As soon as I collected all the hardware components, I've started to install the PC (described here).

The case seems to be well built, as well as the Be Quite! power adapter. Motherboard, disk, ram and cpu are quite common, so no comments about them. I will comment them as soon as I'll start to use them in a normal way.

Monitor is big. Maybe too big considering the distance I have, but it's ok. I think I'll get used to this.

BIOS is quite easy to use, yet complete. I've seen more complete menus from other vendors, but I don't actually need anything special so it's perfectly ok.

PC is quite silent. You can barely hear something when working, and it's great. I wanted a cold and silent machine. I got it, so I'm happy.


Manjaro Installation

As soon as possible, I started to install Manjaro Linux, with Gnome. KDE was an interesting option but I went with Gnome for now. Anyway, KDE is ready for installation.

I used Manjaro Architect as I like the idea of being able to customize my installation before the first login. Everything was smooth, I decided to create a swap file instead of a swap partition (I want to be able to hibernate, so I need a big swap for my 16 GB Ram) and that was ok. First boot, everything ok except very small windows and fonts. Not a problem: scale at 200% and everything is ok and nice.

Monitor is ok. I didn't expect too much, but it's better than expected. Too bad there's no sound, I'll have to take some speakers (maybe my 5 years old Bose system, barely used in the last few years).

First problem: the ethernet card just connects at 100 Mbit/sec. It's a r8169, so it should be Gigabit capable. lshw shows it's gigabit capable but negotiated at 100 Mbit. I think it's because of the cheap and long cable, but I'll be testing it later. I don't need very fast lan speed for now.

Second problem: hibernation doesn't work. I installed the gnome extensions to control it from AUR, but it can't resume. Too bad, I thought it was ok as the installer asked me if I needed it. After some searching, I found a link explaining the Arch way of fixing it, and it now works. The grub part was missing, while the hook was already present. So now both suspension and hibernation work flawlessly, and it's great as I usually don't turn off my machine but suspend/hibernate it.

It's now time to go for a backup policy. My favourite solution is, at the moment, based on borg or restic. Here I'm going for borg, adapting a script I've been writing before in my blog (sorry, Italian only, but scripts are international). Borg and restic are available via pacman, so no hassle. Now I need dattobd.


DATTOBD on Manjaro

I had some problems to compile and use dattobd, that I use for backups, on Manjaro. The AUR package seems to be working but fails to install the kernel module (permissions? I don't know for now, I'll be checking soon), so I've decided to download the source and compile locally. The only problem I've found is that dattobd installs its libraries in (for example) /usr/local/src/dattobd/lib, so I had to copy them to /usr/local/lib or, as I did, to add this path to /etc/ld.so.conf.d/dattobd.conf. Everything works as expected, but I know there will be a problem at next kernel update (dattobd won't recompile automatically). I want to use dkms, I'll study it later. I see there's a dkms file in the sources, so this should be working, somehow. After that, dattobd is working.


After all those steps, the system is up and running. I liked my backup script to cron.hourly to have a constant backup policy, and I'm now using the system.

It seems to be ok for now, Gnome seems to be a bit sluggish and it is unexpected. It's not an old laptop, so I don't understand why the Intel can't handle smoothly some animations. I'll look at it soon. Anyway, it seems I'm not the only one facing this. A simple Google search shows many are having some problems with Gnome 3 speed. Maybe I'll test other DE soon.