This note includes all commands I typed when I set up Arch Linux on my new server.

PSA: I published a toolchain for building AUR packages in a clean-room docker container


Wipe a device

wipefs -a /dev/sda # erase file-system (fast)

# or

shred -v -n 1 --random-source=/dev/urandom /dev/sda # write pseudo-random data to the device (takes longer)

Create partitions

select /dev/sda
mktable gpt
mkpart EFI fat32 0 512MB # EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface)
mkpart Arch ext4 512MB 100% # Arch
set 1 esp on # flag partition 1 as ESP (EFI System Partition)

NOTE: Since the server has 128GB of physical memory, I would rather let OOM Killer do its job than create a swap partition. Should the need for swap come up later, consider swapfile (no difference in performance)

# create 8GB swap file
dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1M count=8000 status=progress
chmod 600 /swapfile
mkswap /swapfile
swapon /swapfile
echo "/swapfile none swap defaults 0 0" >> /etc/fstab

Install file-system for UEFI/GPT setup

mkfs.vfat -F 32 /dev/sda1 # EFI
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2 # Arch

Mount disks

mkdir -p /mnt/boot
mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot

Install the base system

# choose between 'linux' and 'linux-lts'
pacstrap /mnt base linux-lts linux-firmware
arch-chroot /mnt

Configure pacman

# optimize mirrorlist
pacman -S reflector
reflector --protocol https --latest 30 --sort rate --save /etc/pacman.d/mirrorlist --verbose # optimize mirror list

# enable color output
sed '/Color/s/^#//' -i /etc/pacman.conf

Install essentials

pacman -S vim man-db man-pages git base-devel

Configure fstab

pacman -S xfsprogs # for XFS

genfstab -U /mnt >> /etc/fstab # Generate fstab based off of /mnt
# backup UUID=<UUID> /mnt/backup ext4 defaults 0 2 # archive (do not prevent boot even if fsck fails) UUID=<UUID> /mnt/archive ext4 defaults,nofail,x-systemd.device-timeout=4 0 2 # xfs drive UUID=<UUID> /mnt/archive2 xfs defaults 0 0

You can find <UUID> from lsblk -f.

findmnt --verify --verbose # verify fstab

Install bootloader (GRUB 2)

pacman -S \
  grub \
  efibootmgr \
  amd-ucode # AMD microcode
grub-install --target=x86_64-efi --efi-directory=/boot --bootloader-id=GRUB

vim /etc/default/grub
sed -E \
  -e 's/(GRUB_TIMEOUT=).+/\13/' \
  -e 's/(GRUB_DISABLE_SUBMENU=).+/\1y/' \
  -i /etc/default/grub
grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

Configure locales

ln -sf /usr/share/zoneinfo/Asia/Tokyo /etc/localtime
hwclock --systohc
vim /etc/locale.gen
echo "LANG=en_US.UTF-8" > /etc/locale.conf

Setup network

hostnamectl set-hostname takos
hostnamectl set-chassis server
/etc/hosts localhost ::1 localhost takos
[Match] Name=enp5s0 [Network] #DHCP=yes Address= Gateway= DNS= # Self-hosted recursive DNS resolver DNS= # Cloudflare for the fallback DNS resolver MACVLAN=dns-shim # to route local DNS lookup to, which is managed by Docker MACVLAN driver
# to route local dns lookups to [NetDev] Name=dns-shim Kind=macvlan [MACVLAN] Mode=bridge
# to route local dns lookups to [Match] Name=dns-shim [Network] IPForward=yes [Address] Address= Scope=link [Route] Destination=

ip equivalent to the above config:

ip link add dns-shim link enp5s0 type macvlan mode bridge # add macvlan shim interface
ip a add dev dns-shim # assign the interface an ip address
ip link set dns-shim up # enable the interface
ip route add dev dns-shim # route macvlan subnet (.100 - .103) to the interface
systemctl enable --now systemd-networkd
networkctl status

# for self-hosted DNS resolver
sed -E 's/^DNS=.*/DNS=' -i /etc/systemd/resolved.conf
systemctl enable --now systemd-resolved
ln -rsf /run/systemd/resolve/stub-resolv.conf /etc/resolv.conf
resolvectl status
resolvectl query

If networkctl keep showing enp5s0 as degraded, then run ip addr add dev enp5s0 to manually assign static IP address for the workaround.

See also:

Leave chroot environment

exit # leave chroot
umount -R /mnt


# increase inotify limit
cat <<EOD> /etc/sysctl.d/97-inotify.conf

# reboot after 60s of kernel panic
echo "kernel.panic=60" > /etc/sysctl.d/98-kernel-panic.conf

# set swappiness
echo "vm.swappiness=10" > /etc/sysctl.d/99-swappiness.conf

sysctl --system


timedatectl set-ntp true
timedatectl status


git clone
cd yay
makepkg -si


pacman -S zsh
chsh -s /bin/zsh

# Install useful utils (totally optional)
yay -S pyenv exa antibody direnv fd ripgrep fzy peco ghq-bin hub neofetch tmux git-delta lazygit jq lostfiles ncdu htop rsync youtube-dl prettier age

Setup operator user (i.e., a user without a root privilege)

passwd # change root password

useradd -m -s /bin/zsh <user> # add operator user
passwd <user> # change operator user password

userdbctl # show users
userdbctl group # show groups

pacman -S sudo # install sudo

# add operator user to sudo group
groupadd sudo
usermod -aG sudo <user>
echo "%sudo ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD:/usr/bin/pacman" > /etc/sudoers.d/pacman # allow users in sudo group to run pacman without password (optional)
visudo -c # validate sudoers


pacman -S openssh
vim /etc/ssh/sshd_config
systemctl enable --now sshd

on the client machine:

# brew install ssh-copy-id
ssh-copy-id <user>@<serverIp>

Make SSH forwarding work with tmux and sudo

if [ ! -S ~/.ssh/ssh_auth_sock ] && [ -S "$SSH_AUTH_SOCK" ]; then ln -sf $SSH_AUTH_SOCK ~/.ssh/ssh_auth_sock fi
set -g update-environment -r setenv -g SSH_AUTH_SOCK $HOME/.ssh/ssh_auth_sock
Defaults env_keep += SSH_AUTH_SOCK

See also: Happy ssh agent forwarding for tmux/screen · Reboot and Shine



Needed for smartd.

pacman -S s-nail


Needed for cfddns.

yay -S sendmail


pacman -S smartmontools

Setup automated checkups

# scan all but removable devices and notify any test failures DEVICESCAN -a -o on -S on -n standby,q -s (S/../.././02|L/../../6/03) -m
systemctl enable --now smartd

Manual testing

smartctl -t short /dev/sda
smartctl -l selftest /dev/sda

See: S.M.A.R.T. - ArchWiki


pacman -S lm_sensors


systemctl enable --now lm_sensors

See: lm_sensors - ArchWiki

NVIDIA drivers

pacman -S nvidia-lts # 'nvidia' for 'linux'
nvidia-smi # validate runtime


pacman -S docker docker-compose
yay -S nvidia-container-runtime
{ "log-driver": "json-file", "log-opts": { "max-size": "10m", // default: -1 (unlimited) "max-file": "3" // default: 1 }, "runtimes": { // for docker-compose "nvidia": { "path": "/usr/bin/nvidia-container-runtime", "runtimeArgs": [] } } }
systemctl enable --now docker

usermod -aG docker <user>

# to create mandatory device files on /dev
docker run --gpus all nvidia/cuda:10.2-cudnn7-runtime nvidia-smi

GPU_OPTS=(--gpus all --device /dev/nvidia0 --device /dev/nvidiactl --device /dev/nvidia-modeset --device /dev/nvidia-uvm --device /dev/nvidia-uvm-tools)
docker run --rm -it ${GPU_OPTS} nvidia/cuda:10.2-cudnn7-runtime nvidia-smi
docker run --rm -it ${GPU_OPTS} tensorflow/tensorflow:1.14.0-gpu-py3 bash

Use journald log driver in Docker Compose

      driver: "journald"
        tag: "{{.ImageName}}/{{.Name}}/{{.ID}}" # default: "{{.ID}}"

Backup (restic)

yay -S restic
[Unit] Description=Restic Backup Service [Service] Nice=19 IOSchedulingClass=idle KillSignal=SIGINT ExecStart=/etc/restic/
[Unit] Description=Restic Backup Timer [Timer] OnCalendar=*-*-* 0,6,12,18:0:0 RandomizedDelaySec=15min Persistent=true [Install]
export RESTIC_REPOSITORY=/path/to/backup export RESTIC_PASSWORD=<passphrase> export RESTIC_PROGRESS_FPS=1
#!/bin/bash -ue # usage: # source /etc/restic/ date # system restic backup --tag system -v \ --one-file-system \ --exclude .cache \ --exclude .vscode-server \ --exclude .vscode-server-insiders \ --exclude TabNine \ --exclude /var/lib/docker/overlay2 \ / /boot # data restic backup --tag data -v \ --exclude 'appdata_*/preview' \ # Nextcloud cache --exclude 'appdata_*/dav-photocache' \ # Nextcloud cache /mnt/data # prune restic forget --prune --group-by tags \ --keep-last 4 \ --keep-within-daily 7d \ --keep-within-weekly 1m \ --keep-within-monthly 3m # verify restic check
#!/bin/bash # usage: <file|directory> # source /etc/restic/ TARGET=${1:-$(pwd)} MODE="ls -l" if [[ -f $TARGET ]]; then TARGET=$(realpath ${TARGET}) MODE=dump fi TAG=$(restic snapshots --json | jq -r '[.[].tags[0]] | unique | .[]' | fzy) ID=$(restic snapshots --tag $TAG --json | jq -r ".[] | [.time, .short_id] | @tsv" | fzy | awk '{print $2}') >&2 echo "Command: restic ${MODE} ${ID} ${TARGET}" restic $MODE $ID ${TARGET}
#!/bin/bash # source /etc/restic/ TARGET=${1:?Specify TARGET} TARGET=$(realpath ${TARGET}) TAG=$(restic snapshots --json | jq -r '[.[].tags[0]] | unique | .[]' | fzy) ID=$(restic snapshots --tag $TAG --json | jq -r ".[] | [.time, .short_id] | @tsv" | fzy | awk '{print $2}') >&2 echo "Command: restic restore ${ID} -i ${TARGET} -t /" read -p "Press enter to continue" restic restore $ID -i ${TARGET} -t /
chmod 700 /etc/restic/
ln -sf /etc/restic/restic.{service,timer} /etc/systemd/system/
systemctl enable --now restic.timer

VPN (WireGuard)

pacman -S wireguard-tools

# gen private key
(umask 0077; wg genkey > server.key)

# gen public key
wg pubkey < server.key >

# gen preshared key for each client
(umask 0077; wg genpsk > secret1.psk)
(umask 0077; wg genpsk > secret2.psk)
[Interface] Address = ListenPort = 12345 PrivateKey = <content of server.key> PostUp = iptables -A FORWARD -i %i -j ACCEPT; iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o dns-shim -d -j MASQUERADE; iptables -t nat -A POSTROUTING -o enp5s0 ! -d -j MASQUERADE PostDown = iptables -D FORWARD -i %i -j ACCEPT; iptables -t nat -D POSTROUTING -o dns-shim -d -j MASQUERADE; iptables -t nat -D POSTROUTING -o enp5s0 ! -d -j MASQUERADE [Peer] PublicKey = <public key> PresharedKey = <content of secret1.psk> AllowedIPs = [Peer] PublicKey = <public key> PresharedKey = <content of secret2.psk> AllowedIPs =
sysctl -w net.ipv4.ip_forward=1
ufw allow 12345/udp # if ufw is running
systemctl enable --now wg-quick@wg0
wg show # show active settings


pacman -S fail2ban
[Definition] failregex = .* client login failed: .+ client:\ <HOST> ignoreregex = journalmatch = CONTAINER_NAME=mail-front-1
[DEFAULT] ignoreip = [sshd] enabled = true port = 22,10122 bantime = 1h mode = aggressive # [mailu] enabled = true backend = systemd filter = bad-auth findtime = 15m maxretry = 10 bantime = 1w action = docker-action
[Definition] actionstart = iptables -N f2b-bad-auth iptables -A f2b-bad-auth -j RETURN iptables -I DOCKER-USER -p tcp -m multiport --dports 1:1024 -j f2b-bad-auth actionstop = iptables -D DOCKER-USER -p tcp -m multiport --dports 1:1024 -j f2b-bad-auth iptables -F f2b-bad-auth iptables -X f2b-bad-auth actioncheck = iptables -n -L DOCKER-USER | grep -q 'f2b-bad-auth[ \t]' actionban = iptables -I f2b-bad-auth 1 -s <ip> -j DROP actionunban = iptables -D f2b-bad-auth -s <ip> -j DROP
systemctl enable --now fail2ban
fail2ban-client status


Dynamic DNS for Cloudflare.

Star the GitHub repository if you like it :)

yay -S cfddns
token: <token> notification: enabled: true from: cfddns@localhost to:
systemctl enable --now cfddns

Reverse proxy (nginx-proxy)

git clone --recurse-submodules /srv/proxy
cd /srv/proxy
./ --yes -e your_email@domain --skip-docker-image-check


git clone /srv/cloud
cd /srv/cloud
cp .env.sample .env
vim .env # fill the blank variables
make # pull, build, start
make applypatches # run only once

Monitor (Telegraf + InfluxDB + Grafana)

Grafana + InfluxDB (Docker)

git clone /srv/monitor
cd /srv/monitor

Telegraf (Host)

yay -S telegraf
# Global tags can be specified here in key="value" format. [global_tags] # Configuration for telegraf agent [agent] interval = "15s" round_interval = true metric_batch_size = 1000 metric_buffer_limit = 10000 collection_jitter = "0s" flush_interval = "10s" flush_jitter = "0s" precision = "" hostname = "" omit_hostname = false # Read InfluxDB-formatted JSON metrics from one or more HTTP endpoints [[outputs.influxdb]] urls = [""] database = "<db>" username = "<user>" password = "<password>" # Read metrics about cpu usage [[inputs.cpu]] percpu = true totalcpu = true collect_cpu_time = false report_active = false # Read metrics about disk usage by mount point [[inputs.disk]] ignore_fs = ["tmpfs", "devtmpfs", "devfs", "iso9660", "overlay", "aufs", "squashfs"] # Read metrics about disk IO by device [[inputs.diskio]] # Get kernel statistics from /proc/stat [[inputs.kernel]] # Read metrics about memory usage [[inputs.mem]] # Get the number of processes and group them by status [[inputs.processes]] # Read metrics about system load & uptime [[inputs.system]] # Read metrics about network interface usage [[]] interfaces = ["enp5s0"] # Read metrics about docker containers [[inputs.docker]] endpoint = "unix:///var/run/docker.sock" perdevice = false total = true [[inputs.fail2ban]] interval = "15m" use_sudo = true # Pulls statistics from nvidia GPUs attached to the host [[inputs.nvidia_smi]] timeout = "30s" [[inputs.http_response]] interval = "5m" urls = [ "" ] # Monitor sensors, requires lm-sensors package [[inputs.sensors]] interval = "60s" remove_numbers = false
Cmnd_Alias FAIL2BAN = /usr/bin/fail2ban-client status, /usr/bin/fail2ban-client status * telegraf ALL=(root) NOEXEC: NOPASSWD: FAIL2BAN Defaults!FAIL2BAN !logfile, !syslog, !pam_session
chmod 440 /etc/sudoers.d/telegraf
usermod -aG docker telegraf
telegraf -config /etc/telegraf/telegraf.conf -test
systemctl enable --now telegraf


pacman -S minikube kubectl
minikube start --cpus=max
kubectl taint nodes --all # to allow the control plane to allocate pods to the master node

minikube ip
kubectl cluster-info
kubectl get cm -n kube-system kubeadm-config -o yaml

Firewall (ufw)

pacman -S ufw
systemctl enable --now ufw



pacman -S alsa-utils # may require rebooting system
usermod -aG audio <user>

# list devices as root
aplay -l
arecord -L
cat /proc/asound/cards

# test speaker
speaker-test -c2

# test mic
arecord -vv -Dhw:2,0 -fS32_LE mic.wav
aplay mic.wav

# gui mixer

# for
pacman -S pulseaudio pulsemixer
pulseaudio --start
pacmd list-cards
# INPUT/RECORD load-module module-alsa-source device="default" tsched=1 # OUTPUT/PLAYBACK load-module module-alsa-sink device="default" tsched=1 # Accept clients -- very important load-module module-native-protocol-unix load-module module-native-protocol-tcp
pcm.mic { type hw card M96k rate 44100 format S32_LE } pcm.speaker { type plug slave { pcm "hw:1,0" } } pcm.!default { type asym capture.pcm "mic" playback.pcm "speaker" } #defaults.pcm.card 1 #defaults.ctl.card 1

Telegram notifier

#!/bin/bash BOT_TOKEN=<your bot token> CHAT_ID=<your chat id> PAYLOAD=$(ruby -r json -e "print ({text: ARGF.to_a.join, chat_id: $CHAT_ID}).to_json" </dev/stdin) OK=$(curl -s -X "POST" \ -H "Content-Type: application/json; charset=utf-8" \ -d "$PAYLOAD" \${BOT_TOKEN}/sendMessage | jq .ok) if [[ $OK == true ]]; then exit 0 else exit 1 fi


Encrypt existing un-encrypted root partition

Boot Arch Linux from archiso USB device, then:

pacman -Syu
resize2fs -p -M /dev/sdaX
# resize2fs -p /dev/sdaX 1838M
cryptsetup reencrypt --encrypt --reduce-device-size 32M /dev/sdaX
cryptsetup --allow-discards --perf-no_read_workqueue --perf-no_write_workqueue --persistent open /dev/sdaX root
resize2fs /dev/mapper/root

mkdir /mnt/{root,boot}
mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
mount /dev/mapper/root /mnt/root
systemd-nspawn --boot --bind=/mnt/boot:/boot --directory=/mnt/root

# add sysroot line
vim /etc/mkinitcpio-systemd-tool/config/crypttab
vim /etc/mkinitcpio-systemd-tool/config/fstab
mkinitcpio -P


Quick checkups

htop # show task overview
systemctl --failed # show failed units
free -h # show memory usage
lsblk -f # show disk usage
networkctl status # show network status
userdbctl # show users
nvidia-smi # verify nvidia cards
ps aux | grep "defunct" # find zombie processes

Delve into system logs

journalctl -p err -b-1 -r # show error logs from previous boot in reverse order
journalctl -u sshd -f # tail logs from sshd unit
journalctl --no-pager -n 25 -k # show latest 25 logs from the kernel without pager
journalctl --since=yesterday --until "2020-07-10 15:10:00" # show logs within specific time range
journalctl CONTAINER_NAME=service_web_1 # show error from the docker container named 'service_web_1'
journalctl _PID=2434 -e # filter logs based on PID and jump to the end of the logs
journalctl -g 'timed out' # filter logs based on a regular expression. if the pattern is all lowercase, it will become insensitive mode
  • g - go to the first line
  • G - go to the last line
  • / - search for the string

Force overriding installation

pacman -S <pkg> --overwrite '*'

Check memory modules

pacman -S lshw dmidecode

lshw -short -C memory # lists installed mems
dmidecode # shows configured clock speed
smartctl -H /dev/sdd

# umount the drive before this ops
# [!] Never perform `fsck` on an unmounted LUKS drive, as it may lead to data loss
e2fsck -C 0 -p /dev/sdd1 # preen
e2fsck -C 0 -cc /dev/sdd1 # badblocks


Longer SSH login (D-bus glitch)

systemctl restart systemd-logind
systemctl restart polkit

Annoying systemd-homed is not available flooding journald logs

Move pam_unix before pam_systemd_home.

#%PAM-1.0 auth required preauth # Optionally use requisite above if you do not want to prompt for the password # on locked accounts. auth [success=2 default=ignore] try_first_pass nullok -auth [success=1 default=ignore] auth [default=die] authfail auth optional auth required auth required authsucc # If you drop the above call to the lock will be done also # on non-consecutive authentication failures. account [success=1 default=ignore] -account required account optional account required password [success=1 default=ignore] try_first_pass nullok shadow -password required password optional session required session required session optional

Annoying systemd-journald-audit log


Missing /dev/nvidia-{uvm*,modeset}

This usually happens right after updating the Linux kernel.

  • Run docker run --rm --gpus all --device /dev/nvidia0 --device /dev/nvidiactl --device /dev/nvidia-modeset --device /dev/nvidia-uvm --device /dev/nvidia-uvm-tools -it nvidia/cuda:10.2-cudnn7-runtime nvidia-smi once.

[sudo] Incorrect password while password is correct

faillock --reset

Useful links