So this is not the first time that I use arch and dwm, but after getting a new video card and cpu I took a break from using it and went back to windows.
Now that I’ve used windows for a while I decided to take a look at arch again. Sadly, like last time I used it, I had a few annoying issues when installing it. But those were mostly faults on my side.
Arch linux is a really customizable linux distribution which allows you to modify it from the ground up to fit your needs. That also means that installing process takes place in the console. No fancy GUIs. But the basic installation is a pretty straight forward process if you follow the guide.
Sounds like a doable thing, right? Well when I did this the first time the only issues I had were with dualbooting. Which ended up toasting my bootmanager. But that can be fixed with a windows installation disk. So booting the installation medium this time just got me a black screen. Fantastic. Later I found out that that is because I have a “fairly” new nvidia card which need the extra kernel parameter nomodeset to even get to the console.
So after all that and making sure that grub played nice with my windows partition I ended up installing xserver and other things I needed. That was when arch asks you which package you want for libgl. Theres a vesa package (I think that’s the opensource one) and three nvidia packages. Great. Now on the wiki it tells you which you need for your video card but reading the wiki is for loosers so I used the next best package. After installing the nouveau driver, which is the opensource driver for nvidia cards everything looked good. Until I rebootet and got a blackscreen instead of dwm. Now that’s not the first time I had that happend, I once had that on ubuntu as well when I installed the video card driver.
So the first thing where I don’ goofed is in the .xinitrc file. That file is executed when you start the xserver (which is responsible for the fancy nancy graphical stuffs). In there you tell it what window manager to start. But before starting my window manager I ran another command which prevented my window manager from starting. Soo yeah, that explained the blackscreen. After fixing that I found my desktop to be in a very low resolution, but at least I saw a desktop.
I spend about an hour trying to fix this problem by intalling the nvidia drivers from the repositories and the offical website switching between blackscreens and a low res desktop and ended up reinstalling arch completely.
This time I directly installed the proprietary drivers and tadaa, everything worked out fine. I still need to configure a few things like auto mountin usb drives and mounting my windows partition. But all in all I’m happy to get a break from windows from time to time and use linux.