customize arch linux after installing 1

How to Customize Arch Linux After Installing

Any system must be installed with users understanding how to operate it and what tasks must be completed for it to function properly. In this article, we will be discussing how to customize Arch Linux after installing it.

What are the steps you must take after installing Arch Linux? You can use this article to get started with Arch Linux and continue learning more about it.

Today, we’ll outline a few straightforward yet crucial steps you should take after installing Arch Linux.

You are undoubtedly well aware by this point that Arch Linux offers a minimal installation and enables you to create your own system on top of it. You must do everything, including setting up desktop environments, media codecs, and your preferred programs.

Many Arch Linux users favor this do-it-yourself (DIY) method. Use Manjaro Linux if you want everything to work right away. Manjaro is modeled like Arch but with less difficulty.

Let’s get to the point and discuss what to do next after installing Arch Linux.

How to Customize Arch Linux After Installing 

FOSS focuses on beginner-centric approaches, so while there are many GUI-based approaches suggested there, this won’t be the case here. We believe that if you use Arch Linux, you are not afraid of using the terminal because it is an expert domain. The steps listed here are command-line-based because of this.

Update Arch Linux

It’s a good idea to check for the most recent update for your Arch System even if you’ve already utilized the most recent release:


$ sudo pacman -Syu

Install Desktop Environment, Display Manager, and X Server

You must install the X server, the most widely used display server, before installing a desktop environment (DE). This is essential in to customize Arch Linux after installing it.


$ sudo pacman -S xorg

Use one of the commands listed below to install your preferred desktop environment after it has finished.

Install GNOME:


$ sudo pacman -S gnome gnome-extra

Install Cinnamon:


$ sudo pacman -S cinnamon nemo-fileroller

Install XFCE:


$ sudo pacman -S xfce4 xfce4-goodies

Install KDE:


$ sudo pacman -S plasma

Install MATE:


$ sudo pacman -S mate mate-extra

Install a Display Manager

Install lxdm

A display manager is also required in order to access your desktop environment. You can install LXDM for simplicity’s sake.


$ pacman -S lxdm
Enable lxdm

Once you have lxdm installed, you may choose to have it run every time your computer reboots.


$ systemctl enable lxdm.service

The LXDM login screen will appear after a system reboot; choose your desktop environment from the list and log in.

Enable GDM

You may also choose to use GNOME’s default display manager “GDM” if you decide to go with GNOME. After installing GNOME you can have GDM run every time your system reboot by using the command below.


$ systemctl enable gdm 

This is how a system with GNOME and GDM looks like.

List of Users Showing Upon Bootup
customize arch linux after installing

Login Screen Upon Selecting a User Account

customize arch linux after installing

Arch Linux with GNOME and GDM

customize arch linux after installing

Install AUR Helper

The Arch User Repository (AUR) provides a huge selection of packages and applications. However, pacman does not let us directly fetch these packages. We require specialized software called AUR Helpers to fetch packages from AUR. Several of these helpers are available, but paru is the one we suggest.

Install Paru

Based on the yay design, paru is an AUR helper developed in Rust. It attempts to be your typical, low-interaction AUR tool for wrapping pacman. Paru is a program that makes it simple to create and install packages from the AUR and all of their dependencies. Use the commands below to install paru.


$ sudo pacman -S base-devel git –needed
$ cd paru
$ makepkg -si

Use the command below to install packages from AUR.


$ paru -S <package-name>

Install an LTS kernel

A more reliable kernel with improved support for older hardware is what you get when you install an LTS kernel. Additionally, bug fixes and performance improvements for the LTS kernels will be available for at least two years.

If you prefer to utilize the most recent Linux kernel, you can discover problems and defects that the most recent kernel upgrades have caused to your current system and program. Although it isn’t certain, it is undoubtedly a possibility.

For this reason, if you desire a more stable system and have an older system, it is recommended that you use an LTS kernel. But the choice is ultimately up to you.

Check the version of the Linux kernel you are using before installing an LTS kernel.


$ uname -r

Type the following command to install the LTS kernel and Linux LTS headers:


$ sudo pacman -S linux-lts
$ sudo pacman -S linux-lts-headers

The LTS version is currently the default.

Once finished, use the command below to eliminate the older kernels. But then you may want to keep them so you can boot into the other Linux kernel version “if” something goes wrong.


$ sudo pacman -Rs linux

Installing Plugins and Codecs

Naturally, you’ll use your personal computer for leisure activities like watching films and listening to your favorite music. For these, you must first install codecs for audio and video formats.

In the terminal, enter the following command:

$ sudo pacman -S a52dec faac faad2 flac jasper lame libdca libdv libmad libmpeg2 libtheora libvorbis libxv wavpack x264 xvidcore

Installing a media player, such as VLC, imports and installs all required codecs.

$ sudo pacman -S vlc

You might also include a music player:

$ sudo pacman -S mpg123

Productivity Softwares

You need some basic software, like an office suite, email client, web browser, etc. for everyday usage and for configuring your Arch system for productive use.


$ sudo pacman -S libreoffice thunderbird firefox gedit flashplugin skype dropbox aria2

LibreOffice is the most widely used open source office program, for your download manager that would be Aria2, Thunderbird is a cross-platform email and chat program, Firefox is an open source and cost-free web browser, Gedit is a text editor, flashplugin installs flash, Skype is a well-liked messaging and video calling program, and Dropbox stores your files for any time access.

You will also require archive managers in addition to these.


$ sudo pacman -S p7zip p7zip-plugins unrar tar rsync

Of course, this is only a suggestion. You can install necessary Linux programs according to your preferences and needs.

Personalizing the Appearance of your Arch Linux Desktop

By adding some attractive flat themes or the Conky monitoring tool, you can personalize your Arch Linux.

Setting Up Themes

The following command can be used to install several of the most popular themes, including Arc GTK, flatplat, Vertex, and Numix:


$ yaourt -S arc-gtk-theme flatplat-theme-git vertex-themes
$ sudo pacman -S numix-themes

The default theme can be modified by going to settings > appearance.

Install Conky

Conky is a free system manager program that can track and show memory consumption, CPU statistics, disk storage, swap, CPU temperature, and other data.

Use the following command to install Conky:


$ sudo pacman -S conky

Conky can be configured manually by looking through the ~/.conkyrc file, or you can obtain your preferred configuration from the web and replace the stock conkyrc file. On the Arch Linux website, there is a thorough tutorial for conky and its configuration.

Additional advice:

You can use the following commands at any moment if you feel like deleting any application (and any dependencies it may have):


$ sudo pacman -R package-name

It eliminates the package but leaves the dependencies in place. The command below will help if you wish to remove dependencies while excluding those that are being utilized by another application:


$ sudo pacman -Rs package-name

Final Thoughts

If you want complete control over everything, including setting up your preferred desktop environment and the tools you wish to use, Arch Linux is an excellent distribution for it. We have covered most of the crucial actions to do after installing Arch Linux in this article. It is up to you to discover everything else.

If this guide helped you, please share it. ?

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