Tips to use Archbang

Two days ago, a friend of mine (who was an Ubuntu user) asked me to instruct him how to install and configure Arch Linux. But because I was too busy with Skyrim, I told him to get Archbang instead (since it is easier to install Archbang). After helping him install Archbang, I had to answer many questions from him. So I think many other people would have the same questions about Archbang Linux, that's why today I write this article about some tips to use Archbang.

I already wrote an article about 10 things to do after installing Archbang and here is 10 more things to do. But if you're still confused with Archbang, this article will provide some more tips to use Archbang Linux and make it better, more productive and more beautiful.

1. How to install Archbang
2. Install applications in Archbang
3. Change themes and icons in Archbang
4. Change the login screen of Archbang
5. Right click on the terminal in Archbang
6. Adjust screen brightness in Archbang
7. Use laptop function keys in Archbang
8. Disable the system info when you open a terminal
9. Create a launcher on tint2 panel
10. Imbed the terminal transparently into the wallpaper

1 - How to install Archbang

Step 1: download Archbang from the hompage
Step 2: Burn the ISO to a CD or make a bootable USB stick (recommended). Here is my guide to use UnetBootin to create a bootable USB, it works well in every OS.
Step 3: Install Archbang. Here is a thorough and simple guide with a lot of pictures about how to install Archbang. Since Archbang is very light weight, installing it will be very fast. It took my friend less than 15 minutes to install Archbang

2 - Install applications in Archbang

If the apps are in the Arch Linux repository, just run a command like this:
 sudo pacman -S firefox chromium pidgin vlc  

If the packages you want are not in the Arch Linux repository, there will probably be aur packages. You can install these aur packages manually or use packer since it is preinstalled in Archbang. To use packer, just run:
 sudo packer -S name-of-the-package  

For example, to install minitube:
 sudo packer -S minitube  

Note: To get more info about pacman and packer, please run man pacman and man packer.

3 - Change themes and icons in Archbang

You can change themes and icons just like how you do so in Ubuntu. Just download the theme and icon packages and extract them into /usr/share/themes and /usr/share/icons ( you can also create ~/.themes and ~/.icons to use locally). After move the theme and icon folders to the right places, hit Alt+F2 then type "lxappearance" to change themes and icons.

Note: you may find that the new theme doesnt apply to some applications, these applications are usually Qt based. Qt and GTK+ based programs both use a different widget toolkit to render the graphical user interface. Each come with different themes, styles and icon sets by default, among other things, so the look may differ significantly. To apply theme to these apps, you should install the qt package
 sudo pacman -S qt  

After that, hit Alt+F2 to run qtconfig, choose GTK+ in the GUI style. Save and close the window.
Next, open the start up file ~/.xinitrc and add the following line:
 export GTK2_RC_FILES="/home/username/.gtkrc-2.0"  

4 - Change the login screen of Archbang

The login manager of Archbang is slim, to get more themes for slim, just run
 sudo pacman -S slim-themes  

The themes folder is located as /usr/share/slim/themes. You can also create your own themes then add to this folder.

To edit and configure slim, just edit (as root) the file /etc/slim.conf

5 - Right click on the terminal in Archbang

Many visitors have visited my blog by searching for this so I think this should be a tip. I'm not familiar with urxvt so I guess we just cannot right click on urxvt. My solution is to install another terminal emulator, my favorite terminal emulator is Terminator
 sudo pacman -S terminator  

6 - Adjust screen brightness in Archbang

The hard way is to edit the file /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness. You can use either a text editor or the echo command. For example:
 sudo echo 6 > /sys/class/backlight/acpi_video0/brightness  

An easier way to adjust screen brightness is to use the xbacklight command:

For example, to increase screen brightness:
 xbaclklight +20  

To decrease:
 xbaclklight -20  

For more info about xbacklight, please run man xbacklight

7 - Use laptop function keys in Archbang

To use the laptop function keys in Archbang, you just need to add the keybindings into the file ~/.config/openbox/rc.xml

The important part is to find the name of these function keys. To do so, you need the package xorg-xev
 sudo pacman -S xorg-xev  

Next, open a terminal and run the following command
  xev | grep -A2 --line-buffered '^KeyRelease' | sed -n '/keycode /s/^.*keycode \([0-9]*\).* (.*, \(.*\)).*$/\1 \2/p'   

A white window with a black square inside will appear. To find the name of a key, just move the cursor to the white window then hit the key, you will have the output of the names of the keys you just hit.

An example of a new keybinding using a laptop function key would be like this:
 <keybind key="XF86MonBrightnessUp"">  
    <action name="Execute">  
     <command>xbacklight +20</command>  
      <name>Increase screen brightness</name>  

8 - Disable the system info when you open a terminal

This system info is originally called archey, but in Archbang, it got modified into archbey. To disable it, just comment out the archbey line in ~/.bashrc

9 - Create a launcher on tint2 panel

Read this guide if you want a tint2 panel with a launcher like the image below:

10 - Imbed the terminal transparently into the wallpaper

Read this guide to get a desktop like this

linux tips and tricks