vnstat is good

not long ago i was surfing on my notebook while outdoors (yes, in winter, i am a little bit insane on that regard – like him… https://stallman.org/favorite-photos.html ) and suddenly my mobile data was used up (that happens in germany because its really expensive – about 5€ a month per 1 GB data -so we generally dont have much data) and i couldnt surf anymore… if i had known, would have surfed less. the problem is that my provider only lets me check my data in the browser and books the traffic for that (about 2MB every time) from my available data…

so i had an idea:

I am using vnstat (https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/vnStat) for years now on my server(s).

Why not on my notebook?

I have to say: its working flawlessly and as long i only use my mobile-data-stick with my notebook it should be accurate…

TL/DR: Use vnstat – it is very good! Not only on your server but also on your mobile devices 😉

How to use aurutils

I dont want to search for my own post just to go to reddit and hope, so:

Search for packages:

aur search $yourpackagename

Install Packages:

aur sync $yourpackagename
sudo pacman -S $yourpackagename

Updating aur:

aur sync -u
sudo pacman -Syu (Updates all packages)

Easy enough… So far…

Setting up Archlinux: aurutils

As i want to have “all” the packages for arch, i want to use the aur-repos with the user-maintained packages.

it is discouraged to use a utility for that because one should be able to fix and edit problems with those packages by themselves should some arise.

but… i am really lazy and after using gentoo (and after that arch) for some years, i think i will be able to at least google fo a solution.

having said that: aurutils…

i had to install them manually, obviosly, as i didnt have aurutils to install packages from aur.

Here is a guide for manual installation: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Arch_User_Repository#Installing_and_upgrading_packages

I used the following site to configure aurutils: https://gist.github.com/geosharma/afe1ea9ebe58cb67aaaba62a0d47bc7a

Some guidence on how to use aurutils may be found at https://www.reddit.com/r/archlinux/comments/bf4rvm/aurutils_guidance/ .

After that it worked and i could easily install packages from aur, without manually installing them via git.

Setting up Archlinux: dmenu

I installed i3 for archlinux and i could not start applications with “$mod+d”.

It was really stupid of me, but i nevertheless decided to drop some lines on that.

TL/DR: Install dmenu with “sudo pacman -S dmenu”

Turns out: when you install i3 on arch, it only installes i3 and the absolutely necessary packages for that. dmenu isnt necessary.

So i wasted about 10 minutes googleing the problem until i found some old comment in a forum and then installed dmenu.

Have fun!

Setting up Archlinux: Changing Backlight via Keypress

To change the brightness via keypress i hacked some scripts together (some time ago) because it was easier (faster) to do that than to do it properly.

Here are the scripts: https://github.com/d13g4/brightnesshack

In the i3 config i had to add the following lines to the end:

bindcode 233 exec .config/bright_inc.sh
bindcode 232 exec .config/bright_dec.sh

Your keycodes may be different, so make sure to get the right ones for you. These codes are the F5 (dec) and F6 (inc) keys on my (thinkpad a275 – german version) keyboard.

Setting up Archlinux: Touchpad Tapping

So… as I want to have tapping on my touchpad, i had to enable it via synclient.

I followed the instructions on https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Touchpad_Synaptics .

To enable tapping i used the command: “synclient TapButton1=1”.

After that tapping worked for me… too good. So whenever i typed, i pressed a button. To fix that i had to use “synclient PalmDetect=1” and for it to work properly “synclient PalmMinWidth=8”.

After that it worked for me (on my thinkpad a275).

To make the changes permanant i had to edit the config file located in

“/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/70-synaptics.conf”

The touchpad section config was edited like that:

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "touchpad catchall"
        Driver "synaptics"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
		Option "TapButton1=1"
		Option "PalmDetect=1"
		Option "PalmMinWidth=8"

So after that the touchpad was working with tapping and i could move on to config the other things.

Archlinux – what I have ToDo

After installing the base-system and the minimum to work with, i decided that i want to have lxqt with i3 as windowmanager.

i encountered a couple of problems, some anticipated and some unanticipated. it were so many that i decided to post a todo-list. i wont write about every problem, but about the most interesting or annoying ones.

so here is the list: (items with an x behind them have a post on this site)

  • touchpad: tapping (x)
  • splash screen (boot)
  • powertop
  • i3lock
  • aurutils (x)
  • dmenu (x)
  • changing backlight via keypress doesnt work (x)
  • setting up mosh (locales primarily)
  • installing breeze-cursor
  • steam does not work
  • aurutils: password timed out error
  • network-manager and applet
  • sd-card reader doesnt work
  • installing and configuring redshift
  • automating setting neo keyboard layout by default
  • setting up a background-picture

As i said i wont write a post to evey item on the list but the intereseting ones.

if in the future someone should read this and has a problem with an item on that list and there is no post to it, feel free to comment.

Broken HDD – New System!

This is the second part of https://diemo.best/2020/10/25/my-hdd-broke-down/

So… i decided to use Archlinux! ( https://www.archlinux.org/ )

I have used it in the past and its really lightweight – like REALLY lightweight.

I didnt want to use gentoo because my notebook is a lenovo a275 (the not-intel variant of the x260) and not very powerful. well… archlinux is definetly lightweight…

yesterday i succeded having video and today i got sound 😀

anyway – i have some things i want to write articles about on hold (like the pictures from the visit at the zoo) but i am going to post my experiences with the new system and what i had to do to get it working first, i think.

anyway – lately i am much more motivated to write new posts (i am finally nearly done moving which was… not that pleasent) so i have more mindspace available for this project.