Top 10 Things to do after a fresh install - 2018 Edition

Continuing the discussion from Top 10 things to do after fresh install:

Guys/Gals,

Manjaro newcomer here (#newbie if you want to). I read a lot of good topics on this forum and I’m learning a lot from you guys when I spotted this 2016 thread about things we should do after a fresh install. I read the original thread and found that the topics mentioned there are not updated (I mean, a lot of messages were about removing plymouth, something that I learned that was already removed from the latest versions).

So I wanted to create a new “Top 10 Things” to do, updated to Manjaro 2018 versions with the help of everyone around here: newbies and experienced sysadmins/top contributors! Shall we? The problem with these kind of lists is that Manjaro is so well “tailored” these days that I couldn’t find 10 things to do after my installation… Maybe you guys could share yours and we see where we will end up! The idea is, again, KISS (keep it simple, silly - no need to offend anyone :rofl:)!

Bear in mind that I’m only looking for the most important and general type of hints here. No need to get into personal details and any configuration made specifically for a desktop environment… And that I’ve also read that “this kind of lists won’t fit everyone” and “is against Arch purpose”. But I believe that the more you know, the better. If this thread don’t help anyone, I guess it can be removed then :confused:.

I just want to help new Manjaro users get the best experience using this fantastic distro!

So, I’ll start with the things I’ve done so far:
(EDIT: I’ve added the suggestions posted by other users.)


GENERAL HINTS (not specific to any DE)

1. Configure Pacman mirrors to use local mirrors - then run a full system upgrade/update

Guide: https://wiki.manjaro.org/index.php?title=Use_pacman-mirrors_to_Set_the_Fastest_Download_Server
Open Pamac, go to settings and choose your country and refresh the mirror list - that should do it. Enable AUR repository, save and then click on “updates” to start a system update.
If you like to use the terminal, there are many options to accomplish this, like:

sudo pacman-mirrors -g && sudo pacman -Syyu
2. Remove/disable unused services (be careful!)

Guide: https://www.linux.com/learn/cleaning-your-linux-startup-process
In my case: Removed avahi-daemon.service (use this great guide by @FadeMind to learn how to do this), tlp, bluetooth.service and ModemManager.service and got some seconds shaved from boot time.
Learn what each service does and why you should keep it running (or not).

3. (Testing needed, will update after) Limit journald logging service and speed up boot time

Guide: very nice guide by @jsamyth)
I think this could really help me get a faster boot and keep my system tidy since I believe most users don’t need to have the whole suit of logging that is set by default installations. What do you think?
I’m gonna test this guide on my system and post back the results.

4. A power savings setup guide for Laptops by @stephane and @FadeMind

Thanks to @stephane and @FadeMind (again :stuck_out_tongue:)
[HowTo] Power savings setup| 20180403

5. Translations by @michaldybczak

I’ve read somewhere around here that you have to install the package cinnamon-translations (I don’t know about the other versions) in order to get the complete translation. Since I’m using my interface in EN, I can’t test this one.

6. Post-script guide by @ryanmusante
7. Disable Continuous Trim For SSD Drives by @tbg

CUSTOMIZATION/REMINDERS/USEFUL INFO

Remove default apps (not needed, obviously - pay attention to dependencies!)

This is actually a customization, but I guess it could be related to the fact that I am coming from a Windows machine and I’d like to keep installed just the software that I actually use. I mean, I don’t need hexchat, pidgin, so I end up removing them. So think of this item as a reminder for you to go the menu and see if you’re going to use all those apps. And if by any chance you choose to remove any of them, take special care with their dependencies. If a specific app complains about removing a bunch of other packages, don’t commit the changes and stay away from it! For example, since I don’t use any Bluetooth on my desktop, I’ve removed every package related to the bluetooth/bluez. When I’ve tried to remove the last one (bluez-libs), a whole lot of packages were presented by Pamac to be removed also. Needless to say that I’ve cancelled the action and left that bluez-libs sitting quietly on my HDD :grin: !

Install apps/drivers for your hardware

Another customization-that-should-be-treated-as-a-reminder case.
I needed to install the driver for my Wi-Fi USB dongle (Tp-link Archer T4U - driver rtl8812au-dkms-git) and for my printer (brother-ql700), both available on AUR. My wireless keyboard (Logitech) was correctly identified and was working out of the box. So, check if everything is working on your system and search the forums and wiki (both Manjaro’s and AUR’s) to find what is missing.

Regarding the "font rendering"

Another reminder for the new users: a lot of the information posted around here about this matter is outdated. Since version 17 (2018-ish, that when I began using Manjaro), I’ve noticed that Manjaro in general already uses an excellent font rendering configuration (at least all the ones I’ve tried so far: Cinnamon, Gnome, KDE, Deepin and MATE). So you shouldn’t mess with this item unless you’re experiencing some problems.

If you still want to tweak or test your system, you could use these commands and reboot the system to apply any modifications:

To check what’s being used by your current X session, run this command on your terminal:

xrdb -query

Your results should look like similar to this:

Xft.antialias: 1
Xft.autohint: true
Xft.dpi: 96
Xft.hinting: 1
Xft.hintstyle: hintslight
Xft.rgba: rgb

Which is what’s inside my “$HOME/.Xresources” file (Gotta test if Manjaro creates this one by default). You can edit and save it and reboot to check the results. I have to test if the default config added the “Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault” option or not. In any case, save these lines to you “$HOME/.Xresources”:

Xft.dpi: 96 (please check what the correct dpi of your monitor and use it here!)
Xft.antialias: true
Xft.hinting: true
Xft.rgba: rgb
Xft.autohint: true
Xft.hintstyle: hintslight
Xft.lcdfilter: lcddefault

FYI:
@joined posted an excellent thread that summarized a great deal of information about this issue. You should take a look before you start tinkering with this!


If you guys find any typo or grammar mistakes, feel free to point them out! English is not my native language :wink:.

EDIT: Added more hints to the list, organized a little…

31 Likes

Thanks for the tip! However I cannot notice any difference in my laptop’s monitor :frowning_face:

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About the Improve font rendering
Does it works on Xfce or only on Gnome? Do you have an example of how it looks like after applying this?

Hummm, have you looked at the “Fonts” settings on your Manjaro’s menu? Check if they are as follows:
Screenshot%20from%202018-06-12%2021-52-57

Actually I’m researching this topic right now. It seems that hint is outdated, sorry guys! :confounded:

Well, not that outdated, Manjaro 17 still uses fontconfig and the user conf file is parsed by the system. So, back to the table :wink:

Wow, found so many info that I’m actually overwhelmed. Gotta try some of them out :frowning:

  1. Edit .bashrc

    HISTSIZE=999999999
    HISTFILESIZE=999999999

    # write&read bash history after every command (for working with multiple terminals)
    PROMPT_COMMAND="history -a;history -n;$PROMPT_COMMAND"

  2. Edit .inputrc

    # search bash history with up/down arrow keys
    "\e[A": history-search-backward
    "\e[B": history-search-forward

    # use left/right and home/end keys in terminal
    "\e[C": forward-char
    "\e[D": backward-char
    "\e[1~": beginning-of-line
    "\e[4~": end-of-line

  3. install vim
    sudo pacman -S vim
    sudo pacman -R nano
    sudo ln -s /usr/bin/vim /usr/bin/nano

2 Likes

Not sure if that’s a good change to recommend to new users.

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This is the 2nd or 3rd thing I added to my install procedure when I was a newbie too? Sudo means elevated privilege. Asking for password seemed redundant to me. I guess I still am a newbie. :smile_cat:

Hummm, I believe nano is installed by default. If a new user had never used vim I don’t think this hint could help it. Seems more a customization for your needs than a general hint :wink:

I’ve used vim a lot but I don’t like to remember some cheat sheet just to make a simple editing on a text file, so I’ve started to use nano.

By general I thought you meant not desktop specific. I think vim is a much better text editor than nano. The sooner you learn the better is what I say.

To add further, vim is a “killer app” for the linux environment in my opinion. The sooner someone can appreciate it for what it is (not just some odd thing you need a cheat sheet for) the more they’ll appreciate linux in general and feel like they’re part of something bigger. Linux isn’t just a Windows alternative and the point isn’t to find the easiest windows-like way to do things. It’s this big, huge, great thing with a long history and great apps that go with it. And vim is a big part of that I think.

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No problem suggesting a better text editor, I’m just saying that I believe this is not a general hint. Don’t worry about it :wink:

And emacs :wink:

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Correct. It means that what ever the command is, it will be able to do anything on the system.

What if you download a script from the internet and run it.
The script contains some “hidden” sudo command that deletes your entire system.
If you don’t have a password prompt for sudo commands, the script will just run and you won’t notice anything until your next reboot. If you did have a password protected sudo, you would get a password prompt from the script, which should alarm you, since the script was only suppose to do something simple. :slight_smile: In the last scenario, you caught it before it messed up your system.

14 Likes
Off topic

I do not like :q :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

Yes the system should ask for the password when doing things that are dangerous as this will protect the installation. This will also help prevent hacking and malware as well.

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Grab:

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Fonts look the same to me too. I think this is desktop specific. On Xfce the font aliasing, hinting, freetype settings, etc. is all set up nicely by default now (it didn’t always used to be like this I think).

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What if (with default settings) I run a sudo command and I run a malicious script in the next 5 minutes? Will it still ask for a password?

Disable Continuous Trim For SSD Drives

Continuous TRIM is enabled by mounting a drive or partition with the discard option in /etc/fstab.

The discard option is no longer the recommended way to trim your SSD drive.

Use of the discard method may cause the system to slow down. Discard forces the system to apply TRIM instantly on every file deletion.

Remove the discard option for any SSD drive partition listed in /etc/fstab

Enable the systemd timer which is by default set to weekly periodic trim.

sudo systemctl enable fstrim.timer
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That depends. It will if you closed the terminal emulator after you ran the sudo command and reopened it to run the script. But it won’t if you didn’t close, which is already a big enough security risk. :slight_smile:

1 Like