CTKArchLive 0.7 documentation

· Usage info

Important reminder

CTKArch is not a distribution. It is a preconfigured desktop setup of the Arch Linux GNU/Linux distribution.
This document only contains the details specific to CTKArch. For everything else, please see http://wiki.archlinux.org.


The passwords are: “arch” for the arch account, and “toor” for root.
They are given in the tty1 too.

To run just a command as root, use xsu: “xsu command” and give the root password.

Of course, you can obtain a root terminal using the “su” command, as usual.

To install software/drivers (packages), run “yaourt keyword” in a terminal.
A list of available packages will be displayed, you just have to choose and install the one(s) you want. (give the root password)
These packages will be installed in RAM, so they will be lost when rebooting… unless you create an add-on containing those modifications, and store in the persistent data partition.

· Settings

To adjust the sound volume, run “alsamixer” in a terminal (obtained using Alt-F1, or right-click on the desktop, Terminal)
A volume icon is also available: right-click the desktop, Environment, Sound volume icon.

To change the screen's resolution, launch ArandR (in Settings). It can manage several screens.
The configuration will be kept (and even at installation) simply saving it as "config".

· Environment

It can be accessed right-clicking the desktop, that's the Environment menu.

  • configuration of the shortcuts, menu and behaviour of the window manager
  • panel switching and configuration
  • activation of the desktop icons or not
  • activation of tray applets: battery monitor, volume icon, network
Look & style:
  • compositing manager (transparency, effects)
  • theme and applications colors switching
  • choice of the wallpaper or the folder where to pick it at random

Window manager usage tips

  • Windows can be moved with drag&drop while pressing Alt.
    The same action with the right click resizes them.
  • If you enable effects (at least transparency), you'll be able to change the transparency of the windows using Super+Mouse wheel.
  • Ctrl+Alt+M maximizes/restores the window
  • You can maximize the window on one edge only, using Super+↑←↓→
  • Your mouse pointer can be turned into an application killer using Ctrl+Alt+K (it runs xkill).

· Tips and interesting info

· Copy to RAM:

If your PC has 1GB RAM or more (with less than 700MB you reasonably can't), you can copy the live to ram to remove its media (for instance, if you'd like to watch a DVD but the liveCD is in the CD drive, or want to leave with the CD without halting the PC…)

At boot
To copy to RAM at boot, use the “Start - Copy to RAM” option at bootup.
If the live is already started without using the boot option, you can run “/install/cp2ram” as root.
Beware! This script is unstable. It might crash the system.

· Persistent data

To prepare a persistent data partition using the assistant, run “xsu /install/mkhome” in a terminal.
Your settings, your documents, and your add-ons (custom additions to the live) can be kept in this partition. It can be created in the remaining space of the media.
Note: the mkhome script only formats the chosen partition with the CTKhome label.

To create an add-on containing packages/files or even all of the changes you did to the live system since its bootup, run “xsu /addons/mkaddon”
You should prepare the persistent data partition first, otherwise you won't be able to store and use it!

“Remaster”: add-ons can be put in the CTKhome partition, but you can also add them into the ctkarch iso image!
To do this, use the program isomaster. Open the iso with it, copy the add-on into its addons folder, and save then burn the modified iso.

To save all changes performed live between reboots, thus turning the live into an nomad installation, create the folder “rwroot” in the CTKhome partition and reboot to start using it.
Note that this is slower than the add-ons, because they are compressed, and not the partition. To cancel all changes, just remove the rwroot folder.

· Installed software overview

Abiword, word processing
Gnumeric, spreadsheet
ePDFview, PDF viewer

PCman FM, file manager
Xarchiver, archive manager (tar gzip/bzip2/lzma/xz, zip, rar, …)
Leafpad, small text editor
XCalc, calculator

Tuxracer, to test the 3D support of your graphic card and maybe play a little

GIMP, drawing and image retouching
Gpicview, image viewer
GTKam, to retrieve images/videos from a camera not recognized as mass storage

Smplayer, multimedia player
Audacious, audio player
mhWaveEdit, sound recording and editing
Avidemux, video editor
Brasero, CD/DVD burning
Asunder, audio CD extractor

Wicd, network connection manager

Arora, Midori and Jumanji, web browsers
Sylpheed, mail client
Pidgin, for all instant messaging accounts
Xchat, for IRC chat. Connects by default on freenode, #ctkarch channel. ☺
Gftp, FTP client

UrXvt, terminal
Gparted, a partitionning utility
Htop, for monitoring activity

Everything needed to configure the desktop: arandr (screen₍s₎ config), decorations, windows and icon themes…

Console-only applications:

In addition to the standard commands any system must have, I've included:

· yaourt, very useful interface to pacman and makepkg for installing packages
· foremost and photorec, data retrieving utilities (on messed up hard disks e.g. by accidental deletions)
· mocp, audio player/daemon with fancy playlist management
· youtube-dl, and a youtube-play script, to download videos from youtube or stream direcly them with mplayer
· scrot, to take screenshots of your fancy desktop ☺

· the full compilation toolchain including GCC (base-devel group)
· powertop, to see what's consuming electric resources and reduce consumption applying its hints
· netcfg, for network connection profiles management

· Network: w3m, irssi, screen, pastebin, lighttpd, openntpd, openssh, tsocks…
· System: lshw, lsof, dcfldd, sd/hdparm, sensors…

Additionnally, the RAM modules tester Memtest86++ is availaible in the "Miscellaneous options" menu at bootup.

Installation-related infos

CTKArch installation

The installation of the system (as it is in live) can be performed clicking in the menu, System, CTKArch Installer.
…or running “ctkinstall” in a terminal.

The default mirror is a snapshot of the repositories from the day the live was released.

This allows installating packages without having to update the live system (which would be uncomfortable).

You just need to comment out or delete the ARM (arm.konnichi.com…) entry at the beginning of /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist to get back to rolling release.
That is not advisable on the live system, but you may want to do it after installing, to enjoy rolling-release updates.

Installing on USB: if you perform an installation on a storage media connected to the computer via USB, don't forget to add “usb” before “filesystems” to the HOOKS line of mkinitcpio.conf at the ‘Configure system’ step of the installation.

Performing a standard Archlinux installation from this livecd

To launch a standard archlinux installer via netinstall, run “aif -p interactive” as root.
To launch a chroot installation assistant, run “/install/install-chroot.sh” as root. (for Arch regulars)