domenica, aprile 27, 2014

Learning the Manjaro way - 1 Installation

So, I am so happy about my switch from Ubuntu to Manjaro that I want to share the experience.

But first, first a big and huge THANKS to Ubuntu. I discovered Linux 20 years ago but it wasn't until Ubuntu 8.04 that I really have been able to use it constantly on my PCs. It was, of course, 2008 and for 5 years I simply loved it. Now that I think about it... it's the same years span as... what the f...!! Well... never mind.

So, a HUGE thanks, Ubuntu still remains a great distro, but I am too of a chaos maker to keep it. And it was time to change, as I said. Last words, if you are a complete stranger to the Linux world, try Ubuntu (maybe not the last distro, but the previous one or the LTS), or maybe Mint.

Now, Manjaro. What's Manjaro? Manjaro comes from Arch Linux. Arch Linux is for bad asses. You want to learn Linux? Or you already know it? Go with Arch.
Manjaro tries to have the same level of configuration, speed, optimization as Arch, but gives you some help in the process other than the manuals and forums. It has got a graphic installer, for example!

How to install it? If you are on Linux or on Windows or on Mac: download Unetbootin. Than download the flavour of Manjaro that you want: you want it lightspeed? Download the XFCE one. You want it with more configuration for your DE? Download KDE. You want it bare bones but incredibly configurable? Openbox is for you.
Now launch Unetbootin (if it doesn't open... check on google "unetbootin doesn't launch"... or let me know and I'll help you). Select Diskimage, then select the ISO from Manjaro that you downloaded before, insert a USB stick in one of the USB ports, select it in Type and click OK button.

The program will create a bootable USB stick... let it finish it.
- By the way if you change the ISO from Manjaro with the one from another distro... you'll create a bootable USB stick to install that distro! -

Preliminary things to do on your PC if it's not a new one
If on the PC there is another OS and you already have data on it run a defrag (Windows) on it before trying to install. In this way the data on the PC will be moved to the beginning of the hard disk and there will be space at the end of it to install Linux. When it finished write down how much of the hard disk is being used: you need at least 24/30 GB free in order to install Linux (you can have also less, 10 could be enough, but I know you are a messy person, so let's have some more, ok?).

Now, when Unetbootin finished it's job, insert the USB stick in the PC that you want to install Manjaro to and restart (or start) that PC. You should press F12, F8 or whatever "F" your PC need at start up to select the device from which doing the booting (you know? When you start up the computer that there is that moment in which the screen is black and there is a message? Read that message and type the key that allows you to enter booting options). Select the USB device and restart again.

Instead of the OS (Operating System) that is normally installed on the PC you should be greeted by a different menu. There are some choices... leave the Default one and wait. Linux should be booting and at the end you'll enter in the Manjaro desktop (I've done it for KDE, but it will be the DE, Desktop Environment, that you chose). If you want it's time to mess around, try how it works and everything. This is a Live session of Manjaro, it's not yet installed on the PC, but it works as it were. So if everything works here (webcam, audio, videos) it means that everything will work once you complete the installation.

Let's move on: connect to the internet either by cable or by wireless. If by cable, just connect the cable. By wireless? On the bottom bar there is on the right the System Tray and the icon for Network. Select the wifi connection you use, type the password and that's it.
Now on the desktop there is the icon to install Manjaro. Indeed there should be 2, one "normal" and one "nonfree". The "nonfree" means that drivers that are not free will be installed too. Remember, it doesn't mean that you will have to pay for them, it means that you are not FREE to modify them, but you are not gonna to anyway so select that.

Launch the installation you want and now... WOW: a installation window will pop up. Select the language you want your installation, time zone, keyboard layout, then the disk layout.

And here we stop. To install Linux (Manjaro in our case) you need some space. I advice something like 20 GB.
So, at the disk layout section select Manual and go on.You will see a partition program where there will be a bar, that is your hard disk, with all the partition already there. If you click on the bar you can Change, Delete, Create the partition you are clicking.
If the PC is a new one and you want only Linux on it I suggest to partition (divide) you hard disk as follows:
  • create 20 GB with Type = ext4 for the main Linux installation, mount as "/"
  • some space for swap (normally it's the same as the RAM of your PC, if you don't know, let put 4 GB) with Type = swap, mount as "swap"
  • the rest as "data" disk with Type = ext4, where you will put everything... everything, mount as "/home"
If you have already an OS and data on the PC do like this:
  • leave all the partitions that you already got, simply resize (Edit, usually) the last partition so that 24 GB of space will be left
  • create a 20 GB partition for the Linux installation, Type = ext4, mount point "/"
  • create a 4 GB partition for swap, Type = swap, mount as "swap"
 Now... go on... ONLY IF YOU ARE REALLY SURE YOU WANT TO GO ON! If you are scared of doing some mess... don't do it! Call me, write me, I will try to help and clarify any doubts you have!

So, we go on, and the installation begin, you will be asked your name, a user name, chose a password, the name of the PC and... that's it!

At the end of the installation restart the PC, remove the USB stick and enjoy!

(next: First Steps)
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