Configure X server


To configure the X server on an fresh install of Arch Linux, you need:

  • Install the graphic driver

  • Remove nouveau or any nvidia driver

  • Install a desktop environment (GNOME in this case)

  • Configure the trackpad

Install the graphic driver

In this article, I will not detail the procedure to install a graphic driver for any ATI or NVidia graphic card. I will only focus on the basic graphic card of the motherboard which, in my case, is an Intel one.

To install the basic graphic driver for this Intel graphic card, you need to install the package xf86-video-intel.

$ pacman -S xf86-video-intel

And that’s it.

Removing other graphic drivers

To make sure your Intel graphic driver will be chosen, remove all other graphic driver that may have been installed during the default installation.

$ pacman -R nvidia xf86-video-nouveau

Install the desktop environment

To install the desktop environment (GNOME in this case), you just need to install the gnome package.

$ pacman -S gnome

By default, it will also install GDM, the GNOME Display Manager. In order to start it, we need a little more configuration. First, we activate GDM in the systemd system.

$ systemctl enable gdm.service

Secondly, you may have a non-US keyboard. However, GDM will take a US keyboard map by default. To change this, you can edit a X11 configuration file. For example, you can edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/10-evdev.conf and change the following lines

Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "evdev keyboard catchall"
	MatchIsKeyboard "on"
	MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
	Driver "evdev"


Section "InputClass"
	Identifier "evdev keyboard catchall"
	MatchIsKeyboard "on"
	MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
	Driver "evdev"
	Option "XkbLayout" "fr"

Configure the trackpad

Your trackpad may not respond with the previous installation. It is probably because you miss the xf86-input-synaptics package. You can check if it is installed.

$ pacman -Qs xf86-input-synaptics

If it is not, you probably want to install it.

$ pacman -S xf86-input-synaptics

Possible errors

nouveau is still ativated

To check if nouveau is activated, use the lsmod command.

$ lsmod | grep 'nouveau'

If you find nouveau somewhere and that you’re desktop environment still doesn’t start, you may try to put nouveau on a blacklist.

$ echo 'blacklist nouveau' >> /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf