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3 years of same Archlinux installation

So today is the third year of my Archlinux installation. It has been a long journey with many ups and downs. In this post I’ll share with you some of this tale.

If you want to see my resume of the second year you can find it here.

Openbox

Differently from last year I left Pytyle abandoning tiling window managers at all. I’m using a single monitor and I cannot find motives to use more than two windows at the same time ever.

Openbox is an amazing piece of software that has been with me since the beginning. Since last year I’ve being running out of shortcuts combinations on my keyboard (imagine that). So I discovered Openbox prefixes and that solved my problem. Now I have a Clippboard prefix, CompuFácil prefix, links prefix, that expand the collection of possibilities. Take a look at my Openbox configuration.

Clippboard

I’ve being long refining my clippboard management process. I think managing properly your clippboard is a core-stone skill developers must master. I’m beginning to think that this subject deserves a talk by itself. At the heart of it I use copyq and I recommend you to do so. To give you a point of contact of what I’m talking about, I have shortcuts for:

  • Open in vim the current selection
  • Translate the current selection
  • Google the current selection
  • Move an older selection to the top

Vim

My setup is totally terminal oriented and all of it floats around vim. My vim is totally amazing, I really recommend you to take a look at it. I achieved higher levels of productivity with it that I ever thought it was possible. The main feature of my vim is that is easy to create new text objects and operations over text selections.

Theme tweaking

It’s been a long time since I changed any theme related thing in my desktop. I simply removed all interface elements when they aren’t needed. So I don’t get annoyed that they don’t look as I would like them to. When I’m editing text the only thing I see is vim, nothing more. Then I’m browsing the browser, etc.

Stack

These are the software I use:

  • vim
  • tmux
  • zsh
  • openbox
  • linux-lts
  • terminator
  • franz (chat)
  • chromium
  • nautilus (file manager)
  • spotify
  • irssi (chat)
  • zathura (pdf)
  • lxpanel (sidebar)
  • fittstool

Issues

Sometimes things break and break hard. Until the half of the year I was suffering a disk shortage. Then I made a fsck and freed half of my disk sectors that were marked as unusable (don’t ask me why). And it’s working properly long since.

Issues remaining

  1. The mainline kernel don’t even boot on my machine anymore. But I’m happy with the LTS nevertheless.

  2. My chromium had a regression and the webcam and microphone do not longer works on it.

  3. My SSD card don’t load after suspending. But this is a bug on the Macbook hardware and happens on MacOS as well.

Conclusion

I’m amazingly productive with my stack and I doubt that experienced programmers on other OS’ses can be this much. But I recognize that Linux is extremely complex for new comers. Even more a stack terminal-oriented like mine. It takes too much effort to become really powerful. But once you get there there’s no end to the improvements you can make on your computer.

I’m kind of proud of never more having to format my machine every six months. I consider a kind of failure when a developer “reinstall everything” it’s like giving up. Unix systems were made to endure. If you can’t keep yours, how you would expect to maintain a system to your users?

Anyway, only with Archlinux I was able to do that. I think it has something to do with it’s principles . And something to do with me getting more mature. Willing to understand things, taking the time to read and improve by baby-steps.

I think that’s it. In a year certainly I’ll have another post like this. The only motive to change my installation is a hardware failure/change. And even in this case I might use the same installation on a new piece of silicon.