(Select 720p (or 1080p) HD video quality and watch in full screen mode if you want to see the commands)

This video showcases my latest working environment setup with bspwm, zsh, urxvt, tmux and vim running on my lovely Arch Linux machine.

Music: Ahrix - Nova [NCS Release]

All the dotfiles are available on my GitHub

Feel free to give feedback/comment.

Thank you for watching!

Arch Linux bspwm zsh urxvt tmux vim

Arch Linux bspwm zsh urxvt tmux vim

This post represents the steps to perform full disk encryption on Arch Linux using LVM and LUKS, given that I already had a tarball copy of a working Arch Linux machine. These steps were done on my old laptop with the BIOS boot system, so if you are using UEFI system, there may be some differences (grub installation). Please note that, the /boot partition won't be encrypted though.


First, use gparted to create the first partition (sda1) for /boot partition, about 300 MB in size should be more than enough, file system FAT32 (vfat), set the flag to boot.

Next, create second partition (sda2) which is used to store the rest of the whole system data including the root / and /home partition, use all the remaining space for this partition and leave the file system as unformatted, the label is optional, set the flag to lvm.

Then, boot the computer from a USB thumbdrive or an external hard-drive which contains a working Arch Linux operating system (I prefer to use Arch Linux distro as much as possible, but you can use any live distro to proceed further).

Create LVM and encrypt with LUKS

Now, let's encrypt the big (second) partition:

sudo cryptsetup -c aes-xts-plain64 -y -s 512 luksFormat /dev/sda2

Open it with:

sudo cryptsetup luksOpen /dev/sda2 lvm

Check if the lvm volume is opened correctly:

sudo fdisk -l

Create a physical volume:

# pvcreate /dev/mapper/lvm

Create volume group main:

# vgcreate main /dev/mapper/lvm

Create logical volume for / partition:

# lvcreate -L 39GB -n lvroot main

Create logical volume for /home partition with the remaining space:

# lvcreate -l 100%FREE -n lvhome main

Make ext4 file system for the 2 logical volumes of / and /home and reserve only 1% of space during formatting:

# mkfs.ext4 -m 1 /dev/mapper/main-lvroot
# mkfs.ext4 -m 1 /dev/mapper/main-lvhome

Restore the tarball copy and other personal data

  • Mount the lvroot volume: # mount /dev/mapper/main-lvroot /mnt
  • Copy the backed up tar archive from the working Arch Linux machine to /mnt
  • Change dir: cd /mnt
  • Untar it: # tar -xvpzf arch-backup.tar.gz --numeric-owner
  • Mount /home partition: # mount /dev/mapper/main-lvhome /mnt/home. Then copy data and dot files from the old machine over.
  • Mount /boot partition: # mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot. Then copy the old /boot partition to /mnt/boot

Perform chroot and other important settings:

Add keymap encrypt lvm2 (in that order!) to /mnt/etc/mkinitcpio.conf between block and filesystems

HOOKS="base udev autodetect modconf block keymap encrypt lvm2 filesystems keyboard fsck"

Install arch-chroot script to the host Arch Linux OS:

sudo pacman -S arch-install-scripts

Setup some mount points ( reference )

# mount -t proc none /mnt/proc
# mount -t sysfs none /mnt/sys
# mount -o bind /dev /mnt/dev
# mount -o bind /dev/pts /mnt/dev/pts  (important for pacman (for signature check))
cp -L /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/etc  (this is needed to use networking within the chroot)

If we issue command lsblk -f now, the following info (or similar) should be displayed:

lsblk -f
NAME              FSTYPE      LABEL   UUID                                   MOUNTPOINT
├─sda1            vfat        boot    88B0-3D1E                              /mnt/boot
├─sda2            crypto_LUKS         4f655e50-3660-49c1-9dad-155fa2a39dfd
│ └─lvm           LVM2_member         yDYDSC-yh0q-etS2-JeMf-QSfk-ufvB-ETRQLl
│   ├─main-lvroot ext4                f4c409b6-ef76-436c-ad67-48e75cac95e2   /mnt
│   └─main-lvhome ext4                c276a7de-b816-4f8e-97f5-eeb456ce773c   /mnt/home
└─sda3            ntfs        Storage 63ED391174748B3C
├─sdc1            vfat        ESP     68EE-7E11                              /boot
├─sdc2            ext4        lttroot bfa8127d-9b33-4dbf-815c-a4c5cd57788a   /
├─sdc3            crypto_LUKS         3d3bd39f-9ba7-4bef-87b5-067225f2db4b
│ └─phome         ext4                a4ee7104-e405-42c4-87d6-a7612f89d3c3   /home
└─sdc4            vfat        FATDATA 97EF-3B76

where sda is the internal hard-drive that we want to install Linux into, sdc is the external hard-drive that contain Arch Linux and was used to boot the marchine to perform all the taks so far.

Now we chroot to our new system on /mnt:

# chroot /mnt bash

In the chroot environment, the lsblk -f command will display something like this:

lsblk -f
├─sda1                              /boot
│ └─lvm
│   ├─main-lvroot                   /
│   └─main-lvhome                   /home
│ └─phome

where sda is the internal hard-drive of the computer, sdc is the external hard-drive that was used to boot the computer to perform all the tasks so far.

Within the chroot environment, create initial RAM disk:

# mkinitcpio -p linux

Take note that the Linux kernel version of /mnt and /mnt/boot must be the same, otherwise this error will be thrown:

mkinitcpio -p linux
==> Building image from preset: /etc/mkinitcpio.d/linux.preset: 'default'
  -> -k /boot/vmlinuz-linux -c /etc/mkinitcpio.conf -g /boot/initramfs-linux.img
==> ERROR: '/lib/modules/3.8.11-1-ARCH' is not a valid kernel module directory
==> Building image from preset: /etc/mkinitcpio.d/linux.preset: 'fallback'
  -> -k /boot/vmlinuz-linux -c /etc/mkinitcpio.conf -g /boot/initramfs-linux-fallback.img -S autodetect
==> ERROR: '/lib/modules/3.8.11-1-ARCH' is not a valid kernel module directory

Now, in the chroot environment, install GRUB for BIOS boot system, make sure it is installed to sda, NOT sdb:

# grub-install --target=i386-pc --root-directory=/ --recheck --debug /dev/sda

In /etc/default/grub edit the line GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="" to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX="cryptdevice=/dev/sda2:main" then run:

# grub-mkconfig -o /boot/grub/grub.cfg

After that, add a menu entry in /boot/grub/grub.cfg with something like this:

menuentry 'Arch Linux' --class arch --class gnu-linux --class gnu --class os $menuentry_id_option 'gnulinux-simple-f4c409b6-ef76-436c-ad67-48e75cac95e2' {
    set gfxpayload=keep
    insmod gzio
    insmod part_msdos
    insmod fat
    set root='hd0,msdos1'
    if [ x$feature_platform_search_hint = xy ]; then
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root --hint-bios=hd0,msdos1 --hint-efi=hd0,msdos1 --hint-baremetal=ahci0,msdos1  88B0-3D1E
      search --no-floppy --fs-uuid --set=root 88B0-3D1E
    echo    'Loading Linux linux ...'
    linux   /vmlinuz-linux root=UUID=f4c409b6-ef76-436c-ad67-48e75cac95e2 rw cryptdevice=/dev/sda2:main quiet
    echo    'Loading initial ramdisk ...'
    initrd  /intel-ucode.img /initramfs-linux.img

Then, exit chroot: exit

Finish up:


# umount /mnt/boot
# umount /mnt/home
# umount/mnt

We should not need any entry in /mnt/etc/cryptab anymore.

View and edit /mnt/etc/fstab accordingly





I've converted my blog from WordPress to Jekyll. Here is some note on what I did to set it up on my Arch Linux computer.

Setting up the working environment

Use WordPress admin tool to export the blog content to XML file, then install:

gem install jekyll-import --pre
gem install hpricot

After that, import the XML file:

ruby -rubygems -e 'require "jekyll-import";
      "source" => "wordpress-everbot.xml",
      "no_fetch_images" => false,
      "assets_folder" => "assets"

Installing Ruby gem bundler

gem install bundler
Fetching: bundler-1.8.0.gem (100%)
WARNING:  You don't have /home/squallltt/.gem/ruby/2.2.0/bin in your PATH,
          gem executables will not run.
Successfully installed bundler-1.8.0
Parsing documentation for bundler-1.8.0
Installing ri documentation for bundler-1.8.0
Done installing documentation for bundler after 2 seconds
1 gem installed

Create Gemfile with the following content:

source 'https://rubygems.org'

gem 'jekyll'
gem 'coderay'
gem 'sass'
gem 'octopress', '~> 3.0.0.rc.12'
gem 'jekyll-sitemap'

Then install the gems

bundle install --path vendor/bundle

Install nodejs:

sudo pacman -S nodejs

After that, generate static pages and start the server:

bundle exec jekyll serve

Once the server started, the result website can be accessed at http://localhost:4000/ or

If you receive the following error

FATAL: Listen error: unable to monitor directories for changes.
Visit https://github.com/guard/listen/wiki/Increasing-the-amount-of-inotify-watchers for info on how to fix this.
jekyll 2.4.0 | Error:  FATAL: Listen error: unable to monitor directories for changes.
Visit https://github.com/guard/listen/wiki/Increasing-the-amount-of-inotify-watchers for info on how to fix this.

then execute the below command to fix it:

sudo sysctl fs.inotify.max_user_watches=1000000

To see the list of installed gems:

gem list

Easy deployment with s3cmd

To easily deploy the static website to my Amazon Simple Storage Service, I use s3cmd. First, go to S3 console page and Enable Website Hosting and then set index document to index.html and set error document to 404.html

Install s3cmd on Arch Linux:

sudo pacman -S s3cmd

Configure and set up Amazon account:

s3cmd --configure

Deploy to Amazon server:

s3cmd sync _site/ s3://www.everbot.com/

(remember to add the slash / at the end of the target bucket name)

Yesterday when I reached home, I received my Raspberry Pi camera which was ordered 2 weeks ago from RS UK. I was quite tired but I was very excited to try it out on my Arch Linux ARM. So I spent about 1 hour to get it worked, here is the result (pls notice that I didn't get to watch the live video so you can see the camera was pointing to random locations) :)

Received Raspberry Pi camera

Received Raspberry Pi camera 02

Here is how I get it works on my Arch Linux ARM:

Add /opt/vc/bin to PATH

echo 'export PATH=$PATH:/opt/vc/bin' >> ~/.bashrc

Then add the necessary setting to /boot/config.txt

##added for camera

Reboot the Pi

To capture still image

raspistill -o testimage.jpg -hf

Take note that I need to use -hf to horizontal flip the image (otherwise the result image will be mirrored)

To capture 30s video

raspivid -o testvideo.h264 -t 30000 -hf


http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=44539 http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/tag/camera-board

In this video I show you how I use my Galaxy Note 2 to connect to my Raspberry Pi via SSH.

Thank you for watching!