This post is archived. Opinions expressed herein may no longer represent my current views. Links, images and other media might not work as intended. Information may be out of date. For further questions contact me.
UPDATE 2018-06-26: This post is out of date.
I have since switched full time to Debian Sid. I currently use a highly customised environment around
I recently had to re-install Arch Linux on one of my machines. What I needed was to setup my current desktop environment with as little effort as possible. Recreating it from scratch would have taken several hours, if not days. Good thing I maintain a git repo with my dotfiles.
Once I had access to the shell, I cloned the repo, copied
.vimrc, and went on to install the Xfce desktop environment as well as all the packages I use.
The installation is pretty straightforward. In my dotfiles I maintain backups with the lists of packages. All that is needed is to feed the content of such a file into a
pacman command, such as:
# Download packages from main repos sudo pacman -S - < dotfiles/pacman/native.txt
If I feel like also putting the AUR packages in place, I first build
pacaur (the AUR helper):
That command runs this nifty script:
#!/bin/sh # System update sudo pacman -Syu # Prepare build dir mkdir -p /tmp/pacaur-build cd /tmp/pacaur-build # Base devel packages sudo pacman -S binutils make gcc fakeroot --noconfirm --needed # Pacaur deps sudo pacman -S expac yajl git --noconfirm --needed # Cower build if [ ! -n "$(pacman -Qs cower)" ]; then curl -o PKGBUILD https://aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/plain/PKGBUILD?h=cower makepkg PKGBUILD --skippgpcheck --install --needed fi # Pacaur build if [ ! -n "$(pacman -Qs pacaur)" ]; then curl -o PKGBUILD https://aur.archlinux.org/cgit/aur.git/plain/PKGBUILD?h=pacaur makepkg PKGBUILD --install --needed fi # Prune cd ~ rm -r /tmp/pacaur_install
Then the process for getting the AUR packages is the same as with the native list:
# Install AUR packages pacaur -S - < dotfiles/pacman/foreign.txt
Since these may contain a program that requires lots of time to compile, I tend to select only what I truly require. The rest are set up whenever I need them.
GNU/Linux portability is a blessing
I was aware of the potential of backing up everything that pertains to a GNU/Linux machine. I just never had any practical experience with it. I have been maintaining my dotfiles mostly for reverting to a stable state whenever I go out trying certain customisations. It turns out that approach applies to a clean system install.
This has been my first attempt at replicating a custom Xfce setup on a clean Arch Linux base. I am happy with the results, though I believe the process could be automated even further. Perhaps via a script that would take care of all the configurations in the local
.config as well as the system files. I still need to research that and act accordingly.
Whatever the case, the freedom to experiment with data porting is there.