How I F**ed up my entire laptop

Written by: Kimberlee Model, posted: 2017-06-01, last modified: 2019-09-28. Tags: How I configured, Linux Laptop.

Well, I was planning to do this a bit later on... but circumstances have forced me to do it now. I wanted to write this "mini series" while upgrading to a larger hard drive. So you may have guessed that this is a log of how I set up my laptop. And this is happening now, because I accidentally DD'd over the boot partition on my computer, and a bit into the windows partition. Of course, since I'm considering upgrading, I might as well get a practice run, and perhaps script out some of what I do

So, I think I've kind of settled on CentOS as my operating system of choice. So once I completed the installer, selecting a "minimal installation", the next thing to do is to get an X desktop session up and running. I like to use Xfce, with some of the applications from Mate Desktop, since Xfce is kinda extra light on those. In order for Xfce and Mate to be install, we need to install the epel-release repository. While we're at it we may as well update. I like to test what will be updated, but that line isn't strictly necessary.

    $ yum groupinstall "X Window system"
    $yum install epel-release
    $ yum groupinstall xfce
    $ yum groupinstall "Mate Desktop"
    $ yum update --downloadonly
    $yum update

Next I simply have to tell the system that I want it to run.

    $ systemctl isolate graphical.target
    $ systemctl set-default graphical.target

This is a short list of packages that I also took the liberty of installing, since they did not come with the system.

  • bash-completion
  • wget
  • xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin
  • bind-utils (for nslookup)
  • cups*
  • hplip
  • sane*
  • cheese
  • simple-scan
  • libreoffice
  • gparted
  • xscreensaver
  • rfkill

Now I need to get the WiFi working. This is an issue each time I switch operating systems. Each time I simply have to blacklist the acer-wmi driver.

    $ modprobe -r acer-wmi
    $ echo "blacklist acer-wmi" >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf
    $ modprobe iwlwifi

The full text of how I diagnosed this the first time is well documented in Stack Exchange here

This should be all to get me to the end of the term, when I can put together some more comprehensive. In the upcoming few days, I will put back together the rest of my system from what I could salvage.