #Address6=('1234:5678:9abc:def::1/64' '1234:3456::123/96')

For the command

   netctl start ethernet-static (or ethernet-dhcp as required)
   netctl enable ethernet_static (or ethernet-dhcp as required)

Note that if using Cinnamon, the network aplet does not connect to netctl and cannot be used. The Arch wiki article for Cinnamon explains how to diable this.

Add Users

Follow the instructions here to add a user.


Follow the instructions here to install a SUDO user.


Install Gnome

   pacman -S gnome
   pacman -S gnome-extra

Install the Gnome Desktop Manager (GDM)

   pacman -S gdm
   systemctl start gdm.service
   systemctl enable gdm.service

Sharing Files using AFP

See Sharing Files using Apple Filing Protocol (AFP)


See Printing with CUPS (Arch Linux).


See Installing Bluetooth (Arch Linux) for details.

Backup using RSYNC

Install rsync

   pacman -S rsync

At time of writing the 690 system is configured with two matching data disks (sdc1 and sdd1) as follows.

   Filesystem     1K-blocks      Used Available Use% Mounted on
   /dev/sda1      306615568  99294096 191676580  35% /
   /dev/sdb1      960380648 391785520 519740668  43% /home
   /dev/sdc1      960380648 381085324 530440864  42% /backup

Create two backup scripts with the rsync command as follows and simply invoke them as required.


   rsync -aAXs --info=progress2 --delete --exclude={"/backup/*","/dev/*","/proc/*","/sys/*","/tmp/*","/run/*","/mnt/*","/media/*","/lost+found"} /etc /backup


   rsync -aAXs --info=progress2 --delete --exclude={"/backup/*","/dev/*","/proc/*","/sys/*","/tmp/*","/run/*","/mnt/*","/media/*","/lost+found"} /home /backup